Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Caretakers Of Deception - Cuttin' Grass/X+Y=13

The Caretakers Of Deception
Cuttin' Grass/X+Y=13


Released 1967 on Sanctus
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 25/03/2007ce


In my opinion this is one of the top 10 greatest USA 60's garage records of all time, right up there with classics by The Dovers, The Squires, Third Bardo, Human Expression and Calico Wall (very elite company indeed.) I was first introduced to this incredible record via the superb USA garage sampler "Acid Dreams", it was later included on another inspired collection called "Psychedelic Disaster Whirl." It has become one of my favorite recordings of all time.

When I first heard this record I was just slaughtered, it just hits you like a sledgehammer. The Caretakers Of Deception were Los Angeles based, other than that I know nothing about them, other than the composer of this song was a mysterious cat named T. Jones. I don't know who he is, but if he comes out of hiding now I will personally vote for him for the position of GOD!

"Cuttin' Grass" is in another dimmension, it sort of makes the Doors inspired debut 45 "Break On Through" seem a bit tame by comparison. The song just cuts you from it's first notes, the singer shouts out in a voice similar to Mr. T "It's hard enough for me to see/when you've taken my eyes from me/thrown them in the filth on the street/you crush them on the floor", HOLY SMOKE! All the while the backing group kick up a mean racket that sounds like the Animals at their most potent blended with Them's "Mystic Eyes." The organ just surges at the listener like it's trying to kill anything in it's path. The singer then erupts into "I'm cuttin' grass/I feel alone" and rambles on some other words that I just can't make out. Remember also this was 1967, a year when "newspaper taxis appear on the shore/waiting to take you away" was considered to be the heaviest of the heavy.

Towards the finale of the song the singer returns with "if you think I'm really bad/take a look into my melted plastic brain/and run your fingers down my nerves/until you reach my soul/I'm cuttin' grass/I feel alone" WOW! what a record! At the time I first heard this song I was working mowing fairways at the ever popular Mill River Country Club in Stratford, CT. I remember many times cruising my tractor up and down the fairways singing to myself "I'm cuttin' grass/I feel alone", but I think the Caretakers were singing about cutting a different kind of grass.

Now, the flipside "X+Y=13" has been put down in some corners as being lackluster. To this I say pure nonsense, while the song is not as manic as "Cuttin' Grass"it is still pretty damn cool. It's a very creepy organ driven, minor key, bum trip bringer. It sounds like a group of fraternity boys who were dosed with massive quantities of bad LSD. But it really provides a nice contrast to the insane A side of the disc. This song made an appearance on the first "Psychedelic Unknowns" collection. I think both sides of this 45 can still be found on some newer compilations, though I'm not positive. This is truly a 45 for the ages!


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