George Clark

Veteran rocker George Clark is associated with the Southern rock scene and the fringes of the Allman Brothers' clique, both musically and geographically. In the former department, he backed up the legendary Duane Allman on some sessions and was in a group that was signed to the Capricorn label, an Allman-mighty label imprint. As for the road map, Clark hailed from Orlando, FL -- a bit of a drive from the Allman Brothers' Georgia hub, but just one state line to be crossed. Clark is best-known as a member of the band Cowboy, active for several lengthy spurts in the '70s. Between 1971-1973, Clark performed on bass as well as handling some vocals and guitar with this group, whose front-line pairing of Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton represented a direct connection to Clark's early years on the Orlando psychedelic rock scene.

Talton and Clark were both members of the band Plant Life, a Florida garage band that came up with only one single during its career. "Flower Girl" received some local airplay at the time of its 1967 release on Date Records, no doubt providing promotional oomph for the group's own dates at local venues such as Orlando's Winter Park Youth Center. "Flower Girl" has also sparked interest among later collectors of psychedelic nuggets, and even led to a false rumor that the record was actually the creation of Archies maestro Ron Dante. But the song is nothing more than a totally expected creation from the lively Florida hippie music scene of the late '60s, also known for bands such as Noah's Ark, the Go-Mads, Duckbutter, and We the People. The biggest influence on Plant Life was the song "Friday on My Mind" by the Easybeats; even the tone-deaf would recognize the jangly riff rip-off.

The Capricorn label, associated heavily with the Allman Brothers, signed Cowboy in the early '70s. The group's first album, Reach for the Sky, indicated that if anything had been surrendered, it was the psychedelic stance. Clark and Talton had climbed across the country-rock horse with a sound similar to groups such as Poco and Wet Willie. A later regrouping of the band did not feature Clark. His work with the band is well-represented on an early-'90s compact disc reissue collection, and several psychedelic compilations feature the "Flower Girl" song. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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