|NGC-4594 – Skipping Through The Night (1967/2010)|
(1967 US, Psychedelic rock, 2010 release)
Location: Portland, Connecticut, US ~ California, Georgia, Rhode Island
If you went to UConn in the late ‘60s, or if you spent much time hanging out in the emerging hippie scene in Storrs — as the folkies and the beatniks started tuning in to the new consciousness, maybe smoking dope and even dropping acid while it was still legal, becoming full-fledged counter-culture freaks — you might have gathered at The Campus Restaurant to talk politics or debate art with the English majors, and, if you did, you might have heard someone put a single called “Going Home” by NGC-4594 on the impressive jukebox there.
NGC-4594 was, in fact, a band name, not the catalog number, nor an industrial lubricant or a chemical compound, and the band was briefly maybe Connecticut’s big psychedelic hope. NGC-4594 was named in classic hippie fashion when one of the band’s leaders found a remote galaxy while flipping through an astronomy book. They moved to New York, inking a record deal, and sharing bills with some of the era’s biggest acts. But something happened. A tour collapsed, equipment got stolen, relationships strained, other options presented themselves. And the band, with a name that one of its former members describes as “eminently forgettable,” was largely forgotten.
The group’s core members David Bliss, Chas Mirsky, Danny Shanok and Starger first ran into each other at informal jam sessions at campus hootenannies in 1964. They started making music together casually. Meanwhile, Starger was drafted, riding out the war teaching English to Puerto Rican recruits at Fort Buchanan in San Juan. The music culture was changing fast, with releases like the Beatles’ Revolver and Freak Out! by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention signaling seismic shifts in pop, the tremors of which took time to reach Starger in Puerto Rico.
The band took shape in early 1967, after Starger returned from his two-year stint in the service. Starger, who went on to write for this paper and for the Hartford Courant, returned to the area and found his buddies pretty deep into the counterculture. Bliss, who Starger calls “the guru of the group,” had shaved his head and was wearing day-glo beads. And they picked back up, jamming.
In the early ‘70s Page says he ran into Chas Mirsky from the band back in Storrs. Page was sort of star-struck. (Mirsky died in Middletown in 1997 at the age of 54. The rest of the band are now mostly retired, with some members in California and Georgia. Bliss lives in England. Starger recently retired from Manchester Community College and moved from Portland, Conn. to Rhode Island.) Some of the members of NGC-4594 were instrumental in forming something called The Tribe, a commune that lived on Coventry Lake.
by John Adamian
01. Colors (C. Mirsky) - 4:27
02. Negative Zone (D. Shanok) - 4:43
03. Take Off Your Feet (D. Shanok) - 2:01
04. Imagination Dead Imagine (D. Bliss) - 6:21
05. Bloomin' (D. Bliss) - 2:19
06. Out To Play (D. Shanok) - 3:10
07. Forever Gone (D. Bliss) - 6:12
08. Sea Ballad (D. Bliss, D. Shanok) - 4:34
09. It's Called Love (B. DeVos) - 2:28
10. Where Are You Coming From? (D. Bliss) - 3:58
11. Nova Express (D. Bliss) - 5:19
12. So Bright (D. Bliss) - 3:22
13. Going Home (D. Bliss) - 2:57
14. Skipping Through The Night (D. Shanok) - 2:54
*David Bliss - Electric Piano, Vocals
*Minty Collins - Electrified Flute , Harmonica
*Bob De Vos - Drums SlVocals,
*Chas Mirsky - Guitar, Vocals
*Danny Shanok - Bass, Vocals,
*Steve Starger - Farfisa Organ
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