Tell your story: How did you discover Strawberry Alarm Clock?

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How did you first learn of Strawberry Alarm Clock? What led you to become a fan of the band?

Were you lucky enough to first know of them during their 1960s existence? Did you find them during the 80s as a younger person looking back? Are you young enough to have found them in the internet age?

This page is a collection of stories about how SAC's listeners became SAC's listeners. What introduced you to one of the weirdest, most eclectic, and grooviest bands of all time? Add your story below!

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BetaM64
Aug 7, 2014  [77 days ago]

One fine evening I was listening to random songs on garage/psych compilation albums. As I was listening, a song stuck out to me. "My Flash On You" by Thee Sixpence. Most songs from this era came in pairs - turns out this was the B-side, so I began to search for the A-side. It didn't take long to find "Fortune Teller", which I also liked a lot. I looked for other singles this band released...[insert every Thee Sixpence single here]. Long story short, after listening to all the songs they recorded as Thee Sixpence, I became very interested in the band. It's not every band that I like all of the songs that I listened to, so I hunted for more possible existing songs. Some time while researching, I noticed the band changed their name to Strawberry Alarm Clock, and that they had a #1 hit (I didn't know this hit was I&P yet). I asked a good friend of mine if he knew any Strawberry Alarm Clock songs, and he said "I've only heard 'Incense and Peppermints'". Taking a guess that this was the #1 hit I read about earlier, I decided to listen to it. It came as no surprise to me that I liked the song a lot, much like the previous songs by the band. So naturally, I decided to buy the 45-RPM single (since at least this one I could afford). A few days went by, and an eBay auction containing three Strawberry Alarm Clock singles (Sit With the Guru, I&P again, Tomorrow) went on, so I bought it. There were other records in the lot too, but I mainly bought it for the two SAC singles I didn't have yet. Now, let's skip ahead a few months. I've bought and listened to all of their 45-RPM singles (actually I still can't find "California Day" b/w "Three"), and liked every song on there. I also bought their debut and final LPs. The only non-compilation albums I don't have are Wake Up...It's Tomorrow and The World In a Sea Shell. Every single/album that I did manage to acquire, I love every song on. I've listened to a few songs off of WUIT and WISS and liked them too. This may be one of the few bands that I like every single one of the songs they released...hence why they're my favorite! My favorite song is "Paxton's Back Street Carnival" and my favorite album is Good Morning Starshine.

Doug
Apr 30, 2012  [2.5 yrs ago]

I'd been playing guitar for a couple of years by the time "Incense and Peppermints" came out. Of course, we had to learn it right away to play at the dances, since it was a huge hit. And of course, we didn't get many of the chords and almost none of the words right. But we loved it.

Then "Tomorrow" came out, and we were all really hooked. We even bought a Vox tape echo unit to hook up to our sound system so that we could go "Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-wow-!" at the end of it.

As the years went by and I caught myself listening to the first album many, many times, I realized what a wonderful creative group this band was. The vocal harmonies are still amazing. The jazz influence is unmistakable. And who *in their right mind* would have a twelve string guitar running through an amp with vibrato, the right hand part played with drumsticks? Just brilliant.

Over the years, I've covered "Incense" in many bands, and still love it.

Edin
Apr 26, 2012  [2.5 yrs ago]

I am the only kid at my high school that listens to this rare Psychedelic music. And Avidana, I feel you, you're not alone, I listen to this, and besides eastern european music, this rare music I listen too.

Just randon, I'm southern slavic, Srpski/Српски to be exaict.

Edin
Apr 26, 2012  [2.5 yrs ago]

I was on YouTube, and I found The World's on Fire, and Tomorow, the song version. Then, I discovered the popular song, Incense and Peppermints. It was okay, but then I discovered Sit With the Guru.
So yes, that was addictive, especially last year, but I still discovered songs like Hummin' Happy, and Lose to Live.
So I now pretty much discovered most of Strawberry Alarm Clock's songs.
My favorite is Miss Attraction and Blues for a Young Girl gone. Both recently discovered.

Jeremy
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

And I'll go first.

In the late 1980s I was in high school, and had (thanks to a Steppenwolf cassette I got at K-Mart) given up almost totally on then-current Top 40 music and was looking to the 1960s.

