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Sam Gopal






Sam Gopal CD coverSam Gopal Dream was the soft and trippy raga ensemble fronted by tabla player Sam Gopal. Around the same time they used to play at the UFO in London, Ian Willis (aka Lemmy) was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, after leaving his Mod band The Rocking Vicars.

The band Sam Gopal plays acid rock for stoners favoring the dark side. Sam Gopal fronts the band and still plays tabla, but Lemmy's voice is the loudest thing in the mix, and his fuzzed-out guitar is all over the disc. He also wrote most of the songs. This record originally came out in 1969 on Stable Records, an obscure label formed by Simon Stable. This label only put out two releases: the Sam Gopal record and The Deviants Disposable.

Midsummer Nights Dream has drums on it and sounds like Cream. The title song Escalator also sounds like Cream, but like all the other tracks on the record, there is no drum kit - just tabla and percussion.

There are 2 covers on the disc. Back Door Man is a Willie Dixon blues song from 1961. It was most famously covered by The Doors, though many others covered it, including John Hammond Jr. and Howlin' Wolf. The Sam Gopal version is not any major new revelation. It is just the same type of stripped down track as all the other cuts on Escalator.

Season of The Witch is a Donovan song. The Sam Gopal version has female backing vocals - the only sign of outside players on the record except for the drum kit on Midsummer Night's Dream.

---Carl, February 22, 2005