September 15, 2017
The Seeds remain one of the most iconic American rock bands of the mid-1960s. Their signature hits ‘Pushin’ Too Hard’ and ‘Can’t Seem To Make You Mine’ still pack a punch with both the original baby boomers and a legion of new and younger fans. Led by the late Sky Saxon, the Seeds were associated with ‘Flower Power’ at the time, but their musical legacy actually resides within the garage genre that fueled 70s punk and all alternative music thereafter. In fact, the band’s minimalist sound is probably more influential now than during their brief flash of record success.
The Seeds germinated in southern California in early 1965 with the original line-up of Sky Saxon on vocals, keyboard player Daryl Hooper, guitarist Jan Savage and drummer Rick Andridge. Signed to the GNP Crescendo label, the group graduated from a hip “underground” reputation in the clubs of Hollywood to heavy regional airplay for their attitude-laden records like ‘Pushin’ Too Hard’, ‘Can’t Seem To Make You Mine’ and ‘Mr Farmer.’ Numerous TV appearances, best-selling albums such as The Seeds and A Web Of Sound, and unprecedented scenes of fan pandemonium across the country and Canada followed.
Management pushed the copy-worthy “flower power” angle, but the act’s subsequent records such as the ambitious Future album were less successful, and the original personnel fractured in 1968. Hooper departed in 1970, leaving Sky Saxon to peddle the Seeds’ brand since the 1980s across the globe with successive sets of sidemen. However, the magic of the original quartet could never be equaled by the increasing eccentricities of Saxon.
Because Crescendo have always kept the group’s records in print, the Seeds’ edgy, distinctive brand of garage rock continues to attract a whole new audience with each generation. Usage in films, advertisements and the recent rehabilitation of the Seeds catalog on CD with bonus tracks – leading to accolades in Rolling Stone and elsewhere – has kept the band’s profile high, as has the 2015 rockumentary The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard, directed by Neil Norman and produced/written by Alec Palao. The film gathers the band further plaudits wherever it is shown.