Somehow I focused in on psychedelic music in addition to other things. In my high school library, there was an illustrated book about rock history. I went through it and wrote down all the bands described as "Psychedelic". This is how I learned about Blue Cheer, Love, Iron Butterfly... and Strawberry Alarm Clock, who obviously had one of the best names of the bunch.

On a subsequent trip to my favorite record store (Radioactive in Augusta, GA), with my parents driving because I didn't have a license yet, I took $50 I'd saved from my job at the mall and bought three records: Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd, a bootleg Led Zeppelin disc on white vinyl of a 1969 BBC session, and Incense And Peppermints.

IaP became one of my most-listened to albums for quite a while, and I soon got Wake Up...It's Tomorrow too. I also got a VHS copy of the Psych-Out movie and watched it over and over.

But the band's first album, though released twenty years prior, was also my first SAC album, and its weird, dense quality and playful looniness lodged themselves permanently in my brain. Strange to think that other people at my school were listening to Bon Jovi and whomever else at the time while I was being instructed about some other far-away but fascinating world through the magic of Strawberry Alarm Clock!

Jeremy
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

I wonder how any song can live up to a 40-year build-up!

Billy
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

I seriously can't wait for the new album!!!

Rip
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

Well, I must be the "old man" here. I saw the precursor to SAC and Thee Sixpence when I was in Jr Hi (64-66) in Glendale CA. Lee Freeman and company were performing a Mothers Oats/ The Outsiders (pre-Ohio group of the same name). They were one of the favorite bands at "Y" sock hops and did mostly covers. They great then and later as they reformed and changed members. Truly a California band.

mark
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

I heard "Incense" as an oldie on the radio in '81 or '82 when I was between 12 and 13. Then one day the oldies station I heard it on said they were playing the first album on a program called "Classic Album Hour". I was always very curious about further investigation because I always dug the psychedelic sound ever since seeing the Beatles in "Yellow Submarine" when I was 4 or 5. Later, I quickly adored "Strawberry Fields" and "I Am The Walrus" etc. I figured with their name and a song like "Incense" there were probably more "head" nuggets there somewhere. Sure enough. I was hooked on the sound right from the opening sequence of the abundantly trippy "World's on Fire",on which the Alarm Clock completely bedazzled me with their extemporaneous musicianship skills. This and "Rainy Day,Mushroom Pillow" became huge stoner favorites later in my 20's and the album has always remained one of my faves. A couple of years ago, I bought 1993's "Anthology" which opened up the wonderous tuneful landscapes of "Wake Up","World in Seashell" and "Good Morning Starshine" l.p.s. Check out SAC's official homepage where questions and comments will be fielded by original members such as George Bunnell.
Just type in Strawberry Alarm Clock on google and the page is usually first or second selection down.

Avidana
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

I'm only 15 years old (2011)so way before my time. I didn't know abut this bad until recently on Youtube. Phycadellic music is oe of the best and basically NO ONE in my school listens to this type of music and no one knows this band. Their music is amazing and they have one of the most unqiue and gooviest sounds of all time. I wish today had the same music as the 60's nd early 70's. I hope to meet more SAC fans!

Avidana
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

By the way "Strawberries mean love" "rainy day mushroom pillow" "tomorrow" "sit with guu" "soft skies no lie" "nightmare od percussion" and mush more are AMAZING songs.

Jacob L.
Sep 12, 2011  [3.1 yrs ago]

It seems everyone who has discovered them was around 14-16 at the time and has kept them as a lifelong favorite...

I discovered "Incense and Peppermints" (the song, mind you) when I was around 10. Later, at 14, I pirated the compilation "Incense & Peppermints." I liked the music, but when I discovered that it was a compilation album I was set on a mission—to hunt down all of the albums that I could! Again, I looked online and found all I needed. Ever since I listened to Wake Up...It's Tomorrow they have been a staple in my music library. When people ask me what I listen to, I say, "Oh, you know...Strawberry Alarm Clock, Sickabod Sane, the Mountain Goats, etc.," and they have no clue who any of 'em are. I actually recently accomplished something I've wanted to for a while—that is, purchasing a vinyl of Wake Up...It's Tomorrow! I'm rambling, my apologies. Point is, I'm 15 now and I hope that Strawberry Alarm Clock remains one of my favorite artists for the rest of my life. :)

Robert
Aug 27, 2010  [4.2 yrs ago]

I was a high scool senior when I first heard "Incense & Peppermints" on the radio & got hooked right away - terrific minor key, tight SAC vocal harmonies, the guitar solos, the fading "sha-la-las". Liked the SAC's follow-up singles just as much.
I was at Keesler AFB, Biloxi MS when I heard "California Day" on the radio, but no retailer had it in stock; after a 40 year hunt, I finally bought a promo-45 this week.

