Bubble Puppy

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Bubble Puppy
Origin San Antonio, Texas, US
Genres Psychedelic rock
Years active 1967-1970
1974
1977
1978
1984
2011-present
Members Rod Prince
David Fore
Jimi Umstattd
Mark Miller
Gregg Stegall
Past members Roy Cox
Todd Potter
Danny Segovia
Clayton Pulley
Craig Root
Rob Hammond

Bubble Puppy (also known as The Bubble Puppy) is a Texan psychedelic rock band originally active from 1967 to 1970. They are best remembered for their Top 20 hit, "Hot Smoke & Sassafras".

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Bubble Puppy was formed in 1966 in San Antonio, Texas, by Rod Prince and Roy Cox who had previously performed together in the rock group called the Bad Seeds. Looking to form a "top gun rock band" based on the concept of dual lead guitars, a staple of southern rock that was highly unusual on the psychedelic music scene, Prince and Cox recruited Todd Potter, an Austin, Texas gymnast, saxophone player and guitarist. With the addition of Danny Segovia and Clayton Pulley, the original line up of Bubble Puppy was complete. The name "Bubble Puppy" was taken from "Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy", a fictitious children's game in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.[1] Bubble Puppy's live debut was as the opening act for The Who in San Antonio in 1967.

After a few line-up changes (drummer Clayton Pulley being replaced by Craig Root, and the departure of Danny Segovia), the final roster for Bubble Puppy settled at Rod Prince and Todd Potter on lead guitars, Roy Cox on bass guitar, and David "Fuzzy" Fore on drums. In the spring of 1967, Bubble Puppy moved to Austin, Texas[2] and signed a recording contract with Houston-based International Artists, home to the 13th Floor Elevators and the Red Krayola.

Hot Smoke & Sassafras[edit]

Bubble Puppy scored a US Top 20 hit in 1969 with their single, "Hot Smoke & Sassafras". The name was a misheard line lifted from an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies".[3][4] The single peaked at number 14 on the Billboard 100 and number 15 (RPM) in Canada. In addition, the song was at the top of many radio station playlists over the spring of 1969. The song was also covered internationally by MGMT, a popular American psychedelic rock band, and by The Mooche in the UK.[5]

In 1969, Bubble Puppy released their first full-length album, A Gathering of Promises. However, despite Bubble Puppy's early success with the "Hot Smoke & Sassafras" single, they experienced numerous conflicts with International Artists, and parted ways with the label in 1970.

Demian[edit]

Signing Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf as a manager, Bubble Puppy moved to Los Angeles in 1970. Their name was changed to Demian (after Hermann Hesse's 1919 novel at the suggestion of their manager's wife[6]); this was to avoid contractual difficulties with their previous record company but also because the former name appeared to link them with bubblegum music.[6]

The group signed to ABC-Dunhill Records and released one self-titled album in 1971, but its failure to perform on the charts led to financial difficulties with the label and the group's breakup in 1972.

Later years[edit]

The members of Bubble Puppy continued to be active in the music industry after the band's demise. Potter and Prince played with Sirius[7] during the 1970s, and Fore drummed with the Texas punk rock band, D-Day, co-writing their cult hit, "Too Young to Date".

When Demian disbanded in 1972, Potter stayed in California, working as a session player, before joining and touring with Rusty Wier's Fabulous Filler Brothers.

Prince bounced around in different bands including Deadhorse Puppy, Manbeast, and The Prince Trio. With the addition of drummer Mark Evans and bassist George Rarey in 1979, Potter and Prince reunited in Sirius.

In 1984, the original Bubble Puppy lineup reunited for performances and recordings, and they released their second LP, "Wheels Go Round" in 1987.[7]

Roy Cox founded The Blues Knights and released two CDs: "Before I Go" in 1999, and "Road To Freedom" in 2001. He formed the NYC Outlaws in September 2007 in New York City, along with Tony Saracene on guitar, Dan Curley on guitar, Cody Willard on guitar, Evan Hammer on bass, and Billy Brooks on drums. Cox died on 2 April 2013.

Reunion/recent appearances[edit]

On March 19, 2011, three of the original members of Bubble Puppy reunited for the first time in 25 years for a performance at The Austin Music Awards. The band also added Mark Miller (guitar) and Jimmy Umstattd (bass) to the line-up. David Fore met the two while playing in Austin cover band, the Kopy Kats. David and Mark also played together in the mid-70's in another popular Austin cover band, Zeus. In April of 2013, Gregg Stegall joined the line-up taking Todd Potter's place in the band. Gregg has a long-standing musical affiliation with Mark and Jimmy dating back from the early 1970s.

Bubble Puppy's recent live performances included appearances at the Texas Legacy Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas (4 September 2011); the Saxon Pub in Austin, Texas (30 December 2011); and Antone's Nightclub in Austin, Texas (13 July 2012), and numerous appearances at Threadgill's World HQ in Austin, Texas. Summer of 2013 finds the band booked in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, South Padre Isle, and at the 5th annual Utopia Fest on Sept. 20th.

Band Members[edit]

Original Members[edit]

  • Rod Prince ‒ lead guitar, vocals
  • Roy Cox ‒ bass guitar, vocals
  • Todd Potter ‒ lead guitar, vocals
  • David Fore ‒ drums, vocals

Current members[edit]

  • Rod Prince ‒ guitar, lead vocals
  • David Fore - drums, groove
  • Mark Miller - guitar, vocals
  • Jimi Umstattd ‒ bass, vocals
  • Gregg Stegall ‒ guitar, vocals

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 1968: The Bubble Puppy ‒ "Hot Smoke & Sassafras"/"Lonely" (International Artists)
  • 1969: The Bubble Puppy ‒ "Beginning"/"If I Had A Reason" (International Artists)
  • 1969: The Bubble Puppy ‒ "Days Of Our Time"/"Thinkin' About Thinkin'" (International Artists)
  • 1970: Bubble Puppy ‒ "What Do You See"/"Hurry Sundown" (International Artists)
  • 1971: Demian ‒ "Face The Crowd"/"Love People" (ABC-Dunhill)

Studio albums[edit]

  • 1969: Bubble Puppy ‒ A Gathering Of Promises (International Artists)
  • 1971: Demian ‒ Demian (ABC-Dunhill)

Live albums[edit]

  • 1987: Bubble Puppy ‒ Wheels Go Round (One Big Guitar)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • 2000: Bubble Puppy ‒ Hot Smoke (Actual Artists)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vorda, Allan (1994). Psychedelic Psounds. Borderline Productions. , p57
  2. ^ Vorda, p58
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Vorda, p59
  5. ^ "This Is Psychedelia". Union Square Music. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  6. ^ a b Vorda, p63
  7. ^ a b Vorda, p65

External links[edit]