Saturday’s ” Sweetwater ” ~ In A Rainbow

Written by Alex Del Zoppo
Released in 1968 off their self entitled album and the first.

Nancy ( Nansi ) Nevins – vocals
Alex Del Zoppo – piano, and harmonica and backing vocals
Fred Herrera – bass and backing vocals
August Burns – cello
Alan Malarowitz – drums
Elpidio “Pete” Cobian – congas, percussion and backing vocals
Albert Moore – flute, Tambourine, Cowbell, backing vocals

You can tell it’s getting closer to the original Woodstock Anniversary.

Sweetwater was the first band to play that three days ( that turned into 4 ) of Peace & Music festival in Bethel, N.Y. although technically Richie Havens hit the stage before them as they were hung-up in traffic trying to get there.

Anybody that knows Nancy Nevins real life story knows not only her career was stolen by a drunk driver but the band itself. Suffering brain damage for years after the accident and permanent damage to one of her vocal cords. It tragically ended who was the actual innovators of the San Francisco 1960s psychedelic rock/fusion sound. In fact this band in my opinion was way ahead of its time. Another band ” It’s A Beautiful Day ” also were among the first to come out of this Haight-Ashbury era.

The unique blending of the instruments of this band were phenomenal. Everything just seemed to fit. Their first album produced multiple hits with Motherless Child, Why Oh Why and What’s Wrong. And “In A Rainbow” pretty much described the LSD age.

Two more albums were released by the band with material previously recorded prior to Nevins Dec. 1969 car crash.

MELON – 1971

The group soon after disbanded not wanting to go on without Nevins.

By the pathetically sad reincarnation of the Woodstock Name in 1994, original members – Nevins, Fred Herrera and Alex Del Zoppo reunited.

August Burns went to Germany in the 1980s and somehow fell out of a construction elevator, while in the hospital he contracted pneumonia and died. Alan Malarowitz who was only 17 years old when Sweetwater was formed was killed in a car crash at the age of 31 ( 1981 ) and Albert Moore ( A former policeman ) died of lung cancer ( 1994 ). Elpidio (Pete) Cobian ended up with a pretty successful career working for film studios on their set crews.

Who knows was success they would have really enjoyed beyond 1969. Nancy Nevins still sings but in reality because of her injuries sustained will never regain her vocal capabilities. But Thank God we can still listen to what was part of our 1960s cultural past.

Long Live The Hippies.


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Filed under 1960s Psychedelia, Acid Rock, Entertainment, MUSIC, Music History, Rock-n-Roll, Song of the Day

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