Pushin’ Too Hard: Recollections from Former Seeds Drummer Carl Belknap (American Cinematheque)

Article By: Carl Belknap

In anticipation of our world premiere of a new definitive documentary on The Seeds, “Pushin’ Too Hard”, frequent Egyptian Theatre-goer Carl Belknap talked to us about the year he spent as the punk pioneering band’s drummer. Here are his recollections in his own words: 

When I first heard The Beatles on the radio, I knew I had to be in a band. It became an obsession. Not being able to carry a tune & not knowing an A from an E, I decided to become a drummer. In 1963, at age 15, I taught myself to play the drums. One year later, I was a founding member of The Eliminators surf band. We changed our name to Glass in 1965 & in the next few years, opened for The Box Tops, The Standells and Booker T & The MGs.

Richard France, whom I had known from my high school days, had become The Seeds road manager. He invited me to come to a couple of their recording sessions in Hollywood. In early 1968, at about the time Glass was sort of dissolving, Rick [Andridge] left The Seeds. Richard, knowing that I could play most of The Seeds’ songs, arranged for me to have an audition at Sky’s [Saxon] house in Malibu.

He lived in the Big Rock area, in a house overlooking the ocean. As I walked down the very long driveway, I saw the garage door was open. The first thing I noticed was Rick’s drums with The Seeds on the bass drum head. Then I saw Sky, Daryl [Hooper] & Jan [Savage] waiting for me. It was then that it set in that I was about to audition for what had been my favorite band for the past two years.

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Seeds ‘Pushin’ Too Hard’ Documentary Set to Premiere Aug. 16 (The Hollywood Reporter)

Article by: Roy Trakin

Directed by Neil Norman, the film about the seminal ’60s L.A. garage band will bow at Egyptian Theatre at the American Cinematheque.

The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard, the longform documentary about the classic L.A. garage-punk band, directed by Neil Norman, will have its premiere Aug. 16 at the Egyptian Theatre at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood.

Using vintage footage, rare photos, memorabilia and audio, and fresh interviews with bandmembers and associates, as well as notable fans and observers, Pushin’ Too Hard relates the bizarre rags-to-riches tale of the rock quartet who took Los Angeles by storm in the mid-’60s.

The Seeds — led by charismatic singer Sky Saxon, along with keyboard player Daryl Hooper, guitarist Jan Savage and drummer Rick Andridge  — were all emigres to early ’60s Hollywood. After building a reputation in underground clubs such as Bido Litos, the group busted out in late 1966 with the classic anthem “Pushin’ Too Hard,” which went Top 40 nationally in early 1967.

Said director Neil Norman: “I’ve made this movie because I really love the Seeds music and was lucky enough to hang out with them as a young teenager and was inspired. They achieved true stardom.”

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The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard Documentary (Ace Records)

Article by: Ace Records

LOS ANGELES, JULY 7th:  A long form 110+ minute documentary The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard,directed by Neil Norman for GNP Crescendo, is scheduled for debut theatrical release on August 16th2014. The Egyptian Theater at the American Cinematheque will premiere the movie.

Using vintage footage, rare photos, memorabilia and audio, plus fresh interviews with band members and associates as well as notable fans and observers, Pushin’ Too Hard relates the bizarre rage-to-riches-to-rags tale of the rock quartet who took Los Angeles by storm in the mid-60s.

The Seeds – keyboard player Daryl Hooper, guitarist Jan Savage, drummer Rick Andridge and charismatic singer Sky Saxon – were all emigres to early 1960s Hollywood. After building a crack reputation in underground clubs such as Bido Litos, the group bust out in late 1966 with the classic anthem of frustration, “Pushin’ Too Hard,” which went Top 40 nationally in early 1967.

The group enjoyed other regional hits such as “Mr Farmer” and “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine,” and recorded five best-selling albums for the GNP Crescendo label, but despite a huge and partisan fanbase in southern California, the Seeds could not capitalize on their initial chart success. The growing ego and drug-fueled eccentricities of frontman Saxon alienated the other members, and led to the original quartet’s fracture in the summer of 1968.

After 1970, Saxon renamed himself Sunlight, embarking on a strange odyssey that took him from life as a street person in Hollywood to a commune in Hawaii. Sky returned to performing in the late 1980s and, using several different sets of musicians, performed Seeds music the world over until his untimely death in 2009.

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