M O R T I M E R
Mortimer was a short-lived psych-pop group that originally evolved out of a later incarnation of the Teddy Boys, from Hyde Park, NY. The Teddy Boys recorded a handful of singles for MGM and Cameo Records in 1966 and 1967. They masqueraded under a somewhat psychedelic pseudonym, Pinocchio & Puppets, for an two-sided instrumental single (the B-side was an Eastern raga rock version of "Cowboys and Indians," but is probably not the Michael Lloyd song), which was released by Mercury in 1967.
In May 1968, the future members of Mortimer, Tom L. Smith; Tony Van Benschoten; & Guy M. Masson, were in the front row of the live TV audience at The Tonight Show and got the chance to meet John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who were in New York to launch their new Apple label and appear on the show. Through a series of conversations, the band eventually ended up in London, where they worked under the supervision of Peter Asher and recorded a few sessions for Apple Records. An acetate of Mortimer's version of the Beatles' "Two of Us" is said to still exist in the vaults, although it apparently bears little resemblance to the Beatles' version. The group apparently came very close to signing with Apple, but ended up signing a production deal with U.K. record producer Daniel Secunda (brother of Procol Harum manager Tony Secunda) and his B.B.& D. Productions, Inc. The group cut this, their only album, from which two singles were released, for Philips, then dissolved soon thereafter. There are several standout tracks here, including the Baroque "Where Dragons Guard The Doors" and the softer bubblegum psych vocal harmonies of "Singing To The Sunshine" and "Life's Sweet Magic". The selections are: Dedicated Music Man- 3:38; Where Dragons Guard the Doors- 3:35; Would You Believe- 2:43; Singing to the Sunshine- 3:26; Mortimer's Theme- 2:57; Take Your Troubles- 3:18; To Understand Someone- 2:40; Life's Sweet Music- 2:35; Yes We Know- 2:49. This is a seldom seen original 1968 pressing on PHILIPS RECORDS (00-267), and is overall beautiful near MINT!
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