In 1970, when I was 12 years old, Amon Düül II were releasing their second album Yeti. Over the next four years I gradually caught up and began to discover the German Rock Scene and the English Progressive scene as I started to go and see bands live. Consequently CAN, Ashra Tempel, Neu, Tangerine Dream aus Deutschland and Hawkwind, Pink Fairies aus Ladbroke Grove with Soft Machine, Gong, Caravan and anything aus Canterbury connected to French communes or any band that lived in a commune or a squat, busked or took acid – became my musical raison d’être. In those days living close to Liverpool, my friends and I, like them, also took acid as we went to see as many bands as we could afford, mostly at the Liverpool Stadium (CAN, Hawkwind, Caravan) – I saw Gong with Steve Hillage and his wooly hat at Salford University. In this time we built our record collections and formed our musical personas around the incredible music we experienced. We discovered hash, drank brown over bitter and discovered girls whilst we adorned ourselves in hip-hugging flares and rode Italian motorbikes.
Amon Düül II were one of the giants of this Freak Scene and although sadly, I never saw them live over the years, I collected all their records in all their various forms. Amon Düül and Amon Düül II, two different bands, had evolved out of a Munich based art commune. Amon Düül II, the more musically able side of the commune, released Yeti, a double album of sprawling jams and shorter wailing freak outs with edgy guitars mixed into cacophonus soundscapes, investigating Psychedelia via loud amps, pounding drums and drugs. Amon Düül, more free form and political, had a parallel existence but it was Amon Düül II that made the bigger impression. After both bands had split up ,Amon Düül UK appeared, based in the UK in the eighties featuring ex Amon Düül II and Hawkwind member Dave Anderson as well as guitarist John Weinzerl and including Guy Evans from Van der Graaf Generator (by the way, I met VDGG’s David Jackson last weekend here in Germany).
The song posted here was one side of a single released in 1970, probably between Yeti and their first album Phallus Dei, released in 1969 (I don’t think you’ll need your Latin dictionary to translate their debut album’s title). Rattlesnakeplumcake/Between The Eyes was a single only release, although both tracks also appeared on the compilation album Lemmingmania released in 1974. Both the single and compilation version of Between The Eyes were a mere 2:27. The 6:01 version here is a rare freak treat that will hopefully introduce you to the mad world of Amon Düül II as well as their other fascinating incarnations.