Below is the contract officially making Bob a member of Sugarloaf as of October 8, 1970. He had actually been playing in the band for several months prior to this. Bob's signature, as well as Bob MacVittie's and producer Frank Slay's signature, and the other members' initials are the only things on Page 3, which is why that page is not shown.
This band was a gas from the very start. I had left "The Beast" and
was sitting around my third floor apartment eating Afghani hash and writing
tunes one day when a friend of mine, Jerry Corbetta, called. He informed
me his band had just signed with Liberty/UA Records and they were in need of a
songwriter. The fact that they had an album coming out didn't really impress me,
since I had left a band that had two albums out.
went over to his house and listened to their album. They had music tracks only
for "Train Kept a Rollin" and "Chest Fever" and some other
tracks that I can't even remember. I kept waiting for the vocals to come in.
Jerry told me they sent the record company these demos and that they had
replied, "There's your album." He was as stunned as I was.
was one song that I heard that really caught my ear. It was called "Green
Eyed Lady" and sounded head and shoulders above any of the other tracks.
Jerry said they barely got it on the album and had written the lyrics in the
studio. He got the song's main riff from a classical scale book he used to
practice in his intensive routines. Jerry was and still is an awesome musician.
Just listen to his work on “Green Eyed Lady”, “Hot Water”, or “Tongue
In Cheek”. What a talent!
Eyed Lady" was the first song Jerry had written to that point and the record
company wanted another album. I
must state again that I did not write, play, or sing on the record "Green Eyed
did join the band before the record was released and was blown away along with
everyone else in the band, when the record became a national hit. The band was
generous enough to include me in the royalties generated from the first album,
even though I was not in the band when it was recorded.
the record was released, the record company forced the band to change its name
"Chocolate Hair" because they thought it was too racially provocative.
They came up with Sugarloaf, named after a nearby mountain outside of Boulder.
After the record was released, we were playing local clubs and parties and watched as the record finally crept onto the charts. It actually got its start by being played up in Portland, Oregon. People called in requesting the song and it got on their local charts. Then it slowly spread up to Seattle, and all over the Northwest part of the country. It took six months to cross the country and hit number one in many areas, but due to the time stretch it peaked at number 3 nationally.
still remains as one of the greatest thrills of my life to have appeared on
American Bandstand and have met Dick Clark, and to have shared the stage with
many of the world famous musicians I met and partied with.
recorded a second album, "Spaceship Earth" that was mildly successful,
but didn't come close to the "Green Eyed Lady" phenomenon. On this album I did
play, write, and sing.
Some of the members of
the band became a little disillusioned with our producer, the legendary Frank Slay,
and soon were working with the guys who worked with the group War; Far Out
Productions. These guys were a little too far out for the more conservative
faction of the band (I personally loved them!) and they soon were shopping for
another producer. We had started recording some new tracks with a great producer
and arranger with incredible musical credentials and skills named Richard Igizi.
(Richard later founded Stone Records featuring predominately blues and jazz
artists.) At this time, Jerry decided to go back with Frank Slay. I think he
felt Frank had more of a "hit" mentality than Richard. I was
particularly miffed and returned to Colorado. As they say,
time heals all wounds, and Jerry and I didn't feud for very long. We were soon
writing tunes together and recording on each other's projects.
I left the group, they had their second huge hit "Don't Call Us-We'll Call
You". Jerry has continued to work in the music industry writing, producing,
and playing with Frankie Valli (among others), and for the past ten years or so
performing with "The Classic Rock All Stars".
Looking back, I'm sure we could have done some things differently and been around for a long time. It's the music business and that's how it goes. At least we had our fifteen minutes, and I loved every minute of it. B.Y.
An article on Sugarloaf appeared in the popular trade publication; Record World on October 31, 1970. At the time of the article they had just finished recording the Spaceship Earth LP. Click on the thumbnail below to read the article and also to check out the photo. (NOTE: When the article comes up, you may have to place your cursor over it and click again to make it more legible.)
Pictured below is a promotional folder for Sugarloaf's first LP. Bob had just joined the band at the time and his bio is listed on the inside flap. These folders came in multiple colors and sometimes differed. Click here if you would like to see some of the differences.
After the release of the Spaceship Earth LP, a sheet music booklet containing songs from both albums was released. Also inside were photos of the band that were not available elsewhere. Click here to see the photos. "Green Eyed Lady" was also available individually as sheet music, which is pictured on the right.
The December 1970 issue of Notitas Musicales, a music magazine published in Mexico, featured a very favorable three page article on Sugarloaf.
Below is the article translated to English by my friend Marc Gonzales:
The Creative Band behind Green Eyed Lady
One of the really promising aspects of contemporary rock has inspired young people from all corners of the globe. Wherever people of the new generation meet to listen to music, there are always new and exciting sounds. This new movement has pushed modern music to new horizons: Rock music no longer has to be imported from London, New York or San Francisco.
A shining example of this is the group Sugarloaf - 5 young musicians from Denver, Colorado, who have created a wonderful union of the more fundamental sounds of rock music: the voice, percussion, guitars, keyboards and electronics.
Sugarloaf has been described as "a group of young artists who play an incredibly solid new type of music". Each member of Sugarloaf has been playing music for more than a decade and each has achieved a genuine expertise in the execution of his instrument and uses each song as an opportunity to express their personal freedom. Together they form a very cohesive organization, full of musical resources that enhance their creativity every day.
Of course each of them have talent in abundance individually, but they play together. As they themselves have stated, "the freedom of the individual will be the result of our joint efforts". And, in shaping this premise they speak through their music.
