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 52/118: Live by The Merry-Go-Round
Release Date: 1967
From: Los Angeles, California
Aphoristic Rating: 9/10
LIVE – The Merry-Go-Round [2:32]
Personnel/EMITT RHODES: vocals, guitar * GARY KATO: lead guitar, vocals * BILL RINEHART: bass, vocals * JOEL LARSON: drums
Produced by LARRY MARKS
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA
A&M single #834 (3/67); Pop #63
We’ve already encountered Emitt Rhodes in this series – he was the 15-year-old drummer on The Palace Guard’s ‘Falling Sugar’. Clearly talented, Rhodes sought more of the spotlight – t started when he took a solo turn at Palace Guard gigs to sing The Beatles’ ‘Michelle’, accompanying himself on guitar. Still merely 16, Rhodes left The Palace Guard to form his own band.
Rhodes formed The Merry-Go-Round with lead guitar Gary Kato. The pair were joined by bassist Bill Rinehart, formerly of the Leaves, and drummer Joel Larson, formerly of the Grass Roots, who’d also worked with Gene Clark on his 1967 album Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers. Rhodes was the principal songwriter for The Merry-Go-Round. The Merry-Go-Round only released one album, 1967’s self-titled record.
I’m already a fan of Rhodes’ 1970 self-titled album, and ‘Live’ is strong enough to make me want to check out its parent album. The band are clearly Anglophiles, and this song sounds like the harmony-based bands of the British Invasion like The Beatles and The Hollies.
Rhodes went on to release four solo albums in the early 1970s. Most notable was his 1970 self-titled debut, on which he played all the instruments himself.