Saturday, 30 August 2008

Allan Springfield

Recently we had a holiday near St Ives. I hastily gathered cds and cdrs to take and ended up with about 40 to choose from. Every night I went back to only one album. The album is ‘the Last Ritual’. This is a dense and fascinating work that I haven’t deciphered yet. I can find very little about Allan Springfield on the web and anybody who can tell me more, please let me know. I know about Chelsea Beige, which is an album I like a lot but it doesn’t have the mad artistic passion of the Last Ritual.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

The band, "The Last Ritual" was produced by the legendary Tom Wilson, who worked with Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, the Animals, Zappa's Mothers of Invention, and the Velvet Underground, among others. The people appearing on the front cover of this album are the actual band members. That's Sharon Moe (French Horn) holding the mirror, and Alan Springfield is the center of attention, lying down. If memory serves me, Alan Springfield was from somewhere in "the south," meaning one of the former Confederate States, of course. It was rumoured he was a heavy drug user. When the project ran out of money and members stopped getting paid, they disbanded. What I always liked about this album is the great horn playing. Then, I'm probably biased as my Dad is one of the horn players. He was never that proud of it...said he could never hear himself playing; but as young kids, my siblings and I played the record over and over and came to know every note. I still have the original album Dad brought home, plus another copy I picked up in the late eighties at a small record shop down on Bleeker Street (Manhattan). My Pop never seems too keen talking about this; but I will try to ask him about the recording sessions. I seem to recall him saying the entire band was recorded together, as opposed to multitracking. Sharon Moe may be a good source of information on this and I believe she still resides and plays in NYC.

misfitmanonadune said...

Thanks for the fascinating information. Please let me know if your Dad has any more recollections

bookman said...

In the late 60's I was the lead guitarist in a band called The Cult in MYC with Alan Springfield. I left The Cult just before it morphed into The Last Ritual. My buddy and rhythm guitar Billy Gera became the lead. As I understand it their last big gig was at the Filmore East opening for Moby Grape. Ultimately, after Gera left they apparently became Chelsea Beige.
Springfield was a talented narcissistic, unbearable dick and prima donna. I have no idea of his eventual fate.

Bruce Levy

misfitmanonadune said...

Thanks for the information. Did the Cult ever record?

Bruce Levy said...

Yes we recorded one horrible 45 called Fire and Flood. I think it may have been right before Allan joined but it's been awhile so I can't remember for sure. Our agents and producers, Supraner Rothman and Supraner switched our A and B sides so the song Ms Supraner wrote was released as the A side. It was as tacky as it gets. If I remember correctly Ms. Supraner went on to write and/or produce for Chubby Checker.

Redtelephone66 said...

Mickey from the Last Ritual told me Springfield died of a drug overdose several years ago in Upstate N.Y.

Anonymous said...

Allan is still alive, he is my father. Not suprised by bookman's comments haha. He is rather humbled now but I can only imagine in teh past. I just was looking to buy another copy of the vinyl and saw this post - wanted to clarify. Half was right, he was living in upstate ny a few years ago, but he is not dead.

misfitmanonadune said...

Thanks for the information- it's much appreciated. Did your father continue making music after Chelsea Beige?

Anonymous said...

Yea, he did take a break, and he hasn't recorded in a studio in quite awhile, but it still very much active in regards to song writing. He has been having more serious talks the past year or two to try to get him into the studio to at least have him cut an EP. There is aquite a bit of material since he has recorded.

odnarim said...

The Last Ritual was and is one of my favorite albums of all time. i've listened to it hundreds of times. it's one of those works of synergistic genius which is absolutely firing on all cylinders: emotion, vision, composition, poetry, arrangement, musicianship, energy, romance, yearning, magic, and a few that there are no names for. it was very much both a product of the sixties and something eternal.

misfitmanonadune said...

odnarim, I love you description of the album. Let's hope that Allan does get back into the studio, as his son suggests he may. It would be great to hear his voice in the 21st century

Victor Wheatman said...

Just ripped a vinyl copy of the album for our mutual friend Mike Leshner from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck NJ where we, including Alan, went to school. I thought he had opened for the Grateful Dead the the Filmore, not Moby Grape, but hey... it was quite some time ago. If Alan is living in Walden, NY, we have his number!

Vic Wheatman

Anonymous said...

My dad was actually living in Walden for quite some time, but is currently in Florida. It is so interested to read all this as he isn't (not wasn't) all that verbal, perhaps for obvious reasons. Aside from negative comments about his personality, his is surreal to read.

Benjamin Itzcovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Some info about Allan Springfield: back in year ~2001, a now deceased friend (a renowned psychiatrist) here in Switzerland lent me a copy of the "Last Ritual" LP which was given by his cousin from the USA, (I believe it was Allan Springfield). All he could tell me about the man was that he’d been a long time drug addict but contrary to what I've read, it seems that he was still alive at the time. Benjamin

Dale Andersen Screenwriter said...

I wish someone would post the tracks from the Last Ritual album onto the Internet. Someone tried putting them on YouTube and they were taken down for copyright violations. But if someone were to upload them to soundcloud.com, I think they would pass muster...

Victor Wheatman said...

I have the album, but soundcloud does have copyright warnings on the front page. Also, I don't (currently) have an account....

Dale: I can send you some cuts if you wish.

V/

Dale Andersen Screenwriter said...

Thank you, Victor, for all your help. I have the album on hard drive, thanks to you. Now, can someone scan the lyrics and post them somewhere?

Benjamin Itzcovich said...

Hi Victor and Dale,

I actually am the swiss guy.

Can somebody send me some cuts of the album ?
(I have done my vinyl rip on a rather poor copy).

Thanx,

Benjamin

Dale Andersen Screenwriter said...

Email me, Benjamin. I'm at andersen.dale@gmail.com

Victor Wheatman said...

I sent a scan of the lyrics to Dale who I asked to post "somewhere" -- maybe google drive? He also has access to the cuts. NOTE that the software I used seems to have introduced pauses within some of the songs' quiet passages, and I got lazy in terms of labelling the cuts.

V/

Dale Andersen Screenwriter said...

anyone who wants mp3s of the songs or jpeg of the album cover with lyrics, email me at the above email add...