End of the Spectrum
For many young people growing up at the time, the 60's began with hope and promise following the election of President John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon in 1960. Then along came the Beach Boys and the Beatles and the British Invasion and folk rock and rising spirits and long hair and just hanging out and feeling the vibe. But before long things turned really strange with the Cuban Crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and then the long years of the Vietnam War and the beatings of civil rights marchers and the assassination of Martin Luther King and Bobbie Kennedy and the Chicago Democratic Convention and the Kent State shootings and the Watergate break-in and the near-impeachment and resignation of Richard M. Nixon in 1974. Needless to say, for someone who was 15 or 16 in 1960 when it all began, and well into adulthood when it ended, it was one hell of a trip. It was an era of political upheaval, anti-war demonstrations, endless paranoia and phenomenal musical change, giving rise to a whole generation of legendary artists and performers and countless garage bands whose experimental and improvisational style of songwriting spilled forth with a universe of new and exciting sounds and ideas. Gene Lubin's musical career began as drummer for one such garage band, a Chicago group called THE KNAVES, whose 1967 single 'Leave Me Alone' on the Dunwich label (now on sundazed.com) has been hailed as a classic of the early punk-rock genre. In August of the following year, the city was rocked by events at the 1968 National Democratic Convention held in downtown Chicago. About this time Lubin began to try his hand at songwriting, hoping to capture some of the madness of the times in words and music. It was a time of protests and political theater, and Lubin styled much of his songwriting after some of his own favorite 'theatrical' performers...Jim Morrison of the Doors, Captain Beefheart, Mothers of Invention, and others. He also threw in a heavy dose of The Knaves' irreverent, bad boy attitude which had made them a somewhat notorious bunch right from the start. It wasn't until 1974, some years later, after the Knaves had broken up that Gene had a chance to pull together his own group of musicians and go into the recording studio to record most of the tracks (1-4,6 and 8) heard on this CD. The group was fortunate to have for an engineer the legendary Malcolm Chisholm, who had engineered all of Chuck Berry's albums for Chess Records and had worked with Howling Wolf, Buddy Guy and others. In 2001, after having been lost for many years, these recordings were finally located and transferred from a 1/2 inch mono reel to reel master (which was all that could be found)to digital format and released under the title, GENE LUBIN: End of the Spectrum. Since then, 'RUSSIAN MAN', one of the album's two anti-war songs has become the most celebrated track on the CD thanks to the exposure it has received, rather ironically, by being included in Hawaiian film maker Chad Campbell's award-winning documentary about surfing and the surfer's life. Called '5th Symphony Document' the film was voted 'Best Video of the Year' in SURFER MAGAZINE'S 2001 Reader's Poll. In the early 80's Gene founded Chicago's first record label devoted exclusively to reggae music, and since then he has worked on a number of projects, while continuing to write music. In 2006 he returned to singing and released a reggae/rock cover version of the old DOORS potboiler, 'Maggie McGill', which is also available from cdbaby.com Gene Lubin can be contacted through Facebook.