And speaking as we were yesterday of rock cover versions of songs by extremely goyische 60s folkie Tom Paxton, from 1967, please enjoy L.A. Doors wannabes Clear Light and their interestingly over the top version of Tom's ode to the sinister secret forces that control our destinies, "Mr. Blue."
These guys were an interesting bunch, actually. They had two drummers (I think the Dead got the idea from them), one of whom was Dallas Taylor, who went on to Crosby, Ogden Nash and Mr. Stillman, or whatever the hell they were called. And the frontman was Cliff De Young, who's had quite a respectable career as a movie and TV character actor; you've seen him in a million things, including the debut episode of The X-Files, but he was particularly good as the the treacherous Justice Department guy in the fabulous 1986 thriller F/X starring Bryan Brown.
Which come to think of it was written by our old pal and funniest serious satirical rock songwriter of all time Gregory Fleeman.
But I digress. Anyway, "Mr. Blue" got a fair amount of Summer of Love airplay, at least in New York; I recall that both Rosko and Murray the K played it a lot on WOR-FM, then THE underground rock station in town. I had the LP, and I really liked the song, but as you've heard by now, it's (shall we say) portentous enough to be kind of unintentionally funny. My Jersey garage band at the time used to cover it, and I recall that our bass player got a skull on a stick from somewhere and used it as a prop a la Screamin' Jay Hawkins when he sang it. I can't remember if he put a cigarette in it like Jay used to, but it was still pretty hilarious.
And bringing it all back home, as it were, I actually interviewed singer De Young in the late 80s. Very nice guy, and he told me an amusing story about how he had gotten a job as a messenger in NYC where he'd moved after the band broke up later in '67. "So I'd be delivering packages sometimes to the offices of the Village Voice," he told me, "and there I was, dropping envelopes off in the music department, where the critics had been hailing me as the next Jim Morrison just a few months before. Hahahah!!!!"