Nuggets: I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time by The Third Bardo

Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, 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 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 83: I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time by The Third Bardo
Release Date: 1967
From: New York City
Rating: 9/10

I’M FIVE YEARS AHEAD OF MY TIME – The Third Bardo [2:12]
(Rusty Evans/Victoria Pike)
Personnel/JEFFREY MONN (NEUFELD): vocals, guitar * RICKY GOLDCLANG: lead guitar * RICHY SESLOWE: guitar * DAMIAN KELLY: bass * BRUCE GINSBERG: drums
Recorded in New York, NY
Roulette single #R-4742 (5/67)

It’s summer holidays in New Zealand this week, so I’m taking the easy route of just reproducing the back of The Third Bardo’s Lose Your Mind EP this week:

… the name suggests that this group must be different. And they are! The group’s strange, exotic name can be traced to a passage in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, describing “the experiencing of reality”. Not surprisingly, as a musical group the Third Bardo are all about experience – new and untold musical experience. Their sound has been called “psychedelic, probably due to the group’s distinct mixture of pulsating rock rhythms and provocative lyrics:

“The people that you see are walking around half dead,
girl, they don’t know how to laugh or cry.
But let me show you how to open up your head,
you’ve got nothing to lose but your mind.”

A lot has happened to Jeff, Damian, Ricky, Rich and Bruce in the months since they’ve arrived on the scene. That “scene” so happens to be Manhattan, home to the Spoonful, Rascals, Blues Project…and now the Third Bardo. Already, they’ve gained notoriety on the local discotheque circuit (Ondine, Arthur’s, The Scene) and recently appeared at the exclusive La Cave in Cleveland (where they also taped a spot on the nationally telecasted
UPBEAT TV show).

The Third Bardo’s current popularity is doubtlessly the result of their talent, energy and originality.
The sound of the Third Bardo, today and as a promise for the dawn of tomorrow. …inventive, imaginative, intense.

Despite the hype in the writeup, The Third Bardo only stuck around for a single recording session. But it’s a shame they only recorded six songs. ‘I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time’ is a very good effort- Jeff Monn is a strong vocalist and there’s an excellent psychedelic guitar solo. The song was pulled from some radio stations for perceived drug references, but it’s hard to see why it was singled out in 1967 when ‘White Rabbit’, ‘Eight Miles High’, and ‘A Day in the Life’ were around. ‘I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time’ was co-written by Victoria Pike, then wife of the record’s producer Teddy Randazzo.

Monn went onto a brief solo career as Chris Moon, but it’s difficult to find any other info on the members of The Third Bardo.

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Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features many Reviews and Blog Posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.
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  1. “The song was pulled from some radio stations for perceived drug references, but it’s hard to see why it was singled out in 1967 when ‘White Rabbit’, ‘Eight Miles High’, and ‘A Day in the Life’ were around.” Exactly.

    This is a great tune. Shame they didn’t do more.

  2. Catchy. They should rename “Nuggets” to “Dated 1960s Psychedelic Time Warp (by Bands Whose Members Have Disappeared From The Face of the Earth). Another one that sounds like Them.

    • Normally it’s pretty easy to dig up some info about what the members have done since, but I couldn’t find anything on this band at all.

  3. The Tibetan Book of the Dead must have been in every hippie’s bag at that time…right beside Ginsberg’s HOWL book… Love that wild guitar solo coming out at top volume. I love the Psychedelic period…just wished it would have lasted longer.

    I agree with you on why this would get singled out when it had plenty of company.

    • They’ve just started putting lyrics on Spotify, so maybe liner notes will make it on one day too.

  4. Nice tune, Graham. It’s weird why The Third Bardo didn’t go on. Perhaps they were five years ahead of their time! 🙂

    Hope you get to enjoy the summer break! Technically, in New Jersey, it’s winter season, though throughout December, the weather has felt more like spring! Selfishly, I don’t miss the snow shoveling. At the same time, the unusually mild weather makes me worry…

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