A handpicked musical exploration of our place within the cycle of living things, commingled lovingly by Paul Hillery to accompany the article below . . .

Before I’m gone
I’d like to see us turn the corner
and give up being spoilers of the land . . .

It is said that the global warming debate began in 1957, when a paper written by Roger Revelle and Hans Suess suggested that the growing gas emissions caused by man might increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface. Certainly, it was to be the first time the phrase “global warming” appeared in print. However, it wasn’t until 1975 that Wallace ‘Wally’ Smith Broecker published a paper that popularised the term ‘global warming’ and brought it into the general consciousness.

Within his paper, Broecker predicted that by the end of the millennium, an overall global warming of 0.8ºC would occur due to CO2 – raising concerns of the consequences for both agriculture and rising sea levels.

So it was in 1975, against a backdrop of global change and environmental uncertainty, an album was commissioned to highlight the plight of the planet – some 30 years ahead of its time. ‘Wilderness America / A Celebration of the Land’, is a musical exploration of our place within the cycle of living things. All compositions were specially commissioned for the album and blended with natural sounds recorded out in the wild – lending the entire project a conceptual air that still feels fresh today.

Eventually, the record drifted onto the radar of vinyl obsessives and selectors as several of its key tracks began popping up on collectors mixtapes. It wasn’t long before this privately pressed, art-funded masterpiece became something of a holy grail for collectors – a long lost album with no sign of a reissue in sight. This is the story of how it came to be.

The Beginning

David Riordan grew up in Berkeley, in the late fifties and early sixties. It was a time when the Californian scene was mostly composed of folk music, performed at hootenannies. A best friend at high school, who was a budding musician, taught young David to play the guitar and together they became a folk duo, replete with matching shirts and a clutch of standards to belt out. After some practice, the pair grew in confidence and competence, and began became performing at some of the local hootenannies.

Of course, as the epicenter of the beat movement, Berkeley attracted many of the day’s folk giants. Before they knew it, the two budding musicians were rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the business, including Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.

Music was still just a hobby for Riordan at this point though, and it certainly didn’t occur to him that making records was his future. The pair eventually moved away to different colleges and the duo split. David left to study at ‘California Polytechnic University’ in San Luis Obispo – a farming county that was a million miles away from the burgeoning folk scene of Berkeley. For all intents and purposes, the move seemed to signal the end of David’s short dalliance with music. But opportunity was waiting just around the corner.

Later that same year, in the fall of 1966, David received a letter from an ex-high school girl friend, describing a place that she had visited in San Francisco. A place that had loud music, kaleidoscopic lights on the walls, and snakes in people’s hair. For a moment, he thought that perhaps his friend had lost her mind. But further investigation proved otherwise, as David started to realise that some sort of movement was forming. The folk scene had turned electric. A new youth subculture had begun to spring up like the flowers it used as its motif. Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters had taken their psychedelic, magic bus ‘Furthur’ on a road trip across the United States, and incense wasn’t the only scent filling the San Franciscan air.

Talk of political and social revolution was rife when, in Christmas 1966, Riordan returned home and visited the ‘Fillmore Auditorium’ for the first time. For David it was an epiphany. Many of his friends from the folk scene back in Berkeley now featured in the line-ups of first-generation San Francisco electric bands, and active participants in the newly minted psychedelic scene. Bathed in the intense colour and sound of the Fillmore that night, David knew he wanted to part of this. He had found his purpose for being.

Pacific Grass Electric

On his return to San Luis, David began assembling his more musically-minded friends with the loose idea of forming an electric band. They called their new band ‘The Habit’, and soon enough, they were plugging in and playing shows at school parties and dances. Looking back, the most important thing about this period for the budding musician was that he wrote his first song ‘This is Love’. Recorded in the back of a local electronics store, the song was predominantly used to promote the band. This in turn helped the band attract more bookings, and gain traction. On the way to one of these early gigs in central California, they heard their song being played on the radio. The promoters were using it to advertise the gig. This was a huge deal for the young singer songwriter.

David :

There is nothing like hearing something you wrote on the radio for the first time. Many more would come, but that first time was memorable.

At the end of their sophomore year, the band broke up. It was 1967 and the summer of love had begun, and David didn’t want to be a spectator watching from afar. He wanted in. On returning to school, he decided that he would put another band together and release more singles. He had already been sending demos to a producer in Hollywood named Frank Slay for the last two years. Although all were politely rejected, Slay encouraged Riordan to keep trying – which is exactly what he continued to do. With a growing love of vocal harmonies influenced by San Franciscan bands like Jefferson Airplane, David knew it was time for something new.

The something new christened themselves ‘Pacific Grass Electric’ (not to be confused with the L.A. band ‘Pacific Gas & Electric’). The band featured David and guitarist Greg Likins. Greg had previously been a member of the Bakersfield garage rock band The Avengers, who had local success and were managed by ‘Bakersfield KAFY’ DJ Mike Lunky. Between 1965 and 1967, Likins and ‘The Avengers’ released five 45s and played support slots for the Beach Boys, the Animals, and the Seeds.

From an interview found on the opulentconceptions.com blog Greg Likins states :

We spent some time coming up with the perfect name, because that is one of the most fun things about starting a band. One of our early rehearsal places was a barn outside of town. There was a large sign on a poll as we drove into the driveway. The utilities company in that part of California was run by Pacific Gas and Electric. It seemed like a sign from God. So we became Pacific Grass and Electric.

See full article https://www.opulentconceptions.com/2015/05/the-yankee-dollar-interview-with-greg.html

The San Luis Obispo’s Cal Poly band also featured drummer Nick Alexander, keyboard player Bill Masuda, bassist Bill Reynolds and a powerful lead female singer named Liza Gonzales. They quickly began making an impact on the California Central Coast circuit. At a gig just north of Los Angeles, Frank Slay showed up and, liking what he heard, signed the band to Dot/Paramount Records.

During this time, Timothy Leary’s counter culture rallying cry ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’ was everywhere. The younger generation was experimenting with the hippie philosophy practicing meditation, peace, love, and dropping out – the LSD experience. To the managers of AM radio stations, this was a scary prospect. As a result, they had begun refusing to play records where the band name or lyrical content contained any drug references. One multi-station radio chain even announced that it would no longer play any record unless it came with a printed copy of the song’s lyrics. They proposed hiring a screening panel composed of an ex-drug-addict, an actual drug-addict, a prostitute, and a drug pusher to sift out offending songs with drug references. Although this particular approach at censorship was not notably successful, radio stations did start to pull bands whose names and lyrical content referenced drug use. In an era where records were not purchased unless they had received radio play, and on the advice of Slay, the band changed their name to ‘The Yankee Dollar’.

