The OTHER HALF – ” Mr. Pharmacist ” Released: 3rd December 1966

Posted: February 15, 2021 in MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

See the source image

The Other Half were formed in Los Angeles in 1965; some of the members met in the MGM mailroom. They played covers of The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Animals, and The Rolling Stones, and their first gig was opening for The Doors. Amazingly none of the original members were still in the band when they recorded ‘Mr. Pharmacist’ in 1966 – early guitarist Tommy Lennon was drafted, while keyboardist John Branca was fired because he was too young to play in 18 plus venues. Composed by singer Jeff Nowlen, ‘Mr. Pharmacist’ was released in November 1966 but wasn’t a big seller perhaps its barely veiled drug references were too daring for the time.

‘Mr. Pharmacist’ is similar to Count Five’s ‘Psychotic Reaction’, released a few months earlier, in but it stands on its own as a great pop tune. Many younger listeners may have heard The Fall’s 1986 cover before the original. The Fall’s version is tougher sounding but Jeff Nowlen’s vocal is surprisingly similar to The Fall’s acerbic Mark E. Smith. Nowlen often adds an “uh” to the end of each sentence, just like Smith.

The Other Half released their only studio album in 1968 – it didn’t include ‘Mr. Pharmacist. Lead guitarist Randy Holden left the band shortly after, and they broke up after they were unable to find a suitable replacement. Rhythm guitarist Geoff Westen continued his music career but also worked as a graphic designer, creating the sleeve for Steely Dan’s Aja. Lead guitarist Randy Holden joined Blue Cheer for their 1969 album New! Improved!, while bassist Larry Brown found work in TV and film composing.

The Other Half – Mr. Pharmacist / I’ve Come So Far

Label: GNP Crescendo – GNP 378x
Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM, Single


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.