Morning Music: Chet Powers

Chet PowersI walked through the mall yesterday, and The Youngbloods were singing “Get Together” off their second album, The Youngbloods. The song was written by Chet Powers of Quicksilver Messenger Service. But even if you are a fan of that band, you’ve probably never heard his name. That’s because he bizarrely played in the band under the name Dino Valenti; and he wrote songs under the name Jesse Oris Farrow. Curious fellow.

To be honest, all my life I’ve loved the song — but despite the flower power performance, not because of it. Powers’ performance of the song is far superior. For one thing, he just has an incredible voice. But here is a performance from 1986 under the name Dino Valenti on what looks like a cable access show called, On Stage. It’s beautiful music, performed really close to edge. After two folk songs accompanying himself on the 12-string guitar, he brings out the band and does some rock-n-roll. There is a second part to the video, if you are interested.

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: Chet Powers

  1. First — amazing live clip. What a gutsy performer!

    Second — “Get Together” brings back a lot of memories for me, so I dove down the Wiki wormhole to recall what versions of that song I heard when I was a kid. Here’s an absolutely classic thing:

    “Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the media conglomerate company Clear Channel Communications included The Youngbloods’ version of the song on a list of “lyrically questionable” songs that was sent to its 1,200 radio stations in the United States.”

    No citation on the Wiki page, so we can’t know if it’s true. But I want that to be true. It’s a genuinely subversive song and I hope Clear Channel really did recognize that.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me at all. If true, they only flagged it because it tells people to embrace love and not fear. We were, of course, supposed to embrace fear so that our government could work the dark side. The last thing the power elite want is for the people to feel solidarity.

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