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The Seeds
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Rock
Garage rock
Years active 1965 – 1969, 1969 - 1972 (as Sky Saxon and the Seeds)
Labels GNP Crescendo Records
Bam Caruso
Sky Saxon
Daryl Hooper
Jan Savage
Rick Andridge

The Seeds were a rock band best known for the hit single "Pushin' Too Hard", released in 1966. Based in Los Angeles, California, its raw and abrasive energy and simple, repetitive lyrics came to exemplify the garage rock style of the 1960s. The group are considered one of the pioneers of punk rock[1].



Lead singer Sky Saxon had a musical career that went back to pre-Beatle music days, when he recorded a few 45s under the name Richie Marsh. Born in Salt Lake City, he was based in Los Angeles from the early 1960s. The Seeds were formed in 1965 with Saxon joining as a response to an advertisement. Keyboardist Daryl Hooper was a major factor in the band's sound; the band was one of the first to utilize keyboard bass. Guitarists Jan Savage and Jeremy Levine with drummer Rick Andridge completed the original quintet, but Levine left shortly after the first recording sessions for personal reasons. Although Sky Saxon is usually credited as bass player, he did not play bass on any of the Seeds' recordings. This was handled by session men, usually one Harvey Sharpe. On stage, keyboardist Daryl Hooper would handle the bass parts via a separate bass keyboard, in the same way as Ray Manzarek did with the Doors.

The Seeds' first single, "Can't Seem To Make You Mine", was a regional hit in southern California in 1965. The song was also played regularly on AM rock stations in northern California (and probably elsewhere), where it was well received by listeners. The band had their only national Top 40 hit, "Pushin' Too Hard", in 1966 (#44 in Canada). Three subsequent singles, "Mr. Farmer" (also 1966), a re-release of "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" (1967) (#33 in Canada), and "A Thousand Shadows" (1968) achieved more modest success, although all were most popular in southern California. Musically uncomplicated and dominated by Saxon's vocal style and flair for simple melodic hooks, their first two albums are today considered classics of '60s garage music. A later album was devoted to the blues (with liner notes by Muddy Waters), and another (Future, 1967) was full-blown psychedelic rock, with ornate flower-themed graphics to match.

By mid-1968, with their commercial popularity flagging, the group's personnel began to change; the band was renamed "Sky Saxon and the Seeds" in 1969, by which point Bob Norsoph, guitar, and Don Boomer, drums, had replaced Savage and Andridge. Saxon continued to use the name "The Seeds", using various backup musicians, at least through 1972; the last major-label records of new material by The Seeds—two non-charting singles on MGM records—were released in 1970.

After the dissolution of the Seeds, Sky Saxon joined the Yahowha religious group, inspired by their divine leader Father Yod. Although a member of the Source Family for several years, Saxon did not participate in any of the albums released by Yahowha 13 in the mid 1970s. He does appear on the "Golden Sunrise" album by Fire Water Air, which was a Yahowha 13 off-shoot, and later recorded the "Yod Ship Suite" album in memory of the deceased Father Yod. In the 1970s, Saxon also released the solo LPs "Lovers Cosmic Voyage" (credited to Sunlight) and "Live At The Orpheum" credited to Sunlight Rainbow. Members of the Source Family went their separate ways after Father Yod died in a hang gliding accident in Hawaii 1975, although Saxon continued to collaborate with various members of the Yahowa group. The Source Family reunited in the 2000s, following substantial media interest and an official biography.

In the 1980s, Saxon collaborated with several bands—including Redd Kross and The Chesterfield Kings—before reforming the original Seeds in 1989 to headline "The Summer of Love Tour", along with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Arthur Lee and Love, The Music Machine and The Strawberry Alarm Clock. The Seeds remained dormant again until 2003, when Saxon reformed them with original guitarist Jan Savage and newcomers Rick Collins on bass and Dave Klein on keyboards. This new version of the Seeds has gone through several incarnations, with Savage departing midway through their 2003 European tour due to his health. Saxon remained the only original member of The Seeds, which continued to tour Europe and the United States. Sky Saxon died on June 25, 2009.[2]


"Pushin' Too Hard" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

"Pushin' Too Hard" was featured in one episode of the television situational comedy The Mothers-In-Law. A character in the show became the manager of a band known as "The Warts." The band was actually the Seeds.

"Mr. Farmer" was featured in the end credits of the documentary "King Corn".

"Can't Seem To Make You Mine" has been covered by five different groups:

  • In 2005 U.S. DJ and producer Diplo sampled "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" for his tonite remix of the Spank Rock track "Put that pussy on me" which was released on 12-inch
  • The song "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" is featured in an Axe Body Spray commercial released in March 2008.
  • The song "Mr. Farmer" was included in the movie Almost Famous in 2000.

In recent times, there has been a resurgence in popularity due to the use of the song "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" in the Lynx (Body Spray) advert in Spring 2009.

On July 24, 2009 members of The Smashing Pumpkins, Love (band) and The Electric Prunes performed a tribute concert at the Los Angeles's Echoplex in memory of Sky Saxon[3].




Originally released in the U.S. on GNP Crescendo Records:

  • The Seeds 1966
  • A Web of Sound 1966
  • A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues (as the Sky Saxon Blues Band) 1967
  • Future 1967
  • Raw & Alive in Concert at Merlin's Music Box 1968
  • Fallin Off the Edge 1977
  • Bad Part Of Town 1982
  • Travel With Your Mind 1993

Released on Bam Caruso, UK:

  • Evil Hoodoo 1988


  • "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" (#41 US)[1]
  • "Mr. Farmer" (#86 US)
  • "Pushin' Too Hard" (#36 US)
  • "A Thousand Shadows" (#72 US)

Book References

  • Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-201-2.  

Other references

  1. ^ Buckley 2003, p. 764 and 765, "The centerpiece was "Evil Hoodoo", a piece of high-octane freakbeat that was as much a genuine slice of punk as anything the '70s threw out...Proves that anyone who thinks that punk started in 1976 is wrong."
  2. ^ Seeds Frontman Sky Saxon Dies in Austin
  3. ^

External links


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