Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Dragonfly: Dragonfly 1968


[So much has been told about this band that I don't believe anything written on websites anymore. I have scanned in large dimensions the history of the group, as it is written in the inside cover the CD,

and as the guitarist Randy Russ tells it. So read the whole truth in CD's internal form and ignore everything else. Originaly issued in octomber 1968, this deranged blend of acid rock and proto-metal is widely regarded as one of the heaviest albums of the decade. The Inside cover contains  full interview with guitarist Randy Russ.


Dragonfly hatched when guitarist Randy Russ was contacted at the El Paso shoe store he was working

in sometimes in the fall of 1966. Before taking a job, which he hated, he'd played in the Insigators and The Infants Of Soul, where his incisive style had been noted by fellow local musicians. "There was no phone in the store, but one afternoon a clerk from another store came to tell me there was a long-distance call for me on the line."


It was bassist Jack Duncan and drummer Barry davis, whom Randy knew from the Texas live circuit, when they'd been in a band named The Pawns (closely associated with doomed singer Bobby Fuller). They were calling from Colorado, where they were now playing in The Lords Of London

with singer-rhythm guitarist Gerry Jimerfield and keyboardist Enrie McElwaine.
They wanted Randy to join, and he didn't need asking twice. "They were a four-piece with a night's worth of songs down tight," he recalls. "I wasn't even thinking of playing seriously, but they were already up in Durango getting it together with Jimerfield, who I'd never heard of. He was a great guy and had a crued sense of humour, like me. He was six years older and had served in the Air Force, so was exempt from The Draft. He was tall and thin, with a little mustache and protruding teeth. He wasn't what you call handsome, but the girls loved him wherever we went."

Randy therefore upped sticks to Durango, which he describes as "a beautiful town nestled in pine-covered mountains," where the band lived and rehearsed in a hotel owned by Jimerfield's parents. It was a steep learning curve. "Gerry was a real patient with me, as I wasn't a good rhythm player. I was

OK on lead, but needed help in other areas." It was a glorious place for a band to get its act together, though it could be dangerous. "One time Jimerfield went up into the mountains with a friend on a motorcycle. He couldn't see without glasses, so he had on his prescription sunglasses. Well, they got lost. By 5 or 6 o'clock, we were getting real nervous. They had to spend the night up there. Luckily they stumbled onto a Native American sheep-herder, and he fed them and kept them warm. The next day, the mountain rescue people brought them down. Stupid assholes."

Over two months of rehearsing, the band evolved its own sound. "When we started off, we were doing

soul and blues, music that we liked and was danceable. As time went by, listening to The Who, Vanilla Fudge, Cream and Hendrix, there was some sort of progression that was not planned, but just happened. It's not that we were copying them; it's that we took what we liked and made it our own." By mid-1967, the band was ready to look for live work. "We started getting gigs, and then more and more gigs," says Randy. With their local reputation growing, the next step was to find a record deal. "We played a few more gigs, saved our money, and headed out for Los Angeles. By then a group from Canada had had

a hit using the name Lords Of London, so we had to change ours to The Jimerfield Legend,
later shortened to The Legend. Gerry said he knew these two guys from New York, Tony Sepe and Marty Brooks, from his past group. We went and talked to them, played for them, and signed a management contract. Marty could talk so fast you wouldn't know what he was saying. What we didn't know  was that they were scum of the earth con artists!"

The duo had a useful contact in the form of Sepe's brother, who was working for a company in Chicago that manufactured airplane parts. This company was somehow persuaded to invest in a new record

label, and in February 1968 Megaphone was formed, with consoderable start-up cash and an office in Ventura Boulevard. The Jimerfield Legend was its first and only signing, and quickly found themselves making an album. "Suddenly Tony and Marty were big shots in a new record company, and they were sucking all kinds of money out of it while we were starving in a motel on the Sunset Strip with $12 a day between us, reflects Randy. "they took the production credit for The Legend album, but in reality all they did was sit in the studio watching the clock and tapping their wristwatches if we didn't nail the songs in two takes. They did everything without asking us.

For example, making The Legend album, we had done three or four songs and needed to eat and a little

spending money. So we went back to Colorado and did a few gigs. When we got back to L.A, Tony and Marty had hired studio people to finish the instrumental part of the album. We were pissed. The musicians they used were good, but we didn't sound like that live. It stuck in our craw, but that's the way it was done back in the day; record it with studio musicians and have the band learn the songs and go out on the road. We finished up the vocals and went back to Colorado.

