Quicksilver Messenger Service

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Quicksilver Messenger Service is an American psychedelic rock band, formed in 1965 in San Francisco and is considered one of the leading acts on the city's psychedelic scene in the mid-to-late 1960s.

Contents

Introduction

Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the Bay Area and, through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe and several of their albums ranked in the Top 30 of the Billboard Pop charts. Although ultimately not as commercially successful as its contemporaries Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, QMS was integral to the beginnings of their genre. With their jazz and classical influences, as well as a strong folk background, the band attempted to create a sound that was individual and innovative.[1] Member Dino Valenti drew heavily on musical influences he picked up during the folk revival of his formative musical years. The style he developed from these sources is evident in Quicksilver Messenger Service's swung rhythms and twanging guitar sounds.[2]

After many years, the band has attempted to reform despite the deaths of several members. Recently, original members Gary Duncan and David Freiberg have been touring as the Quicksilver Messenger Service, using different musicians to back them up.

Origins

There is some confusion as to the real origins of the group. According to John Cipollina:

“It was Valente who organized the group. I can remember everything Dino said. 'We were all going to have wireless guitars. We were going to have leather jackets made with hooks that we could hook these wireless instruments right into. And we were gonna have these chicks, backup rhythm sections that were gonna dress like American Indians with real short little dresses on and they were gonna have tambourines and the clappers in the tambourines were going to be silver coins.' And I'm sitting there going, 'This guy is gonna happen and we're gonna set the world on its ear."[3]

The next day, Valente was arrested for possession of marijuana, and spent the better part of the next two years in jail. But Gary Duncan notes:

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