With the group based in San Luis Obispo, they were ideally situated mid-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the early days touring bands like Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Hendrix, The Door’s and The Moody Blues would tour by bus, and San Luis Obispo was a stop-off point on the West Coast circuit. As such, Yankee Dollar played as the opening act for all of the visiting bands as they came through the San Luis Obispo. It was a very exciting time to be a part of the music business.

As 1968 came around, The Yankee Dollar embarked on the recording sessions for their first album. Determined to ride the hippy wave and make some dollars of their own, Dot/Paramount pushed the band with a promotional campaign that touted them as the next big thing.

The back of their self-titled album has a review by Roy Freeman :

The Yankee Dollar is no accident. The group was formed at Cal Poly, San Luis, California, when members, individually, felt they had more to say than they were saying in the groups they were in. Their groove lies somewhere between the avant-garde Dylan folk of San Francisco and the show wise excitement of Los Angeles and the Strip.

Recorded at ‘Art Laboe’s Original Sound’ on Sunset, the band became a tighter performing unit. Prior to their time spent in the studio, they were a somewhat rawer proposition, with a sound more leaning towards folk rock than psychedelia.

The album featured 11 tracks; ‘If In Swimming’ was written by Riordan. ‘Johann Sebastian Cheetah’ was a composition written by Riordan, Likins, and Freeman. ‘Follow Your Dream’s Way’ written by Greg Likins. 4 tracks written by the song writing partnership of John Carter and Tim Gilbert. With 4 covers versions written by Donovan, Chet Powers, Buffy St.Marie and Dylan.

The first single release for The Yankee Dollar was ‘Sanctuary’, and was backed with ‘City Sidewalks’. Both sides were written by John Carter and Tim Gilbert and produced by Frank Slay. Frank had previously had produced singles for a host of artists including ‘The Rockin’ Ramrods’ and the ‘Strawberry Alarm Clock’. ‘Sanctuary’ received a good amount of airplay and began to rise up the charts, but didn’t become a hit. There were forces at play that, at the time, the band weren’t privy to. The debut single was effectively crushed by a very powerful playlist consultant who Frank Slay had gotten into trouble with over a prior release, also written by Gilbert and Carter (and produced by Slay) called ‘Acapulco Gold’ by the garage band ‘The Rainy Daze’. Due to its drug reference the song had caused problems for the consultant, and perhaps he saw this as his chance to get back at Slay. Thus, the single disappeared from playlists and then from the charts. The band’s second single release saw ‘Sanctuary’ re-issued, but backed this time with ‘Live and Let Live’ another Carter/Gilbert/Slay production. Sadly, it didn’t even crack the top 50.

Like many bands before and since, the pressure mounted and cracks were beginning to show. Before work could start on their follow-up album, the band broke-up, falling victim to differences of opinion regarding musical direction and vision for the future. One final single was posthumously released as a promo only – ‘Mucky Truckee River’ backed with ‘Reflections Of A Shattered Mind’. Following the split, Liza Gonzales, Bill Masuda and Greg Likins moved to Pismo Beach and formed a band they named ‘Rainforest’. Liza and Greg were to eventually marry, and continue making sweet music beneath the bed covers. David returned to school, and then headed to Hollywood in the summer of 1969.

While in conversation with David in 2019 he reminisced of his time in The Yankee Dollar fondly :

I had dinner with Liza and Greg about a year ago in Las Vegas. We had not seen each other since the band broke up. We had a lot of laughs about those times, when we made our first record together. Nothing like the first time…

Green Eyed Lady

Arriving in Hollywood, David looked up his old music contact Frank Slay. At this time, Frank wasn’t just a record producer – he also ran a music publishing company. He was one of the last Tin Pan Alley moguls, paying songwriters small regular fixed salaries to ghostwrite songs for other artists.

Two such songwriters were ‘Jerry Corbetta’ and ‘J. C. Phillips’. David joined their ranks and would write new songs every day. The routine began to shape and sharpen David’s songwriter talents – something that would later pay dividends. Off the back of the songwriting, the friends were hoping to be signed as performers and get their own recording contracts. As luck would have it, all three did exactly that. Jerry Corbetta signed to ‘Liberty’, with the Corbetta sound developing into a hybrid of jazz / rock that would later become the direction for the heavy vocal and guitar led ‘Sugarloaf’ and the band ‘Sweet Pain’. Riordan and J. C. were both signed to ‘United Artists Records’, with their albums being produced by – you guessed it – Frank Slay.

During their busy recording schedules, J. C. and Riordan found time to drop into the studio to see Corbetta. The album the band were recording was almost finished, but Jerry wasn’t completely happy. He confided to his friends that they were lacking a track that could be made into a single suitable for AM radio play.

David :

J.C. and I did what we always did when the three of us wrote together. We asked him if he had any musical licks lying around. Jerry played us the organ/bass run that would become the opening to Green Eyed Lady. We organized the music track in about ten minutes and J.C. and I went off to finish some lyrics I had been working on that day about a ‘green eyed lady’. Jerry laid the track down with the musicians who would later become Sugarloaf. We gathered up later, and our little two minute AM single had grown into a six minute album cut. Jerry had jammed an amazing organ solo in the middle of it. We didn’t think much of it; other than we liked it, so Jerry put our lyrics on front and back and that was it. The first inkling that Green Eyed Lady was something special was when the record company heard it and insisted it be featured as the first cut on the album.

‘Green Eyed Lady’ was a huge success and a surprising phenomenon for all of them. Of course, the three friends had written many records together during their time in Slay’s stable. But with ‘Green Eyed Lady’ in the bag, everything was about to change. FM radio picked it up from the album release and started playing the track in its long album form. They played it over and over again. The FM DJs were crazy for it, and their listeners agreed. The noise it had given the band on the FM circuit, built them an audience – something they took full advantage of with a ‘Sugarloaf’ tour. The momentum of ‘Green Eyed Lady’ continued to sky rocket and the record company demanded that the long album track be cut down so it could be released as a single to be played on the more conservative AM stations who would never play a five minute track, let along one that was seven.

They spent three months in the studio trying to cut the track down. Alas, no matter what they did, they just couldn’t create a revised version they were completely happy with. Then one day, a radio DJ from Texas called the studio and said he had made his own shortened edit suitable for a single release. He sent through his edit and when Corbetta, Riordan and J. C. heard it, they knew straight away that it would be the version they released.

The uptake by AM radio was not instantaneous, and the single did not become an overnight success. But it was a grower. It began to make some headway in the West Coast secondary markets and slowly built momentum. Eventually, every AM station had it on their recommended playlists and it slowly crept up the charts. More and more stations started to play the record and the release started to outgrow the band’s expectations. And, while they knew it was a great track, they were eager to see exactly how far it could go.

