Strawberry Alarm Clocks – Tomorrow (1968, UNI Records – 73025)
The Strawberry Alarm Clock are a psychedelic rock group from Glendale, California. The band formed in 1965 and called themselves Thee Sixpence. They initially did for the most part covers of popular songs. The original band members are: Ed King (vocals), Mark Weitz (keyboards), Lee Freeman (rhythm guitar), Gary Lovetro (bass), and Randy Seol (drums).
The group signed with the Uni record label in 1967 and scored a massive smash success with the insanely catchy and groovy “Incense and Peppermints,” which peaked at #1 on the Billboard pop charts in 1967. Their debut album “Incense and Peppermints” likewise did well and reached #11 on the album charts. The Strawberry Alarm Clock went on tour in the second half of 1967 and most of 1968; they shared billing with such artists as the Beach Boys, the Who, Buffalo Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, and Country Joe and the Fish. The follow-up song “Tomorrow” was the band’s only other recording that cracked the Top 40; it went to #23 on the Billboard pop charts in early 1968. The Strawberry Alarm Clock appear as themselves in the nifty hippie exploitation winner “Psych-Out” and Russ Meyer’s delightfully outrageous cult camp classic “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.” They perform their signature tune “Incense and Peppermints” in both pictures. (“Incense and Peppermints” was also featured on the soundtracks to “Riding the Bullet,” “Recess: School’s Out,” and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”) Alas, the group went through several line-up changes and failed to produce any subsequent hit songs. They eventually disbanded in 1971. However, the band got back together in 1987 and performed at various oldies concerts. More recently the Strawberry Alarm Clock reunited.
*Members have included Edward King, Lee Freeman, Gary Lovetro, Mark Weitz, Randy Seol, George Bunnell, Gene Gunnels, Steve Bartek.
**The lead singer on their big hit, “Incense and Peppermints”, was actually not a member of the band. He was a 16-year-old named Greg Mumford who was a friend of the band and was hanging out at the recording studio that day. He sang the lead as a demo and it was to be overdubbed later by the member of the band who was scheduled to sing it, but the record’s producers liked Mumford’s voice better and kept it on the record. However, he never did join the band.
***The group’s name came about because they wanted to use the word “Strawberry” in honor of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but couldn’t come up with anything to go with it. Then someone noticed the ticking of an old alarm clock that was in the room, and they just added the words “Alarm Clock” to “Strawberry”.