Quicksilver Messenger Service - Classic/Dud, Search/Destroy

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i know nothing about them. are they good psychedelia? eh? EH????/

Amon (eman), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:01 (fifteen years ago) link


scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:18 (fifteen years ago) link

I think most people find "Happy Trails" the most accessible.
They were kind of an ill-fated band, though, losing members to jail, and other bands. They hung in there for a long time, though. I heard some of the members are still recording.

Orbit (Orbit), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:27 (fifteen years ago) link

so happy trails is better than the self-titled one?

Amon (eman), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 03:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Oh man. Pretty much one of my all-time fave groups. Well, at least that classic four-piece line-up that made the first two lps. after Dino got out of the slam, they had a few more good moments but NOTHING approaching the pixilated guitar gush of the first two. Somehow Dino's overbearing presence caused Cipollina to go entire records without ONCE using his tremolo, so sad.

But yeah the first two totally rip the paint off. You'd love them, Amon, I am sure of it. I'd say get them in order. um, not so sure I'd go along with the idea that Happy Trails is more 'accessible' tho!! especially considering that it's like three big long guitar jams, including the side-long "Who Do You Love". It is fucking great, though, no doubt about that. They are both great, but I may actually slightly prefer the first one if you put a gun to my head. get really wasted and listen to "The Fool" --> MAJESTIC. The "Calvary" part of side two of Happy Trails also --> MAJESTIC. Like, up there with the best dual-guitar free-improv, Daydream Nation's extended bits, the Dead C in improv mode, etc etc. Top landmark stuff in six-string exploration.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:45 (fifteen years ago) link

I like the first album more than Happy Trails, too.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:54 (fifteen years ago) link

hi Tim!

Hey, who plays the solo on "Hey Bulldog"? Is it John?

Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 04:55 (fifteen years ago) link

haha - i just knew you'd be on this thread diamond!

anyhow classic obv

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm just a big old hippy at heart, I guess! I never really set out to be one or anything. I just like distinctive guitarists and I can not lie.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:06 (fifteen years ago) link

Hey Stormy - what's up? I'd guess that's George. You look at some credits online and they have "lead guitar" for both John and George, so they're crediting the guitar doing the riff as being "lead" also. Seems less likely that George would have done the main guitar part with the riff and John did the overdubbed solo.

Sounds like George to me, anyway.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:13 (fifteen years ago) link

cool beans, Tim. That sounds about right to me. It sounds a little VICIOUS for George or something tho, eh? Although, "It's All Too Much" was his too, right, so I guess that line of thinking is out the window. I didn't mean to put you on the spot or anything I just thought you might know, because I'm pretty curious myself. I guess I figured all you hardcore Beatles fanatics have all the Mark Lewisohn books memorized from cover to cover, etc etc!

Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:21 (fifteen years ago) link


Unfortunate Prankster (Unfortunate Prankster), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 05:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I think Cipollina and Gary Duncan were probably the best dual-guitar tag-team of that whole '60s-Frisco scene, and yup, those first two LPs are classics. I still can't tell whether "Calvary" was recorded live or not. But then they traded Duncan for Nicky Hopkins (a good pianist out of his element) and started writing "songs" rather than jams, and were never the same. Disc One of Rhino's Sons Of Mercury comp has huge portions of those first two albums plus a few rarities, while Disc Two had the later lesser stuff. And I'm pleased that I managed to keep the first disc while selling the second to an unsuspecting used-CD retailer - at the same shop where I originally bought it myself, in fact. (Did the exact same thing with a Sparks collection, incidentally! O'course double CDs no longer come in separate jewel boxes, so that's impossible now.)

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 07:05 (fifteen years ago) link

I must concur that the first album is stone classic, perhaps the most underrated LP to come out of the SF scene. The second one sounds better when I'm uhm "in the mood." I've always liked Shady Grove for the completely OTT piano noodling but it's a different kettle of fish. The guitarists get off a few good licks on Just for Love but Dino Valenti's singing and lyrics on the FM staples "Fresh Air" and "What About Me" were laughably dated in the early 70s.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 09:12 (fifteen years ago) link

The first album is such a gem. I could listen to those guitars for hours on end.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 13:59 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know if I would call QMS psychedelia. Of course, they were right there living cheek-by-jowl with The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, etc., so some of the psychedelia rubbed off, but in other ways they were proto-Americana, along with Credence Clearwater Revival. CCR created a mythical Louisiana bayou to update with rock; QMS did the same thing with a Spanish-inflected Southwest. "Light All Your Windows" was one of my faves growing up, and I just wore Happy Trails out. (By the way, I don't think any of Happy Trails is pure live or pure studio, except for maybe "Happy Trails" itself. It is a live base with extensive (and obvious) studio overdubs. "Calvary" does sound even less live than the rest of the record.)