Released in the spring of 1968, the Legend's self-titled album is a solid garage-influenced 60s

Pop/Rock record, despite including a bunch of unnecessary cover versions and lacking the energy of a real band. "The majority of the songs were written by a guy named Bob Corso," says Randy. "Where Tony and Marty found him, I don't know. But we did play things like The Kids Are Alright, With A Girl Like You and Baby Blue. WE were a little bit heavier than most groups for that day." Sepe and Brooks may have been for a hit, but they seem to had a very limited promotional budget.

"They were small-time, and too lazy to do anything that might require some work of some sort," laughs

Randy. "We had this bread truck that we got around Colorado in, because it was so slow up the mountains there. Our managers had an idea to put a big sign on it saying "The Legend and Megaphone Records". They got an artst to paint our faces on individual plywood cut-outs, which were then bolted to the truck. The face looked just like the front of the album. Then they had the idea for us to go around to high schools and give out 45s and albums. So we did it.

Megaphone doesn't seem to have had its product distributed outside Hollywood, and the album was instantly forgotten. Sepe and Brooks were still hungry for success, however, and asked the band if they

knew of any likely candidates. "Jack Duncan recommended Mike Kelly, from back in El Paso. He was a soulful, good-looking, clean-cut boy that had a style all his own. White boys singing soul was almost unheard of in 1968. They brougt him to LA and record him." The resulting dated pop confection, I love The Little Girls (With Shirley Temple Curls)/I Know, was issued in April 1968 as by The Legend (Featuring Mike Kelly), and sounds even less like the band than their album had. Predictably, it bombed - and that was that for Kelly. " He gott sick, went back to El Paso and died of a rare blood disease."

Perhaps Chastened, Megaphone's next 45 release (issued in May), Portrait Of Youth/Enjoy Yourself

(both of which would shortly be re-recorded for the Dragonfly LP), was much truer to the band's sound. When it too died a death, however, the disillusioned band left California and resumed gigging. "Our first gig just out of LA was in Waco, Texas, and we were fired because we were too loud!" Asked whether they were influenced by Blue Cheer - generally acknowledged to have been the loudest US band of 1968 - Randy simply states "We liked Summertime Blues, but none of us had any of their music." By mid-1968 the band was a formidable live force. "As time went by, we got more and more

comfortable with each other and the songs, and did more experiments seeing what worked and what didn't, with long leads and drum solos. In songs we were comfortable with, Gerry and I would mesh together during the leads. We had real long leads - I would push until I got everything I could out of it. Then Jack would come in with some mind-blowing bass lead, and then Barry would go into a drum thing. When the four of us were around each other we were always talking about what we were going to do on the next LP, doing what we did live."

If you want the whole story, please continue the reading from the scans.


Gerry Jimerfield – vocals, rhythm guitar
Randy Russ – lead guitar
(Ernie McElwaine – keyboards) In the CD isn't mentioned his name
Jack Duncan – bass guitar
Barry Davis – drums
Produced By Tony Sepe and Marty Brooks

Dragonfly – Dragonfly 1968
Label: Sunbeam Records – SBRCD5094
Format: CD, Album
Country: UK
Released: 2012
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock



01. Blue Monday
Written-By – Davis, Duncan
02. Enjoy Yourself
Written-By – Davis, Russ
03. Hootchie Kootchie Man
Written-By – Dixon
04. I Feel It
Written-By – Ray, Duncan
05. Trombodo
Written-By – Russell
06. Portrait Of Youth
Written-By – Jimerfield
07. Crazy Woman
Written-By – Duncan, Russ
08. She Don't Care
Written-By – Jimerfield
09. Time Has Slipped Away
Written-By – Duncan
10. To Be Free
Written-By – Duncan
11. Darlin'
Written-By – Jimerfield
12. Miles Away
Written-By – Duncan



13. Portrait Of Youth (45 Version)
Written-By – Jimerfield
14. Enjoy Yourself (45 Version)
Written-By – Davis, Russ

MP3 @ 320 Size: 103 MB
Flac  Size: 266 MB


  1. The Drones are excellent.
    Australian Dream Syndicate.
    Apart from rhese two what else is recommended ?

    1. My dear friend you know that I post only the best albums, but and the others are not bad. I'm still waiting for your questions.

    2. I will send you the questions regarding in the next few days.

  2. Ok. I formulated the questions quickly. I you find one or the other question rather uncomfortable or inapropriate you don't need to answer. I am free from all guilt. You finally wanted me to ask the questions.
    1. Is all the music you pud in yours or is it borrowed from friends ?
    2. You are relatively young. Where did you get the collection from ? Bought ? If so, you are not poor by greek standards.
    3. What are the sources of your information ?
    Internet, magazine, friends ? And if so, which publications ?

    1. I will answer your questions, but not in the Blog. I will send them to your email.