Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

White Witch


Released 1971 on Capricorn
Reviewed by JulianStarr, 07/06/2000ce


So there I am , 1979, small town america, in Newsums record shop flipping through the cheap piles of wax. I was looking for that over looked lost treasure. I decide on a small hand full of records, all purchased based on the album cover & song titles. I bought HELP YOURSELF, THE STORIES & a strange looking group of guy's called WHITE WITCH. (It seems I was looking for freaks in the park rock that day).
When I got home I put the White Witch LP on first. I recall being totally freaked out, sitting on the edge of my bed, being swept away by the haunt of "PARABRAHM GREETING" The vocals where wild & unworldly & the doom swirl of the music was the perfect cloak. I sat in silent reverence as this record played on & I heard for the first time songs like YOU'RE THE ONE
(Freaky moog, space, glam rock with Beatle-like harmonies) SLEEPWALK (Dreamscape pop, space jazz break, Bee Gee's 67 vocals, super natural lyrics) AND I'M LEAVING (Beautiful pop melody) ILLUSION (Freaked out space metal with doom break down) HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF CHANGING/JACKSON SLADE (Wild changes and a breakdown where the
vocals turn into the Beatles 66 complete with british accents! With lines like "You keep your lightening bugs inside of a jar, you rape your little girl inside of your car" along with a reference to beastiality and Captain Goedert screaming out MOTHER FUCK! You can't accuse these guy's of just being new age hippies)

The album ends like it begins with a doom, space, glam, spoken word piece called THE GIFT. And as soon as it was over I silently took the record from
my turntable and went on with my day. Periodically I would walk pass my room and look in at that album on my bed as if I expected the album to mysteriously have disappeared.

That LP has been in my collection for over 20 years now, I would go back to it often. During the mid to late 80's when the term Glam meant something different then androgynous space gods & now meant macho jock's in their girlfriends clothes, looking like bad blind dates!
I started to think maybe WHITE WITCH isn't so cool? Then when Axle Rose hit the scene I HATED anyone who sang in a high screeching voice. My WHITE WITCH Lp's went in the closet!

Years had passed, it was now the mid 90's& I just couldn't find a record in my collection to listen to. I remembered I had some old records in my closet. I went in, flipped through my reject records and there it was! Right behind that SKYHOOKS record! WHITE WITCH! I put the record on & it worked!! I was a 14 year old hermit again! I LOVE THIS FUCKING RECORD!

The much loved LESTER BANGS is one of the few people that ever mentioned WHITE WITCH, and though his review on WHITE WITCH still cracks me up, I think he over looked what a freaky hybrid of styles lurked with in the grooves of this strange album.

He was also way off base on his assumptions of what Ronn Goedert was all about pre WW.
After having met WHITE WITCH and learning Ronn's story I find him to be even more of a mystery. Most of the band came out of the Tampa garage scene, Ronn was a wild young biker fronting a heavy rock band called ROCK n ROLL CIRCUS (Pre-Stones movie). When he joined WW & signed to Capricorn they hit the road with ALICE COOPER , often steeling the show, literally! Ronn Goedert would often ask the audience to follow him outside where he
would ask everyone to sit with him in a circle & "Ommmm" ! He burned bibles on stage! (Which still is a life threatening act in America's bible belt!) He dressed like a galm cowboy & rode a giant hobby horse on stage! He sang eerie songs about space men & possessed toys coming to life! And after 30 years I contact the man & he tells me he is creating a new character
called ADAM STRANGE! He then sends me a current photo of himself! 50 years old, face painted, kneeling in front of a large space painting (Which I found out is the walls of his house)! And I realize, He may be one of the only humans left in this world that can still scare me! Because rather you love that WHITE WITCH record or HATE it, at least listen to it knowing that the strange front man was one of Rock's REAL freaks & understand that his arena rock scream was PRE ARENA ROCK!

Feel free to learn more about WW at the web site
http://WWW.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Cabaret/9460/index.html


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