Garage Gold #19: The Infinite Staircase – Margaret / Long Hair (1967)

IS_labelThe Infinite Staircase from San Antonio, Texas were mentioned in passing in an earlier post, as band member Bobby Flores had also been the bassist in The Five Canadians of ‘Writing on the Wall’ fame. He composed both sides of his new group’s only single, released on the Black Sheap label in December 1967.

‘Margaret’ is an excellent garage rocker with an insistent main riff, catchy melody, and tantalising flashes of almost raga-like lead guitar work.

The flip-side is ‘Long Hair’. In these days when anything goes, it is easy to forget that in many parts of the USA in the 1960s young men sporting even slightly longer than normal hair risked incurring the wrath of the Establishment. So no wonder that The Infinite Staircase could write a jangling folk-rocker protesting about that very subject. The song enters bizarre territory midway through as the singer name-checks mass murderers Richard Speck and Charles Whitman, along with ‘lone gunman’ Lee Harvey Oswald, with the punchline “they all had short hair and not a flower”. And then to emphasise the point, two gunshots ring out!

‘Margaret’

‘Long Hair’

Reissues: ‘Margaret’ is on Texas Flashbacks Volume 4 (and The Best of Texas Flashbacks); the flip doesn’t appear to have been commercially compiled as yet.

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