Strawberry Alarm Clock Biography

Based in California and originally known as the Sixpence, the Strawberry Alarm Clock enjoyed a US number 1 in 1967 with the memorable ‘Incense And Peppermints’. This euphoric slice of ‘flower-power’ bubblegum was initially intended as a b-side and the featured voice was that of a friend on hand during the session, rather than an official member. The group - Mark Weitz (organ), Ed King (lead guitar), Lee Freeman (rhythm guitar), Gary Lovetro (bass) and Randy Seol (drums) - added a second bass player, George Bunnell, prior to recording a debut album. The new arrival was also an accomplished songwriter, and his contributions enhanced a set that coupled hippie trappings with enchanting melodies and some imaginative instrumentation. Such features were maintained on successive Strawberry Alarm Clock albums, while ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Sit With The Guru’ continued their reign as chart contenders. The group supplied much of the music for the film Psyche-Out, in which they also appeared. Gary Lovetro left the line-up prior to Wake Up It’s Tomorrow, and several subsequent changes undermined the band’s direction. Good Morning Starshine, released in 1969, introduced a reshaped band where Jimmy Pitman (guitar) and Gene Gunnels (drums) joined Weitz and King, the latter of whom was relegated to bass. Although undoubtedly professional, this particular quartet lacked the innovation of its predecessor and although they remained together until 1971, the Strawberry Alarm Clock was unable to regain its early profile. Ed King later joined Lynyrd Skynyrd, while several of his erstwhile colleagues were reunited during the 80s for a succession of ‘summer of love revisited’ tours. ‘Incense And Peppermints’ was featured in the first Austin Powers movie in 1997.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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