R.I.P. Sky Saxon

sky_saxonWhile the death of Michael Jackson earlier today totally overshadowed the death of Farah Fawcett, the world of music suffered another loss today that you won’t hear about on the nightly news this evening.
Sky Saxon, singer of the somewhat obscure but excellent 1960’s band The Seeds passed away today. He was in his 60’s. I was turned onto the Seeds quite a few years ago by John Stabb of Government Issue who was a big fan of the band. Their first two albums are mandatory owning for any music fan and they were sort of a pre-punk band in a way. Here’s the story from the Associated Press.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Sky Saxon, lead singer and founder of the 1960s band the “Seeds,” who had a Top 40 hit in 1967 with “Pushin’ Too Hard,” has died after a brief illness.

Publicist Jen Marchand said Saxon died Thursday but did not have other details. He was in his 60s.

The Seeds sprang up in California, and their garage-band sound with Saxon’s distinctive vocals became a favorite of the flower power generation. Another hit single of 1967 was “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” and their song “Mr. Farmer” was included in the soundtrack for the movie “Almost Famous.”

The Mick Jagger-influenced vocals by Saxon (born Richard Marsh) dominated the sound and in turn influenced later punk rockers.

“All the bikers around San Diego thought the Seeds were apocalypse, then,” famed rock critic Lester Bangs wrote in “The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll.” “I recall one hog-ridin’ couple … who didn’t take the Seeds’ first album off their turntable for three solid months.”

Saxon had recently moved to Austin, where he played with his new band, Shapes Have Fangs.

He had been planning to perform this summer with the California ’66 Revue, a tour featuring a lineup of California bands from the 1960s.

R.I.P. Sky, you will be missed. I’ll leave you all with a clip of The Seeds from an old TV appearance.