Almost Hits: The Music Machine, “The People In Me” (1967)

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the Music Machine included lead singer and rhythm guitarist Sean Bonniwell, lead guitarist Mark Landon, bassist Keith Olsen, organist Doug Rhodes and drummer Ron Edgar.

In late 1966, the band notched a Top 15 hit single with “Talk Talk,” which was hardly normal radio fare. Played at a speed demon pace, the grating rocker growled about being an outcast whose social life is a dud and whose name is really mud. Harsh and heavy, “Talk Talk” was featured on the band’s debut album, Turn On … The Music Machine, as well as their follow-up single, “The People In Me” (Original Sound Records), which peaked at No. 66 on the national charts early in 1967.

Fired by a commanding and possessive presence, slathered with buzzing fuzz guitars, throttling rhythms and kinetic energy, “The People In Me” mines psychology books for inspiration, as the psychedelic-tinted garage rocker speaks of schizophrenia.

Philosophical and intense, the Music Machine were also musically advanced. Here’s a band that especially made a big impression on folks like the Doors and Alice Cooper, who actually covered “Talk Talk,” and they’ve additionally been cited as godfathers of punk rock. Lasting only a couple of years, the Music Machine deserved a much longer life span. The members of the band, however, remained in the biz, with Keith Olsen attaining the most visibility through his production work with artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Pat Benatar, the Grateful Dead, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake and Journey.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" hit No. 4 on the national charts, which is ironically, one of her favorite songs - especially the version by John Lennon. She has contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Her own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • Steve

    Great catchy song and The Fuzztones’ remake of this song with Sean Bonniwell is equally great for those who haven’t heard it yet.