Wednesday, 12 March 2014

REWIND: Silver Apples - 'A Pox On You'

I first discovered the Silver Apples back in 1998 when the 60's duo teamed up with Blur at the Meltdown Festival in 1998. Organised by the late great John Peel, other acts at that year's festival included The Jesus And Mary Chain, Suicide, Cornershop, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Half Man Half Biscuit and Add N To X. Unbelievably it's taken me up until this week to get hold of a Silver Apples album, but with a re-release of their 1969 LP 'Contact' added to my collection, it's a case of better late than never. The experimental New York band were composed of Simeon and drummer Danny Taylor. The cover and inner artwork of 'Contact' features the duo in a plane cockpit with drug paraphernalia and the inner artwork showed the band amongst plane wreckage playing banjos, images which prompted a lawsuit from Pan Am Airlines. The resulting lawsuit against the band and Kapp Records led to the breakup of the Silver Apples. 


A third album was recorded in 1970, but Kapp was folded into MCA Records, leaving the album unreleased, and the group defunct. After their first two albums were re-released as a bootleg in 1994, renewed interest in the group led to Simeon forming a new Silver Apples band featuring Xian Hawkins and Michael Lerner, a line up that released two albums of new material featuring this line-up. Eventually "after much searching" Danny Taylor was tracked down, and the original line up performed a series of reunion shows. Taylor also had the tape of the unreleased third record 'The Garden' in a box in his attic, and the album was finally completed and released in 1998. But later that same year, their tour van was forced off the road by an unknown driver, breaking Simeon's neck. All Silver Apples activity was put on hold as he recovered, but after six years it became clear that the affect the injuries had on his hand movements were permanent, and Simeon's playing style had to become a lot more simple and direct than it was previously. Danny Taylor died on March 10 2005 in New York. From 'Contact' here is the smoky, aggressively funky and way ahead of its time 'A Pox On You'...



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