The Flower Pot Men, “Let’s Go to San Francisco [Pts. 1-2]” (1967): One Track Mind

Share this:

Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of history need not be informed San Francisco, California, was the musical and cultural epicenter in 1967. Riding the wave of excitement and cashing in on the hip happenings, artists by the score created odes to the City by the Bay — including the Flower Pot Men, an act from England.

Cooked up by noted songwriters John Carter and Ken Lewis, “Let’s Go to San Francisco (Parts 1 and 2)” also featured singer Tony Burrows, who later fronted chart-topping bands such as Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, Brotherhood Of Man, and the First Class.

Blooming and bursting with rainbow-dappled vocals, angelic harmonies, and smooth and silky textures, circled by the supernatural sound of a mellotron and bright and bracing melodies, the lush and lively single could have easily been mistaken as a Beach Boys outing. Commercial to the core, “Let’s Go to San Francisco” (Deram Records) surprisingly flopped in America, but gripped the top 10 in Europe.

Due to the success of the catchy anthem, a band was put together to take to the road. Bassist Nick Simper and organist Jon Lord — who would go onto Deep Purple — played in the first touring version of the Flower Pot Men. They continued to cut similarly inclined pop-styled singles and went through a revolving door of members. Drummer Carlo Little from Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages and bassist Gordon Haskell of Les Fleur de Lys, King Crimson and solo stardom, further held roles in the Flower Pot Men.

Although “Let’s Go to San Francisco (Parts 1-2)” smacks of exploitation, with even the Flower Pot Men’s name owing a goofy grin to the trappings of the era, there’s no question the stunningly produced song is a flower-power classic.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
Share this:
Close