Local Recording Producer/Engineer Shares His Story
It was a treat to hear recently from local Colorado recording personality MC Malthus.
Canary’s Nick Spicer
MC has remained active in the recording community for many years, crossing paths and working with many diverse artists from the Colorado music scene. One of his close associates is a local musician, Nick Spicer:
Malthus: “My friend Nick Spicer was in the Electric Canary (back in the 1960’s) as well as many other local bands.” Malthus related driving by the band’s home location in a house located in the community of Sheridan near Hampden and Federal. Nick Spicer joined the Electric Canary after serving in Viet Nam, upon his return in 1968. The band broke up in November of 1968.
“Nick was also in a band called Copper Train. Copper Train was featured in ‘Tiger Beat Magazine’. That band was featured in the “Groovy Sounds from the Midwest” segment of the magazine. I helped him track down a copy of the magazine on EBay. If my memory serves, it was the June or July of 1969 issue of the magazine.”
MC tells us that Spicer also backed radio personalities Hal and Charlie during their comedy act at various local clubs as well as backing them occasionally on their highly-rated radio show (KHOW).
Malthus: “He (Spicer) was also in one of those faceless pickup touring bands that backed up famous people. He said he toured (backing) the Archies, the 1910 Fruit Gum Co., and several other one-hit wonders. Some local promoter managed these one-hit wonders and would use local bands to tour (with them) around the region. Sugar, Sugar!”
MC relates that Spicer still currently performs around the Denver and Boulder area as well occasionally in Georgetown, concentrating on jazz and pop music, accompanied by a female vocalist and a sax player.
Past Musician & Present Acquaintances
MC knew members of 1960’s Denver band Hannigan’s Greenhouse, which included Allen Brown, Dave Brown and Rick Brown.
MC was also a friend of Sugarloaf’s guitarist (also Beast) Bob Yeazel (now in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame). Another friend was a member of the national group, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Gary Duncan. Duncan was an original member of that California group, which formed in 1965. He was previously with a band called The Brogues. Over time, Duncan would put together reformations of the Quicksilver, working right into the 21st Century with the band.
Malthus: “Quicksilver Messenger Service was a famous band out of San Fran. They recorded 8 or 10 albums for Capitol between 1968 and 1975. You may recall they had a fairly large hit with a song entitled “FRESH AIR.” If you aren’t familiar with it, you can hear most all of their music on YouTube. I am also friendly with Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane, David Frieberg of Quicksilver & Jefferson Starship, Barry “The Fish” Melton of Country Joe and the Fish, and Nick Gravenites of the Electric Flag. You might say I am a big fan of the Quicksilver family of musicians.”
MC’s professional career has included involvement with Gregory Ego, Jeff Wirtzfeld, Clarinet Plunger, Reverand Lead Pipe and His Pipe-Welding Swingers, MC Malthus & Genre 136, Little Fyodor as well as working with Nick Spicer.
MC Malthus’ Journey
Malthus: “I was the lead guitar player in both Ski Vietnam and Lobotomy Council. Ski Vietnam was together about four months. We are notable because our bass player, Karl West, went on to perform in a local punk band called Dead Silence. They put out some records and toured the nation. I have attached the very first Ski Vietnam poster from 1985 (see below). Sadly, the bands listed did not play. The only other band that played that evening was “UTI.” The are mentioned in the DENVOID book. Lobotomy Council was around about four years, late 1985 through the late spring of 1989. When everyone graduated from college in Bould-aire, the band broke up. The Ski Vietnam stuff is mentioned around pgs. 120-122 in the DENVOID book.”
NOTES: Interested in Nick Spicer’s Music? Visit Revernation and search for his “Old Guy Fables” CD. –