Rockin Foo was a California band that only made two albums, and from what I have found, they are both self titled. With the release of their second album they added Ron Becker on bass guitar. In 1969 they shared the stage with Johnny Winter and Eric Burdon at the Fillmore West. Their music has been described as “psychedelic garage country rock” and “hippie rock”. I found the track “Stranger In The Attic” to have a rather surreal sound. The guitarist, Wayne Erwin, wrote all the songs on the first album with collaboration on one track from Michael Clark and both albums were produced by the drummer, Lester Brown. They disbanded sometime after their second album.
Erwin would go onto session work and played guitar on several Monkees songs. He now lives in Kentucky with his wife and is retired. Michael Clark went on to become Sound Supervisor for Roger Corman’s Concorde Studios in Venice CA. He is a keyboardist and music director and has worked with many rock legends. Lester Brown went on to producing other bands, most notably, Plain Jane. Before joining Rockin Foo he was an actor and appeared in many TV comedies and dramas. He was on an episode of Gilligan’s Island as the leader of the Mosquitos and several episodes of General Hospital. Ron Becker still plays the bass and lives off the grid with his wife in New Mexico.
Both album covers were designed by Phil Hartman, who was their roadie before he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. Phil also designed album covers for Poco, America and did the logo for Crosby, Stills & Nash…………..
I’m guessing this late-1960s/early-1970s band were out of California. They seem to have the right musical vibe for that time and place. Unfortunately there isn’t much bibliographical stuff to be found out there on them. What little I know is pulled from the liner notes on their self-titled 1969 album. I’m also guessing that guitarist Wayne Erwin is the same guy who played on The Monkees’ debut album, though I have nothing to back that up.
The trio’s line-up consisted of drummer Lester Brown Jr., guitarist Erwin and keyboard player Michael Racoon (aka Michael Clark). Signed to the GRT Records affiliated Hobbit label, 1969’s “Rockin Foo” is mildly interesting in a weird Dead-cum-hippie style. Produced by drummer Brown Jr. and largely written by guitarist Erwin (there’s one collaboration with an outside person), in spite of what some high priced dealers will tell you there isn’t much psych here. Similarly, there’s not much in the way of killer melodies and as singers none of these guys are gonna’ slay you. So is there anything redeeming here? Like I said, if the Deads’ easy-going vibe is up your alley you may find tracks like ‘Old Friends’ and 'Familiar’ (the latter sporting a bizarre lyric) to your liking. The group also take a couple of stabs at a harder rock sound, though tracks like 'Kind Old Lady’ and 'Down In Cleaton’ aren’t particularly original or impressive. It’s all kind of comfortable and familiar and is something some of you probably wouldn’t mind hearing on a cold Sunday morning. Oh, let me add the Phil Hartmann lithograph cover is kind of low-tech cool.
The album also spun off at least one single: 1969’s 'Rochester River’ b/w 'Stranger In the Attic’ (Hobbit catalog number HB-42001). Wonder if the band knew there was a French picture sleeve release version of the single…Bad Cat…………
Wayne Erwin - guitar and vocals Michael Racoon (Michael Clark) - piano, organ and vocals Lester Brown Jr. - drums and vocals Ron Becker - bass guitar
Tracklist A1 New Friends 2:37 A2 Old Friends Written By – M. Clark 3:30 A3 Familiar Places 3:50 A4 Gabby Hayes Waltz 1:40 A5 Kind Old Lady 3:33 A6 Stranger In The Attic 2:55 B1 Down To Cleaton 4:32 B2 Black Diamond Mine 1:47 B3 Browder Ground 4:05 B4 Boogaloo Jungle 2:53 B5 Rochester River 3:05
Rockin’ Foo “ Rockin’ Foo II” 1970 US Southern Pop Rock second final album