“Raw, exciting and really quite excellent… fans of fuzz will find a feast of it on this set. The Prints turn in enjoyable readings of ‘Summertime,’ ‘Morning Dew,’ and Country Joe & the Fish’s ‘Rock and Soul Music,’ but it’s their original numbers that really stand out… The band’s bottled-up creative energy comes bursting to a head on the culminating number, ‘Oh Color the Shadowy Distance,’ which starts out as an über-dramatic Doors-in-the-garage exercise atop a ‘Tobacco Road’-type stomp riff, before levitating into a psychedelic instrumental section that sounds a bit like Jorma Kaukonen jamming with the Velvet Underground. Thrilling stuff.” —Mike Stax (Ugly Things)
This is the story of a sixties garage band… only this one was based in Lahore, West Pakistan, where there was a small American community and a funky school in an old British Raj-era bungalow. September 1967: Skip Boyce had a drum kit assembled from various shops in Penang during a family vacation and Danny Carr had a Framus bass and a huge amp. Let’s start a band! New kid Steve Davy provided the missing link. Add his psychedelic Hofner guitar and small amp and the Great Flower Famine was born. “Let’s just play songs with three chords (‘Gloria,’ ‘Louie Louie’ and ‘For Your Love’ were the first three); more followed: Stones, Animals, Kinks, Doors. Old friend Travis “Smokey” Henderson was in the States, but returned to Lahore and joined as lead guitarist. John Sligh was added as lead singer because he liked the same tunes the others did and looked cool. By the end of the school year, the Famine was a tight unit—the best rock band in West Pakistan. September 1968: a year’s worth of new music, and new influences—Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the San Francisco groups. Meanwhile, Steve bought a Hofner violin bass like Paul McCartney, Skip returned from the States with a full set of Ludwig drums like Ringo, and a new redheaded kid arrived by the name of Richard Woodbury. His addition and a new name for the band (Prints of Darkness) gave the group a new style. Their repertoire expanded. September 1969: One addition to the personnel—Roberta “Bourbon” Kilgore as vocalist. The Prints started writing their own tunes in earnest. On May 22, 1970, they played their last show and for the first time in three years, the instruments went in different directions afterwards. And so did the Prints. In the band’s final year, several of their shows were recorded using a single open mic and a standard quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape recorder. The best tracks have been cleaned up and compiled for this release on Ravi Records, a label set up by music mail order company Metro Music. The release is a true labor of love, with no corners cut, and no expense spared on the sound restoration, mastering and packaging. The heavy-vinyl LP (180 gram) is housed in a super-deluxe gatefold sleeve modeled on the Stones’ “High Tide and Green Grass,” complete with a lavishly illustrated and annotated booklet.