It travelled steadily across the country from West to East. This meant that by the time it was off the air on the West Coast, it had just been added to playlists in New York. Owing to this slow build, the song stayed lodged on the charts for many weeks and eventually, on 17th October 1970, it topped out at #3 nationally, rubbing shoulders with ‘I’ll Be There’ by The Jackson 5 at #1, and Neil Diamond at #2 with ‘Crackling Rose’. The track was a huge success in the Billboard Hot 100, and was RPM Magazine’s number one single for two weeks.

Beyond any doubt, it was by far ‘Sugarloaf’s most successful record. It has since been covered by a number of artists, has featured on too many compilation albums to list, and ran as a break theme for the Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. It even featured in the movie ‘Home Alone 3’.

David :

It was just one of those unexplainable things that happens sometimes.

At the same time as ‘Green Eyed Lady’ was hitting the charts, David, J. C. and a few other musical friends put together another band, calling themselves ‘Sweet Pain’. Aside from David and J.C. the other members included Bob Spalding, Carl Johnson, Frank Demme, and Marty Foltz.

Sweet Pain

‘United Artists Records’ gave the new band some studio time where they recorded tracks for what would be their debut long player. The self-titled ‘Sweet Pain’ album emerged in 1970, and was successful enough for the record company to put the band on the road, ‘Sweet Pain’ toured extensively as a second act to many headliners of the day and also played alongside ‘Sugarloaf’ who were riding high on the success of ‘Green Eyed Lady’.

In 1973 a second album was somewhat posthumously released on ’20th Century Records’ it was called ‘Sweet Pain Featuring David Riordan & Rob Moitoza ‎– Sweet Pain Too’. As far as David was concerned he’d already moved on.

David :

We got to live out our rock and roll fantasies in a golden era of music. ‘Sweet Pain’ came to an end in 1972. I was burnt out from the road and I went home to San Francisco to consider what to do next.

Warehouse Sound Co.

Back in San Francisco, David looked for a new outlet for his creativity. Having had a keen interest in new technologies he eagerly followed the rise of component stereo systems – which had become popular in tandem with the explosion of new music. Music lovers had begun to buy and put together their own systems which were built to play the latest far-out sounds on. A friend of David’s had pioneered the mail order sale of these systems through his company ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’

In the winter of 1969 a 19 year old Cliff Branch returned from Thailand and started attending classes at the California Polytechnic State University. While attending Cal Poly the young entrepreneur conducted other business, one of which was selling sapphire rings and stereo components that he had sent back from Asia. Cliff soon partnered with a seriously smart class mate, Tom Spaulding.

Tom and Cliff were, in their own words, in the right place at the right time. They sold their goods to the counterculture college kids, who were to be the springboard to their success. From this initial start the business grew. The two friends, along with a fellow student Roger Rohrs, decided to opened a head shop just off campus. They christened the head shop ‘Super Sonic’. Just as things got rolling Rohrs left for Vietnam, leaving the duo of Branch and Spaulding to forge a path of their own.

‘Super Sonic’ sold Cliff’s sapphire rings, along with vinyl albums and the usual head shop gear. But Cliff was fascinated by the sale of the stereo gear he had imported from Asia. The business moved forward getting deals with Sony and Pioneer and began to concentrate on the sale of component music systems.

Dropping out of college as ‘Super Sonic’ grew they took on additional business partners and opened a much larger retail store in downtown San Luis Obispo, this store they called ‘Stereo West’. They added a record store and business was booming. The growing mail-order stereo components part of the company grew faster than the retail stores. Calling the mail-order business ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ they went from strength to strength, moving to larger and larger premises. The company began to offer compact stereo components pre-packaged into complete systems that were affordable and sounded great.

Warehouse Sound Co. Logo

Tom Spaulding and Cliff Branch’s ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ had evolved into a thriving mail-order success. The ever growing company needed larger premises, and an ancient three-story brick warehouse on Santa Barbara Street was found. The once condemned building was structurally sound but they still had a tough time convincing the city planning department that their refurbishing plan was feasible. Eventually, with the building codes met and the refurbishments complete, ‘Warehouse Sound Company’ moved in.

They had administrative offices on the top floor, and a 25,000 square foot facility consisting of the two remaining floors. These were used for storing ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ products, and still left enough space for an advertising agency and a recording studio.

Branch’s writing abilities soon became instrumental in marketing their custom stereos to the younger generation. Their new high fidelity systems no longer looked like the old-fashioned living room stereos of the previous generation, these new systems were exactly what the college kids wanted.

The company had landed deals with JBL and Pioneer and started a professional products division which brought them into contact with the rock scene and bands in L.A. The sold Fender and Vox guitar amps and other equipment from Altec Lansing and TEAC, and custom made mixing boards.

Tom was in charge of the rock and roll side of the business, but Cliff often travelled south to the Troubadour to hear sets by many of the best performers of the time, including Jackson Browne, James Taylor and The Eagles. JBL used the small room of the Troubadour to field test equipment and Cliff soaked it all in.

It was around this time that Cliff connected with David. Looking for even more ways to market ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ Cliff hit Riordan with an idea. Could he write and produce a promotional album that could be given away with the purchase of a ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ sound system. David was over the moon, and immediately jumped at this opportunity. For him, it was an unmissable chance to write and release music without the need to go out on the road to promote it. David and Cliff signed a deal with Capitol which included David’s solo album and produce other albums indecently for ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’

David approached his friend Patrick Gleeson, an early pioneer in synthesiser music who had also played with a lot of jazz musicians. Patrick played a key role in connecting Riordan to a collection of amazing session players who were based out of L.A. including Harvey Mason and Lee Ritenour. In 1974, and without any heavy record company pressure, these musicians found themselves in the studio having a great time putting together the album that would go on to be called ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends’.

Cliff Branch, from the ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends’ sleeve notes :

It was very much a learning experience for us all. And thoroughly fun. From hearing David’s first ideas which he so often puts down on a 3340 in his living room – to the sessions, more sessions, mix down, editing, and final product. David Riordan has worked closely with us for nearly a year, acting a a consultant for our professional products group along with Tim Weisburg (A&M Records). About a dozen people in Warehouse Sound Co. are also on the album in various forms: Dave Delfino did some of the guitar work, along with the main background vocals together with his good friend Dan; others from just about every part of the company helped in vocal backgrounds as well as with production. Our friends at Hidden Valley Music seminars provided assorted players. We hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as we got off making it happen.