Vornado, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 14:15 (fifteen years ago) link

thanks Stormy

Amon (eman), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 21:44 (fifteen years ago) link

ok, did some downloading and not too taken with 'pride of man' (the singing kinda ruins it for me), the 2nd half of 'light your windows' has some cool moments and 'dino's song' is pretty cool. but 'the fool' is epic psych genius!

Amon (eman), Thursday, 26 May 2005 02:21 (fifteen years ago) link

well yeah, "The Fool" really was pretty much the high point ... and I have to give huge props to Vornado .. for he pretty much succintly summed up everything I've thought about this band right here--

they were proto-Americana, along with Credence Clearwater Revival. CCR created a mythical Louisiana bayou to update with rock; QMS did the same thing with a Spanish-inflected Southwest.

I think that is basically what I was getting at when I remarked earlier about how ON they were with the whole "old west" motif; how their album cover art, and things like "Happy Trails" and "Calvary" and so forth, and how Cipollina's wicked vibrato was essentially following-on from MOrricone's stinging guitar stabs on so many of his great works ... the whole thing -- the art, the vibe, the titles, all conspired to evoke this kind of old-west in the same way that CCR did for the Bayou. So yeah, top observation by Vornado; you get it, my man!! Yeah, great group... Love that "Light Your Windows", too. Gosh, that thing is too short. Love that jazzy solo portion, with the open acoustic guitar in the background, the waltz-time, Cipollina's vibrato, wow, top fuck music...

"Light All Your Windows" was one of my faves growing up,

Stormy Davis (diamond), Thursday, 26 May 2005 05:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Happy Trails - found it at Tower, very cool. "Mona" especially, the tremolo in the beginning, and that nice melodic guitar break in the middle

Amon (eman), Monday, 30 May 2005 02:27 (fifteen years ago) link

That whole Quicksilver/cowboy thing kinda makes a bit more sense if you keep in mind early psychedelia's Texas connection.

Also, can't overlook that great first Mad River LP either - like Quicksilver but with a more compelling singer.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Monday, 30 May 2005 14:14 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

get really wasted and listen to "The Fool" --> MAJESTIC.

I happened to do this last night. Side 2 three or four times in a row. Couldn't bring myself to skip past 'It's Been Too Long' though. What a great song. And a f'king great album!

I had that Copperhead album that Cipollina did, but I think I may have traded it back in. Did he ever record with Man? Seen a few things to suggest he did some live shows, at the least.

gnarly sceptre, Thursday, 7 August 2008 14:36 (twelve years ago) link

q.m.s. vs the dead

am0n, Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:33 (twelve years ago) link

Did he ever record with Man?

"Maximum Darkness"

I had a QMS live at the fillmore boot on in the car on the way in. Opens w/"Dino's Song", closes with "Who do you love". Solidly excellent from beginning to end. hey really were an outstanding band of their era, I think second only to Spirit. I believe it's going to be released in '09.

Pashmina, Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:40 (twelve years ago) link

Let down by a poor rhythm section, like so many West Coast bands, this is but one of the reasons why Spirit stand out from the crowd so much

Tom D., Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:46 (twelve years ago) link

Spirit was from L.A., and L.A. bands had a totally diff approach to rhythm than their S.F. counterparts. One wasn't better than the other, just different.

QuantumNoise, Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:09 (twelve years ago) link

Some notably poor drummers from SF tho

Tom D., Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:11 (twelve years ago) link

love the guitar on this


Michael B, Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:18 (twelve years ago) link

Which tracks or albums are you thinking of when you say they're let down by a bad rhythm section? Is it just the drums, in particular?

gnarly sceptre, Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:19 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah, the drums, I don't know their later stuff and I haven't heard them in a while, but I do remember thinking the drumming was not exactly up to snuff - noticeably so. Same with Jefferson Airplane.

Tom D., Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:24 (twelve years ago) link

love the guitar on this


-- Michael B, Thursday, August 7, 2008 12:18 PM


am0n, Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:46 (twelve years ago) link

Did he ever record with Man?

"Maximum Darkness"

I have read that Cipollina's guitar was out of tune, and so his parts were mixed down or eliminated in the released disc. I have the LP but can't remember if I could hear him in there.

nickn, Thursday, 7 August 2008 21:45 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

My parent's friends were Quicksilver roadies back in the day. So they knew a lot of people. So when I was 12 they got me free backstage passes to Huey Lewis & the News Sports tour. I went backstage and met the band at my first concert. And I've been ruined ever since.

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 20:56 (ten years ago) link

seven months pass...

CCR created a mythical Louisiana bayou to update with rock; QMS did the same thing with a Spanish-inflected Southwest. "Light All Your Windows" was one of my faves growing up, and I just wore Happy Trails out.

