Friday, March 26, 2021

Chocolate Watch Band: The Inner Mystique 1968 + One Step Beyond 1969

The Chocolate Watchband was formed in the summer of 1965 in Los Altos, California by Ned Torney

and Mark Loomis, who had previously played guitar together in a local band known as The Chaparrals in the previous year. The two were joined by Rick Young (bass guitar), Pete Curry (drums), Jo Kemling (organ), and Danny Phay (lead vocals) to form the first version of the Chocolate Watchband, a name that was originally meant to be taken as a joke.

The band went through several lineup changes during its existence. Combining psychedelic and garage rock components, their sound was marked by David Aguilar's lead vocals, songwriting, as well as proto-punk musical arrangements. The band's rebellious musical posture made them one of the harder-edged groups of the period with many critics labeling them as America's answer to the Rolling Stones.

The Chocolate Watchband was signed to Tower Records in 1966 and released their first single, "Sweet Young Thing", in 1967. Later in the year, the band released their debut album, No Way Out. Though the

album did not chart nationally, the band had a huge following in San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1968, their second album, The Inner Mystique, was released and included the band's most popular song, a cover version of "I'm Not Like Everybody Else". By 1969, with Mark Loomis dropping out in the middle of the recording sessions, the band released a final album, One Step Beyond, however it did not include David Aguilar on vocals and was not as highly regarded or indicative of their past work. The Chocolate Watchband officially broke up in 1970 with no intent of ever reuniting again.

After their dissolution in 1970, a revival of interest in psychedelic and garage rock in the late 1980s and

1990s brought the group to public attention, and their original vinyl releases became collectors' items, selling among private sellers for over USD$100. Rhino Records issued a best-of release of the band in 1983, while Sundazed and other labels re-issued the original albums on compact discs, including bonus tracks. After leaving the band, its members each embarked on other non-musical pursuits; Aguilar had worked as an astronomy professor after the band's dissolution.

In June 2013, the Chocolate Watchband made it back to a recording studio in their hometown San Jose,

to begin a new album. From 2015 to the present (2018), the band's lineup is Tim Abbott on lead guitar and vocals; Gary Andrijasevich on drums; David Aguilar on vocals, keyboards, and harmonica; Alec Palao on bass and backing vocals; and Derek See on guitar and vocals. The resulting album (This Is My Voice) was released in 2019 to critical acclaim; the lead off single 'Secret Rendezvous' was featured as 'Coolest Song In The World' on Little Steven's Underground Garage program in February 2019.

The first song recorded was a tribute to Sky Saxon who had recently died. Former member Mark Loomis died on September 26, 2014, in Hawaii.



The Inner Mystique is the second album by the American garage rock band, The Chocolate Watchband (shown as Chocolate Watch Band), and was released in 1968 by Tower Records. This album is the most well-known released material from the band. However, the original first side is not played by the actual group members.

Don Bennett sings on the first side with studio musicians producer Ed Cobb assembled. Watchband vocalist David Aguilar and the rest of the band return to record the second side. This side is composed of all cover songs, most notably "I'm Not Like Everybody Else", originally by The Kinks. The two tracks, originally sung by David Aguilar, "Medication" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" featured Don Bennett instead. Ed Cobb was responsible for the change. Cobb had it so Aguilar's vocals were removed and Bennett's were dubbed in its place for the album's release.



01. Voyage of the Trieste (Ed Cobb) – 3:41
02. In the Past (Wayne Proctor) – 3:08
03. Inner Mystique (Cobb) – 5:37
04. I'm Not Like Everybody Else (Ray Davies) – 3:42
05. Medication (Ben Di Tosti, Minette Alton) – 2:08
06. Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go (Hank Ballard) – 2:18
07. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan) – 3:14
08. I Ain't No Miracle Worker (Annette Tucker, Nancie Mantz) – 2:53


09. She Weaves A Tender Trap (E. Cobb) 3:29
10. Misty Lane (M. Siegel)  3:16
11. Baby Blue (Original Single version) (Bob Dylan) 3:12
12. Sweet Young Thing  (E. Cobb)  2:55

Sundazed Records issued newly remastered CD & vinyl LP editions



David Aguilar - lead vocals, harmonica, percussion backing vocals
Sean Tolby - lead guitar
Mark Loomis - rhythm guitar, harpsichord
Bill Flores - bass guitar
Gary Andrijasevich - drums

MP3 @ 320 Size: 98 MB
Flac  Size: 256 MB    



[AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder  
The third and final of the original studio albums by the Chocolate Watchband, One Step Beyond is a bit

misleading and contradictory. On the one hand, it's as close as any performing group called the Chocolate Watchband ever got to making a finished album of their own, which is reflected in the fact that all but one song here was an original by the bandmembers; but on the other hand, this is a different Watchband lineup, assembled by Sean Tolby and Bill Flores, including guitarist Mark Loomis and drummer Gary Andrijasevich (both of whom had left in 1967 to join the Tingle Guild), and original, Foothill College-era Chocolate Watchband member Danny Phay (who'd also been in the Tingle Guild).

Missing is David Aguilar, the band's one-time lead singer and most visible songwriter up to that time --

and the result is an album that has almost none of the influence of the Rolling Stones, and, instead, shows the greatest folk-rock influence in their history. The overall sound is brittle but melodic, reminiscent in some ways of the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Charlatans, Moby Grape, and the Jefferson Airplane. Danny Phay isn't nearly as charismatic a singer as Aguilar, but he's not bad, either, and there are lots of interesting shared vocals.


01. Uncle Morris  (Written-By – Gary Andrijasevich, Mark Loomis)  3:10
02. How Ya Been  (Written-By – Danny Phay, Gary Andrijasevich)  3:10
03. Devil's Motorcycle  (Written-By – Gary Andrijasevich, Sean Tolby)  3:00
04. I Don't Need No Doctor  (Written-By – Ashford & Simpson)  4:01
05. Flowers  (Written-By – Danny Phay, Gary Andrijasevich)  2:46
06. Fireface  (Written-By – Sean Tolby)  2:49
07. And She's Lonely  (Written-By – Mark Loomis, Sean Tolby)  4:16


08. Don't Need Your Lovin'  (David Aguilar)  02:36         
09. Sitting There Standing  (David Aguilar / Gary Andrijasevich / Bill Flores / Mark Loomis / Sean Tolby)  02:20         
10. Blues' Theme  (Davie Allan / Mike Curb)  02:21         
11. Loose Lip Sync Ship  (David Aguilar / Mark Loomis)  03:01


  1. Hello what a great 60s Band.Thanks for the 68 und 69 album of Chocolate Watch Band.Please give a new link for the 67 album;there is no link for "No way out" album Thanks Greetings Tom

    1. @ Tom: If you go to the post of No Way Out you will find the FLAC Link, and it is still working. Try again please.

  2. Great band, thanks for sharing!!

  3. Many thanks for The Chocolate in FLAC! One of my prefered groups of all times.

  4. Thanks, one of my favorite bands
    -Psy Guy

  5. Thank you for sharing these albums. Cool posters and photos too!

  6. Thanks for sharing the music from your blog. This is one of my favorite psychedelic-garage bands.