“Sit With The Guru”

“Sit With The Guru” is the first song on Side 2 (and the sixth track overall) on Strawberry Alarm Clock‘s 1968 album Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow. It was also released as a single in 1968. “Sit With The Guru” is jaunty and poppy, with an aggressive guitar vying for supremacy with the lovely, melodic vocal work.

The relative placidness of “Sit With The Guru” comes as something of a relief after the one-two punch in the soul delivered by the preceding two songs, “They Saw The Fat One Coming” and “Curse Of The Witches”. A psych/garage classic in its own right, “Guru” is vintage SAC and one of the most typical examples of the band — that is, to introduce someone to the general Strawberry Alarm Clock oeuvre, this song pretty much has it all: the blistering electric guitar, the lush vocals (with la-la-laaa backing harmonies), the ringing keyboards, the highly enjoyable slapdash drumming, the hippie-scene lyrics… and there is even a sudden, sitar-led freakout section towards the end. All this in a perfect three minutes.

Speaking of those hippie lyrics — here’s a representative taste:

“Yesterday’s invalidated
Hip mankind on
Turn your mind on
Sit with the guru
Meditation, ooh!
High, high, where eagles fly
Leave today untouched in the sky”

Lyrically, “Sit With The Guru” is rather a jumble of such new-agey descriptions of an evening with the all-important ‘guru’ (who may be an actual person, or may be LSD or some similar drug, or the experience itself, or something else entirely; it doesn’t really matter). There is even a rhetorical connection with the album’s title and biggest hit, “Tomorrow”:

“Stretch out your mind to humanity
How many tomorrows can you see?”

In this song, the lyrics are actually more psychedelic than the music, at least until the trip really starts and the atonal, arrhythmic sitar takes over for a few brief seconds.

Appears on

LP: Wake Up… It’s Tomorrow (1968)
45: “Sit With The Guru” b/w “Pretty Song From Psych-Out” (Uni 55055) (1968)
LP: The Best Of Strawberry Alarm Clock (1970)
CD: Incense & Peppermints (1990 compilation)
CD: Strawberries Mean Love (1992 compilation)
CD: The Strawberry Alarm Clock Anthology (1993 compilation)

Right now on eBay: Strawberry Alarm Clock

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