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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lightning - Lightning (1968-71 us, power stoner blues psych rock )

Lightning was an offshoot of Minneapolis ’60s legends Litter that featured guitar wizard Tom “Zippy” Caplan. After recording the Litter’s 1966 garage classic Distortions and 1968 psych masterpiece $100 Fine, Caplan split from the Litter and formed Lightning. 

The band started out as a power trio and cut one fierce Cream-inspired single “William” b/w “Of Paupers And Poets” in 1968 under the White Lightning moniker with Twin Cities record producer Warren Kendrick. The band regrouped into a quintet and scored a record deal with P.I.P. which issued their eight-song album. That album has since become a highly collectable LP. 

Lightning became one of the Midwest’s hardest working rock acts and toured extensively throughout the region during their three-year tenure. This authorized CD reissue includes their entire LP, the aforementioned 45, plus six additional bonus tracks (including edited 45 mixes of two album tracks) all wrapped in an archival 12-page booklet with lots of photos and liner notes by Litter-scribe Doug Sheppard. 

Between this package and Arf Arf’s White Lightning Strikes Twice [1968-1969] release, the band’s entire musical legacy has been properly archived. Fans of Blue Cheer, Cream, Hendrix, and Arf Arf’s four psychedelic Dose comps will really dig this new disc.

“Zippy Caplan’s post-Litter [band] made music close enough to Cream to fool you if you weren’t listening hard enough…a hidden treasure that deserves a wider listen.” 
by Cub Koda

1. Prelude to Opus IV (Woodrich, Caplan, Stanhope) - 4:05
2. Hideaway (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 4:00
3. When a Man Could Be Free (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 4:27
4. Madame Sunrise (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 6:00
5. 1930 (Roberts, Stanhope, Caplan) - 4:12
6. Freedom (Is Life with Living) (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 5:46
7. They've Got the Time (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 5:51
8. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky (Stan Jones) - 5:32
9. William (Caplan, Woodrich, Struthers) - 2:06
10.Of Paupers and Poets (Kendrick) - 2:33
11.(Under the Screaming Double) Eagle (Caplan, Waite, Woodrich) - 3:56
12.What Have I Now (Lindlay, Caplan) - 3:21
13.Rat (Caplan, Woodrich, Stanhope, Roberts, Pershey) - 4:18
14.Hideaway (single mix) (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 3:13
15.Freedom (single mix) (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 3:40
16.William Tell Overture (The Lone Ranger Theme) (Rosini) - 2:40

*Ronn Roberts - Vocals, Guitar
*Tom "Zippy" Caplan - Guitar
*Bernie Pershey - Drums
*Woody Woodrich - Bass
*Mickey Stanhope - Vocals, Drums

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adamus67 said...

1968…a year of turmoil in America and around the world. Musically, it was the beginning of Progressive Rock as an experimental psychedelic art form. With heavy influence out of the U.K., music selections became more drawn-out and creative. It was a turning point away from the standard three-minute Pop hit single. Today, we’ll delve into some of those compositions along with some musical memories from 1968...

Arf! Arf! Records presents a taste of Lightning, a Minnesota-based rock band that grew out of White Lightning, a "power trio" consisting of ex-Litter guitarist Zippy Caplan, bass guitarist Woody Woodrich, and drummer Mick Stanhope. Woodrich is said to have pioneered the use of redline compression on his instrument, before such compressors were generally available to the public. The music heard here was performed by this trio and a quintet formed by the addition of second guitarist Ronn Roberts and percussionist Bernie Pershey, who can be heard operating a xylophone on "When a Man Could Be Free." Technically, at least, Lightning was the name usually applied to the five-piece band. They engaged in such colorful crowd-pleasing routines as an electrified rendering of Gioacchino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" (first performed in this version at the New City Opera House during the autumn of 1968), and a freaky take (ŕ la Jeff Beck's "Bolero") on "Ghost Riders in the Sky" that featured Stanhope singing through a Moog synthesizer. "Of Paupers and Poets" was first released as a 45 rpm single on the Hexagon record label and made it to number five on the Top 40 in Minneapolis/St. Paul in January 1969. "They've Got the Time" was composed on September 18, 1970 in response to the death of Jimi Hendrix and was also dedicated to Janis Joplin and Brian Jones. Lightning was well received at rock festivals throughout the Middle West. They opened for (and reportedly upstaged) Grand Funk Railroad on December 31, 1970 at a concert in Des Moines, IA. One source claims that White Lightning (named after a notoriously potent brand of lysergic acid) existed in five distinct combinations between the years 1968-1974, and that six different Lightnings came and went between 1969 and 1990. None of these Lightnings are to be confused with Detroit's short-lived post-Guardian Angel five-piece unit that went by the name of Lightnin.

Marios:Thanks for listening and sharing this post with your friends!

guinea pig said...


juan manuel muñoz said...

many thanks

Holly said...

Thank you Marios, and happy holidays.

Sergey said...

thank you very much! Great band.
Many thanx adamus67 for info.

Marios said...