Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lemon Drops -- "I Live in the Springtime" (1967)

Every day, I lay out in the sun
Every night, I stay out having fun
In the spring, I love everyone

As of very early this morning, it's officially spring -- the best season of the year.

Narcissus (the official
flower of 2 or 3 lines)
Why is spring better than summer?  Because spring waxes, while summer wanes -- and because anticipation is always better than fulfillment.  (It's why 5 PM on Friday is better than 5 PM on Saturday.)  

And if spring is the best season, what is the best day?  The first day of spring -- obviously!

The original members of the Lemon Drops were students at McHenry High School in the Chicago suburbs.  None of them were older than 17 when this song was recorded.

The Lemon Drops (circa 1967)
The history of the Lemon Drops makes me want to cry -- everything that could go wrong for them did go wrong.  (I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that they had all committed suicide in a fit of despair over their collective bad luck.)

After they recorded "I Live in the Springtime" in May 1967, 500 copies of the single were pressed.  But the guy who mastered the stereo tape of the song left one of the two tracks out rather than combining them into a single mono track.  That's why you don't hear any drums in this version of the song, which is available on the famous Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-68 compilation album.  (That is a must-have album, believe me.)

The group later issued a corrected version of the single with the drum track, but it went nowhere.

For no apparent reason, this video features a clip from a really weird 1971 French movie titled Morgane et Ses Nymphes -- the English title is Girl Slaves of Morgana le Fay.

You King Arthur fans out there will remember that Morgan le Fay ("fay" is another word for "fairy") was a sorceress and half-sister of King Arthur who was once an adversary of the Round Table folks, but later reconciled with Arthur and did him a solid or two.

Here's the trailer for the movie, which is summarized as follows on IMDb: "Two hot chicks happen upon the creepy castle of French witch Morgane le Fay and must choose either to become immortal sex slaves or rot in a dungeon."

(That's compelling stuff, and you have my blessing if you wish to watch the whole thing on YouTube -- LATER.  But let's get back to the Lemon Drops.)

You can say this about the Lemon Drops: if it wasn't for bad luck, they would have had no luck at all.  They created some very original garage/psychedelic music, but never got a record contract.

Actually, they did sign a record deal in 1968, and were about to move to Los Angeles and record their songs when they learned that they owner of the record company had died.  More bad luck for the band -- even worse luck for the record company owner, of course.

There is one piece of good news.  The Lemon Drops were major celebrities at their high school.  "Springtime" was played over the school intercom during lunch period.  The band performed before an audience of over 1000 students in the school auditorium.  

This is all a little too close to the history of the Rogues for comfort.  I was feeling very happy about spring arriving when I began to write this post, but now I'm depressed.

Click here to buy this song from Amazon:

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