The Comfortable Chair

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The Comfortable Chair is a west coast musical group that released a 1968 self-titled album The Comfortable Chair which referenced the situation, when one meditates, the experience is wonderful seated in a "Comfortable Chair". The thought came from Jerome (Jerry)Jarvis (son of the first famous jazz musician Al Jarvis, c.1940's/50's), the mentor of those in the group who learned Transcendental Meditation at UCLA. Bernie, Barbara, Gene and Greg learned as students there already in line in entertainment. Gary and Warner were in entertainment also. Tad learned another meditation when the album and film were recorded and filmed. The album cover photograph idea was suggested by the studio in reference to the dream sequence in the film.the group appeared in at the same time the album was written and much of the music was included in the score by organizer and composer for the film, Joseph J. Lilley. The studio, Bob Hope Productions, asked the group members to each select a costume representing a fantasy or favored thought of each of theirs. They also asked them to write their own lines. Some of the men in the group rented Charlie Chaplin's beach house on Venice Beach. The thought was, mediation is like a life raft, which it is in varying degrees for people. The photographer put the members out in a life raft on the ripples and waves in front of the beach house. The life raft capsized and they were all thrown into the ocean. The raft was close to shore and it struck the members as surprising and blissfully funny. Meditation programs are available for anyone interested. One had and has to be prepared at times for some culture shock. TM is a program to become more in tune and line with ones self. It and meditations in general have been abused and misused by some individuals even harmfully to other people and families, then the kind of abusiveness going on can be curtailed, even stopped completely by applications of better thoughts and manners toward others and not using one's attention to focus on other people for any reason, a problem with the media if one is not careful. Covetousness of any kind has always been inappropriate. The costumes in the photograph were all ruined much to Paramount's dismay and the funds to cover the damage were taken out of the group's payment allotment. No, they were not too happy about it. Transcendental Meditation discusses the experience of bliss consciousness, therefore, the photograph was congruous with what was going on in the lives of the group members and therefore appropriate. Lou Adler, the album's producer wanted to put a miniaturized photo of the group in the life raft in the upper left corner. That was vetoed at the time, however, it would have helped explain the photograph. As Jane Wyman stated to her biographer, the film was a lot of fun to make, however, it was a box office dud, at that time, though the producer Norman Panama said it covered itself and then some financially.

[The Doors] band members John Densmore and Robby Krieger served as producers for the sole 1968 album on Ode Records.

The group was never big outside of the 1960s California circuit. The album features all-original songs (virtually every band member contributing to the writing). The lead singers are Bernie Schwartz and Barbara Baczek-Wallace. Lead guitar is Tad Baczek, Barbara's brother, who went on to play with keyboardist Gary Davis on their albums, 'Story Road' and ,'Glassheart', (with added vocalist Richard Bowen). Both albums are documented in the music anthology periodical 'Afterthoughts'. Tad and Gary played together on other collaborations and Tad's interest tends toward classical. He writes semi and classical collections also music for guitar, keyboard and film notions. Self classified neo-impressionistic, semi-classical 'Fairytales' and his classical ballet, 'Photogen and Nycteris' are together on the same collection. The ballet is written accompanying the turn of the 20th century enlightenment children's story for adults, parodist, Christian minister and mentor for other literary figures, (Lewis Caroll and C S Lewis), George MacDonald's allusionary,romantic fairytale of that title. Gary also wrote a solo album, 'He Went 'Thataway', which included the now well known song 'Digital Hooker'. Warner Davis, percussionist and Gary Davis's brother, went on to play with 'Timber' and is currently working with Jack Demption of 'Peaceful Easy Feeling' fame. Bass guitar is Greg LeRoy, later with Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Gene Garfin played woodwinds, ie. recorder.

Songs include 'Ain't No Good No More', 'Be Me' and 'Now', written by Ms. Barbara. Baczek-Wallace, 'Let Me Through', by Keith Wallace and Barbara Baczek-Wallace. Mr. Lilley demanded two more songs for the film. Barbara wrote , 'Sunset Boy,' which became an underground hit in England. Bernie Schwartz wrote 'Princess' as his demanded contribution, also 'Some Soon, Some Day', and 'The Beast'. 'Pale Night of Quiet' by Bernie and Tad Baczek and 'The Stars in Heaven' by Gene Garfin on which there are cameo performances by not yet famous Karla Bonoff and older sister Lisa singing with Barbara B.-Wallace as accompaniment on 'the angels wish'.

The group made its film debut in the Bob Hope - Jackie Gleason comedy movie How to Commit Marriage (1969) as a varied style contemporary rock music group associated with the young people in the plot. The group appeared in the film, performing, among others, their thoughtful protest lament recognized as the anthem of the flower child, gentle soul, on going World Peace movement, A Child's Garden written by Bernie Schwartz who, when he was of high school age, played guitar and sang with the Everly Brothers Road Show and has written under the pseudonym Adrian Pride as well as collaborating on ' The Wheel' with Linda Ronstat's initial, in Los Angeles c. 1966, lead guitarist Kenny Edwards of 'Bryndle fame and Gene Garfin among others, along with further music contributions. Today, Mr. Schwartz is a well known, reputable Los Angeles psychologist helping people manage their lives, still active in music, writing, and even, as he did during the 1960s, cantoring at one of the Los Angeles and/or Beverly Hills Synagogues.

"Some Soon, Some Day", the lyrics of which were adapted from the Japanese hyku composition winner of the year, (1967), and Stars In Heaven" characterize much of the set featuring songs written with inferences to the meditations the group members were introduced to and involved with at the time introduced as alternatives to drug abuse for some as well as an introduction to states of higher consciousness (awareness), which turned out to be both experience and information based. They are a group drawing on their multivarious musical backgrounds from most every genre.Their one and only now-highly collectible record album was released on CBS-Ode Records in 1968.

Line-up[edit]

(1968–1971)
  • Bernie Schwartz - lead vocals
  • Barbara Wallace - lead vocals
  • Gene Garfin- woodwinds, percussion, vocals
  • Greg LeRoy - bass guitar
  • Warner Davis - drums
  • Tad Baczek - guitar
  • Gary Davis - keyboards

External links[edit]