* Referring to the TEAC A-3340, a semi-professional tape deck capable of Simul-Sync recording, quadraphonic, stereophonic and monophonic recording and playback.

Warehouse Sound Sessions 1974

Photo’s taken from the Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends recording sessions.

Patrick Gleeson

Patrick Gleeson, synthesiser pioneer, photographed in the early seventies

The album featured eight tracks, seven of which were penned by David Riordan, including the opus ‘Medicine Wheel’, which was split into two parts; ‘Dialogue and Theme’. This track was to be used and reworked for both the ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends’ and David’s solo album which was also called ‘Medicine Wheel’, the theme and message would also go on to be the seed of inspiration for the track ‘Before I’m Gone’ which would appear on David’s concept album ‘Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land’.

Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends
Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends

After the positive feedback from the ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends’ album Spaulding and Branch decided to hold a massive party. In keeping with their brand ethos they transformed the ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ rear parking lot and roof space into a concert venue. It also gave them the opportunity to test the $55,000 PA sound system they had put together for the Christian touring group ‘Up with People’. It was to be used during their 1976 ‘Super Bowl’ halftime performance.

David :

Tom showed off his new sound system and Tim and I did sets. Tim had played on my Capital album. I remember the Capital folks being there but I don’t think Medicine Wheel was out yet.

Read more here: https://www.sanluisobispo.com

Image of David Riordan and Tim Weisberg playing at the Warehouse Sound Co. concert at Railroad Square 1975 05-26

David Riordan and Tim Weisberg playing at the Warehouse Sound Co. concert at Railroad Square on the 26th May 1975

David and his friend ‘Tim Weisberg’ performed at Railroad Square, with the free concert attracting thousands. The massive crowd seemingly shutting down half of the town. The fantastic day of music was enjoyed by all, no one fell off the roof and they even had an airplane pulling banner advertisements in the sky. It all went off without a hitch until Cliff Branch was called down to the police station, it seems that in all the excitement, no one had applied for a permit.

Cliff Branch, in partnership with Capital Records, went on to release two further ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends’ albums. This time though ’Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends Vol. II’ and ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends Vol. III’ featured a compilation of various artists but each release did featur a David Riordan solo recording, those being ‘Day In The Sunshine’ and ‘Hold Me’ respectively.

With Capital Records working closely with Cliff Branch on the ‘Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends’ compilation albums it wasn’t long before they approached Riordan with an offer of studio session time and his first solo release.

David Riordan ‎– Medicine Wheel Capitol Records ‎– ST-11349

These sessions would become the aformentioned ‘Medicine Wheel’ album, featuring a host of tracks based around the ‘Warehouse Sound’ and using some of the same session musicians. These included; Tim Weisburg on Flute; Charles Larkey, Jim Hugart, and Reine Prass on Bass; Gus Gustavson on Clavinet and Electric Piano; Harvey Mason on Drums; Carl Johnson and Lee Ritenour on Electric Guitar; Tom Morgan on Harmonica; Lyn Blessing on the Organ; Glen Cronkite on Percussion; David Paich, Mike Melvoin, and Tom Salisbury on Piano; Robert Giltridge on Steel Drums; with Backing Vocals by Dan Lambert, David Delfino, and Michale Dalein; and all arranged and conducted by Pat Gleeson. Despite this prestigious line-up of luminaries, David’s heart was not 100% in to the project. It was now 1975, and the record industry had changed, transforming from a smaller, regional endeavor into a global powerhouse that the suits now ran like big business.

David :

Not that you couldn’t make money before that but the pop music business I was in was really small in comparison. There were basically seven major record companies and in my day in the late sixties and early seventies you could make a demo for about $250 and have the expectation the A&R departments would listen to it. If they liked it, it would be on the street three weeks later. Radio also changed. I really loved the regional aspect of radio when I was touring. The jocks were real personalities (like Wolf Man Jack) and knew a lot about music. By the mid- seventies, airplay was being governed more by watered down national play lists and it just lost some of the magic for me. Touring also became a big venue business. There was so much cash, that to get signed in the mid-seventies you needed big management etc. It was just not for me. I would play in all those companies later in my interactive entertainment career, but in the seventies I just didn’t have any desire for the corporate media circus.

At this point in his life, David had no plans to go back on the road. Besides which, he had become very interested in film and creating albums with long form tracks that could build a narrative and tell a story. David’s attention turned to the concept album. He produced two in quick succession; ‘Christmas in San Francisco’ and ‘Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land’. With both projects being funded by arts foundation grants David was given the freedom to experiment and play with the longer conceptual tracks, which he did in both vocal and instrumental forms.

Christmas In San Francisco
Christmas In San Francisco

‘Christmas in San Francisco’ was a concept album that San Francisco’s ‘Embarcadero Arts Foundation’ funded. Half the album was recorded in the ‘Grace Cathedral’, which David found to be one of the most amazing acoustic spaces he would ever play. Riordan’s friend and collaborator Pat Gleason created the synth tracks in the studio and these were then over dubbed with the choirs in ‘Grace Cathedral’. The rest of the album was recorded in the diverse neighbourhoods around San Francisco. The song ‘Sing a Song of Christmas’ written and performed by David also received some local radio air play. Everyone invloved was pleased with the finished result and quickly David moved on to his next musical project.

Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land

Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land

Emily DeSpain Polk was born in Aberdeen, Washington, United States, on July 6, 1910 and raised on a country ranch in central Oregon. She said that her love affair with the earth had begun while being carried in a knapsack on her father’s back when she was just 8 weeks old. In a life that would span more than nine decades the artist, designer, author, and poets achievements in conservation were recognised when, in 1995, she was added to the ‘Women of Achievement’ section of the United States Library of Congress.

Back in 1970 Polk wrote an essay inviting California residents to participate in a groundbreaking conservationist group.

She wrote :

The unfashionable comments I’m going to make may seem soft-headed. Nevertheless, at this time of world history, a sense of perspective can only be achieved by saying a few unfashionable things, and a swift look at eternity is about as unfashionable a subject as one could wish.

Read an article about Emily DeSpain Polk here: https://www.newtimesslo.com

Christening the new group SWAP, for Small Wilderness Area Preservation, Polk would soon find herself on the front line trying to save one of the oldest forests in California. That forest is the Los Osos Oaks State Reserve, and the saving of that small, wild space was the first of the ‘SWAP’ group’s many success stories throughout California in the 1970’s. During that decade, Polk and her conservation teams identified and saved thousands of acres across the state of California all in danger of being destroyed to make way for more homes, shopping malls, and businesses.

