STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Psychedelic and garage rock pioneers The Blues Magoos are set to hit the road in support of their recently released new album Psychedelic Resurrection, which is their first new studio album in 40 years. Tomorrow night at the Sellersville Theater kicks off an east coast swing of dates. (For a review of Psychedelic Resurrection check HERE.)
The obvious question is what the heck took so long, so we caught up with Magoos frontman Peppy Castro via phone recently while he was chilling poolside in Florida to ask him about that, the idyllic 60s and what it was like touring with a legendary act back then.
“It’s [been] like a few lifetimes already!” Castro said of revisiting the past. “It’s a fun moment to step back in time and just enjoy when life was so much simpler, music was in a different realm, life in general was so much different and just to go back and enjoy it for a moment.”
“I think the nice thing about why it took so long,” he added, “is it lets people know that it has nothing to do with money – I was always concerned about that over the years, because every decade a new generation would come up and discover garage band rock and psychedlia. So it was always in the air. And while we still have it and while we can still do it, let’s enjoy it.”
Formed in the Bronx in 1964, The Blues Magoos were an integral component of New York’s Greenwich Village scene. Mainstays at the fabled Night Owl Café, the band hobnobbed and jammed with such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix and Richie Havens.
“For me, it was such a special moment in time,” Castro said. “I was 17 years old with a hit record, you know? I love when I see generations discover the 60s. To me it was the most amazing time to be in history and in music and to be in a band. It was such an explosive time in music.”
That hit record The Blues Magoos exploded with was the famed single “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet,” which was recently featured on an episode of the Netflix television series Lilyhammer, from their hit debut Psychedelic Lollipop. The song went to number five on the Billboard charts and became a ‘60s underground anthem. A few years later, Deep Purple would lift the track’s melody for their own top five hit, “Black Night.”
“My take on it is, when you think of all the music in the world that’s ever been created, it’s comprised of just 12 notes – 12 friggin notes!” Castro said. “It’s no wonder that you’re going to find influences in things. People just lift things and there’s an old saying I learned: “If you’re going to pick – pick from the winners.’”
The Magoos continued to record throughout the ’60 and tour as well. One of the latter had them on the road with a little band out of Britain making their first trip to the States. They were called The Who.
“Well first of all, the Magoos had just had a top 10 record, Herman’s Hermits were on the top of the bill and The Who was just coming to establish themselves in the U.S.,” Castro said. “That tour was the entire summer of 1967 and it was amazing.”
“I was a huge Who fan and I have all of these stories of trying to get out with my life in my hands hanging out with (Who drummer) Keith Moon because he was such a stark raving maniac. I was literally the last one on the tour to say, “Ok, I’m not going out with this guy anymore,” because it was too dangerous! He was so stark raving mad.”
IF YOU GO
What: The Blues Magoos in concert. Cynz opens
When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 Thursday, April 16. Show is all ages.
Where: Sellersville Theater 1894, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville.
Tickets: $25.00 – $39.50
Info.: Call 215-257-5808 or visit http://www.st94.com/