Urban Spacemen & Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rockincludes chapters on these fabulous underrated icons:

The Pretty Things: Founded by an original Rolling Stone, they helped set the standard for both wild rhythm and blues and the psychedelic rock opera

The Poets: The finest Scottish group of the 1960s, excelling at both melancholy folk-rock ballads and hard mod pop that rocked the house

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown: The god of hellfire had much more to offer than his one big hit single, combining poetry, philosophy, and theater into explorations of good and evil

The Electric Prunes: One of the oddest psychedelic journeys of the decade, from the Top Forty to an album-length Latin mass, combining state-of-the-art guitar distortion, varispeed tapes, garage blues-rock, commercial songwriting—and Bo Diddley beats

Randy Holden: From surf to psychedelia to metal, the self-described "guitar god" was the closest American counterpart to Jeff Beck, eventually attempting to simulate the sound of a nuclear bomb with his power duo

Kaleidoscope: An apt name for a California troupe that could play rock, folk, Appalachian, Cajun, blues, soul, and middle eastern music, singly or all at once, on enough instruments to stock a music store

The Fugs: Sex, drugs, poetry, and revolution, delivered with a satirical edge by the most uncompromising left-wing band of the 1960s

The Bonzo Dog Band: British music hall and vaudeville revivalists who became the prince clowns of the rock underground, with exploding robots, urban spacemen, and a priceless sense of humor that inspired Monty Python

Giorgio Gomelsky: As manager and producer of the Yardbirds, the first (albeit unofficial) manager of the Rolling Stones, promoter of British blues, and collaborator with star and cult acts such as Julie Driscoll, Blossom Toes, and Magma, he may have done more than any other non-musician to cultivate groundbreaking British and European rock music

Shel Talmy: As producer for the Kinks, the Who, and the Creation, he was instrumental in bringing the power chord and feedback into rock music, and was did stints behind the boards for Manfred Mann, the Easybeats, top British folk-rockers Pentangle, and a very young David Bowie

Bobby Fuller: After bringing the Buddy Holly sound into the 1960s, he might have been on the verge of something even better before dying violently in a case that remains unsolved

The Beau Brummels: Unfairly dismissed by some as British Invasion imitators, they were underrated folk-rock and country-rock pioneers, as well as the spiritual forefathers of the San Francisco Sound

Mike Brown: The keyboardist and composer who made some of the most effective fusions of rock, pop, and classical music as the prime creative force in the Left Banke, Montage, and the Stories

Thee Midniters: The best Latino band of the 1960s, with a repertoire encompassing heartbreaking soul ballads, uptempo soul-rockers, gnarly garage punk, and Latin soul-jazz

The Rationals: White-hot blue-eyed soul from Ann Arbor, Michigan that couldn't catch on elsewhere, and was just a little too early to ride the Michigan hard rock explosion of the late 1960s

Dino Valenti: The author of the hippie anthem "Get Together" influenced numerous major folk-rockers and made one great cult solo album, but could never get it together to make another

Richard & Mimi Farina: Known more for his novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me than for his music, Richard Farina made two albums of delightful Appalachian-influenced folk-rock with his wife Mimi before his death in 1966

Fred Neil: The super-reclusive owner of the finest and lowest white folk blues voice of his time, overlooked facilitator in the merger of folk and rock, and author of "Everybody's Talkin'"

Tim Buckley: With one of the most beautiful and versatile voices in rock history, he established himself as a master of shimmering, arty folk-rock before progressively ambitious sojourns into jazz and the avant-garde proved too demanding and unpredictable for his audience

To buy Urban Spacemen & Wayfaring Strangers:

Urban Spacemen & Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators & Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock is widely available at both independent booksellers and chain bookstores throughout North America. To order on-line via amazon.com, click on the book cover below.

contents copyright Richie Unterberger, 2000-2010
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