Sons of Adam

Saturday’s Sons: The Complete Recordings, 1964-1966

Whatever claim to fame the Sons of Adam have is thanks to guitarist Randy Holden, who later joined Blue Cheer (replacing Leigh Stephens) after a stop with the under-recorded Other Half.

The Sons released only three singles (and no albums), but this CD collects them along with demos, outtakes, and a 1966 show at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom. There are also seven cuts by Holden’s earlier outfit, the surfin’ Fender IV. A 48-page booklet features bandmate interviews by reissue producer Alec Palao.

The band straddled garage and psychedelia while covering the Stones, Yardbirds, Them, and Love, and Holden reeled off impressive leads á la Jeff Beck. The original “Mr. Sun” is akin to the Syndicate of Sound, while the folk-rock “Without Love” was written by Mike Post, composer of themes for TV’s “The Rockford Files” “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law,” and “Law & Order.” The psych numbers are period pieces, almost caricatures, yet the reverby Fender IV material proves most timeless. Not only does Holden give Dick Dale a run for his money, the tunes are inventive and well-constructed; “Malibu Run” has a ska rhythm, and only the best surf revival bands can handle the tremolo-picked “Mar Gaya.”

This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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