This promotional film shot in 1967 for the band October Country was the cinematic equivalent of a demo tape intended to help the band land a record deal. The band tells the story of how the film came to be:
We were approached by Denis Hoffman who later that year backed Steven Spielberg in his 1st film called “Amblin” and asked if he could follow us around and film footage of us going to and from gigs. The life of a cover band who eventually got originals given to us by Michael Lloyd. We were working pretty steadily at that time. We worked with The Drifters, The Coasters, The Standells, The Sons of Champlin (Bill Champlin’s band. And after we got signed, The Buffalo Springfield, The Iron Butterfly, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Linda Rondstat, The Turtles (great bunch of guys), Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, The YoungBloods, The Boxtops, and a whole bunch of other folks. We DID get signed because of this film. It was shown to Len Levy, then President of Epic Records/New York. Epic Records was then part of CBS Records so we recorded the album “October Country” at CBS Records, Columbia Square at Sunset and Gower in Hollywood, California. About the same time we asked to perform the music for Steven Spielberg’s “Amblin”. Caryle, our female lead singer sang it.
Fans of South California lite psyche and folk/pop bands like The Peanut Conspiracy, Harpers Bizarre and Spanky And Our Gang should enjoy this video rarity. Watching the band grappling with the concepts of hippie culture, lightshows and psychedelia while going about their basically boring lifestyles is quite amusing. They’re proud to be squares, which considering the era was probably not a great marketing concept. In 1967 it definitely wasn’t hip to be square. But, the film is still a wonderfully charming time capsule.
October Country’s debut album has been re-issued and you can purchase it here.