Monday, August 16, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-It's A Beautiful Day
Album:It's A Beautiful Day/Marrying Maiden
White Bird is probably the best known song by the late 60s psychedelic band It's A Beautiful Day. It was never a hit single but was popular on progressive FM radio. The success of the group was hindered by one of the more notorious managers of the era. The leader of It's A Beautiful Day was violinist David LaFlamme. He was born Apr. 5, 1941 in New Britain, CT and grew up in Salt Lake City. He was a solo violinist for the Utah Symphony and moved to San Francisco in 1962. He got into the local underground music scene and had a short lived band called Electric Chamber Orchestra and was part of the original lineup of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks. He formed It's A Beautiful Day in 1967 with his keyboard player wife Linda LaFlamme, singer Pattie Santos, guitarist Hal Wagenet, bassist Mitchell Holman and drummer Val Fuentes. Their big mistake was hiring Matthew Katz as their manager. They were not aware that both Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape were suing Katz to get out of management contracts. He was very notorious at the time. Instead of having It's A Beautiful Day gain recognition in San Francisco, he sent them to Seattle claiming they weren't ready. LaFlamme says that White Bird came from being broke in Seattle. They moved back to San Francisco and played gigs without his knowledge. They opened for Cream at the Oakland Colisseum Oct. 1968 and signed with Columbia Records and sued Katz. The legal issues did hurt them. Their debut album It's A Beautiful Day did OK But then Linda left and was replaced by Fred Webb. The 1971 album Marrying Maiden also did OK but the group never broke through to the mainstream and split up in 1974. Katz still owns their recordings but you can get the first two albums on this 2CD budget release from Sony Europe. If you're wondering about the black cover, I assume Katz owns the artwork for the original albums. David LaFlamme went solo and charted with his own version of White Bird in 1976. He reformed It's A Beautiful Day in 1997 but Katz still owns the name so it's called David LaFlamme Band. Pattie Santos died in a car accident in 1989. LaFlamme last recorded in 2005. Here's It's A Beautiful Day performing White Bird at the Fillmore West in San Francisco 1971 from the 1972 documentary Fillmore.