“The Best Gig I Ever Saw” is a weekly column that will see us ask a musician to chat about their favorite concert thus far. This week it’s George Bunnell, bass player with psychedelic faves the Strawberry Alarm Clock…
The first time I was truly blown away by a live act was the first day we showed up on the first Beach Boys tour we did in 1967. It was their Fifth Annual Thanksgiving tour with us (Strawberry Alarm Clock) and The Buffalo Springfield. We got to sound check with all our suit cases and guitar cases in tow. On stage were The Beach Boys. The theater was empty except for The Springfield sitting in a middle row. They greeted us from the stage and said to sit with BS.
Well, I slid down the row first and sat next to Neil Young. Being a cocky 18-year-old, I leaned over and said; “Alright, Surf music!” Neil turned and said; “Prepare to have your mind blown!” Well, I shut up. Then Daryl Dragon counted off 1, 2, 3, and… The intro to “God Only Knows” filled the empty theater. Oh My God! I never heard anything so beautiful. It was perfect. Carl Wilson sounded like an angel.
I know it’s not really a concert as much as a moment. But what a moment. Time stood still for me. Then the Springfield took the stage and launched into “Mr. Soul.” Again, time stood still. These guys were all geniuses! Then it was our turn. Holy crap! How do you follow all that? Well, both groups were super generous and helped us get a sound and get a balance. I don’t remember how we sounded exactly but I think it was probably the BEST we EVER sounded.
Other than that, we opened for The Who at The Anaheim Convention Center. They were my favorite band at the time. They did not disappoint! They were the tightest band I’ve ever heard. Songs like “Happy Jack” and “My Generation” and “Pictures Of Lily” just killed. They were also the loudest band I ever heard. They also destroyed our VOX Super Beatle Amps. Good thing we went on first! And, a good thing we were sponsored by VOX.
The Strawberry Alarm Clock plays with Molly Hamner & the Midnight Tokers, Full Moon Light, Good Whales, The Poppy Seeds, Laurie Larson and The Swansons at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 at the Whisky A Go Go.
LA Weekly