Classic Singles #88: The Trees – Don’t Miss the Turn / Your Life (1968)

Trees_labelThe Trees were from Trenton, New Jersey and released their only single on the Bali-Hi label some time in 1968.

‘Don’t Miss the Turn’ has a fantastic bumble bee fuzz riff, druggy lyrics, neat high-pitched harmonies on the bridge into the chorus, and an all-too-short guitar break that is totally freaked out. And just to make sure there is no confusion that we are navigating inner space rather than the Trenton road network (as if there could be any doubt when the chorus is “Don’t miss the turn into my mind”) singer Derreck Van Eaton ends by insisting that he is on a “one-way trip” and imploring us not to make a “left turn here”!

Flip ‘Your Life’ ditches the fuzz and is a little more understated but has very catchy jangly guitar and keyboards, a breezy garage folk feel, and yet more of the high-pitched harmonies. Another winner and no mistake!

‘Don’t Miss the Turn’

‘Your Life’


Both sides of the 45 were written by keyboard player Lon Van Eaton, who was the brother of singer Derreck. After changes in line-up the group became Jacobs Creek and recorded an album for Columbia in 1969. This is a pleasing effort with a laidback psychedelic vibe, strong harmony vocals (not too surprising I suppose) and powerful lead guitar work on some tracks. It has been reissued on Aurora Records and is well worth a spin. After that, the Van Eaton brothers carried on as a duo, recording a couple of albums in the 1970s, including Brother for Apple in 1972 at the invitation of George Harrison.

Reissues: ‘Don’t Miss the Turn’ is on 30 Seconds Before The Calico Wall and the Off The Wall Volumes 1 and 2 CD; the flip has yet to be commercially compiled.


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