In addition, they have the great advantage of being true musicians, rather than pseudo-artists or overnight sensations that become stars by a stroke of luck after a total of three weeks of music lessons.
Sugarloaf’s first album launched in Mexico by DISCOS MUSART presented the group at an early experimental stage, but this in no way implies less valid music. They are exploring, and as such can find new pathways. Who knows when they will reach their limit?
The lead guitarist of the group is Bob Webber, and he has been playing guitar half his life. "freedom in combination with peace and harmony" is Bob’s ultimate goal. Music is a means to achieve freedom and he believes it may be an important factor in development, as a political movement.
The bassist of the band, Bob Raymond, met Webber and drummer Bob McVittie in high school and had planned the formation of the group early on. Although he admits the influence of such diverse musical groups such as Cream and the Modern jazz Quartet, what actually inspired Bob was Rock music - "all Rock music makes my head spin", said Bob. And it has been Rock music which has led him to have the strength and security of a mature performer.
Life has much to offer to the band’s drummer Bob MacVittie, and this special perception of the finer things in life is typical of the attitude of the "Sugarloaf". He was influenced musically by Ravi Shankar, Charles Lloyd, Frank Zappa, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, and Charles Mingus, etc - MacVittie is as aware as the rest of his companions of the potentiality of the group.
Jerry Corbetta, 22 years old, is a bachelor and student at the University, and believes in "God, freedom and peace for all." The extraordinary sensitivity of Jerry and his constant search for new styles in the execution of his music, is what contributes most to distinguish Sugarloaf from other Rock bands. However, his first instrument was the drums, which he started to practice at 4 years of age. He began his formal studies of music at age 8, and at 15 became interested in the piano. Jerry spent time playing drums with a Rock band, and traveled through the United States playing concerts: but at 20 years old decided that the organ was the best way to express himself
Whether as an instrumental group achieving the highest quality, or adding vocals of equal quality to their music, the result was logical: Sugarloaf, in its first foray on the US Top Ten charts with their single Green Eyed Lady went to #2, and currently, after 16 weeks remains in the top 10 most popular songs on the American charts. Green Eyed Lady was immediately assimilated by the enthusiastic youth of Mexico, and, thanks to that public, Sugarloaf is quickly becoming a new world Idol.
Five talented young people aware and active in their music and their world. This is Sugarloaf. In DISCOS MUSART.
note about Discos Musart is that before Capitol Records opened in Mexico in
1965, The Beatles releases in Mexico came out on Musart.
I'd like to thank Marc very much for translating this for the site. You can check out his career in music on this site by clicking here.
Remember the old record club offers that used to be in practically every publication on the market? I belonged to several and it really was a good way to build your collection quite inexpensively. The only club I know of for sure that had Sugarloaf albums and tapes available was The Record Club of America. I was going through some magazines from 1971 recently and was checking out the record club offers and found one that had both the self titled Sugarloaf, and Spaceship Earth records and tapes in the listings. Spaceship Earth is in the first column, three records down, Sugarloaf is in the sixth column five records down.
In the mid seventies, The Record Club of America just seemed to vanish. Oddly enough I would learn the fate of the company over 20 years later. In the late nineties, out of nowhere, I received a very thick catalog in the mail from The Record Club of America. It explained how the club had gone through bankruptcy and one day it all came to an end. The doors were closed and all of the records were left where they were at the time. This building sat locked up all of those years until all of the legalities were taken care of so the records could be sold again. I can't imagine what it would have been like to walk in this place that I believe had more than 100,000 sealed albums dating back to the sixties and early seventies. The great deals that they offered in 1971 were definitely a thing of the past. This catalog had Sugarloaf selling for $60 and Spaceship Earth for $65. Through this club in 1971 they would have sold for $2.00 and $2.27.
Below is a Sugarloaf poster that was part of a Japanese rock magazine from late 1970 or early 1971. It is an alternate from the photo sessions that produced picture sleeves for a German and Spanish picture sleeve for "Green Eyed Lady." These sleeves can be viewed on the Foreign Pressings 2 page. It is also an alternate shot from that used on the Sugarloaf sheet music book that can be viewed above.
In late 1971, United Artists put together a compilation album of the biggest hits their label had produced in the previous 12 months. It was appropriately titled The Greatest Hits of 1971. Sugarloaf was featured twice on the LP with the single versions of "Tongue in Cheek" and "Green Eyed Lady" both appearing on the record. Below is a picture of the album cover.
The February 1972 cover of Best Songs magazine featured Sugarloaf on the front cover along with The Carpenters, Cat Stevens, and The Five Man Electrical Band.
Click here to read the article on Sugarloaf that appeared in this issue. The magazine also included articles on a few other bands and artists. Interestingly enough another of the bands was The Electric Prunes that featured Dick Whetstone on drums. The article mentions him considerably. Dick would later go on to play in the band Fingers with Peter Johnson. More on Fingers can be found on this site by clicking here.
In 1972, Sugarloaf were asked to step out of character and perform session music on a bubblegum record that Frank Slay was producing. The 45 was by Butch Patrick, who had played Eddie Munster in the classic TV show, The Munsters. The A-side was a cover of a Bee Gees song that had charted in 1970 called "I.O.I.O." The B-side was a song called "I Want Sugar All the Time." The record was a bit too sweet for Bob's tastes.
Things were looking good for Sugarloaf in Japan. Here is a calendar for July 1972 put out by Liberty/Toshiba of Japan. They had also recently made a red vinyl LP of Spaceship Earth and released a red vinyl 45 of "Tongue in Cheek." Photos of these items can be seen on the Foreign Pressings page. It would really have been interesting to see what could have become if the band had stayed together.
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