Strawberry Alarm Clock biography
Strawberry Alarm Clock was a psychedelic rock band from Los Angeles, California, best known for their 1967 hit "Incense and Peppermints". The group's name is a reference to The Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever". The band originally consisted of Ed King (lead guitar), Mark Weitz (keyboards), Lee Freeman (rhythm guitar), Gary Lovetro (bass), and Randy Seol (drums). On their first and most famous single, "Incense and Peppermints", lead vocals were sung by Greg Munford, a 16-year-old friend of the band.
Strawberry Alarm Clock's song reached #1 on the Billboard pop singles chart in late 1967, and it has since been included in many mutli-artist collections and also appeared in many films as an iconic tune of the 'swinging sixties'. After that success, the band added George Bunnell (bass and rhythm guitar) before making their first LP in 1967, also titled 'Incense and Peppermints'. Bunnell would also become their main songwriter.
Membership changes were many. which sadly foretold the band's falling fortunes. Gary Lovetro left the band before their second album, 'Wake Up It's Tomorrow', which was also released in 1967. Their single from that album, "Tomorrow", was a minor hit and their only other top 40 appearance, reaching #23 in early 1968. Although the group followed up with more LPs in 1968 ('The World in a Seashell') and 1969 ('Good Morning Starshine'), Strawberry Alarm Clock had begun to fall apart and their audience was mostly gone The group managed to keep performing in various forms until 1971, when Strawberry Alarm Clock finally broke up.
Strawberry Alarm Clock as a band has made two notable appearances in films, first in the 1968 Jack Nicholson movie Psych-Out, where they played several songs including "Incense and Peppermints", "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow", and "The Pretty Song from Psych-Out". They second' appeared in the 1970 Russ Meyer camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Ed King went on to join Lynyrd Skynyrd. Several members of Strawberry Alarm Clock reunited in the 80s to perform on oldies concert tours as well. Still, no additional albums came of that.
The original band lineup reunited one last time to perform an approximately one-hour set at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, IL, on April 29, 2007. The event was part of the last day of film critic Roger Ebert's ninth annual Overlooked Film Festival and was preceded by a screening of 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls'. Despite being unable to speak due to recent surgery, Ebert made prepared remarks with the use of a device given to him by a U of I professor.