Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Sons Of Adam - Feathered Fish b/w Baby, Show The World

The Sons Of Adam
Feathered Fish b/w Baby, Show The World


Released 1966 on Alamo
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 25/08/2008ce


I first became aware of The Sons Of Adam in 1983 or so via an ultra low-fi 7 inch EP on the wonderful Moxie label, you know the folks who unleashed the Boulders garage compilations on the world. This EP basically rounded up the group's 3 45's for the Decca and Alamo labels. I was aware that the Sons contained ace guitarist Randy Holden (later of The Other Half and Blue Cheer) and also future Love drummer Michael Stuart. Guitarist Craig Tarwater was also a member and he later turned up in the group Arthur Lee used on his 1972 solo LP "Vindicator." So the Sons Of Adam had close ties with all things Love.

A few years ago I read the aforementioned Michael Stuart's excellent autobiography "Behind The Scenes On The Pegasus Carousel" which featured in depth information on the formation of The Sons Of Adam. Most folks probably raced past that part of the book, but I really dug it. It turns out 3/4 of the Sons hailed from the tough streets of Baltimore, Maryland. There is a great piece about Sons bassist Mike Port kicking the shit out of a drunken redneck. Though Michael Stuart bailed on the group to join Love in 1966, so he's probably only on the first 45. An interesting side-note on the Love/Sons Of Adam connection was a story Stuart tells out Arthur Lee offering the song "7&7 Is" to the Sons and the group rejecting it for being "too weird." Which reminds me of the story of fellow Los Angeles psych-combo The Human Expression rejecting a demo of Mars Bonfire's "Born To Be Wild." Somewhere Terry Reid must be smiling!

Anyway on to the record at hand, the Sons Of Adam's debut recording "Feathered Fish" was another Arthur Lee composition, a song which Lee himself would not record until the 1990's with his makeshift version of Love (although it is a fine version.) The Sons Of Adam treat "Feathered Fish" like a bastard son of "7&7 Is" with Randy Holden already showing off his dazzling guitar style. But in actual fact it is the B-side that really steals the show here. "Baby, Show The World" is one of the most blistering garage punkers ever recorded and even rivals "7&7 Is" in the all out intensity stakes. To me it sounds like the early A-Square 45's by the MC5. Mike Port plays his bass like he is auditioning for the Bad Brains, while Holden's guitar action is enough to melt paint off your walls. I'm not sure who is handling the vocals but the shriek the lead singer let's go towards the end of the song is pure Rob Tyner meets "Release The Bats" era Birthday Party. WOW! what a finish!

Both sides of this single have been compiled a few times, so they shouldn't be to hard to find. Oddly enough Randy Holden left the Sons Of Adam for San Francisco garage/psych. outfit The Other Half and brought with him "Feathered Fish" which the Other Half recorded on their 1968 album for Acta, but the song was credited to Country Joe McDonald? I really don't know what that's all about.


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