The band plans a one-off concert in L.A. to support the CD “Wake Up Where You Are,” released in late March by the indie label Global Recording Artists.
“We are holding our breaths,” keyboardist Mark Weitz says. “It could go somewhere or nowhere. But at least it will go!”
(Update: The band played before a youthful and appreciative audience in Silver Lake. The new songs went over very well.)
“Wake Up Where You Are” is a mix of new SAC songs, two covers and reinterpretations of some of their psychedelic rock classics (but not “Incense and Peppermints”).
The band chose their cover of Sky Saxon’s “Mr. Farmer” as the lead-off track. The song may surprise fans with its infectious blast of hard rock, sung by Weitz. If the CD has a hit single, this is it. (Two versions of the song appear on the album — a single and a seven-minute take with some serious acid rock going down.)
The band — Mark Weitz, George Bunnell, Randy Seol, Howie Anderson and Gene Gunnels — will perform April 25 at the Satellite Club in L.A.’s Silver Lake district. (That’s the old Spaceland space.)
What about touring plans beyond the L.A. gig?
“Probably,” Weitz says. “If we make it through this concert successfully, barring anyone dying or succumbing to a wheelchair, we’ll be for sure having more work on the horizon.
“This is our ‘last-chance gas station tour,’ so to speak,” Weitz says with a grin. “I’ll have to admit, it’s more a race against arthritis and time! Ouch.”
The Strawberry Alarm Clock collectively qualifies for AARP discounts these days, true. And the group lost one of its key original members, Lee Freeman, to illness in early 2010.
But Weitz needn’t alert the paramedics just yet. The Strawberry Alarm Clock plays with passion and verve these days. They last performed in public in late 2010.
�We are gonna kick some psychedelic ass” at the Silver Lake show, the keyboardist vows.
The album takes its name from “Wake Up,” a heavy new song from guitarist Anderson. The track features psychedelic touches such as backward guitar and cymbals. The extended ending came from a studio jam that broke out after “Wake Up” was recorded but proved too good to throw away.
Longtime band collaborator Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo) produced the album and played on most of its tracks.
Unlike many ’60s hitmakers, the Strawberry Alarm Clock weren’t looking to cash in by rerecording their glory-days songs. The tracks were cut to get the band back into studio shape, but ultimately the musicians liked the results enough to release them.
“Our real intention was to write and record new songs,” bassist George Bunnell says. “We just wanted to get back to our roots a bit, establish a method and move on from there.”
“Wake Up Where You Are” is available exclusively via the Strawberry Alarm Clock page on the GRA web site as something of a fan presale. The disc will be available via Amazon and the usual other outlets later in the spring.
Sundazed recently rereleased the band’s first album, “Incense and Peppermints.”
Transparency time: Psychedelic Sight built the psychedelic band’s new Web site.