So we left California, and ended up coming back to the heartland.
We were just reflecting our own views. I'm from Oklahoma, so I grew up with it all around me. We went over really well, got a couple encores. We learned it off the radio, and sang phonetically. Tracks like "Fifty States of Freedom," "Don't Want to Die in Georgia," "Tarkio Road," and "Song from Platte River" mused on both freedom and the restrictions placed upon it for many young people circa 1970 who were redefining personal expression in the United States.
Vietnam was still raging, and a lot of social unrest. And even though we had social commentary, we also had spiritual commentary. We knew a lot of them from back in the folk days. It was just social commentary, rather than political commentary.
As can be gleaned from those song titles alone, there was an increasing reflection of the turbulent times in the lyrics.
Tom picks up the narrative, "We'd just come back from living in California, so essentially we glowed in the dark. Tarkio Road. You gotta record it, you gotta put that on the album,' because we were in the process of recording Tarkio.
I don't know how that's ever gonna happen, but that's what we think. But to us, it wasn't political at all. Every song on our albums was just as important as the next one. But, of course, we hadn't. He came in one day, and we were working on some stuff.
It cracks me up. Other people chose to make a big deal out of it. We were experiencing that along with a lot of other people.
The most celebrated guest appearance was by Jerry Garcia, who contributed pedal steel guitar.
That route became known as their "Tarkio Road". Tarkio Road is a mother. We made Nixon's enemies list, which was a badge of honor we hold dear to our hearts to this day.
Who would have guessed? By Richie Unterberger.
Buddah [of which Kama Sutra was a sister label] signed us, because [Buddah executive] Neil Bogart at the time was known as the king of bubblegum -- you know, [Buddah Records act] 1910 Fruitgum Company and all that stuff. We were just a couple of hippies, in the heartland.