Stained Glass “Crazy Horse Roads”

Crazy Horse Roads

The wonderful world of Crazy Horse Roads, released in 1968 by Stained Glass, has been unjustly forgotten with the passing of time. The band started out life covering Beatles songs in San Jose, California. Their first single, a cover of the Beatles’ If I Needed Someone was released in 1966. It was a respectable cover of the Beatle’s classic though the flip was better, being a moody folk-rock original.

The single tanked, prompting the band to quickly release the self-penned My Buddy Sin later on that year. My Buddy Sin was an excellent folk rock song with wailing harmonica, soaring harmonies, sharp lyrics and an acid tinged production. This single failed to attract attention despite it’s quality, forcing the band to record a brill building classic for their next 45.

In the 1960’s, artists and rock bands depended on the success of the single to grant them artistic and creative control/freedom (making albums). We Got A Long Way To Go was a huge local hit, well executed, pleasant enough and professional, though betraying the band’s roots and creative aspirations. A few other decent though commercially unsuccessful singles followed in the psychedelic pop vein. Eventually the band was granted freedom to record two albums on the Capital label.

Crazy Horse Roads is a unique effort, and much different from their jam oriented Aurora album. There are some solid psych pop songs (Night Cap, Twiddle My Thumbs and Fingerpainting), soul rock (Two Make One and Fahrenheit), galloping country-rock (Horse On Me) and hard folk-rockers (Light Down Below, Doomsday, I Sing You Sing, and Soap and Turkey). Doomsday really stands out as the lost mini classic though, with some huge vibrating fuzz riffs, hard strumming accoustic guitars, tight harmonies and a psychedelic production. Night Cap is also a really good bouncy, twisted psych pop song with a British influence. You never know whats coming next throughout the album and the band’s sound resembles Moby Grape, HMS Bounty and Buffalo Springfield.

Aurora, released the following year (1969), is only half a good album finding the band indulging in a guitar based San Fransisco ballroom style. Jim McPherson, the founding member of Stained Glass, went on to form Copperhead with Quicksilver’s John Cippolina. Together they made one expensive (for the time), quality album that was overlooked in it’s day. Oh, and by the way, this album is housed in arguably the greatest cover of the 60’s.

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“Doomsday”

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12 Comments.

  • zach

    Just picked this up on a trip in Austin… had to get it based on the cover art alone… So this is a great little review. Nice work. Great record.

    Zach

  • I played with Stained Glass back in the 60’s. My band was Moses February. I can’t tell you how good Stained Glass was live Jim McPersen was an absolute Monster hell they all were. Get this LP if you can I still have the Vinyl!

  • Joe

    Doomsday
    (Stained Glass)

    Bring me a woman and fill me with wine,
    Tomorrow is Doomsday, I’ve run out of time.
    Fire and Brimstone can fall as they might,
    Tomorrow is Doomsday, I’m living tonight !

    Just’ bring me a rose petal crown for my hair,
    Tomorrow is Doomsday, let joy fill the air !
    Fire and Brimstone can fall as they might,
    Tomorrow is Doomsday, I’m living tonight !

    Just’ bring me a rose petal crown for my hair,
    Tomorrow is Doomsday, let joy fill the air !
    Fire and Brimstone can fall as they might,
    Tomorrow is Doomsday, I’m living tonight !

  • Wonder PG

    “Light Down Below” was 40 years ahead of its time- stage it today if one could get that lead guitar Rominger back…….

  • Garry

    I have the vinyl Stained Glass in original cover. Before the band signed with RCA they were playing at local venues such as San Jose State while they were known as “THE TROLLS”. The name was Jim McPherson’s nickname to many of his close friends.

  • Garry

    The name for the album Crazy Horse Roads, by the Stained Glass, was based on the photo shoot location for the album cover. The road is south of San Jose, CA on Highway 101 just north of, Salinas, CA.
    The group did alot of Beatles cover songs in their early live performances at clubs in Santa Clara County, CA.

  • Liam

    I Like this group and album. My favorite track is “Fingerpainting”, when I first heard it, I thought it was a lost Monkees song. The lead vocals sound like Davy Jones could have sung it, but then I found out it was Stained Glass and I had to track it down. Liam

  • Lew

    I knew these guys in the 60’s too. We all knew they were going to make it big time someday. it just never came about. My favorite is Soap and Turkey, the B side of Lady in Lace; one of their singles on Capitol. Rominger wrote Soap and Turkey and co-wrote Fingerpainting with McP. This was the only tune in the whole album where he sung lead. He tuned an autoharp just to play the opening lick, so all he had to do was drag a pick across it slowly. For the Light Down Below comment, Rominger is still around. He has a FB page. He also has some videos he did in the USAF about fighters — do a search for “crewtrib” and look for F-4

  • Dustin

    “My Buddy Sin” captures effectively the unique psychedelic sound that came out of the San Francisco area in the mid to late 60’s. If they get around to making a box set that captures the above sound, Stained Glass should be on side 1.

  • al

    I need help with some of the words in “My Buddy Sin”..Some parts don’t make sense to me. Has someone transcribed the lyrics?

  • Gyrobob

    My Buddy Sin was written in 1965, and copywrighted in 1966 with Beechwood Music. We recorded it in New York (Danny Davis at RCA) during a tour where we hoped to take advantage of the moderate success of “If I Needed Someone.”

    We liked what we recorded, but then were shocked by how they added the harmonica later. I still hate it. It seems to go against what we felt about the song at the time. To me it’s like enjoying a nice steak and then someone walks up and says, “Here, let me help you with that,” … then vomits on it.

    Anyway, here are the words,..

    I go to the street and a cripple yells blind,
    I pray in a church and the pastor says tithe.
    I can not help the state you’re in,
    My hand’s withheld, my heart’s with him, my buddy sin.

    Our kite’s in a tree, bring it down, children cry,
    His car is quite busted, this man needs a ride
    I can not help the state your in,
    My hand’s withheld, my heart’s with him, my buddy sin.

    Be good to be good, cried the prophet in shame,
    Then sold us fake bibles for profit and gain.
    I can not help the state your in,
    My hand’s withheld, my heart’s with him, my buddy sin.

    For my buddy sin and I, all I have is one wish,
    that we die and pay for deeds needed to be punished.
    Asking payment for my sins, it’s about a dumb wish,
    If the only life exists in the one that’s done with.

  • Rafael

    “Fahrenheit,” b/w “Twiddle My Thumbs.” Was released as the single from the “Crazy Horse Roads ” album.

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