Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Golden Dawn

It's a a small, small world. A good friend of mine recently moved into the house that one of the guys from The Golden Dawn grew up in. A few days ago he (Billy Hallmark) just happened to be in the neighborhood, and stopped by the house for a little nostalgia. Hallmark, whose father was a member of The Blue Bonnet Boys had a lot of interesting stories to share about Austin in the 60s, and all of the people who stayed at/played in this house back in Austin's psychedelic heyday.

The Golden Dawn formed in Austin in 1966, and shared the same label as The 13th Floor Elevators. A few months after the release of the 13th Floor Elevators' "Psychedelic Sounds" debut, the Dawn had finished their debut album "Power Plant", but it didn't see the light of day until the following year in favor of the Elevators' second album "Easter Everywhere." The band - George Kinney (voc, guitar), Tom Ramsey (lead guitar), Jimmy Bird (rhythm guitar), Bill Hallmark (bass), and Bobby Rector (drums) - broke up soon after the album's release in 1968.

The title of the album Power Plant, which the Golden Dawn recorded when they where just teenagers, is obviously a double entendre. The band members were all piled into a bus, cruising around Austin, when they passed by the Austin Power Plant. They were smoking good, and it all clicked right at that moment. If you are so inclined, you can download the album here.

Golden Dawn will be perform "Power Plant" at Austin Psych Fest this Sunday, April 29.