Monday, May 15, 2017

A Song A Day: Trizo 50, "Graveyard"

MAY 15, 2017




More than a decade ago, my friend CO (a/k/a) DJ Crotchbat recommended to me a compilation of obscure, independently released rock songs from the 1960s and early 1970s called Love, Peace, and Poetry: American Psychedelic Music.

While I’d known about privately pressed records (i.e. those not released by a large record company, but instead issued by the artists themselves), I had no idea of the gigantic scope of homemade music of all genres.

Most of the tracks on the LPP compilation, by American psych bands such as The Patron Saints, Zerfas, and the Music Emporium, had been heard, at most, by dozens of people when originally issued. Most of the bands blew my mind with their eccentric, idiosyncratic creativity.

Many such bands sold their homemade albums at their gigs or sent copies to big labels hoping to get signed. Others pressed up copies and then realized they didn't know what to do with them.

One song that really stood out on LPP was Trizo 50’s “Graveyard,” mysterious, downcast, yet utterly gorgeous, with piano, acoustic guitars, overlapping vocals, and an oddly droning organ. I knew nothing about the band but wanted to find out.

Over time I located and contacted Bob DePugh, who sang lead on the track and wrote the music. He was nice enough to indulge my questions. He told me more about the band’s story: their roots as a teen rock quartet in rural Missouri in the 60s, their maturation into the quintet Trizo 50 (pronounced TRY-zoe) which had four singer-songwriters, and their excellent 1974 album cut in a crumbling former beauty shop.

We spoke about “Graveyard,” which was utterly at odds with the proto-power pop and glam rock on the rest of the album. The song was well out of time for 1974 but possessed a magic that nobody in the band could deny. It also featured a wonderfully weird accidental ending.

The band pressed its album in a run of just 100 copies, most of which have disappeared into the mists of time. The original LP has never been re-released, and a poor-sounding mishmash of remixed album tracks and unreleased material, on the World in Sound label, is their only legitimately issued legacy.

If you run a record company that reissues old stuff, please get in touch so that I can hook you up with Bob DePugh. This is one album that deserves a deluxe reissue.

For the moment, here is “Graveyard.” If you like it, Bob has put high-quality versions of other Trizo 50 material on YouTube!

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