the tea company


Original photograph by Alex Waterford Hayward

Those of you familiar with my post on ART DECADE a couple of weeks back will already know that one of the chief tracks featured was the Box Tops\’ version of Holland-Dozier-Holland\’s \”You Keep Me Hangin\’ On\”, replete with tongue-in-cheek \”… walked on down the hall\” reference to Jim Morrison & the Doors. In all truth I was itching to post the Tea Company\’s splendid version of the same song too, but at 8:47 the file size proved prohibitive. This is Bubblegum Psychedelia at its absolute finest ; a prolongued dizzy jam which recalls the house-band from your senior prom, perhaps, if you happened to live in the USA at that particularly emotional juncture. Throwing up whiskey drunk straight from a hip flask in the flower beds behind your school, sniffing sticky fingers a good few years before the Rolling Stones made them fashionable. And the very next week – if you were unlucky – choking back tepid water from a government issued canteen deep in the roiling jungles.

NYC group, the Tea Company, were never going to make it big. They struggled just to get to first base. They evolved apparently from a ballroom support band playing permanent second fiddle to Ritchie Havens and the Lovin\’ Spoonful. Once, they even opened for Bob Dylan. With a 12 string Rickenbacher and Syd Barrett era inspired lunacy, these friends of Vanilla Fudge mashed out this near perfect 9 minute jam which rightly dominates their debut LP on Smash – home to the Left Banke – from 1968. Freshly remastered, it melts the Fudge and puts Alex Chilton\’s version simultaneously in the shade. THE TEA COMPANY: YOU KEEP ME HANGIN\’ ON from \”Come And Have Some Tea With Me\” LP (Smash) 1968 (US)


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