This San Jose California band had one very strange ride from start to finish. This 1968 cover of The Zombies song blasted the european charts to #1 while literally being held down by US radio industry rivalries who hated their manager Mikel Hunter.
Two radio station companies owned by Bill Gavin and Bill Drake were paid off to tell many radio stations and programmers that the song wasn’t going to be a hit and not to play it, but Hunter was a Jock. Black-balling him failed as the song made it into the mainstream by him and others anyway. “I Love You” went to #14 on Billboard Hot 100 & #13 on Cash Box Top 100,. It would have hit #1 here as well if not for all these lunatics.
In reality the band sadly became One Hit Wonders also because of their own label, Capital who refused to release 95% of their own songs they wrote themselves. Citing songs were about drugs and anti-vietnam. Capital was just to conservative for the Rock and Roll times of the late 60s.
Then the story gets even more bizarre as members of the band became involved with the Scientology Cult. Everyone that is others than the bands two singers Gene Mason & Larry Norman. Subsequently Norman quit the band as the song shot through the charts. “People” appeared on American Bandstand & The Tonight Show without him.
The group put out three albums that Capital finally released but never struck another chord like their 68′ hit.
They had one glory, sort of sad because they had one hell of a sound.
Their version exploded and fit in with the psychedelic sound coming out of California. A short nevertheless sweet ride for a while.
Written by Chris White
Released in 1968
Gene Mason – vocals
Larry Norman – vocals
Geoff Levin – guitar
Albert Ribisi – keyboards
Robb Levin – bass
Denny Friedkin – drums
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