"The Chariot Space Voyage/The Star" by Touschstone (USA, 1972)





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Uploaded on Sep 5, 2010

https://www.facebook.com/prognotfrog Tom Constanten began his career as a classical musician in 1961. He shared an apartment, and worked with Phil Lesh (the bassist), and met Jerry Garcia (guitar) and Robert Hunter (lyricist), before they formed the Grateful Dead.
TC (as he likes to be known) joined the band in 1968 after a short spell in the US Air Force. During his time with the band they released 3
classic psychedelic albums, 'Anthem Of The Sun,' 'Aoxomoxoa' and 'Live Dead.' The avant-garde influence TC brought to the band can be heard most clearly on 'Anthem' an album that merges bold new ideas with fluent, archetypal acid-rock.

After his departure the band combined more traditional American musical roots into their style and of course went on to rock 'n roll immortality. TC's contribution was not forgotten, though, and in 1994 he was inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame along with the other founding members of the band.
He has had a long and illustrious career as a solo artist working with such worthy names as Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart, Jorma Kaukonen, and Henry Kaiser, to name but a few, in the band Touchstone (with ex-Country Joe and the Fish drummer, Gary 'Chicken' Hirsh)

Joe McCord, aka Rubber Duck, had been doing gigs around the Bay Area, and I wound up in the "backup" band to his mime show. The "Rubber Duck Company." Sometimes I was the entire band. A student of √Čtienne Decroux, he was developing a mime play at the time, based on the characters in the Tarot. The "ride" then moved to New York, and I went along. Touchstone had "evolved" a bit betwen the Tarot show (1970-71) and the KEMO-TV appearance (September, 1972). Guitarist Paul Dresher and Bassist Wes Steele were still with me, but we'd added Bill Ruskin on guitar (I saw him a couple of years ago - he's a fire chief now!) and Gene Reffkin on drums.

Touchstone moved to Los Angeles after the NYC Tarot run. Michael Butler, whose show Hair was running (and raking it in) in six cities at the time, was contemplating taking Tarot on. When that project ran into problems, he came up with a concept for a musical version of Frankenstein, and signed me to do the music. Aside from preparing for that, Touchstone did a few shows as an instrumental band in California. United Artists Records was cool to instrumental bands, though, so they didn't promote the album a whole lot. The fact that the show didn't catch fire during the New York run didn't help. So the second album our contract mentioned (and we had material for) evaporated into the fog on the Hollywood hills. (Compiled from Pooterland Interviews) http://redtelephone66.blogspot.com/

- Jim Byers (violin)
- Tom Constanten (keyboards) (Grateful Dead member)
- Paul Dresher (guitar, flute)
- Art Fayer (violin)
- Gary "Chicken" Hirsh (percussion)
- Rubber Duck (tambourine)
- Wes Steele (bass, cello)

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