One of L.A.’s great psyche bands were Clear Light. Their sole eponymous album released in 1967 was produced by Paul Rothchild… known for his work with The Doors and Love. The band had a “breakthrough” sound with twin guitars and drummers… unfortunately it never translated on the record. Clear Light started as “The Brain Train” in 1966 during the glory years of the Los Angeles music scene. … with Bob Seal on lead guitar and vocals, Robbie Robinson on rhythm guitar and back up vocals…, Doug Lubahn on bass (He did some session work with The Doors”) and the twin drumming of Dallas Taylor (Drums with Crosby ,Stills, Nash and Young) and Michael Ney…

Clear Light In Laurel Canyon.

“The Brain Train” paid their dues by playing all the clubs on the Sunset Strip.. Their manager, Bud Mathis produced the single, “Black Roses” and shopped the acetate version throughout the L.A. underground.. He hit pay dirt when Elektra Records decided to sign them. It wasn’t soon that the band fires Mathis and replace him with their producer, Paul Rothchild to be their manager… The band changed their name to Clear Light and start recording at Sunset Sound Recorders with Elektra Records house engineer, Bruce Botnick.

Clear Light.. Mr. Blue
The end result, though, is a little ponderous and pretentious, but strangely listenable. The big hit off this album was a six-minute opus, “Mr. Blue”, written by Tom Paxton..It was certainly “over-baked” but did have a certain odd  appeal… In fact, so many L.A. garage  bands would cover it that it became a music staple…

The band are sent by Rothchild to a home on Franklin Ave..just below the Hollywood hills… where W.C. Fields had  lived. Here is where they could write and rehearse songs for their first album… That same year Clear Light played at the first “love in” at Griffith Park with Steve Miller and The Grateful Dead.  A lot of talent in a short-lived ensemble. Dated but charming West Coast psychedelia.