Quicksilver Messenger Service: Happy Trails

When I saw this video it took me back to my time in San Francisco in the late 60's when it was the Rock and Roll Capitol of the world. I had the privilege of promoting one of the hottest bands of the time, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, later just QUICKSILVER. It was one of the great Psychedelic Groups of the time, although not as popular as The Dead and The Airplane, they were incredibly influential on many bands to follow.

 

The band's name came from "Quicksilver the Messenger of the Gods." In the beginning Singer/Guitarist Gary Duncan teamed up with Bassist David Freiberg to form the group, adding John Cipollina – Guitar, Drummer-Greg Elmore, and Guitarist/Vocalist Jim Murray, and later filled out the band with Dino Valenti-Guitar Vocals and Nicky Hopkins on Keyboards. It was a pretty big group, and many other musicians came and went during the band's long career.

 

After signing with Capitol Records and releasing a self-titled album in 1967, they decided to do a Live Album. They recorded it in 1969 over several nights at both the Fillmore's East and West. (LSD legend Owsley Stanley ran the board.) "Happy Trails" perfectly captured Quicksilver's sound at the time and is considered one of the best live recordings ever, The Dead's Jerry Garcia called it "The most psychedelic album ever recorded."

 

Now established nationally, Quicksilver began almost constant touring. Between 1968 and 1975 they released nine Charting Studio Albums, and no less than 16 albums between 1968 and 1973—all still treasured by their fans.

 

Several members are dead now, but original members Duncan and Freiberg are still touring at this writing with various musicians and using the original name: Quicksilver Messenger Service. We are very fortunate to have a wonderfully restored video of Quicksilver performing their biggest single, FRESH AIR, Live at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom in 1975 with superb sound. Note the great musicianship, these guys were real pros. @therealdonrocks

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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