Jesse Jarnow

psyche pscene, 1967-1972

Psyche Pscene, 1967-1972

A stash of 15 issues of the Chicago-based Psyche Pscene appeared recently on Internet Archive. The extra “e” in “Psyche” should perhaps have been the tip-off that its intended audience was more the Chicagoland teenage garage/R&B/soul cliques than the burgeoning head set, it still seemed like a fun browse. So, inspired by the totally diggable Fanzine Hemorrhage blog, I did, and it was.

While consenting to blow my mind, Psyche Pscene didn’t quite get me where I wanted to go. It’s pretty square. For underground history, the Chicago Seed (archived at the easier-to-search-before-it-was-on-JSTOR Independent Voices) is surely the way to go. But for scholars and fans of Midwest garage sounds from the Nuggets-bordering-on-Grand-Funk-proto-metal era, there are surely delights aplenty, and (perhaps at the expense of my SEO) reports on too many regional bands to list here. None of it inspired me to go much deeper into Psyche Pscene‘s history, but (according to this similar highlights reel), it was associated with the local club Elysian Fields. From what I can tell, it was lasted through 1972, at least.

One representative highlight are the regional charts that give a good sense of the era, like this one from Summer 1968, click to enlarge. And, of course, swingin’ photos of local soirees, with local bands mixed with touring groups. I did find some pieces to enjoy, though…

National Acts

Around Town from Winter 1968, including Cannonball Adderley, recently ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith, Earth Opera (featuring David Grisman, Peter Rowan, and Richard Greene), and a listening party for Music From Pig Pink. On the right, an early tour by the Flying Burrito Brothers, plus lotsa local news, June 1969.


Zal Yanovsky, recently departed from the Lovin’ Spoonful, August 1969.

The Beach Boys’ Bruce Johnston interviewed, December 1967.

Alex Chilton and the Box Tops, December 1967.

Parallel reports on the Stooges and Alice Cooper, May 24, 1971, a perfect compare/contrast straight outta Steve Waksman’s epic This Ain’t The Summer of Love.

Alice Coltrane appears in Chicago at Auditorium Hall with the Swami Satchidanda, Peter Max, the New Rascals, and more, a few weeks before the recently-released Carnegie Hall performance, July 1971, from the August 31st, 1971 issue.

Most mindblowing to me (in a wee cozy way) was news of a live appearance by Doug Dillard and Gene Clark in the November 1969 issue. I’d recently wondered if they’d ever gigged publicly and guessed they hadn’t, but seems like they did (on a bill with the Jefferson Airplane and the Ventures, no less, not that this photo exactly counts as proof of Gene Clark’s presence).

The Bay Area in the Second City

No coverage of my sweet Grateful Dead, but lots of scene reports on other Bay Area bands passing through, including Country Joe and the Fish (September 1968), Janis Joplin with Big Brother (Winter 1968), the Jefferson Airplane (September 1968 & August 1969), It’s A Beautiful Day (August 1969), and Santana (June 21, 1971).

Sweet Radio Ads

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a great selection of ads for radio stations and individual shows, including Triad (airing on WXFM 106.5 from 9pm-12am & WEBH 93.9 from 12am-4am), WTLD 102.2, WGLD 102.7, Daniels Den on WSFM, and an installment of Gawor’s The Live Adventures of Arlo comic strip, about a freeform DJ.


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