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 99: What Am I Going To Do? by The Dovers
Release Date: 1965
From: Carpinteria, California
Aphoristical Rating: 8/10
Tim Granada, frontman and songwriter for The Dovers, came from the oceanside city of Carpinteria. The band started with the name the Vandells, but changed to the more English-sounding Dovers to tie in with the British Invasion. More than anything British, ‘What Am I Going To Do?’ sounds akin to The Byrds with the twelve-string guitar of Bruce Clawson and the harmony singing of saxophonist Tony Rivas. ‘What Am I Going to Do’ was the b-side to their first single ‘She’s Gone’ – recorded in Gold Star Studios, it became a minor hit in Los Angeles. Drummer Rick Morinini was still at high school when the single was recorded.
The Dovers only hung around for a few singles, but they showed some artistic progression. ‘The Third Eye’ from April 1966 mines similar Indian and psychedelic influences to The Byrds’ ‘Eight Miles High’. According to Dovers’ guitarist Bruce Clawson, they developed ‘The Third Eye’ independently; “We’d already worked on the tune,” he told Mike Markesich, “a few weeks later I’m in the car and Eight Miles High came on. I was crushed. I thought I had something unique.” It’s a shame ‘The Third Eye’ isn’t on Nuggets – it’s heavy psychedelic feel would have fitted more naturally.
The Dovers drifted apart as several members struggled with addiction – a shame, as there’s a lot of potential in the handful of songs they recorded. It’s difficult to find information on the members as none of them went on to a successful career in music. The Dovers’ four singles and their b-sides are compiled on the 2002 compilation We’re Not Just Anybody, a rare collector’s item. The Atlas Sound’s 2009 song ‘Walkabout’, with guest artist Panda Bear from Animal Collective, samples ‘What Am I Going To Do’.