Friday, February 29, 2008

Side Show

This is an album I owned as a boy, I believe it was the first group I ever bought a record by without my older brother's prior recommendation. Since it was my own "discovery", I earnestly tried to enjoy the album, but I must admit, it isn't the kind of music most kids would like, and I soon traded the album away. I found the record again on Ebay a few years ago, I snagged it to bring back forgotten memories, and now I appreciate the music much better. The album came out on Atlantic records I believe around 1969, and I'm guessing didn't do very well. The album pictured a group on the front, but didn't say anywhere who the members were and what they did. I determined from the individual song credits that the band consists partly of: Paul Giovanni, Gregg Kreutz and Ken Zeserson. Paul Giovanni appears to be the lead vocalists, and he went on to create the score for the original "Wicker Man" film with a group called Magnet. The vocals on that soundtrack are remarkably similar to those on this album, leading me to the conclusion he was the lead vocalist with Side Show. Giovanni went on to become a writer, and has since passed away. Gregg Kreutz (Bass) went on to become a Master painter and playwright he has a website here. Ken Zeserson is still a musician and has played with The Purple Valley and Radio London. The music on this album is hard to categorize, it reminds me of mellow progressive rock and also the folk/rock songs of the late 1960s. I think what I like best is the tasteful arrangements and the instrumental touches which were recorded very clearly. The album was produced and conducted by Arif Mardin, so there are a few nice string arrangements occasionally. The overall feeling of the album is mellow and restrained which may have been a factor in the group not becoming famous, but it does make this a worthwhile album nonetheless. If you love the soundtrack to "Wicker Man" you will enjoy this album since it has a similar maturity and the same lead vocalist. If you know any more about this group, or if you also owned this LP let me know, I have never met anyone else who had even heard of them.

Side Show LP


uncle_alex said...

yay, looking forward to hearing this. thanks :)

Zer0_II said...

In response to your question about the link exchange. If you could add my music blogroll/directory( to the "Favorite Blogspot Music Links" area in your sidebar, that would be great. If you want to add my main blog ( aalso, that would be even better, but if you had to choose just one, I would prefer it if you linked to the blogroll.

I noticed that you have a myspace profile for your blog, and I have one for mine also, so I sent you a friend request on there too. Thanks once again. Take care.

Sam said...

You have absolutely made my week — I've been looking for this for so long. Can't thank you enough... so excited to hear it!

Ken Zeserson.... said...


In an idle moment I googled myself just to see what comes up these days and lo and behold there was your blog. I was one of the members of the what may have been the least notorious rock groups of the late '60's--Side Show. I really enjoyed reading your comments about our ill-fated album. It was made in strange times and it sure sounds that way even today.

Anyway, thanks for the chuckle.

Ken Zeserson

Dan said...

I have been listening to this album quite a bit over the past few months, and it is really special...thanks for posting it (since it's near-impossible to find in tangible form). "Cold Coffee" should have been a big hit!

Martha said...

Paul Giovanni knew my parents slightly, and he brought us a copy of Side Show when it came out. I was 10 years old and immediately adored it. You're the first person I've ever come across who's heard of it (or owned it) besides me. I still own the original LP and made a bad cassette of it in the '80s. Would love it for my iPod and will figure out a way. "Cold Coffee" and "Joanna" could be classics.

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan of Giovanni's "Wicker Man" soundtrack since I first saw the film around 1990. Listening to the soundtrack tonight, I decided (as I've done numerous times over the years) to do a bit of fishing for info on Giovanni... and I was AMAZED to come across word of the Side Show project! How had I never heard of it over the past 20 years!?!?

I chalked it up to a release I'd never come across, so I was all the more amazed to find an online link to it here!! You've really made my day! Thanks!

And should any former Side Show members drop by this blog again, I just want to say thanks! Great, fun work you did so long ago!

Anonymous said...

Link's dead … feel like reuppin' it please?