Surdy-Greebus


Cincinnati

Surdy-Greebus released one of the more interesting Ohio 45s from the psychedelic era. Founding member Stu Levy, now an internationally acclaimed photographer, provides the story behind the band. First, the line up:

Eugene Katona – 12 string guitar
Stu Levy - rhythm guitar
Paula Webb - keyboards
West Davis - drums
Tom Hogeback - bass
Seymour Duncan – lead guitar
Joe Webb - manager, Paula's husband

"Eugene had written Nothing New Under The Sun and we recorded it in my bedroom (pre-garage recordings). We played it for Don Litwin (eventually produced the Mushroom) and he arranged for us to record it in New York at Josie. Randy Edelman played keyboards and drums on the session. While in New York we searched out Seymour Duncan, who had played in the Orange Noise in Cincinnati that Spring. We convinced him to return to Cincinnati to be in Surdy Greebus.

We recordered the B-side, Red Room (cowritten by Eugene and me) at King Studios, using a sound track that Litwin had made (using Eugene, me and several other local musicians) for another singer (possibly Donna Weiss). We sped the soundtrack up by a whole note, added our vocal and I played “backwards” guitar on the track. Stan Hertzman et al became our booking agent. Seymour then arrived in town, Joe Webb became our manager and we found West and Tom to round out the band.

We started playing in September or October 1967. We had a light show with strobe lights; sometimes dancers would perform with us, and we ended every performance with a 45 minute version of Jimi Hendrix’s Foxey Lady, during which we filled the room with fog so thick that I often couldn’t see the frets on my guitar neck. Every club we played at thought we were going to set them on fire, and we were called the Uncontrollable Surdy Greebus. We played every place in Cincinnati once. There were also a few out of town gigs (Louisville, KY) and an appearance on a local TV show. I still have all the contract copies of our jobs.

In late Spring of 1968, Seymour and Joe Webb had a disagreement and without consulting us, Joe fired Seymour. We then fired Joe (and Paula). We found a new guitarist and keyboard player and Don Litwin became our manager.
That fall we re-grouped with a more folk-rock orientation and disbanded at the end of 1968."

Thankd to Stu Levy. For more information on Stu's photography, visit his web site www.stulevyphoto.com