In Memory of Paul D'Alton
Word has reached this outpost that Paul D'Alton, drummer with the Patron Saints in 1969, has passed away.
Mr. D'Alton was behind the drum kit for the Patron Saints' incomparable album Fohhoh Bohob, a record made by three excited and motivated teenagers at the D'Alton's house in July 1969, right around the time of the first moon landing.
Fohhoh Bohob travels in its own independent, self-created universe, with a sort of folk-psychedelic style which Eric Bergman, PS bass player and composer, notes was somewhat influenced by British R&B, Love's Forever Changes, and The Who Sell Out.
Multicolored bees carrying traces of folk, vaudeville, straight pop, and acid rock swoop down at various points to pollinate the album's nine songs, which have an astounding lyrical maturity in their explorations of love, loss, the beauty of nature, and the joy of being high...high in many different ways.
Composers Bergman and the late Jonathan Tuttle, and D'Alton, captured a timeless feeling with this album, and Fohhoh Bohob always gives me a sense of what it must have felt like to be 17 in the summer of 1969, when men were about to walk on the moon, the formerly pathetic New York Mets (!) were winning, men wore flowered shirts, and the Beatles still seemed, to most of the world, to be completely together.
That doesn't mean everything was candy and balloons. Some of the album's songs confronted emotional instability head-on, and the teenage love affairs the band lived were often painful. The war and racial issues were never far from anyone's mind at the time, and the recent death of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones had hit the Patron Saints hard.
The album itself, balancing gloom and joy, folk and rock, electric guitars and autoharps, is completely singular. That Fohhoh Bohob, pressed by the band itself in just 100 copies, gained no notoriety at the time is sad. But the whole world can hear it now. Remaining in thrall to the ever-thrilling power of music, I point you humbly to Eric Bergman's site if you wish to learn more.
This song, Eric Bergman's "White Light," ends side one of Bohob. It is posted in memory of both Paul D'Alton and Jonathan Tuttle.