Phil
Aug 18, 2010  [4.2 yrs ago]

Just discovered this site. And sad to see Lee Freeman had passed on. I saw SAC in late 80\'s at Marin Civic Center Summer of Love show. Keeping the vibe alive, I play in two bands, one we do Incense(www.thebackpages.net), the other a tribute to Cream/Clapton, (www.justcream.net). So much great music from the 60\'s / 70\'s. Hope to see some SAC stuff coming out, and/or performing somewhere again. I still have all the vinyl LPS. So much great music especially in 1967. AM Radio. Keep it going, Cheers,

ANDY
Jul 27, 2010  [4.2 yrs ago]

I am 27 years old and SAC is one of my all time favorite bands, i have heard incense for years and years listening to oldies channels, but never really got into the band until about 8 years ago. Very odd and misled way of finding them, but well worth it. There is a song called lier lier by the castaways, i did not know who it was by, so on napster, i was searching bands i knew had a different sound to them, so i put in strawberry alarmclock and came up with the song itchycoo park (artist said to be SAC) it was not, i later found it was the small faces. But i liked that song so i listend to other SAC songs, first being Tomorrow and from there every song they did has become a favorite. Hummin' Happy is my all time favorite though,then Tomorrow. Thanks to the SAC for all the great sounds.

Jason Chesney
Jul 24, 2010  [4.3 yrs ago]

It was 1986 and I was 14 years old, searching through a bin of psychedelic oddities and assorted wonderment at Poo-Bah Records in Pasadena, CA. (they actually had a section for such records!)

I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just something weird, psychedelic and affordable. What I found was "Incense and Peppermints" (the orig. album on UNI) and "The Psychedelic Sounds of Kaleidoscope, Feat. David Lindley" (a comp. on Edsel.) I bought them both based on the names and the covers. Needless to say, I was not disappointed by either purchase.

My wig was certainly flipped that day. I instantly fell in love with SAC. Fantastic harmony vocals, fuzz guitar, groovy organ and clavinet, jazzy instrumentals with hip drum solos, vibraphone, and weird tunes. What could be better?

Like Jeremy, most kids I went to school with were into the music of the day and had no interest in 60's psychedelia. I was able to turn on more than a few of my pals, though. It was a magical time discovering music from that era (20 years after the fact.)I'm still listening to it with the same love and intensity today.

Joey
Jul 9, 2010  [4.3 yrs ago]

A few years ago I saw the Incense and peppermints compilation (NOT the original album) on cassette in a thrift store for 10 cents. I bought it because I liked the name but didn't know the band.

I put it in my car's player and didn't get it at first, but I listened to it some more and fell in love with the SAC! I got all the other albums I could find and still iisten to them. Awesome band!!!

That's how I got into this band. I was glad I found that tape!

Joey
Jul 9, 2010  [4.3 yrs ago]

Whoops, no edit — sorry, it wasn't a thrift store, it was a K-mart that was going out of business and had a big box of cassettes for 10 cents each. B-)

Billy
Jul 3, 2010  [4.3 yrs ago]

My friend had been into Psychedelic music for a while, so i decided to isten to it it too, because he loved it. So i first started listening to Jefferson Airplane and i loved the music. So i was looking through some Pschedelic bands, and i found Strawberry Alarm Clock, and i thought it was an awesome name.

So i listened to Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow and Sit With The Guru, because they were really trippy names. And when i listened to them they blew my mind. And then of course i listned to Incense And Peppermints, because it kept showing up when i was looking through their songs, and i remembered it off the Simpsons. And ever since i listened to those songs and more Strawberry Alarm Clock has been my favourite band, and i have all their songs, and three of their albums on CD which took me a year to find. I just can't find Incense And Peppermints on CD, even though it's their main album and a true 60's classic.

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