Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Beatle People: Elephant's Memory

Elephant's Memory was a New York band most notable for backing up John Lennon and Yoko Ono during 1972 (appearing as the Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band) on a pair of albums and a handful of TV and live appearances. Two of their songs appeared earlier in the soundtrack to the movie Midnight Cowboy, "Jungle Gym At The Zoo" and "Old Man Willow."

The band also appear in the 1983 documentary Hell's Angels Forever, in which they appear at the Hells Angels' Pirates Party held on the SS Bay Belle on September 5, 1973, together with the Jerry Garcia Band.

The first incarnation of Elephant's Memory between 1967 and 1968 was:

* Stan Bronstein - sax/clarinet/vocals
* Rick Frank - drums

In 1968 they briefly added Carly Simon as a vocalist.

In 1969 the line-up was:

* Stan Bronstein - sax/clarinet/vocals
* Rick Frank - drums
* John Ward - bass
* Chester Ayers - guitar
* Myron Yules - bass/trombone
* Richard Sussman - keyboards
* Michal Shapiro - vocals
* Guy Peritore - guitar, vocals
* David Cohen - guitar, keyboards, vocals

adding, in 1970, Chris Robison on guitars and vocals.

In 1969, the band had a minor hit with the song "Mongoose," a rocking retelling of the age-old mongoose vs. cobra fable.

Between 1970 and 1973 the line up remained more less constant around the following members:

* Stan Bronstein - sax/clarinet/vocals
* Rick Frank - drums
* Wayne "Tex" Gabriel (Barrett) - guitar
* Arthur Kaplan - bass
* Adam Ippolito - keyboards/vocals

adding, at various times, Daria Price on castanets and John La Bosca on piano.

The final manifestation of the band was:

* Stan Bronstein - sax/clarinet/vocals
* Rick Frank - drums
* Gary Van Scyoc - bass/vocals
* Chris Robison - guitar/keyboards/vocals
* Jon Sachs - guitar/vocals


* Island In The Sky (1968, album by Long Island sextet The Tuneful Trolley. Several members of Elephant's Memory performed the brass heard on the LP.)
* Midnight Cowboy (1969, soundtrack, "Jungle Gym Zoo" and "Old Man Willow")
* Elephant's Memory (1969)
* Take it to the Streets (1970)
* Sometime In New York City (1972, John Lennon & Yoko Ono)
* Elephant's Memory (1972)
* Approximately Infinite Universe (1973, Yoko Ono)
* Angels Forever (1974)
* Live in New York City (Live John Lennon album, recorded 1972, released 1986)


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