:: Reseda ::
:: My Lovely Star ::
Much has been written about Rodd Keith, much of it by the son he never knew, Ellery Eskelin, so I won't go into it too much here. But I will say that of all the song poem greats, Rodd's about the only one whose music I really like and respect. His peers considered him a musical genius, which may not sound like much of an endorsement considering his peers were song poem hacks, but in this case it's true.
His music was beautiful and crazy, and almost always transcended the ridiculous lyrics provided by your loopy Aunt Martha. Rodd would stay up all night in the studio, often by himself and obsessively create this stuff as though his life depended on it, and maybe it did. His use of the Chamberlain, an early prototype of the Mellotron is unlike anything you've heard before. A song like "Little Rug Bug" will melt your heart, while something like "Tahiti" might melt your brain. Thing is, ol' Rodd was into melting his own brain. His over the top abuse of Angel Dust may or may not have been a determining factor in why he jumped or fell off an overpass onto the Hollywood Freeway in 1974. In any case, I'm sure he never would have dreamt that people would still be listening to his music and writing about him thirty some-odd years later.
I'm really proud to own this record. For one thing, I haven't found either of these songs on any of the many song poem compilations out there, and this seems to be from Rodd's peak late 60s/early 70s period, so I'm stoked. Many thanks to the guy who runs Record Recycler in Torrance who, after a brief conversation about song poems produced this disk from his back room and offered to sell it to me for a few bucks. Can't beat that. And just like all of my records, no, you can't have it.