With the promise of a grant from the ‘Bank of America Foundation’ she began a project to produce a promotional album of nature songs. To get the funding approved she would need to source a musician of some caliber. Contacting Cliff Branch from ‘Warehouse Sound Co.’ she enquired if he knew of any musicians who would be interested in taking the lead of the environmental musical project. Cliff told her the man she was looking for was David Riordan. The project felt right for David, his mother had introduced him early to the natural world, and it was the first place he found a divine spirit. He agreed to participate. With a recording artist on board the funding from the ‘Bank of America Foundation’ was secured and the project went ahead. Cliff Branch would be credited as an executive producer with Riordan being given full artistic freedom to manage the writing and production of the album.

Emily Polk with Cliff Branch from Warehouse Sound Co.

Paul Hillery caught up with with Cliff Branch in February 2020. Cliff :

I first saw David performing in concert at the university. I believe we had mutual friends. It’s been 50 years – so I can’t remember the details of our first meeting, but I knew Emily Polk well – and David had an interest in helping to preserve natural environments so we all got together. David was very passionate about saving our environment long before it was fashionable. David suggested doing an album, and Warehouse Sound Co. had a recording studio.

David Riordan, Peter Scott, and Tom Salisbury

Riordan, along with Peter Scott, a music producer friend in San Francisco, began to piece together an idea for the concept album. With the hope that it would raise the profile and raise funds for the ‘Small Wilderness Area Preservation’ group.

David :

All my life, my writing retreats were always in natural places. I wrote most of the lyrics for this album on a road trip through all my favourite western US nature places. So, this was a theme close to my heart. In spite of where we find ourselves now, I am hopeful we are slowly changing our relationship with the natural world. The Climate crisis may ‘encourage’ us to move faster.

The album was to be called ‘Wilderness America / A Celebration of the Land’, and was a musical exploration of our place within the cycle of living things. All compositions were specially commissioned for the album and blended with natural sounds recorded in the wild. All proceeds from the album would be used to help preserve and protect the environment.

Production was made possible with the grant from the ‘Bank of America Foundation’, with additional funding from co-sponsoring organisations including :

Defenders Of Wildlife
Friends Of The Sea Otter
National Parks and Conservation Association
Sierra Club
Small Wilderness Area Preservation
The Wilderness Society
National Adudubon Society

The album was recorded and mixed at Beggs / AZ, San Francisco by Richard Beggs assisted by Jenny Marlow. With additional done at: Golden West Recorders, Los Angeles (Bruce Ablin); Different Fur Music, San Francisco (John Vierra); Wally Heider’s Studio C, San Francisco (Ken Hopkins).

The full track list to the album is :

A1 Dawn
A2 Metropolis
A3 Water Cycle
A4 Mountain

B1 Manchild
B2 Flight Of The Egret
B3 Windsong
B4 Before I’m Gone
B5 Manchild

‘Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land’ opens with the track ‘Dawn’ which was written and performed by Iasos, one of David’s contemporaries, and a good friend who was also from the Bay Area. This track was the albums atmospheric introduction and is followed by a song, whose originally title was ‘Living in the City’. Written by David and it became ‘Metropolis’. Sung by Walter Hawkins a gospel singer of some note. Hawkins had actually become part of the project quite by chance when David had asked his friend Patrick Gleeson if he knew of any R&B/Gospel singers in the Bay Area. Gleeson went on to introduce Walter, a singer he knew from the famous gospel family of Edwin Hawkins. David found working with Hawkins to be a real joy, and his effervescent interpretation of ‘Metropolis’ still remains one of his favourite cuts from the album.

Other than ‘Metropolis’, which was recorded in LA, the rest of ‘Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land’ was recorded at the San Francisco studio of Francis Ford Coppola. Interestingly enough, at the time ‘Wilderness’ was being recorded, Coppola was filming ‘Apocalypse Now’ – so in between studio sessions, the musicians were able to view the seemingly never-ending film rushes arriving from the Philippines.

Tom Salisbury conducting the ‘Water Cycle’ session

‘Water Cycle’ which was arranged and conducted by Tom Salisbury, who would also play the Piano and Synthesizer Harp on the track, starts with a lone flute that evokes the fragility of the woodland and the drip dropping sound of water, it builds from a stream to rolling river, and finally comes to rest on pastures adorned with birdsong and the sound of wonder. The track contains performances from :

Teresa Adams on Cello
Dan Patiris on English Horn
Patrick Fawcett and Jere B. O’Boyle on Flute
John H. Krueger, Jr. on French Horn
Randal G. Pratt on Harp
Glen Cronkhite on Percussion
Elizabeth Bell and Miriam Dye on Viola
Carl Pederson, Emily Van Valkenburg, Nathan Rubin, and Roy Malan as the Violin Quartet

‘Mountain’ features string arrangements by Ed Bogas with Riordan writing and taking the vocal lead.

Before me she stands
like a long lost friend
revealing only what she wants to.
She’s hard to comprehend.
My years to her are seconds
in the blinking of her eyes.
She whispers gentle warnings
as she stands against the sky

mountain, mountain, mountain . . .

For the track ‘Manchild’ composed again by Riordan we have vocal backing by Lynette Hawkins, Tremaine Hawkins, M.L. Benoit, and Roberta Vandenunt, with Caryn Robin taking the vocal lead.

‘Flight Of The Egret’ is a wonderful instrumental based around the vibraphone, composed and played by Glen Cronkhite.

The instrumental leads into ‘Windsong’ with Cronkhite now taking percussive lead and picking up the pace. Vocal duties performed by Ann Hughes, Duane Sousa, Gary Roda, and Pat Hubbard.

lift my mind.
It’s been too long,
Windsong . . .
You are the air
I want to share
with someone else
before I’m gone . . .

Next is ‘Before I’m Gone’ and Riordan’s cry for people to act before it is too late. During the production of the album David received a tape from some of the researchers, it contained recordings of wolves out in the wilderness. With fortuitous grace these recordings were the same key being used on the track ‘Before I’m Gone’. The addition of these recordings added an unforgettable atmosphere to the track, which also featured Glen Cronkhite on percussion. Composer Riordan would take vocal and guitar leads. The strings were wonderfully arranged by Ed Bogus.

The album ends with a short reprise of ‘Manchild’ featuring a choir consisting of Caryn Robin, Ed Bogas, Jane Riordan, Lynette Hawkins, M.L. Benoit, Roberta Vandenunt, Peter Scott, and Tremaine Hawkins. Composed again by Riordan, who also takes lead vocal and play’s electric piano, the album fades out.

