The Seeds were an American rock band. The group, whose repertoire spread between garage rock and acid rock, are considered an influential proto-punk band.
Lead singer Sky Saxon had a musical career that went back to pre-Beatle music days, when he recorded a few 45s under the name Richie Marsh. Born in Salt Lake City, he was based in Los Angeles from the early 1960s. The Seeds were formed in 1965 with Saxon joining as a response to an advertisement. Keyboardist Daryl Hooper was a major factor in the band's sound; the band was one of the first to utilize keyboard bass. Guitarists Jan Savage and Jeremy Levine with drummer Rick Andridge completed the original quintet, but Levine left shortly after the first recording sessions for personal reasons. Although Sky Saxon is usually credited as bass player, he did not play bass on any of the Seeds' recordings. This was handled by session men, usually one Harvey Sharpe. On stage, keyboardist Daryl Hooper would handle the bass parts via a separate bass keyboard, in the same way as Ray Manzarek later did with The Doors.
The Seeds' first single "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" was a regional hit in southern California in 1965. The song was also played regularly on AM rock stations in northern California (and probably elsewhere), where it was well received by listeners. The band had their only national Top 40 hit, "Pushin' Too Hard", in 1966. Three subsequent singles, "Mr. Farmer" (also 1966), a re-release of "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" (1967), and "A Thousand Shadows" (1967) achieved more modest success, although all were most popular in southern California. Musically uncomplicated and dominated by Saxon's vocal style and flair for simple melodic hooks, their first two albums are today considered classics of '60s garage music. A later album (Future, 1967) was full-blown psychedelic rock, with ornate flower-themed graphics to match, and another was devoted to the blues (with liner notes by Muddy Waters).
By mid-1968, with their commercial popularity flagging, the group's personnel began to change; the band was renamed "Sky Saxon and the Seeds" in 1969, by which point Bob Norsoph, guitar, and Don Boomer, drums, had replaced Savage and Andridge. Saxon continued to use the name "The Seeds", using various backup musicians, at least through 1972; the last major-label records of new material by The Seeds—two non-charting singles on MGM records—were released in 1970.
After the dissolution of the Seeds, Sky Saxon joined the Yahowha religious group, inspired by their leader Father Yod. Although a member of the Source Family for several years, Saxon did not participate in any of the albums released by Yahowha 13 in the mid 1970s. He does appear on the "Golden Sunrise" album by Fire Water Air, which was a Yahowha 13 offshoot, and later recorded the "Yod Ship Suite" album in memory of the deceased Father Yod. In the 1970s, Saxon also released the solo LPs "Lovers Cosmic Voyage" (credited to Sunlight) and "Live At The Orpheum" credited to Sunlight Rainbow. In the 1980s, Saxon collaborated with several bands—including Redd Kross and The Chesterfield Kings—before reforming the original Seeds in 1989 to headline "The Summer of Love Tour", along with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Arthur Lee and Love, The Music Machine, and The Strawberry Alarm Clock.
The Seeds remained dormant again until 2003, when Saxon reformed them with original guitarist Jan Savage and newcomers Rik Collins on bass, Mark Bellgraph on Guitar and Dave Klein on keyboards. This new version of the Seeds went through several incarnations, with Savage departing midway through their 2003 European tour due to his health. Saxon remained the only original member of The Seeds, which continued to tour Europe and the United States. Saxon died on June 25, 2009 of heart and renal failure.
On July 24, 2009, members of The Smashing Pumpkins, Love, and The Electric Prunes performed a tribute concert at the Echoplex in Los Angeles in memory of Sky Saxon.
A documentary film about The Seeds has been prepared by GNP Crescendo Records President Neil Norman, the son of the label's founder Gene Norman. Filming began in 2007, and draws on first-hand knowledge of the band, interviews and concert footage. The film titled Pushin' Too Hard, directed by Norman and produced by Alec Palao, premieres August 16, 2014 at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. A DVD release will follow later in the year.
Some lyrics in Frank Zappa's album "Joe's Garage" refer to "Pushin' Too Hard": "You're plooking too hard/ Plooking too hard on ME".
The Seeds were a 1960s rock and roll band based in Los Angeles, California, United States, whose raw and abrasive energy, and simple, repetitive lyrics came to exemplify the garage rock style. The band was active from 1965 to 1972. The group reunited in 1989, split again in 1993 and reunited once more in 2003. The band's future is in question after the June 2009 death of its only constant member, singer Sky Saxon.
Lead singer Sky Saxon was heavily influenced in style and appearance by Mick Jagger, and the group promoted the fact that Blues great Muddy Waters once called them "America's own Rolling Stones." Keyboardist Daryl Hooper was a major factor in the band's sound; the band was one of the first to utilize keyboard bass; guitarist Jan Savage and drummer Rick Andridge completed the original quartet. Vocalist Saxon also played bass guitar.
The Seeds' first single, "Can't Seem To Make You Mine," was a regional hit in southern California in 1965. The band had their only national top-40 hit, "Pushin' Too Hard", in 1966. Two subsequent singles, "Mr. Farmer," (also 1966) and "A Thousand Shadows" (1968) achieved more modest success. Though musically primitive, one album was devoted to the Blues (with liner notes by Muddy Waters), and another (Future, 1967) was full-blown psychedelic rock, with ornate flower-themed graphics to match. The original Seeds disbanded in 1970, shortly after the release of Raw and Alive at Merlin's Music Box.
Sky Saxon joined the Yahowa religious sect, inspired by their divine leader Father Yod, released several albums as the Yahowa 13 in the mid-70s. Members of the sect went their separate ways after Father Yod died in a hang gliding accident in 1974, although Saxon continues to collaborate with various members of the Yahowa to this day.
In the 1980s, Saxon collaborated with several bands—including Redd Kross and The Chesterfield Kings—before reforming the original Seeds in 1989 to headline "The Summer of Love Tour", along with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Arthur Lee and Love, The Music Machine and The Strawberry Alarm Clock. The Seeds remained dormant again until 2003, when Saxon reformed them with original guitarist Jan Savage and newcomer Rick Collins on bass. This new version of the Seeds has gone through several incarnations, with Savage departing mid way through their 2003 European tour due to his health. Saxon now remains the only original member of The Seeds, currently augmented by the aforementioned Collins as well as organist Ryan Maynes, guitarist Nate Greely, and drummer Justin Smith. The band continues to frequently tour Europe and the United States.
"Pushin' Too Hard" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.