Thursday, 3 February 2011

J.P Sunshine - J.P Sunshine (UK 67-68 West Coast Psych/Folk-Rock)

To say that J.P. Sunshine was flower-power-era England's least-famous band would be an overstatement. During the group's lifetime, its lo-fi bedroom recordings never actually made it out of the bedroom and it was only decades after London had stopped swinging that J.P. Sunshine's homemade pop-psychedelia was released. Formed in London in late 1967, J.P. Sunshine was the brainchild of poet George Duffell, also known as Jorgy Porgy (the J.P. in J.P. Sunshine). Duffell was keen to set his poems to music, and an opportunity to do so arose when he met Rod Goodway, a former member of the English pop group the Pack, who had a hit with the Lovin' Spoonful's "Do You Believe in Magic?" Goodway penned simple arrangements for acoustic guitar and a band coalesced around the duo. Duffell (bongos/xylophone) and Goodway (vocals/guitar) were joined by Adrian Shaw (guitar), Pete Biles (bongos), and Duffell's girlfriend, Pat Morphin (percussion). In early 1968, J.P. Sunshine went electric as Goodway recruited former Pack guitarist Andy Rickell (aka Android Funnel) and Shaw moved to bass.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, J.P. Sunshine was as much a scene as it was a band; its members congregated in Duffell and Morphin's apartment to listen to the latest American imports (Love, Jefferson Airplane, Captain Beefheart, the Grateful Dead, among others) and to ingest chemicals. Then, under the influence of both, they would write and play music, recording on a primitive two-track machine. J.P. Sunshine's informal, proto-lo-fi identity especially suited Goodway and Rickell since it served as a recreational project away from their work as professional musicians. Concurrently with J.P. Sunshine, they were members of the psychedelic rock outfit White Rabbit. During this time, Goodway also sang with the Artwoods, who had briefly renamed themselves the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

The demise of J.P. Sunshine was accelerated by the claustrophobic, chemically enhanced environment the band had created around itself in Duffell's apartment. Rickell became involved with Duffell's girlfriend and the increasingly morose Duffell wrote lyrics about that situation, which the band then used, only making a weird scene weirder. In late 1968, the band committed final versions of its tracks to tape and made a stab at success. Pink Floyd's management responded favorably, but suggested the material be re-recorded with a drum kit. The final nail in the coffin came in December when, following a protracted stakeout, the drugs squad put an end to the J.P. Sunshine scene. Shaw, Rickell, and Goodway went on to various bands, including the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Magic Muscle, Hawkwind, and the Bevis Frond.

The long-lost J.P. Sunshine album eventually appeared on cassette in 1985 and on vinyl in 1996. ~ Wilson Neate, All Music Guide

Lyrics: J.P. Sunshine J P Sunshine is mine and thine, J P Sunshine on me and thee…. From light are we spun Down there, on earth, sunshine gave birth…. To youthI am true, And you… Are…. TruthColours of day, you say, But they…. do not know,they are so grey J P Sunshine is mine and thine J P Sunshine on me and thee From light are we spun…. Spun….spun….spun….spun…spuuuuuuunnnn


J.P. Sunshine
Hey Girl
Love Scene
This Side Up
Watch Out
Eyes Are Raining
Dark Star
Swan Song
Rising Free
Hand In Hand
Dirt Blues
hey, maan


Boy Warren said...
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Anonymous said...

Nice item I remember getting this on cassette from Rod who did mail order in the 80's - sent loverly personalised lists ............Nice blog... now listening to Janis Ian's first with a pint of Adams