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The Savage Resurrection

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One of the most obscure San Francisco Bay-area psychedelic groups to release an album on a major label, the Savage Resurrection managed to release one LP in 1968 before breaking up in a blitz of personnel and business problems. The Savage Resurrection were also one of the youngest psychedelic bands working the Bay Area circuit; one of their dual lead guitarists, Randy Hammon, was only 16 when they recorded their album. Formed in the East Bay town of Richmond (near Berkeley) by members of several teen rock groups in 1967, they played psychedelic hard rock that drew heavily not just from San Francisco acts but also from Jimi Hendrix and the blues, as well as occasional lighter touches of more folk-rock-oriented riffs. The group were signed to Mercury by A&R man Abe "Voco" Kesh, most famous for his work with fellow Bay Area-based acts Blue Cheer and Harvey Mandel. Kesh produced their lone, self-titled album over the course of three days, capturing a group that sounded rawer and punkier than most psychedelic bands, which could be an advantage or a hindrance. Some numbers on the resulting erratic LP were humdrum heavy blues-rockers; others had more unexpected chord shifts and song structures to anchor their molten-intensity lead guitar riffing, though even then they could sound derivative of more accomplished groups such as Love and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. There were flashes of promise, especially considering their extreme youth, but these were not fulfilled, as lead singer Bill Harper and bassist Steve Lage left shortly after the album came out. With replacements the Savage Resurrection only managed to do a little touring in the midwest before breaking up later in 1968. ~ Richie Unterberger

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1967 in Richmond, CA

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