'Perhaps he is a bit headstrong. I think most of it is by design. He is struggling to find an identity. He has in fact told me that he wants to be controversial, inventive, temperamental. Actually, he belongs to a group of young poet-performers which might include John Phillips, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Bob Lind... you know the type. But make no mistake by thinking this information gives you a mental file on Rabbit Mackay.
That he is far beyond categoric placement is evident when you hear the first few bars of any of his song-poems. And I call them song-poems because they are far more involved in lyric content than in harmonic and melodic structure. You might see him and call him a 'hippie', but I'm sure that bag would offend him. He lives with several friends, Ellen and her baby in a small wood-frame house and adjoining shed in the middle of a sugar beet farm near Somis, California. It's complete with rusty farm machinery, old rabbit hutches, a goat and sugar beets. It's also quite obvious that he has rejected the materialistic life.
What furnishings you see are all spit and polish, which is probably a credit to Ellen. You'll see paraphernalia as you look around, and you might catch a whiff of incense which was burned a bit earlier. It's a groovy place where you can reach out. Rabbit's mind works a hundred miles an hour. His record producers tell me that it is impossible to keep him happy recording. By the time the technical hang-ups of the recording business have been overcome and a finished product has been derived, he has moved on to something more involved.
And though his instructors at Moorpark College reserve calling him genius at this time, all agree that there is something special about this young man. He seems to have surrounded himself with unique musicians - not that they have chosen obscure instruments as an outlet. They haven't. The rest of the group is electric piano, guitar and drums. Nothing strange there. But when Tree plays his piano, it sounds different somehow.
The same goes for Bob's drumming. Something he does fits Rabbit Mackay. That is the name of the entire group, you know. They went through the bit about 'The Rabbit Mackay Happening' or 'The Rabbit Mackay Movement' or 'The Rabbit Mackay Experience'. But the group decided not to tell their listeners they had just been part of an experience'
- original press release, December 1967
This unconventional singer-songwriter came from Somis, California. His first album takes in blues, garage-rock and gentle psychedelic folk, with backing from guitar, keyboards, flute, drums and more. A neglected gem originally released in June 1968.
1. Big Sur - 4:36
2. Candy - 2:11
3. Lana Minus Life - 5:17
4. John's Lament - 3:20
5. Hard Time Woman - 2:52
6. Mexico Town - 2:21
7. Baby Jennifer - 2:47
8. When Angel Comes - 3:36
9. West Grogan Dormitory Blues - 4:08
10.You Can Always Come to Me - 2:50
*Rabbit Mackay - Guitar, Harmonica, Kazoo, Vocals
*Mike Fleming - Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Thompson - Drums
*John Raines - Drums
*David Sueyeres - Harpsichord, Kazoo, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Reji Pekar - Lead Guitar
*John Pilla - 2nd Guitar
*Bill St Pierre - Flute
*Walt Kunnecke - Alto Flute
*Harry Hellings - Trumpet
Free Text II