ELPEM Colleagues and Cohorts, Part 4: The Strawberry Alarm Clock

Here’s a classic bit from L.A. psych-bubblegum faves (well, they would probably get insulted by such a description, but I think it’s appropriate and that they should wear it proudly) The Strawberry Alarm Clock, who, unlike ELPEM, actually managed to score a Number One Hit and a few follow up charters.  The groups never played together, but it is believed that a few members were in attendance at ELPEM’s last-minute Sunset Strip show in November 1967.  ELPEM was not considered for the film Psych Out, from which this clip derives (actually only Los Angeles groups appear, though the film takes place in San Francisco), but Ian Taylor’s long time love, B-movie actress Jennifer St. James, did get some extra work in the film.  She can be seen as one of the dancers grooving to the SAC in this clip.  So please enjoy the song with one of my favorite all-time titles, “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow.”


ELPEM Friends and Colleagues Part Three: Spinal Tap

By popular demand, here’s the classic clip of heavy metal protozoans Spinal Tap performing their big worldwide Number One hit, “Listen to the Flower People.”  This clip dates to around November 1967, and was recorded in Hollywood at the American Television Center on Vine Street. (Note that ELPEM was in Los Angeles at around the same time for their brief West Coast tour and their TV appearance on “Go Go Stop.”)  I have no idea who the drummer is, but it surely is NOT John “Stumpy” Pepys.  He is supposed to be there, because he didn’t explode until 1969.  Whoever he is, he looks hella like Jeff Lynne.  Stumpy must have been sick for that tour, or something.  Could have been part of the band’s unstable lineup at that moment, as this was just after Derek joined.  In fact, this is probably Derek’s first footage as a band member.

This clip was part of the syndicated music program “Jamboreebop” and AM radio “Boss Jock” Rusty Buick (also host of “Go Go Stop”) can be seen at the beginning of the clip introing the group (Buick was later imprisoned for stock fraud in Costa Rica, but that’s a different story altogether…). For this clip, they have gone back to the original videotape and cleaned up the image and audio, giving the most sparkling version of this video yet.  Please note that canned audience applause and laughter were added to this show for broadcast to give the illusion of a live crowd, but in this first generation tape, these sound effects are absent.  So enjoy Spinal Tap (who ELPEM shared several bills with, including their debut at the Festival of Love and Brancakes) in all their psychedelic color glory (and no canned crowd).

ELPEM Friends and Colleagues Part Two: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

This is a clip of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, performing a concert at a disused former Belgian pretzel works.  Nice intercutting here of Arthur’s manic stage performance and an apres-show interview, where he comes off as only mildly warped and barely pretentious, almost normal I would say.   ELPEM was scheduled for a surprise drop-in appearance at this show, but this was cancelled at the last second due to objections from the Belgian promoter.  But, in the far background of this clip, at the far left, an indistinct silhouette of Lord Roger can be made out.  (Tall man with white boy Afro.)


The HighlyUnlikely History of The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module

Lemon Daze

A Message From Scott Mercer, the author of Lemon Daze:

Here it is, finally unleashed on the world.  I’ll let you catch your breath for a second.  Myself and Allan Morgan have only been working on this book for 22 years, that’s all.  “Lemon Daze: The Highly Unlikely History of The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module (The Unforseeable Rise and Utterly Inevitable Fall of The Most Famous 1960’s Rock Band of the 21st Century)”

An exhaustive (and exhausting) history of the 1960’s rock band that nobody’s ever heard of: The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module.  (Nobody who knows anything about the Sixties, anyway.)

Covering the group’s early days as British school boys with rock stars in their eyes, to their roots in the “British Invasion” in the minor chart-scraping act The Manchester Beatmen, to their dalliance with “The Jet Set” during “Swinging London,” when they transitioned from mere musicians to “artists” as the proto-psychedelic trio “Is,” and finally adding the three American musicians from San Francisco to form ELPEM in heady, bong-choked atmosphere of The Summer of Love.

We tell tales out of school, examine, as Marty DiBergi once said, “the sights, sounds and smells of a working rock band,” and analyze the “core four,” their four amazing studio LPs released during the band’s career, and finally their tragic break-up circa 1970.

