BUBBLEGUM
VS.
PSYCHEDELIC

When I bought the NUGGETS boxed set (Available on Rhino: get it now!)
it got me to thinking . . .

Bubblegum and Psychedelic music had a lot in common!

If you like one, you should like the other . . .

 
Origin:

Garages across the US but mainly the Midwest.

In both genres, most groups started in garages and were later augmented with studio musicians in the recording process. It could have been the other way around depending on your point-of-view.

 
Strong Psychedelic Lyrics:

Typical lyric material and matter: drugs

 
Psychedelic:

"Spray the weed
A zephyr breeze
A mushroom hangs above the ground"

It's A Happening
(Sonny Casella/David Rice)
The Magic Mushrooms

Comment: Any song that even remotely refers to 'Alice In Wonderland' gets my vote (honorary mention to I Am The Walrus by The Beatles and White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane)!

 
Bubblegum:

"I live in a purple plum mansion
In the midst of a strawberry stream
And melliferous bells ring out softly
From a hill of vanilla fudge cream"

I Enjoy Being A Boy (In Love With You)
(Joey Levine - Marc Bellack)
The Banana Splits

Comment: Get it? Vanilla Fudge? Cream? Do you have to look it up? Wit, references to another genre and "mel-lif-erous" (that's how it's spelled out on the lyric sheet) all in one verse! The Beatles should be so gifted!

 

Weak Psychedelic Lyrics:

Typical lyric material and matter: bad drugs

 
Psychedelic:

"Good sense, innocence, cripplin' mankind
Dead kings, many things I can't define
Occasions, persuasions clutter your mind
Incense and peppermints, the color of time

Who cares what games we choose?
Little to win but nothin' to lose

Incense and peppermints, meaningless nouns
Turn on, tune in, turn your eyes around
Look at yourself, look at yourself, yeah, yeah
Look at yourself, look at yourself, yeah, yeah, yeah!

To divide this cockeyed world in two
Throw your pride to one side, it's the least you can do
Beatniks and politics, nothing is new
A yardstick for lunatics, one point of view

Who cares what games we choose?
Little to win but nothin' to lose"

Incense And Peppermints
(John Carter/Timothy Gilbert)
Strawberry Alarm Clock

Comment: What would happen if Steve Allen organized a recording session with Steve and Edie and put out a single . . .

 

Bubblegum:

"Peppermint leaves on lollipop trees
Just open your eyes
Come take my hand let's go for a ride
On blue butterflies
I'm so glad I'm in love with you
Stay with me and together we will share forever . . .
Love's world of Blueberry Blue"

Blueberry Blue
(Leka/Pinz)
The Lemon Pipers

Comment: For those keeping score, the musical arrangement for this song is equally vomit-inducing.

 

Strong Bubblegum Lyrics:

Typical lyric material and matter: sex

 

Psychedelic:

 

"I feel depressed, I feel so bad
'Cause you're the best girl that I've ever had
I can't get your love, I can't get a fraction
Oh, little girl psychotic reaction
And it feels like this . . . ."

Psychotic Reaction
(Kenn Ellner/Roy Chaney/Byron Atkinson/John Byrne/John Michalski)
Count Five

Comment: As close as Psychedelic music ever got to discussing sex, and here it's a little rougher than Bubblegum sex -- not that there's anything wrong with that!

 

Bubblegum:

 

"Yummy, yummy, yummy
I got love in my tummy
And I feel like lovin' you

Love you such a sweet thing
Good enough to eat thing
And it's just what I'm gonna do

Oo, love to hold ya'
Oo, love to kiss ya'
Oo love, I love it so . . .
Oo, love ya' sweeter
Sweeter than sugar
Oo love, I won't let you go

Uh, uh, uh, uhhhh . . ."

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
(Resnick/Levine)
The Ohio Express

Comment: Did you think there was a better Bubblegum song to represent sex? Any other song you know with a fake orgasm? Chewy, Chewy by the Express is close though . . .

 

Weak Bubblegum Lyrics:

Typical lyric material and matter: bad sex

 

Psychedelic:

 

"You've got something so out-of-sight
But now you open my appetite
Girl don't say no
Don't use that word
I'll make believe
That I, I, never heard

Girl, I'm gonna make you mine
I'm gonna make you mine
Want you bad, so be prepared
Girl, I'm gonna make you mine"

I'm Gonna Make You Mine
(Carole Bayer/William Carr/Carl D'Errico)
The Shadows of Knight

Comment: Those poor Knights; always looking in, always pleading and ever so distant. The Shadows of Knight along with their peers like The Chocolate Watchband, were forever on their way to a love-in or hatching plans to make someone somebody's girl. In sharp contrast, The Ohio Express could be found in a reflective mood -- reminiscing about what was just had. Aw, chewy, indeed.

 

Bubblegum:

 

"I want to find somebody to care
I want to catch some rice in my hair
I need love and I want you I do
I want to spend my life lovin' you

Rice is nice
That's what they say
Rice is nice
Throw some my way

Rice is nice
On any day
Twice as nice
When violins play"

Rice Is Nice
(Leka/Pinz)
The Lemon Pipers

Comment: The glory of post-marital sex? Were these guys kidding? (Not the Pipers, just Leka and Pinz. Kidders the Pipers were not!)

 

Huh?:

Like I said: "Huh?"

 

Psychedelic:

"Saw a man walk upside down
My TV's on the blink
Made Galileo look like a boy scout
Sorry 'bout that
Let it all hang out"

Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)
(Bill Cunnningham/John Hunter/Jerry Masters/Gary McEwen)
The Hombres

 

Bubblegum:

 

"I don't care what they say
I'm gonna keep it anyway
I won't let them stretch their necks
To see my little black egg with the little white specks

I found it in a tree
Just the other day
And now it's mine-o-mine
They won't take it away"

The Little Black Egg
(Michael Stone/Chuck Conlon)
The Nightcrawlers/The Music Explosion

 

Band Names:

(Suggestions greatly needed!)

 

Great Band Names:

 

Psychedelic:

The Electric Prunes, Pink Floyd, Dukes Of Stratosphear, 13th Floor Elevators

 

Bubblegum:

The Ohio Express (of course!), The 1910 Fruitgum Company (natch!), Professor Morrison's Lollipop, Edison Lighthouse, The Yummies, The Hardy Boys (better yet: The Hard Boys!), Lt. Garcia's Magic Music Box, The Waterproof Tinkertoy

 

Bad Band Names:

 

Psychedelic:

Kenny & The Kasuals, The Gants, The Woolies (Should have traded their name straight up for The Lemon Pipers!), The Golliwogs, The American Breed, Bloodrock , Lothar And The Hand People

 

Bubblegum:

J.C.W. Rat Finks, The "E" Types, Clefs Of Lavender Hill, Everyday Hudson, Wind, American Machine, The Shoestring, Walkers, The Robbs, The Sweet Bippies

 

Had To Cover These Songs:

 

Psychedelic:

Louie Louie, Psychotic Reaction, I Had To Much To Dream (Last Night), In-A Gadda-Da-Vida, Magic Carpet Ride

 

Bubblegum:

(Like Bubblegum groups ever played live!)

Shake, Gimme Gimme Good Lovin', Indian Giver, The Rapper, Little Green Bag

 

Disclaimer: I know I mixed up garage/punk groups with psychedelic groups but, hey, I only know Bubblegum, so give me a break!

But, hey, Jim Derogatis refers to the Banana Splits as a "psychedelic influence in popular culture" in his book, Kaleidoscope Eyes - Psychedelic Music from the 1960s to the 1990s. Find the book, buy it and buy into it, baby!