My friend Tony mentioned the band Pavlov’s Dog in a comment from a previous post. I have to admit the band is one of my guilty pleasures. As much as they’ve been a peripheral part of my life, It's odd I’ve never actually seen them perform.
When my band was beginning to build a following, I overheard someone in the audience say they hadn’t seen this kind of fan loyalty since Pavlov’s Dog. I wish I had seen them but they had already split by then.
I had heard their manager Ron Powell was sent to prison for tax evasion and took the band’s name with him. They were actually called the St. Louis Dogs for a while.
The problem, and what probably made them unique, was David Surkamp’s voice. It was like Geddy Lee’s without the masculinity. It could pierce through steel.
Surkamp is a great song writer though and I love the music to this day.
When the band broke up, he moved to
Pavlov’s Dog finished their third album when Columbia Records dumped them and they lost their name. The record was called Third and I was lucky enough to find a bootleg copy. I wish it had been officially released. There’s a beautiful song on it called It’s All for You. There has to be someone else singing on it. It’s actually in a human vocal range. It reminds me of John Lennon’s last album. The vocalist seems to have found contentment, a kind of inner peace with the world.
I do have a bit of personal history with the band.
I had mentioned in an earlier post that Surkamp showed up at a party we threw at a
Their lead guitarist Steve Scorfina brought demo records
Their second record At the Sound of the
He said, “Man you wouldn’t believe it. We rehearsed the album in my mom’s living room!” “Bruford played in my mom’s living room!” Steve broke his arm and didn’t get to play much on the record. He told me he preferred their first record and I always thought that was why.
There was a huge house in
There was a young woman at the party I was pursuing. I was starting to have some luck too but another young woman, who would end up being one of the unrequited loves of my life, asked me to stop. Like a fool in love I did. Years later I did get together with her and will probably post that story some day.
Doug Rayburn, who played flute and mellotron in the band, would go on to run a successful recording studio in
In 1990 Surkamp and Rayburn got the band’s name back and released a record called Lost in
I love these pics of the band. It's perfect early 70’s pre punk innocence.