Although they are best known for the high-energy rama-lama of ‘No Parking,’ the late 1960s aggregate known as GOLD was a remarkably broad and accomplished outfit, reflecting the various flavours to be found in the late 1960s San Francisco scene.
The group came together as a five piece at Opportunity High in 1969, mentored by a teacher there, Ron Cabral. The original line up featured Joe Bajza on lead guitar, Ed Scott on rhythm, bass player Chico Moncado and drummer Louie Goursau, with Richard Moncado the wild-eyed vocalist.
Gold soon found their way to top SF recording facility Golden State Recorders, owned and operated by Leo de gar Kulka. While he had recorded all the major San Francisco acts, and had maintained close working relationships with many like Quicksilver and the Sons Of Champlin, as a producer, Kulka had so far missed out on the action and so felt Gold was could be a strong contender.
Under Kulka’s direction – using the pseudonym George Benz - the group set to work on an album in the autumn of 1969, comprised mostly of originals. In the meantime, the outfit gathered a reputation in the local clubs and ballrooms and expanded their personnel to include conga player Sebastian Nicholson.
Cabral brought in his old navy buddy Country Joe McDonald to produce some tracks, which included a dramatic version of ‘Summertime,’ featuring Gold’s new lead vocalist Bob Golden. Kulka issued the song, backed with the older ‘No Parking,’ as a single in April 1970 and got some encouraging airplay. McDonald also gifted the band with his song ‘Summer Dresses,’ a showcase for Robben Sinclair, another vocalist who had begun to guest with the group.
Gold continued to record and with high hopes, Kulka tried very hard to place the band with a major label, as he had done with his acts in the past, but there were no takers. The band came to an end in 1971.
On this special digital-only release of their complete studio sessions, the first nine tracks constitute the completed Gold album as originally shopped by Golden State. Sundry other outtakes include an early alternate version of ‘No Parking,’ and a re-purposed arrangement of the same under the title ‘Righteous Road,’ along with lengthy workout on Chico Hamilton’s ‘Conquistadores.’ A slightly later solo cut by Golden, ‘Siren Lady, is also featured.
Everything has been prepared from the original master tapes and, where possible, uses Leo Kulka’s vintage mixes as intended for release at the time.