The Electric Prunes
SWEDISH DELIGHTS! (December 1967)
Biography - Part 4
It was this line-up of Lowe, Tulin, Williams, Gannon and Quint that embarked upon the Prunes's first and only European tour towards the end of 1967.
The Electric Prunes in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) before departing on the European Tour
Arriving in the UK, the band rented an apartment in Harley Street, London for 3-4 weeks. They played a 16 date British tour which included Cambridge, Nottingham, London's Roundhouse, Speakeasy and Middle Earth, Norwich, Cromer, Bath and Glasgow. December 10th, 1967 saw the band record a television show - 'Hoepla' - at Bellevue TV Studio, Amsterdam, Holland where they played 'I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)' and 'Long Day's Flight'. The segment was never aired and the film / tape has since been lost / erased. After playing a few dates in Holland, France and Sweden, the band hit Stockholm. The date was December 14th, 1967. The concert was due to be taped by the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation for broadcast on Swedish Radio. According to James Lowe, the concert was recorded on a bad night at the end of a long tour. On the earlier dates on the tour, the Prunes had played some of their crazier stuff but it got very little response from the audiences, so they reverted back to playing some blues.
The Electric Prunes in a photoshoot with new guitarist Mike Gannon and returning drummer Quint
The Prunes stormed through a 9 song set and showed no sign of end-of-tour weariness! After being announced and warming up, the band thundered into an amazing version of 'You Never Had It Better' with Quint's powerful drumming. After such a pulsating start, James spoke to the crowd about the 'love-ins' in California, apologising for a senseless Vietnam War and incorrectly introduced what he said was the band's first single - 'I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)'. What the band could create in the studio under Dave Hassinger's production could certainly be transferred onto the live stage. 'Are You Lovin' Me More (But Enjoying It Less)' included a long instrumental showing off Ken Williams's prowess on the fuzz-tone guitar. Goffin and King's 'I Happen To Love You' was snarled through by James Lowe - one can just imagine how they looked on stage! The band also showed that they could play the blues with impressive versions of 'Got My Mojo Working' and 'Smokestack Lighting'. Sandwiched in between these two songs was a song written by Quint - 'Long Day's Flight ('Til Tomorrow)'. This song had been released in Europe to tie in with the band's tour. Towards the end of the set, the band played 'Dr Do Good' and finished with a rousing version of their second hit single - 'Get Me To The World On Time'.
Above : The Electric Prunes appearing on Swedish TV in December 1967
(courtesy : Lars Larsson @ Premium Rockshot)
For many years, a short, poor quality tape of this concert has been circulating among Prune fans. Simon Edwards (long-time Prunes fan and owner of Heartbeat Productions) spent many years tracking down the master tapes and clearing the rights to the material. In May 1997, his efforts were rewarded with the release of 'Stockholm '67'. According to Simon Edwards, "4 years of mind boggling legal hassles with Warners was the price to pay! But worth every second in my book".
The Electric Prunes in London during their European Tour - December 1967
From left to right : Mark Tulin, Quint, Mike Gannon, James Lowe
Seated : Ken Williams
The album was released in both vinyl and CD formats. Only 1,000 vinyl copies have been produced with a lavish gatefold sleeve and booklet of Gered Mankowitz photographs. James Lowe had always like the pictures Gered Mankowitz had taken of the Rolling Stones on their 'Aftermath' and 'Between The Buttons' LPs. So when the band came to the UK, they invited Mankowitz to a few of their gigs and he then agreed to shoot some pictures of the band at his Masons Yard Studio in London and on Hyde Park where they recreated some of his sessions with the Stones.
The Electric Prunes in London as part of the set taken by Gered Mankowitz
Also included in the LP package are tour reminiscences by vocalist James Lowe and bassist Mark Tulin. The album is actually 20 minutes longer than what was originally broadcast on Swedish radio!
The Electric Prunes in London - picture taken by Gered Mankowitz with a wide lens
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