Everybody Day in South Park, 1984
The Dancing Elephants
This was the first band I was in for any length of time, and three of us - Clark Jamison, Maria Anthony & myself - occasionally perform together today. The fourth person, Ry Brown, was largely responsible for getting the various incarnations of the band started.
It all began when Ry and Clark did a concert of East/West Fusion music at the old Lawrence Arts Center in 1983 and invited me to sit in with them on open-tuned guitar. Soon afterwards they taught a class in Eastern (India) classical music in Charles Gruber's garage that Maria & I attended. After the class was over, we continued practicing together and soon we were performing Ry's original compositions on sarod (Ry), flute (Maria), tabla (Clark) and open-tuned guitar (me).
After about a year, we decided to switch to classic rock music with Ry on lead electric guitar, Maria on rhythm electric guitar or bass, Clark on traps and me on bass or organ. It was about this time that we all four moved into the house owned by the Community Mercantile on 7th and Maine and set up a practice space in the basement. What followed were several short-lived rock bands that usually imploded before they really went anywhere.
The Dancing Elephants was, if nothing else, a very interesting band. Our psychedelic rock stage was probably the one that brought us the most attention, but it was that early East-West fusion stage that I remember most fondly and that set the foundation for the Whole Earth Consort.
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