Before he became Patti Smith’s bass player, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years from 1965-1968, and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 111: Mindrocker by Fenwyck
Release Date: 1967
From: Arcadia, California (although singer Jerry Raye came from Rhode Island)
Aphoristical Rating: 8/10
Rhode Island vocalist Jerry Raye and Californian band Fenwyck had both released singles before teaming up in 1967. As with last week’s entry, they’re one of the more obscure acts on Nuggets, but they did release a full studio album in 1967. The album was titled The Many Sides Of and was credited to Jerry Raye Featuring Fenwyck. ‘Mindrocker’ is featured as the lead-off track on the record.
Neither Jerry Raye nor Fenwyck wrote the song, and it also turned up as the b-side of American Breed’s ‘Bend Me, Shape Me’ in December 1967. As one of the later songs to be recorded from Nuggets, Fenwyck’s take on ‘Mindrocker’ is relatively ambitious – there are folk-rock harmonies in the verses, like The Byrds or The Mamas and the Papas, and psychedelic touches like backwards guitar in the chorus. ‘Mindrocker’ isn’t deep, but it’s a pleasant and overlooked song that neatly encapsulates the 1967 sound.
Fenwyck leader and guitarist Pat Robinson moved on to country, forming Mind Pocket and becoming a writer and producer.