The whole album features some truly great session musicians who give wonderful performances, these include…

Patrick Gleeson on string arrangements and conducting
Ed Bogas on string arrangements, piano and backing vocals
Rob Moitoza and Doug Lunn on Bass
Lee Pastora on Congas
Harvey Mason and Gaylord Birch on Drums
Lee Retenoir and John Blakeley on Guitar
Mike Melvoin on Piano
Glen Cronkhite on Percussion
Mel Martin on Soprano Saxophone and Alto Flute
John McFee on the Pedal Steel Guitar

As the finishing touches were added to ‘Wilderness’, David began to realise that on some level this environmental concept album would be his last. After 10 years in the music business he was still enjoying the storytelling part of the songwriter, but he no longer had the heart for the recording business and knew he could not go back out on the road.

David :

The end had been coming for a while. I did not want to go back on the road and I was beginning to think my new songs were stale. I was interested in the film business and other things, so when this commission from the Bank of America Foundation came up to benefit seven different environmental organizations I saw it as sort of a swan song. The album was released through the environmental groups in early 1975. It made them a bunch of money through donations which I liked, and it introduced me to others in the marine environmental world that eventually would lead to us doing Google Ocean together in 2008 and going on many diving expeditions, swimming with whales, etc…

The album was well received but it took 30 years from its initial release to get the praise it deserved. Thanks to the inclusion of album tracks, especially ‘Metropolis’ onto DJ mixes, the album found it’s way into vinyl collectors wants list’s. The album’s profile was finally raised – along with the new price it began to command on the collectors’ market. Tracks from the ‘Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land’ eventually found their way onto commercially released compilations albums, including the superb ‘Psychemagik Presents Magik Sunrise’, and more recently on the exhaustive compilation ‘Visible and Invisible Persons Distributed In Space’ on ‘Numero Group’.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Just as ‘Wilderness’ was wrapped up, a friend of David’s from Hollywood suggested that he should come out and join him, producing films. This seemed much closer to the direction David wanted to move in, and so he took the friend up on his offer.

The storyteller in David that had been nurtured and honed in musical writing now had a new muse – film. As one grizzled movie veteran once told David, “kid, this is the greatest medium in the world. I can type out some imaginary scene today, and the next day we are creating it.” But David still wasn’t satisfied. He soon realised that although producing movies was a great thing to be doing, it just wasn’t feeding his creative side as much as he had thought it might. He enjoyed throwing all the elements together, but it was always someone else’s work. Lamenting this fact, it was during a lunch with the then CEO of ‘Lucasfilm’ that things took a new direction.

The second movie of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, had just completed its run and ‘Lucasfilm’ were looking to expand into the new technologies of the early 1980s. These included cable television, early computer games and consoles, Laserdiscs and Video Cassette Recordings. Having always been very keen on new technology, David joined ‘Lucasfilm’ and spent the next year scouting all that was new in film technologies. One of the stops along the way was the ‘Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ in Boston, where David saw the first experiments in interactive movies.

David explains :

These were authored bodies of story material that the player could direct to some extent. In the beginning these took form as simple video games, but over the next fifteen years they would evolve to become interactive television with actors and all. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and embarked on my next major career in Hollywood as an interactive movie director and executive at places like Time Warner, Disney, and Phillips Media. Eventually this grew into the 65 billion dollar game business we have today.

‘The Computer Graphics Group’ at Lucasfilm, which was run by Ed Catmull, had been tasked with developing the first digital editing system, christened ‘Edit Droid’. George Lucas wanted to edit his movies without a lot of people around, however, the concept was far too ahead of its time and never really took off in the way Lucas had envisioned.

In 1985, Steve Jobs resigned from ‘Apple’ and was looking for talent to help him with his latest project, the ‘NeXT’ computer. As a result, he purchased a share of ‘The Computer Graphics Group’ from Lucas in 1986, and renamed it ‘Pixar’.

David :

That 10 years he [Jobs] was out of Apple was a really interesting time for him and they never really cover it in his bios. Ed and all his group came over to ‘NeXT’ and one of the first things they did was create the now famous Pixar desk lamp demo to show off the ‘NeXT’ at a computer science convention. John Lasseter joined them around then, and the rest as they say is history. Before Ed left, he helped shape up the ‘Lucasfilm Games Group’ and we made one crude game called ‘Ballblazer’. I was just an independent game designer for ‘Lucasfim’ in those days. Later, ‘Lucasfilm’, now a big corporation, hired me to advise them on “new” technologies in 1980 to see if they wanted to invest. That year led me to MIT to see the first interactive laserdisc movie that inspired my Interactive Entertainment career. Later, when I was at ‘Disney’ running their ‘Interactive Entertainment Group’, I saw Ed again when we developed the first internet game based on ‘Toy Story’. At that point ‘Pixar’ was in a shopping mall, hardly anyone knew what they would become. Ed was one of the most brilliant people I ever met, and ‘Pixar’s success has a lot to do with him.

In the 1980’s, David Riordan co-designed the video game ‘Ballblazer’, which was the first videogame developed between the ‘Lucasfilm’ and ‘Atari’ partnership. A little later Riordan also designed ‘It Came from the Desert’ for ‘Cinemaware’ while there he became one of the lead directors and producers for the company. He then went on to found ‘Philips P. O. V. Entertainment Group’ for ‘Philips Media’ in 1991.

By 1993, he was the designer behind the video game ‘Voyeur’ which was featured on the cover of ‘Time’ magazine’s issue entitled ‘Attack of the Video Games’. The article featured the most popular video game titles of the early 1990s and ‘Voyeur’ sat alongside ‘Mario’, ‘Sonic’, and ‘Mortal Kombat’. Riordan also directed the game ‘Caesars World of Boxing’ which won the award for the Best Sports game award at Cybermania ’94: He went on to win many awards in this field.

Serving as Philips POV Creative Director until 1994 he became ‘Vice President of Production’ for the entertainment division of ‘Time Warner Interactive’. During the 1990s he was also part of ‘Interactive Entertainment Studio for Disney’. Co-developing and producing documentaries for television and online, these include: ‘One World Journeys’, ‘Google Ocean’, ‘Random 1’ and the documentary film ‘Lost in Woonsocket’. He also worked for the noted American philosopher, Ken Wilber at Integral Life, facilitating global thought leaders attracted to Ken’s work.

David now runs his own convergence media company, ‘Story Studio’. He and his co-creators are crafting an alternative narrative to our current dystopian one that eventually will emerge as a dramatic television series and web programming.

I asked David if he looked back at his early musical life fondly. His career as an interactive movie director has been much longer, and more successful in it’s own way. Does the fascination people still have in his music surprise him?..

David :

I loved my music life. Making my first album when I was 18 and my first number #1 song at 20 was a dream come true. And we lived it fully. As the sixties revolution unfolded for all of us, the music was the soundtrack. Everything was new and the experimentation that took place is the stuff of legends. It was a time and place never to be repeated. My storyteller kept following my curiosity after the music died for me, which led to amongst other things, my 15 years helping to invent the interactive entertainment/game business. Another heady time and filled with great memories.

