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Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Federal Duck - Federal Duck (1968 us, soft-psych with jazzy feel and some upbeat mold-breaking tunes)

Federal Duck was the band I belonged to when I was a student at Haverford College back in the '60s. We were originally called the Stomp Jackson Quintet, and then the Guides (don't ask), but we came up with our new and final name one night when we were lying on the bank of the Haverford campus duck pond, and some ducks started waddling toward us in what looked like a purposeful manner, and as we watched them with increasing alarm -- an oncoming duck squadron in the moonlight -- the thought struck us that these ducks might be working for the government. And if you are wondering why that particular thought would have struck us, you did not experience the '60s.

We were one of many college bands formed in that era by young men with a sincere artistic desire to attract women of the opposite sex. We pretty much failed at that, but we did get hired a lot, because of a distinctive quality we had, which I would describe as "a low price." For as little as $100, or sometimes even less, you could have the Federal Duck perform at your dance, dorm mixer, fraternity party, pagan tree-worship ceremony, livestock neutering, whatever.

We would play anywhere, and we would play all night long, or until the police arrived, which happened sometimes, especially at the frat parties, where there tended to be a lot of spirited hijinks during that magical 45-minute interlude between the time the first keg was tapped and the time the last frat brother passed out in a puddle of his own bodily fluids.

The Federal Duck could play through pretty much anything, because we had a bulletproof repertoire consisting of songs containing three or fewer chords, one of which was always "E." If something distracting happened during a song -- say, a group of frat brothers suddenly appeared on the dance floor physically carrying a Volkswagen -- and you lost your place, you could always play an "E" chord, and the odds were good that this was also what the rest of the band was playing.

We did that for four years, and, although I am not proud of this fact, the Federal Duck was the single most memorable part of my college experience. I was an English major, and I studied some of the greatest works of literature the human mind has ever produced, and today I can remember virtually nothing about any of them, but I still know all the words to "Louie Louie."
by Dave Barry
(David Barry is A Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary)

1. Knowing That I Loved You So - 2:18
2. Easy Virtue Blues (Jack Bowers) - 2:44
3. Tomorrow Waits for Today - 3:04
4. Just Like the Snow (David Koteen) - 4:22
5. Bird (George Stavis, Jack Bowers, Ken Stover) - 5:56
6. Hello - 0:17
7. While You're Away - 2:01
8. Peace in My Mind - 2:57
9. Just a Band - 0:34
10.Friday Morning - 3:09
11.Dawn Comes Slow (Jack Bowers, George Stavis) - 3:05
12.Ain't Gonna Be Nobody to Sing the Blues (Jack Bowers) - 2:11
13.Circus in the Sea - 3:33
All songs by George Stavis except where indicated

Federal Duck
*Ken Stover - Piano, Organ, Tuba
*Jack Bowers - Guitars, Dulcimer. Recorder
*George Stavis - Lead Guitars, (Vocal, on Ain't Gonna Be Nobody to Sing the Blues)
*Huck White - Guitars, French Horn, Recorder
*Timmy Ackerman - Drums, Conga, Percussion
*Bob Stern - Bass, (Vocal, on Bird)
*Tony Shaftel - Vocal, Bass

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Anonymous said...

thanks - just my music !!!

Marios said...


Anonymous said...

The link is dead! pls repost it

Marios said...

.....on stream again....

Anonymous said...

Amei demais a harmonização da banda....para escutar em todos os locais e momentos.