Band psichedelica di San Francisco negli anni '60
Biografia tratta da Wikipedia:
Quicksilver Messenger Service was one of San Francisco's original psychedelic bands in the 1960s. The original band members were John Cipollina (guitar), Gary Duncan (guitar), David Freiberg (bass guitar), Greg Elmore (drums, and Jim Murray (vocals and harmonica). There is some confusion as to whether or not the group was formed around Dino Valente. According to Cipollina,
"It was Valente who organized the group. I can remember everything Dino said. We were all going to have wireless guitars. We were going to have leather jackets made with hooks that we could hook these wireless instruments right into. And we were gonna have these chicks, backup rhythm sections that were gonna dress like American Indians with real short little dresses on and they were gonna have tambourines and the clappers in the tambourines were going to be silver coins. And I'm sitting there going, 'This guy is gonna happen and we're gonna set the world on its ear."
The next day, Valente was arrested for possession of marijuana, and spent the better part of the next two years in jail. But Gary Duncan notes
"That’s the story Cippolina told everybody. But according to Dino, that wasn’t the case at all. When he’d been looking for a band, he’d talked to Cippolina, and everybody somehow put two and two together. He actually lived with us when he got out of prison, and while we played some music together and wrote songs, he had no interest in playing in Quicksilver; he wanted to start his own career. Well, when his own career didn’t do so well, he had more interest in playing in Quicksilver!"
Nevertheless, whether Quicksilver Messenger Service was what Valente had in mind, it appears from Duncan's recollections that he had at least talked with Cipollina about forming a band; Cipollina remembered that
"I was recommended to Dino, probably because I was the only guy playing an electric guitar, let alone lead, at the time...We talked about rehearsing one night and planned to rehearse the following night but it never happened. The next day Dino got busted."
At the same time, David Freiberg, a folk-guitarist friend of Valente's, who had been in a band with Paul Kantner and David Crosby, had been released from jail. "We were to take care of this guy Freiberg," Cipollina recalled, and though they had never met before, Freiberg was added to the group. The band also added Skip Spence on guitar, and began to rehearse at Marty Balin’s club, the Matrix. Balin, in search of a drummer for the band he was organizing, soon to be called Jefferson Airplane, convinced Spence to switch instruments and groups.
To make up for his theft of Spence, Balin suggested that they contact drummer Greg Elmore and guitarist-singer Gary Duncan, who had played together in a group called the Brogues. This new version of the band had its first paying gig in December 1965, playing for the Christmas party of the comedy troupe the Committee.
It was a band without a name; Cipollina recalled
"Jim Murray and David Freiberg came up with the name. Me and Freiberg were born on the same day, and Gary and Greg were born on the same day, we were all Virgos and Murray was a Gemini. And Virgos and Geminis are all ruled by the planet Mercury. Another name for Mercury is Quicksilver. And then, Quicksilver is the messenger of the Gods, and Virgo is the servant, so Freiberg says 'Oh, Quicksilver Messenger Service.'"
The band began a period of heavy touring on the West Coast of the United States, finally signing to Capitol Records in 1967 and released Quicksilver Messenger Service, followed by Happy Trails. By this time, Murray and Duncan had left, and Nicky Hopkins joined in time for 1970's Shady Grove; Duncan returned soon after with Valente. This line-up lasted for one year, followed by more personnel changes until the group finally disintegrated. The band reunited in 1975, and again in 1986.
Archetypal Quicksilver songs include an elongated, multiply re-titled suite of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?", and the countercultural paranoia of the later "What About Me?"