TWO VEGANS - MALCOLM & YARDLEY DO 1967 is the Strolling Scones’ 3rd full length album of songs. This one is actually kind of a side project by Rick and Helen (aka Malcolm and Yardley) employing some non-Scones musicians. You will hear new sounds never heard before on the band’s previous CDs - like strings, oboe, a smidgen of brass, and recorder. Big kudos go to the musicians in the classical/celtic group, Feast, who supplied the cello, viola, violin, drums and percussion. The concept here was to give a Strolling Scones twist to songs that were on the radio in 1967. 1967 was a pivotal year in society and a seminal year in music. None of these songs were huge chart hits that year, but grouped together they give the listener an idea of the diverse and creative energy floating around in the ether at that time. Helen and Rick supplied all of the lead vocals, harmonies, bass, and guitars. This album is full of fun and memorable tunes done to perfection. The title, TWO VEGANS, is, of course, a slight tongue in cheek reference to John & Yoko’s “Two Virgins” in which John broke off from the rest of the Beatles and made his own record with Yoko.....
Here’s a list of the songs and Rick’s notes:
1) Merry-Go-Round was released as a 45 rpm record by the Youngbloods and it never made it on to one of their albums. We kick off the album with a little psychedelic noise and a song that has a bunch of catch phrases and terms popular in the idiom from 1967. It was written by Felix Pappalardi and Gail Collins, who also wrote songs for Cream and later Mountain.
2) I Am The Walrus of course is the Beatles. I felt that George Martin’s orchestration could not be improved upon, so we kept it pretty true to the original except Helen sings it. This may be the only version with a female lead vocalist.
3) You’re A Very Lovely Woman was recorded by a young group called the Merry-Go-Round out of LA. They had two regional hits, this being one of them and another call “Live” which was covered by the Bangles in the 80’s. The lead singer, Emitt Rhodes, went on to put out 3 solo albums in the early 70s.
4) S.W.L.A.B.R is off of Cream’s Disraeli Gears album. The letters standing for “She Was Like A Bearded Rainbow” (Bearded Rainbow was a type of flower that Jack Bruce and Pete Brown were focusing on while writing the song and under the influence of some mind altering substance ... as the story goes)
5) Love Is Only Sleeping is a cool song written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil and recorded by the Monkees. The time signature switches from 7/8 to 4/4 ... kind of interesting, but maybe a bit hard to dance to. A not often heard tune by a writing team that wrote many cool songs back then.
6) Tell Me To My Face is a song released as a single by Keith (98.6) but originally done by the Hollies.
7) Party Line is a Kinks song (OK this one was actually released in 1966 but was still on people’s turntables in 1967) and is also dated by the fact that it is about Party Lines - which pretty much disappeared in the 1970s. Also the middle guitar break was inspired by a Coca Cola ad by the Who that was heard on American radio in ‘67.
8) Pretty Ballerina was Left Banke’s follow up to Walk Away René.
9) Epistle To Dippy is a song Donovan wrote for his childhood buddy, Dippy, who went into the military. After hearing the song Dippy immediately left the armed forces, as the story goes.
10) May This Be Love is a Jimi Hendrix tune on “Are You Experienced” .... one of several albums from 1967 that changed the world forever. I always wanted to apply clawhammer banjo to a rock song. I think it works here.
11) Renaissance Fair is a Crosby/McGuinn Byrds song that kind of captures the feeling in the air and the changing atmosphere that year.
12) I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman was a novelty song released by Whistling Jack Smith. It seemed that there was always a novelty song on the radio during the 60s, so to show a representative snap shot of the era, this needed to be included. By the way, the term batman is defined as an English military valet.
We recorded and mixed this on our big, old analog machines.