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The Nazz: "Open My Eyes"

Vintage rockin' psychedelia.

When I was a teenager, Todd Rundgren had his one big hit, "Hello It's Me". Combining pop, jazz, and so-called "progressive rock" usually results in a self-indulgent mess instead of good pop music, but he hit the balance right for this one.

I have the 45 RPM single of his first version of the song, a recording he did with his Philadelphia psychedelic sixties band The Nazz in 1968. The B side, also available on Nuggets, is "Open My Eyes". After starting with the electric piano equivalent of the Kinks "You Really Got Me", The Move's "Do Ya", and especially The Who's "Can't Explain", the guitars kick in, and along with its own artsy touches, this thing really rocks. The lyrics seem to be about falling in love while tripping, a popular theme of the time (hell, even the squeaky-clean Cowsills did it). And there's a YouTube video of the Nazz lip syncing it!

You want flower power? How about a drummer using flowers instead of sticks?

(Now that I've shown you this and the 13th Floor Elevators, I promise not to search YouTube for every Nuggets band and then blog the results. This is left as an exercise for the reader, and there would be far worse ways to spend your time.) I'd be more curious to see Rundgren's current project of fronting the partially reunited Cars if Rundgren and his former bandmates didn't outnumber the actual former Cars in the group.