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North California Groups : A

The information on the North California Groups pages was compiled by Gray Newell based on research by: Alec Palao, Corry Arnold, Ben Chaput, Joey Dryfka, Mike Dugo, Ross Hannan, Vernon Joynson, Gray Newell, Stephane Rebeschini, Obert Sonsten, Jason Sweitzer Bruce Tahsler and Max Waller.

These pages were originally made available on the North California Groups website which, unfortunately, no longer exists. The pages are provided here as an archive of that site and are currently being updated at irregular intervals.

The information is presented alphabetically by group name:

Group name : A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ


1969 A.B. Skhy - MGM SE 4628
1970 Ramblin' On - MGM SE 4676
CD A B Skhy, Featuring Howard Wales - One Way 30011

Terry Anderson - Drums, Vocals
Dennis Geyer - Guitar, Vocals
M Marcotte - Bass
Howard Wales - Keyboards
James Curley Cooke - Guitar, Vocals
Rick Jaeger - Percussion

A blues band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who relocated to San Francisco. Their first album, AB Skhy, was recorded in 1969 and produced by Richard Delvy. Kim Fowley and Michael Lloyd co-produced the follow up Ramblin' On in 1970. The group consisted of Terry Anderson (Drums/Vocals), Dennis Geyer (Guitar/Vocals), Jim Marcotte (Bass) and Howard Wales (Keyboards) for the first album, and they were supplemented by a 7 piece horn section. Andersen and Wales then left and were replaced by guitarist James "Curley" Cooke and drummer Rick Jaeger for the group's second album. Cooke had previously played The Steve Miller Band.


1967 A Cid Symphony - triple album - Thermal Flash Music
1999 A Cid Symphony - double CD - Gear Fab GF-135
2000 A Cid Symphony - triple album - Akarma AK 090/3

Charles Ewing - Guitar
Deborah Cleall Fischbach - Tamboura
Ernest Fischbach - Dulcimer, Sarod, Guitar
David Goines - Vocals
Tom Harris - Percussion
Dustin Mark Miller - Vocals, Producer

A psychedelic ethnic folk group, they grew out of the Free Speech movement at Berkeley and were associated with the Diggers, often playing in parks and giving out free food. They had originated in Los Angeles but migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Ewing and Fischbach studied Hindustani music at the Ali Akbar (Khan) College of Music. They recorded their A Cid Symphony album at Fantasy studios in Berkeley, and it was subsequently released as a triple album on one time Merry Prankster and Ace Of Cups member Denise Kaufman's Thermal Flash label. They gate crashed the Monterey Pop! festival and got to meet Ravi Shankar. Ernie Fischbach and his wife, Deborah Cleal Fischbach, eventually went on to be a part of The Golden Toad.


2003 It's Bad For You But Buy It - Big Beat CDWIKD236

Denise Kaufman - guitar, harmonica, vocals
Diane Vitalich - drums, vocals
Marla Hunt - organ, piano, vocals
Mary Gannon - bass, vocals
Mary Ellen Simpson - lead guitar, vocals

The Ace of Cups, a name that appears on a hundred Ballroom posters, but a group who never had a record released. They were around from 1966 to 1972 and provided backing vocals on a number of recordings, most notably for Jefferson Airplane on the Volunteers album, they also appear on the Mill Valley Bunch album and on Mike Bloomfield's first solo LP. Denise Kaufman had been one of Ken Kesey's band of Merry Pranksters, going by the name of Mary Microgram, and had previously recorded some material backed by The Answer and played with the pre Moby Grape group The Frantics. Mary Gannon was the vocalist with DemonLover (aka Daemon/Daemonlover) before joining the Ace Of Cups as bassist. The Big Beat release consists of previously unheard live and studio recordings.


No information for this group is available at present time


No information for this group is available at present time


This group appears on countless posters from the S F Ballroom scene, but little is known about them. Dennis Parker played bass. Managed by Hillel Resner who was involved with the Straight Theatre.


From the Hillsborough area on the S F peninsula, Airplane like with male/female vocals. Apparently recorded some demos for Trident.


Jack King - drums, guitar
David Denny - lead guitar
Jim Fazio - rhythm guitar
Barry Wolf - drums

Originally known as Shades Blue Ltd. All Nite Flite were students from Diablo Valley College. They eventually became better known as Frumious Bandersnatch. Here I Stand, a demo that was recorded for Trident Studios, can be heard on Big Beat's Sing Me A Rainbow - A Trident Anthology.


An East Bay group, who played "hippie soul", similar to Loading Zone.


Formed by Tsvi Strauch, proprietor of the Haight Ashbury store "In Gear" they appeared at the All Saints church on September 3rd 1967.


No information for this group is available at present time


No information for this group is available at present time


In keeping with their name, not a great deal of information is available about this collective who were affiliated with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. They made an appearance at the Acid Test Graduation on 31st October 1966, here is an extract from Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test:

"The Anonymous Artists of America climbing up onto the stage ...
They're like freaking faeries out of A Midsummer Night's Dream,
dueling shirts and long gowns of phosphorescent pastels like the
world never saw before, Day-Glo death masks beaming out in front of
the instruments. The music suddenly submerges the room from a million
speakers...a soprano tornado of it...all-electric, plus the Buchla
electronic music machine screaming like a logical lunatic."

Members included Charles Schoening aka Chuck Steaks, who also played keyboards with the pre Moby Grape group The Frantics, Trixie Merkin who occasionally played the bass while topless, Sara Ruppenthal (Jerry Garcia's wife) Lars Kampmann and Michael Katz. They eventually set up as a commune in Colorado.


1965 Why You Smile/I'll Be In - White Whale 225

Part of the Berkeley High School scene, The Answer were Todd Anderson (Vocals), Mike Simpson (guitar), Michael Friedman (bass), Bob Schumaker (drums), and Chip Wright (guitar). They had backed Denise Kaufman on her "Boy, What'll You Do Then" recording, which has subsequently appeared on the Girls In The Garage series credited to Denise and Co. They were recommended to White Whale by the Turtle's Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, and got to record some demo tracks for that label, which resulted in the release of the Why You Smile 45. Later Mark Batterman joined them on keyboards; he had previously played guitar in fellow Berkeley High band The Haymarket Riot. After The Answer split up Todd Anderson and Michael Friedman went on to form The Droogs.


All girl group, played the Band Bash at the Cow Palace April 4/5 1966.


45 I Love You / It Feels Like I'm Crying - Brent 7060 1966

From Oakland and featured former members of The Banshees.


No information for this group is available at present time


1969 Bluesvibes - Sire 97007 LP
1969 Resurrection - Fillmore 30002 LP

1970 Bye Bye Baby/Resurrection - Fillmore 7000 45
1970 Aum/Little Brown Hen - Fillmore 7001 45

Wayne Ceballos - Harmonica, Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Larry Martin - Drums, Vocals
Ken Newell - Bass, Vocals

A blues jam band, their first album was released on Sire, but subsequent recordings were issued on Bill Graham's Fillmore label, to which Aum was one of the first signings. They split in 1970.


Played at the Band Bash at the Cow Palace April 4/5 1966.

Last updated April 2009