This single was released on Wee Records in January 1966. It was a collaboration between Denise Kaufman, on vocals and harmonica, and members of the band The Answer from Berkeley, California, who had themselves released an excellent 45 on White Whale in November 1965: ‘Why You Smile / I’ll be In’. The recording took place at Coast Recorders in San Francisco and was produced by The Answer’s drummer Lonnie Hewitt, who also owned the Wee label.
‘Boy, What’ll You Do Then’ opens with harmonica and rumbling bassline, before Denise’s tough vocals kick in. Just listen to the lyrics: this is the ultimate riposte to all those garage songs about cheating girlfriends. An absolute stormer! The song was apparently written with Jann Wenner in mind; he of course went on to found Rolling Stone magazine.
This is one of the ultra garage rarities (a copy sold for over $5,000); there were apparently two pressings of the single, initially with a yellow label and then a red label version with re-recorded vocals.
Chip Wright, one of the guitarists in The Answer, had invited Denise to a conference organised by his father at Asilomar Beach in August 1965. She was already experimenting with LSD by this time, and it was here that she met Ken Kesey. He later invited her to live at La Honda as one of the Merry Pranksters and she took the name Mary Microgram and participated in the Acid Tests of late 1965 and early 1966.
After leaving La Honda, Kaufman played in The Frantics, a band that would become Moby Grape, before joining all-girl group The Ace of Cups, part of the San Francisco scene alongside Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, et al, though they didn’t release any records at the time.
Missing Side: ‘Chaos’ (this isn’t really missing but can be omitted as it is just the instrumental backing track for the a-side minus the vocals).
Reissues: ‘Boy, What’ll You Do Then’ is on Uptight Tonight or Girls With Guitars. It also appears on Big Beat’s compilation of The Ace of Cups called It’s Bad For You But Buy It!.