The fact that people have been circling around in the last few years as retro enthusiasts, is fun for me. I am happy to share what I remember. I hope it’s not too much…you did ask!

Thanks for your interest in doing this. It has a been a bit of a trip down memory lane. It evoked a lot of good memories of my music years, so thanks for that.

Be well, David  

David Riordan

David Riordan was interviewed by Paul Hillery in the fall of 2019

Article written by Paul Hillery and edited by Stephen Dix

David Riordan Discography


The Habit – This is Love /
Promotional 45 no info available


The Yankee Dollar – The Yankee Dollar
LP released on Dot Records ‎– DLP 25874

A1 Sanctuary
A2 Good Old Friends
A3 Catch The Wind
A4 If In Swimming
A5 Follow Your Dream’s Way

B1 Live And Let Live
B2 City Sidewalk
B3 Let’s Get Together
B4 Winter Boy
B5 The Times, They Are A-Changin’
B6 Johann Sebastian Cheetah

The Yankee Dollar – Sanctuary / City Sidewalks
45 released on Dot Records ‎– 45-17123


The Yankee Dollar – Mucky Truckee River/ Reflections Of A Shattered Mind
Promotional 45 released on Dot Records ‎– 45-17213

The Yankee Dollar – Sanctuary / Live And Let Live
Promotional 45 released on Dot Records ‎– 45-17155


Dolphin Market – Diego / The Witness
Promotional 45 released on Avalanche ‎– 36009
Writer credit

Sweet Pain – Sweet Pain
LP released on United Artists Records ‎– UAS-6793

First Voyage
A1 Upside-Down, Inside Out Woman
A2 Chain Up The Devil
A3 Pine Canyon Stream
A4 By Myself
A5 Joy

Second Voyage
B1 Berkeley Lady
B2 Start Off With You
B3 Richard And Me
B4 Got To Get Your Hands On It
B5 The Lover

Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady (Long Version) / West Of Tomorrow
45 released on Liberty ‎– 56183
Writer credit
Original extended version 5:58

Sugarloaf – Green Eyed Lady / West Of Tomorrow
45 released on Liberty ‎– 56183
Writer credit
Shortened edit 3:33

Sweet Pain – Upside-Down Inside Out Woman
Promotional 45 released on United Artists Records ‎– 50761
45 released on Liberty (Germany) ‎– 15 446


Sweet Pain – Timber Gibbs / Chain Up The Devil
45 released on United Artists Records ‎– UP 35268

Sweet Pain – Makin’ Money / Hole In The World
Promotional 45 released on 20th Century Records ‎– TC-2028
45 released on Interfusion (New Zealand) ‎– TK 5184

Sweet Pain Featuring David Riordan & Rob Moitoza – Sweet Pain Too
LP released on 20th Century Records ‎– T-410

A1 Makin Ends Meet
A2 Of All The Songs
A3 Hole In The World
A4 Back In The Alley
A5 Awakening

B1 Keep Me Smilin On
B2 Marla
B3 Maple Trees
B4 I Don’t Wanta
B5 Fade Away
B6 Makin Money


David Riordan – Medicine Wheel
LP on Capitol Records ‎– ST-11349

A1 Day In The Sunshine
A2 Round Round
A3 Once Again
A4 Blue Eyed Wishful
A5 Hold Me

B1 Medicine Wheel
B2 Scarecrow
B3 Waiting For The Road
B4 I Need Help
B5 Empty Windows

David Riordan – Day In The Sunshine / Hold Me
Promotional 45 on Capitol Records ‎– P-4018

Warehouse Sound Co. – Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends
LP on Warehouse Sound Co. ‎– TLCS 128

A1 If There’s A Song
A2 Empty Windows
A3 Blue Eyed Wishful
A4 Lady Grace

B1 Let Love Carry You Along
B2 Medicine Wheel : Dialogue / Theme
B3 Hold Me

David Riordan – Medicine Wheel
LP released on Capitol Records ‎– ST-11349

A1 Day In The Sunshine
A2 Round Round
A3 Once Again
A4 Blue Eyed Wishful
A5 Hold Me

B1 Medicine Wheel
B2 Scarecrow
B3 Waiting For The Road
B4 I Need Help
B5 Empty Windows

Various Artists – Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends Vol. II
Promotional LP released on Capitol Records ‎– SPRO-6981/6982

Featuring the David Riordan track ‘Day In The Sunshine’

Various Artists – Warehouse Sound Co. & Friends Vol. III
Promotional LP released on Capitol Records ‎– SPRO-6983/6984

Featuring the David Riordan track ‘Hold Me’


Various Artists – Christmas In San Francisco
LP self released – EC-101

A1 Montage “The Sound Of Christmas In San Francisco”
A2 On This Day
A3 Magnificat “Gloria: Sicut Erat In Principio”
A4 Silent Night
A5 La Volta
A6 Noel, “Joseph Est Bien Marie”
A7 Noel Etranger
A8 O Come Emmanuel

B1 Sing A Song Of Christmas
B2 Posida-s
B3 Allegro From Sonata No. 4 For Flute And Continuo
B4 Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant
B5 D’Amour Je Suis De Sheriter
B6 Messiah “Hallelujah Chorus”
B7 Grace Cathedral Bells

Christmas In San Francisco
Recorded live in the city

An original selection of mellow listening music to brighten your holidays for many years. All recorded live in San Francisco. Joined together are many of the city’s foremost artists to bring you the extraordinary album of music from the 14th century to today.

Featuring members of the:

San Francisco Symphony
Oakland Symphony
San Francisco Opera
Western Opera
San Jose Symphony
Carmel Bach Festival
Grace Cathedral Boys’ And Men’s Choir
Le Choeur De Notre Dame Des Victoires


Arranger – composer Patrick Gleeson
Organist John Fenstermaker
Recording Artist David Riordan
Harpsichordist Jeanette Campbell
Flutist Robert Claire
Cellist Kelleen Boyer
Recorder Duet Steven Silverstein
and many others.

Sponsored by Embarcadero Center

Living Arts

Living Arts is the bustle of San Francisco business stilled at noon by the sweet trill of a flute. It is the whir of a computer on the 39th floor, and the whirl of a potter’s wheel on the first. It is art finally being welcomed to the halls and walls of commerce.

Long before Embarcadero Center broke ground in 1968, planners, architects and designers knew their project would do more than merely alter a city’s skyline. Once complete, Embarcardero Center would stand as one of the world’s most dynamic architectural statements. Four high rise office towers would top a linked complex of shops, galleries, and restaurants.

