David Hemmings - Happens
Lp - 1967 - USA
David Hemmings; boy opera star, young British character actor, star of the iconic 1960's movies "Blow Up" and "Barbarella", film and TV director and producer, and latterly again a character actor and star in such films as "Gladiator" "Gangs Of New York" and the elegaic British movie "Last Orders". An impressive resume for any man, one might think, but there’s more, he made a record too! But not the usual actor-makes-an-album camp artifact ....oh no....our David was quite serious. In fact, “Happens!” was actually produced in Los Angeles by none other than Byrds manager and producer Jim Dickson, AND features The Byrds as well as a session crew (led by legendary bassist James Bond Jnr.) drawn from Dickson's years producing folk and jazz for the World Pacific label. The fact that it was done somewhat in a rush due to David's film commitments actually worked in it's favour as the Columbia-rejected and otherwise unheard Gene Clark song "Back Street Mirror" opens the album with a full-on gorgeous orchestral Folk Rock rush.
Largely improvised collaborations with The Byrds and Mr. Bond's crack crew of jazzers follow, allowing David to express his love of folk music against a background of prime Byrds at their Raga Rock peak, and the cream of LA's jazz fraternity! David's friend, Monkees songwriter Bill Martin provides a couple of songs, and we are on course for an album of rare beauty. Packaged with a lavish booklet featuring an interview with Jim Dickson about the making of the album, as well as photos of the sessions and the original promo copy insert with an illustration by David Hemmings, this is indeed an unknown and hidden gem indeed!