Yesterday I started looking into a bit of the early Laguna Beach, California rock scene, deciding about 9 hours later that this was a huge mistake. I first stumbled on to a band named Wildfire. This band was made up of musicians Randy Love (cousin to Beach Boy Mike Love), Donny Martin, and Denny Jamison. Seems clear enough.
But soon I discovered that in 1964, both Love and Jamison played with a character named Phil Pearlman, in a band named Phil and the Flakes. Not much exists of this initial Pearlman-centric band save a few surfer songs but his influence seems to grow quite by his next endeavor, The Beat of the Earth.
Phil & The Flakes: Chrome Revered Rails [single] (1964):
The Beat of the Earth was nuts, called “The Doors on drugs”, yet Pearlman was a hippie even to hippies, he refused drugs, would rather be “high on life”, and later raised his children on a ranch with no electricity outside of San Diego. Using his band The Beat of the Earth Pearlman intended to create a single, experimental album in 1967 to fulfill the requirements of an art class he was attending at University of California, Irvine (which opened in 1965). The album became two twenty minute long tracks with absolutely no structure at all.
Meanwhile, Wildfire was playing shows on Top of the World and after-hours at the Laguna Beach movie theater, blowing out their handmade Quilter Amplifiers (now QSC Audio of Costa Mesa) during extra loud performances. The group traveled between Orange County and the University of Texas where they attended courses. They broke up in 1972 but have enjoyed a slight revival in recent years.
Pearlman moved to rural San Diego county (as mentioned above) and raised several children in a technological black hole. His son Adam found and became enamored with death-metal music through underground zines and, after several power struggles with his parents, moved in with his grandparents in Santa Ana. With the help of AOL, Adam discovered Islam and by 1998 decided to move to Afghanistan. In 2005 (now known as Adam Yahiye Gadahn) he became the first American since 1952 to be charged with treason after appearing and producing dozens of Al Qaeda videos supporting and advocating terrorist acts against the United States and its citizens.
This may require two or three more posts to fully digest. If anyone happens to own the albums mentioned in this post, or even albums remotely related to anything mentioned in this post, I would love to hear them.