Pioneering 1960s psychedelic band Raspberry Parade is reputed to have heavily influenced Pink Floyd and others. The band was on the verge of success when it suddenly split at the end of 1966, after a band member was found dead in mysterious circumstances. As a result, Raspberry Parade’s extraordinary debut album Time Is Honey was never released – until now.
Painstakingly remastered, sometimes by piecing together several versions of the same track, the music of Raspberry Parade can finally be heard as it was when first recorded fifty years ago.
Accompanying the ten original tracks of the Time Is Honey album are nine rare archive tracks, including a Christmas record said to have been produced by Joe Meek.
Raspberry Parade was formed in London in 1965 by singer and writer Brian Heddon; it was previously known as The Hedonists, an R&B outfit from Hull. Raspberry Parade discovered LSD very early – most of their songs are drug-inspired and some are strange indeed. The band only ever had a tiny cult following in the UK, but became popular as a live act around San Francisco as the psychedelic scene was beginning to emerge. Their stage act was unique. In what resembled a magic rite, the band would jam for half an hour at a time, while Brian Heddon danced around his Theremin accompanied by naked girls from the audience.
Despite their recording constantly, none of Raspberry Parade’s music was ever released. Their recordings, which are extraordinary for the time, were largely made in a private studio in East London using home-made equipment. Brian Heddon constantly tinkered with tracks, adding overdubs in the USA. There are many surviving tapes, some with several completely different versions of the same song.
Raspberry Parade folded at the end of 1966 after bass player Sean Barraclough died in a controversial accident in the Grand Canyon, which probably inspired the ‘flying out of a window on acid’ myth. All the band members were deported back to the UK except Brian Heddon, who remained in San Francisco for several years. Although he continued to record solo material, none was released. Heddon then travelled in South America to pursue his interest in hallucinogenic plants. He was last seen in 1972, heading for a remote and hostile area of the Peruvian Amazon.
Released May 2015
Running Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes