On 1966′s ‘A Web of Sound,’ the second album by The Seeds, the one with ‘Mr. Farmer’ and ‘Rollin’ Machine,’ there is a track called ‘Up In Her Room,’ which, along with the opus on side 2 of Love’s ‘Da Capo,’ marks a turning point in the annals of garage-rock, where it wasn’t enough to simply snarl for three blistering minutes, but to keep up with the Stones (in particular, “Goin’ Home” from ‘Aftermath’), bands felt compelled to indulge themselves, at some length. ‘Up In Her Room’ is The Seeds’ variation on ‘Gloria’ (so many roads lead back to her), except she (unnamed, but apparently experienced: she’s ‘everybody’s girl’) does not come knocking on his door. At her place, the narrator has sex, and smokes a couple of cigarettes. He enjoys the sex. And the band plays on. And on. You could say that The Seeds were the proto-Doors, with all that swirling organ, and hypno-guitar, and the hedonistic pretensions of the lead singer, except that I dig The Seeds more than The Doors, who never made a single as good as ‘Pushin’ Too Hard,’ who never captured a vibe as sexy as ‘Can’t Seem To Make You Mine,’ whose poetic aspirations made their longer pieces not nearly as much dumb fun as ‘Up In Her Room.’
(Oh, all you Morrison fans out there who want to berate me, the way Billy Joel fans have, for being not sufficiently in awe of his immense talent, so ahead.)
I’m not saying that The Seeds were a great band, or that Sky Saxon was anyone’s notion of a first-rate singer. But I got a real kick out of those first two albums (‘No Escape’ and ‘Evil Hoodoo’ are other tracks worth checking out), and when I heard that Saxon had passed away, I thought of when I bought ‘A Web of Sound,’ and brought it over to my friend’s house to play it, and how we thought it was so cool and subversive and titillating. So, R.I.P., Sky.