A performing arts theatre would host leading cultural activities. An 850-room hotel with 18-story open atrium lobby, revolving restaurant and stepping stone exterior wood housed enough design innovations to draw nationwide attention.

Even as they dreamed these men saw that the Center would infuse San Francisco with new attitudes, new approaches. They believed you can dare to be different – and succeed. They believed it is possible to rehumanize the high-rise. They built these beliefs into the buildings which now stand complete.

In their efforts to lend human dimension to Embarcadero Center, Living Arts was born. To temper the imposing effect of multi-storied concrete and glass, designers began relying on Nature and artistic statements of man. Vats of seasonal blossoms color and fill open arcades. Rich tapestries, sculpture, and oils drape walls to lend new spectrums of warmth.

Until now, enjoyment of man’s artistic achievement had been designated an after business hours or Saturday and Sunday affair. Whether barred by common consent or the symbolic barricade of concrete, steel and glass, culture traditionally seemed trapped on the outskirts of the business district. When visitors began fingering Francoise Grossen’s three level rope sculpture, when employees spent lunchtimes studying, sketching, photographing Willi Gutmann’s 8-story stainless steel sculpture, Embarcadero Center saw that art should be woven into man’s weekdays too.

Living Arts debuted with a string quartet playing Bach in the lobby of a business center. An executive paused in his rush to a meeting, a computer programmer settled on a padded bench, a crowd lined the bannister of a circular staircase. Attendance and applause assured Embarcadero Center that art would indeed be welcome here.

Today, the Living Arts program is a blend of visual and performing art. Its goal is to expand the daily horizons of those who work in, play, or cross a city or continent to visit and enjoy the Embarcadero Center.

‘Christmas In San Francisco’ celebrates the first season of Living Arts and toasts the City which enthusiastically hosts this vital new tradition.

Various Artists – Wilderness America, A Celebration Of The Land
LP Private Press – EC 212

A1 Dawn
A2 Metropolis
A3 Water Cycle
A4 Mountain

B1 Manchild
B2 Flight Of The Egret
B3 Windsong
B4 Before I’m Gone
B5 Manchild

Wilderness America / A Celebration of the Land, is a musical exploration of our place within the cycle of living things. All compositions were specially commissioned for this album and blended with natural sounds recorded in the wild.

All proceeds from this album will be used to help preserve and protect the environment.

Co-sponsoring Organisations:

Defenders Of Wildlife
Friends Of The Sea Otter
National Parks and Conservation Association
Sierra Club
Small Wilderness Area Preservation
The Wilderness Society
National Adudubon Society

Production of this album has been made possible by a grant from the Bank of America Foundation.

Recorded and mixed at Beggs / AZ, San Francisco by Richard Beggs
Assistant: Jenny Marlow

Additional recording done at:

Golden West Recorders, Los Angeles (Bruce Ablin)
Different Fur Music, San Francisco (John Vierra)
Wally Heider’s Studio C, San Francisco (Ken Hopkins)

Mastered by: George Horn at CBS Studios, San Francisco

Cover photograph: Dewitt Jones, Bolinas, California
Cover Design: Douglas Johnson, Different Circle, San Luis Obispo, California
Back cover photos: John Wells

Thanks to:
Imagination Inc., San Francisco
Warehouse Sound Co., San Luis Obispo, California
Different Fur Music, San Francisco
John Cavala Productions for production support and equipment

Project originator: Emily Polk

Produced for China Clipper Associates by David Riordan and Peter Scott
Executive producer: Cliff Branch


(IASOS) Galaxia Creations
IASOS – organ, arp string ensemble, harpsichord, havonia, harmonica, glorellia

(David Riordan) China Clipper Publishing / ASCAP 5:28
drums – Harvey Mason
electric guitar – Lee Retenoir
fender bass – Rob Moitoza
conga – Lee Pastora
piano – Mike Melvoin
lead vocals – Walter Hawkins
strings arranged and conducted by – Patrick Gleeson

Water Cycle
(Tom Salisbury)
arranged and conducted by – Tom Salisbury
violins – Nathan Rubin, Roy Malan, Carl Pederson, Emily Van Valkenburg
violas – Miriam Dye, Elizabeth Bell
cello – Teresa Adams
English horn – Dan Patiris
flute – Patrick Fawcett
flute, alto flute – Jere B. O’Boyle
French horn – John H. Krueger, Jr.
harp – Randal G. Pratt
percussion – Glen Cronkhite
piano – harp synthesizer – Tom Salisbury

(David Riordan) China Clipper Publishing / ASCAP 4:56
drums – Gaylord Birch
percussion – Glen Cronkhite
bass – Doug Lunn
guitar – John Blakeley
electric piano – Ed Bogas
soprano sax – Mel Martin
vocals – David Riordan
strings arranged and conducted by – Ed Bogas


(David Riordan) China Clipper Publishing / ASCAP 3:45
drums – Gaylord Birch
piano – Tom Salisbury
guitar – John Blakeley
bass – Doug Lunn
lead vocal – Caryn Robin
background vocals – Roberta Vandenunt, Lynette Hawkins, Tremaine Hawkins, M.L. Benoit
strings arranged and conducted by – Tom Salisbury

Flight OF The Egret
(Glen Cronkhite) Romany
percussion, vibes – Glen Cronkhite
alto flute – Mel Martin
guitar – Pete Maunu
bass – David Dunaway

(David Riordan) Glenwood Publishing / ASCAP 3:58
drums – Gaylord Birch
piano – Tom Salisbury
guitars – John Blakeley
bass – Doug Lunn
percussion – Glen Cronkhite
vocals – Ann Hughes, Pat Hubbard, Duane Sousa, Gary Roda,
pedal steel – John McFee

Before I’m Gone
(David Riordan) China Clipper Publishing / ASCAP 4:20
vocals and guitars – David Riordan
percussion – Glen Cronkhite
strings arranged and conducted by – Ed Bogas
wolves and whales – themselves

Manchild (Reprise)
(David Riordan) China Clipper Publishing / ASCAP 1:35
drums – Gaylord Birch
piano – Tom Salisbury
guitar – John Blakeley
bass – Doug Lunn
electric piano – David Riordan
vocals – Roberta Vandenunt, Lynette Hawkins, Tremaine Hawkins, M.L. Benoit, Jane Riordan, Ed Bogas, David Riordan, Peter Scott, Caryn Robin
strings arranged and conducted by – Tom Salisbury

Please note : I am still trying to track down the copyright owners of some of the images used in this article, if you do own the copyright to an image used please contact me and I will remove the image on request.