Tandyn Almer -- What the Hell?

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Ok, anybody got anything on this guy beyond the AMG bio. And when I say anything, I mean something other than the "Tandyn Slave-Master," the bong that seems every bit as mythical as it's alleged creator.

From AMG:
A fascinating and enigmatic footnote to the West Coast pop scene of the late 1960s, pianist, composer and producer Tandyn Almer is best known for writing the Association's classic “Along Comes Mary." Virtually nothing is known of Almer's origins and upbringing—in 1965, Associate Jules Alexander was hired by producer Curt Boettcher to play on a demo of “Along Comes Mary," and was so impressed by the song he asked if his group could record it officially. Released in 1966, the single emerged as a blockbuster, defining the Association's pioneering harmony pop sound—it should have made Almer one of the hottest songwriters in Los Angeles, but he never again scored a major hit. That doesn't mean he was missing in action, however—any number of obscure psych-pop singles bear Almer's writing and production credit, among them the Paper Fortress' “Sleepy Hollow People," the Garden Club's “Little Girl Lost and Found," Pleasure's “Poor Old Organ Grinder" and Dennis Olivieri's full-length Come to the Party. He and Boettcher also teamed to write another Association song, “Message of Our Love," as well as Sagittarius' “Musty Dusty." In 1969, Almer recorded his lone solo single, “Degeneration Gap," for Warner Bros.; he also recorded an LP of demos for Almo/Irving Publishing and even compiled a songbook, Along Comes Tandyn, including new and possibly never-recorded material including “I Get High," “Sunset Strip Soliloquy" and “Alice Designs." Though Almer was later credited alongside Brian Wilson as a co-writer on a handful of Beach Boys efforts, including “Sail On, Sailor," his most significant contribution to western culture may be the Tandyn Slave-Master, a waterpipe that was described in the headshop classic A Child's Garden of Grass as “the perfect bong." Almer's activities and whereabouts since the early 1970s remain a mystery.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 12 August 2003 20:13 (sixteen years ago) link

Brian Wilson accused his wife of sleeping with him, then started telling him to fuck her cuz he wasn't interested anymore. Something like that, I should really know the facts a bit better as I've read 'Heroes and Villains' about 30 times

dave q, Tuesday, 12 August 2003 20:35 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh shit, right -- that book is such a gossipy scandal-fest. But there's gotta be more to him than that, right?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 00:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, "Enter the Young" sux. Whether he wrote it or not.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Wednesday, 13 August 2003 08:05 (sixteen years ago) link

nine years pass...

Didn't realize he had a thread.

Anyway, Sundazed is reporting on FB that Almer (60s LA songwriter/Beach Boys collaborator) has passed away. No obits up yet though.

RIP bong-building, songwriting dude.

Big Sambola & The Tailspinners (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:22 (seven years ago) link

Hope this isn't true - I can't find anything else indicating he's no longer with us, including Sundazed's newsfeed. I've long been intrigued by him - what little work he's made public is excellent and unique.

Lee626, Thursday, 10 January 2013 22:40 (seven years ago) link

Believe me when I tell you this - his many unreleased tracks are amazing. I don't think there's anything like them in 60s pop music, really. The weird verbosity of "Along Comes Mary" only gives a hint. I got two CDs of material from his publishing company years ago, and have longed for a legitimate release for it. The Sundazed thing was supposed to be out more than a year ago . . . I hope it's still happening.

crustaceanrebel, Friday, 11 January 2013 02:18 (seven years ago) link

His wiki has been updated to say he died on the 8th. However, that's all I'm seeing about it other than some messageboard queries and what Sundazed posted, which was two photos, including the cover for their forthcoming anthology. In the comments section on the latter, Bob Irwin mentioned it was ready to go, but they may temporarily postpone its release as to not come off as opportunistic.

Big Sambola & The Tailspinners (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 11 January 2013 02:54 (seven years ago) link



(had no idea he lived in Falls Church, VA. I was just there a few days ago)

Lee626, Friday, 11 January 2013 03:49 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

I see there are some fans of Tandyn here, so I want to let you know that the Sundazed album, "Along Comes Tandyn," was released on March 26. You can order it on CD, vinyl, or mp3 from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B6OEEDS/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0RGX2AXVJWFC0RSNJQNE&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846), or at www.sundazed.com, or download it from iTunes. There are some songs on this album that never saw the light of day before this, so if you love Tandyn's music, this provides you with some new stuff and new insights.

I'm Tandyn's sister-in-law and the administrator of his estate. When he died, we found more than 400 cassette tapes in his apartment, many of which contain new music. We are working on assembling the usable demos, finding lead sheets (locked away on a non-functioning Mac G4 tower), and determining which publishing companies own what and which songs are not yet published. Assuming that the music industry concurs with our assessment of what we're hearing so far, there will be more of Tandyn's music to come.

If you'd like to be on the dist list for an email newsletter I distribute periodically with news about Tandyn's estate and music, please drop me a line with your email address. Thanks for reading and listening!

Randi Minetor (ra✧✧✧@mine✧✧✧.c✧✧)

Randi M, Thursday, 28 March 2013 20:41 (seven years ago) link

Wow, would love to hear anything interesting that turns up!

Any illuminating insights about the man you could share with us here?

Lee626, Thursday, 28 March 2013 22:41 (seven years ago) link

seven years pass...

Came upon this thread only to realize I started it. 🤦‍♂️ But fascinating that his SIL came to post here.

Finally digging into Along Comes Tandyn – I seem to recall Ugly Things did something on him at some point, I need to find that (fake edit: I’ve apparently read it, listened to this record before and posted about it on the UT thread even).

It doesn’t seem like his estate has been able to get anything else out?

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 27 June 2020 14:48 (two weeks ago) link

i LOVE "along comes tandyn"

would love to hear more — "more than 400 cassette tapes" !!!

there's apparently an author / journalist named randi minetor who writes about nature / travel, i wonder if it's the same person.

budo jeru, Saturday, 27 June 2020 16:09 (two weeks ago) link

Listening to Along Comes Tandlyn on youtube right now: demos, but pretty well-recorded, guitar sound a little rough, but keeps melodies from seeming too smooth, w piano punctuation, full bass and drums that don't get in the way---will prob suggests this next time somebody asks about power-pop---about half way in, none of the expected verbosity---mainly solo voice, a little echo, flexible enough---could imagine the Monkees doing several of these---still something mainly representative of West Coast folk-rock-pop competing with British Invasion, but not really so very distinctive so far, to non-specialist ears:

dow, Saturday, 27 June 2020 19:02 (two weeks ago) link

Try again, anyway it's on there (Tandyn, not Tandlyn, sorry)

dow, Saturday, 27 June 2020 19:06 (two weeks ago) link

What the hell indeed (tried firefox and chrome)

dow, Saturday, 27 June 2020 19:19 (two weeks ago) link

well in any case it's available, on youtube and spotify, and it's pretty easy to acquire a physical copy on the secondhand market.

one of my favorite of his tunes:


budo jeru, Saturday, 27 June 2020 20:14 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah – to the extent Almer had a “style,” it seems a number of his songs have this kind of verbose syncopated rap going on, where the melody sort of cascades and tumbles over the lyrics. See this in a few tracks on ACT as well as “Along Comes Mary” and stuff like the bridge to “Sail On Sailor.”

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 27 June 2020 21:36 (two weeks ago) link

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