^^ just wanted to reiterate the OTM-ness

man whatever happened to "Vornado"? sad to see old ilxors leave.

in any case:


Stormy Davis, Sunday, 28 March 2010 06:28 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

I'm listening on Spotify so I don't know anything about the actual release but the new Live at the Fillmore '68 sounds fucking incredible

combination hair (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 9 August 2013 00:35 (seven years ago) link

Wonder if some of that overlaps with the _Maiden Of The Cancer Moon_ boot? One of my all time favourite bootlegs. QMS were just immense at that point in time.

Wandering Boy Poet, Friday, 9 August 2013 12:34 (seven years ago) link

Lost Gold & Silver was the same concert. Not sure if taht's still around , it was on Collector's Choice. I saw some complaints about editing from some people more familiar with the recording but I liked it. I think Maiden of The Cancer Moon repeated a track exactly but it's been years since I last heard that recording in that form.

Stevolende, Friday, 9 August 2013 19:50 (seven years ago) link

All Collector's Choice CDs are oop.

Uncle Cyril O'Boogie (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 9 August 2013 19:51 (seven years ago) link

Wow, hadn't heard that. Not sure what else they put out though. THink I have a very quiet copy of Gene Clark's No Other on the label. The UK version of that set had better sound, but taht's Gene Clark. Good lp though.

Stevolende, Friday, 9 August 2013 22:45 (seven years ago) link

quicksilver are bomb!!!!!!

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Friday, 9 August 2013 22:57 (seven years ago) link

Ahhh, found this that clears things up a bit (obviously no mention of the new set):

Wandering Boy Poet, Sunday, 11 August 2013 23:47 (six years ago) link

yeah, that was what I was thinking of when I mentioned people not being happy with the editing.
The only drag with the performance is that the drum solo in the middle of Gold & Silver drags on monotonously as it sounds like all the drum hits have exactly the same sound. Don't know if that had anything to do with the recording or if it was the performance. Just remember it being a major drag.
So maybe if there is a newer more accurate transfer of the same oerformance that might sound better, but it will remain a drum solo whatever.

Stevolende, Friday, 16 August 2013 15:36 (six years ago) link

four years pass...

"What About Me" has to be up there on a list of late 60s early 70s period era paranoid drug rock tunes. Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti/Jesse Oris Farrow) seems to have been one heck of a character. In context of his troubles with the law, this tune resonates a bit more than say some of Neil's or Stones records of similar ilk.

earlnash, Sunday, 1 July 2018 14:12 (two years ago) link

Haven't listened to that one in a long time--it was certainly a personal saga that seemed to resonate for many at the time, judging by how often I heard it on late night FM, at parties (sometimes two-three times in a row, the chorus becoming a sing-along), walking down the street, hearing it from houses and passing cars. But picky me was put off by Dino's incessant bleating into his magic microphone, though it worked better here than on some other tracks ("Ah'm-uh---psychedelic rain-jah.")
Haven't heard the solo album finally excavated a few years ago, but he did earn his footnote by writing "Get Together," a poignant hit as performed by the Youngbloods (who I've always meant to check out more--more of the early stuff is good, huh? "Darkness Darkness" sounded great when Mott covered it). The precarious hopefulness of the verses--making the chorus more powerful really comes across on the recent Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Dave Alvin's recent album, with Gilmore's high lonesome drifter clarity, and Dave's rough-edged fluid guitar.
"Dino's Song," covered by the original pre-DV QMS, was a good change of pace on their s/t debut--thee first San Francisco dawning-ov-Acidquarious album, next to After Bathing At Baxter's, that really sounded like album covers, concert posters, light shows in the giant pages of Life Magazine etc. looked.In Quicksilver's case, there was a late night phosphorescence, and the feeling of being on the beach back when you didn't have to worry quite so much about helicopter spotlights---but that's all I'll say about that. Mainly agree with Myonga's take on their records' arc, way upthread.

dow, Sunday, 1 July 2018 23:29 (two years ago) link

yeesh, typos, sorry

dow, Sunday, 1 July 2018 23:32 (two years ago) link

Re: The Youngbloods--There's a nice single disc best of called "Get Together" that is probably all you need. IIRC, the tracklist is 1/2 of each of the first two LPs, and 3/4s of the third.

I also recommend checking out the "Go Ride The Music" TV special--half of it is the Airplane live in the studio at Heider's, and the other half is Quicksilver w/Dino (possibly one of his first shows w/them post-jail) live and busting out his best Rock Star moves at what appears to be an arts and crafts fair up in the hills for audience of about 50 people (babies included).

Making Plans For Sturgill (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 2 July 2018 00:16 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

I really like that Copperhead record that John Cipollina's band did in '73. Has the recorded and never released second Copperhead record ever come to light?

Search on Youtube says no, but this place is good for that type of miscellany.

earlnash, Saturday, 1 August 2020 09:30 (one week ago) link

never even heard of it before. I’ll have to ask my dad, he’s a big quicksilver head

brimstead, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:18 (one week ago) link

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