This is a nuts-and-bolts history of a band that has become emblematic of Sixties Rock only after the fact, for reasons we will attempt to ferret out.  This book marks the first in-depth examination of their story from Manchester, to “Swinging London,” to The Sunset Strip, to Woodstock, and (sort of) to the Moon and back. Find out more than you need to know about the group behind the thundering “Dinosaur Man,” the hazy “Lemon Fog,” and the immortal “Slipperhead,” the second Rock Opera ever released.  More than you need to know and then some, all 556 pages worth!  Includes press clippings, flyers, and a full discography of ELPEM and all the related and sundry groups.  Way too much time was invested here.


Lemon Daze: It is finally here

The giant history of The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module, Lemon Daze, just arrived in our mailbox over the holidays.   (Or should I say holidaze?)  Oh boy oh boy!  A full review will follow, but let’s just say right off the bat, WOW!  Seldom has the history of The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module been explained so thoroughly, and so intensely.  We’ve been skimming through it, and it looks fantastic.  Watch this space for more information after we actually read the whole thing from cover to cover. 

For right now, you can find it at http://www.lulu.com/content/5102608

If you’re on a budget, you can purchase a download, which is much cheaper, and can be printed out at home.  But we recommend the professionally printed hardback book.

ELPEM Colleagues and Cohorts

Let’s get some additional videos from the 1970’s up here. Some of ELPEM’s colleagues certainly are to be seen in some of these groups. Studio musicians that members of ELPEM worked with, fellow package tour members, stuff like that. Here we have Carl Douglas with his epic”Kung Fu Fighting” appearing on Dutch comedy-team variety show “Dulf and Elvert.”

One of them remains drunk while the other attempts to ply Carl Douglas with buttermilk. ELPEM’s Skippy Ballinger provided percussion on this track during one of his sporadic attempts at studio musician work, but unfortunately is not seen here as only Carl and his two “handy” band members make the trip to Rotterdam for the taping. Carl looks confused when the record he is lip-synching to starts skipping, and one of the oldsters (Is it Dulf? Or Elvert?) starts yukking it up at Carl’s expense. Carl gets royally pissed and screams, “What’s all this shit!” at 5:09. He threatens to karate-chop everyone before beating a hasty retreat.

Yes, this does speak for itself.

We will have some videos from the 1960’s available shortly. In the meantime, enjoy.

B Movie Books: Getting Some Ink

B Movie Books, publishers of our upcoming book on ELPEM, is appearing at the South Park Flea Market in Los Angeles, every Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. They will have LEMON DAZE on hand once it is finished and printed.  If you are amused or intrigued by their line of pulp fiction, click on the Blogroll to the right.

Here’s a brief mention they received on the web site Thrillist. Thanks for the mention!


Live in the Studio: The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module (circa May 1968)

Here’s the only video clip of ELPEM that I could find easily; it’s from a Belgian TV show, I think it was called “Pop Machine.” The bit at the beginning with this guy doing an uncanny “Weird Al” MTV parody is from a sketch comedy show from an unknown source from the 1980’s. I could have edited that part out, but I thought it was fun.

Please note that guitar virtuoso Doyle Hutchinson was not present on this occasion, as he was sick in hospital with a bad case of Plumber’s Knee. This cleared up shortly therafter and he rejoined the group, but this is one of the few instances of ELPEM performing with only five members.

“Kites and Tricycles” was ELPEM’s first single, from autumn 1967. It went on to enter the Top 40 in both the UK and the US, and was also popular in Germany. This is probably the second most popular cut from their first LP, “The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module.” Enjoy.


Welcome to the world of The Electric Lime Peel Expansion Module. For those who are not familiar with their artistry, they were one of the most remarkable psychedelic rock combos in the 1960’s. And not just amongst Anglo-American psychedelic pop trailblazers with six members (three British and three American), but among the entire lot of rockers during that amazing decade.  We will be using this weblog to get you ready for the release of the upcoming book Lemon Daze, as it approaches. This extra-scholarly tome promises to be the definitive work on ELPEM (that what us fans call ’em), their music and their legend.