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A Small Bit of Correspondence
Recently (June 2002), Jon Keliehor of Bodine wrote me an email about that group. With his permission I have reproduced it here.
I've just recently came across your article on Bodine. I'm not certain when you wrote it. It's so unusual to read ANY comment whatsoever on the group Bodine. The band disappeared very quickly from sight just after the release of their first album. Thanks for your highly observant insights, and the especially encouraging review. I can remember one other positive review in the Los Angeles Free Press of 1969. The album received very little promotion. The band were largely unnoticed. When Bodine's management structure collapsed, their record label MGM, dropped the band immediately. Not unusual. Many big labels at the time employed a hands-off artist relationship policy. Without guidance or label, much confusion ensued and soon the members of the band dispersed. I moved to London, losing contact with other band members for approximately 15 years.
I do think that the music is exciting. It is fundamentally creative, an original effort from the members of the ensemble. We lived on next to nothing, rehearsing for months with no support, and invented a regional tour to bring in money and gain attention. We forged our music from a synthesis of ideas that we felt would allow us to make an essential statement in music.
Recently, I relocated a set of near-master quality, studio master-tape copies of the Bodine album. As I listened I got excited again, realizing the tremendous time we had in the studio with Billy Cowsill. He was young and so very positive, willing to experiment and try 'new' things. I've made a CD from these tapes, and essentially I have something that sounds quite a bit better than the vinyl masters. The resulting document is a real treasure. It has had such a curious effect on those who have recently heard it, creating quite a little buzz. Yes, and I'm not quite sure what to do with it, other than to make sure the original members have copies. And that's not easy. To this day I cannot locate Eric Karl or Kerry Magness. I don't imagine that MGM would have any interest in re-releasing the album. What would be the point in paying attention to this group now?
Perhaps I should mention that if you haven't seen Nick Warburtons article on The Daily Flash, therefore on Bodine, I encourage you to read it (http://www.rhinoceros-group.com/dailyflash.htm). It's insightful.
Well, thanks again, and all the best. Bye the way, is your name Syd Barrett?
For the record, I am not Syd Barrett. Good luck to Jon, and
hopefully someday Bodine will make it onto CD. For lots more info
on groups connected with Bodine, be sure to check out the link he has provided.