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traffic

1969 “traffic”
 
 
“traffic” is the second album of the Tèxord based rock group bad medecine, released in March 1969. The album is the first that got an official release, even though Papa Beer was only 16 years old. Mick Oe supervised the recordings and gave the trio a lot more time in the studio to experiment with different instruments and takes. Following the release, the band was signed by John Fergusson who made them play in venues rather than small bars.


Songs

 
1. [3.37]  that's the reason why i cry [k/k] 
2. [4.01]  damn [k/k, beeldhouwer]      
3. [2.09]  my intro [k/k]  
4. [8.14]  in a van at night [k/k, beeldhouwer, debakker, dehond]
        
5. [4.21]  she's gone now [beeldhouwer/beeldhouwer]
6. [4.58]  stars in january [and no clouds] [beeldhouwer/k]
7. [6.31]  xénium phratoz [k/k, beeldhouwer, dehond]
8. [4.43]  pride of a praying bear [k/k, beeldhouwer, dehond]
 

Credits


Papa Beer : vocals + guitars
Bobby Beeldhouwer : bass
Piet Dehond : drums
        
Lead vocals on “she’s gone now” and “stars in january” by Bobby Beeldhouwer
Hammond organ on “in a van at night” by Gérardo Debakker                   
 
Recorded at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord, on December 1968
Produced by Mick Oe
Engineered by Gérardo Debakker
Mixed at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord, in December 1968 – January 1969
Released at Myzelf Music inc. March 1969
 

Background


Upon touring through Europe during the summer 1968, bad medecine came back in Tèxord after the new school year had begun and Bobby and Papa Beer weren’t allowed to attend classes. They had made enough money to buy the van and their own instruments. Papa Beer bought a Gibson SG and Bobby purchased a Rickenbacker 4001. Piet de Hond bought a Ludwig drum kit and they decided to write new songs that autumn. This resulted in “traffic” that was recorded in the December 1968.
 

Writing and composition


Again, they worked with Mick and Gérardo to create the sound they wanted. All songs on the album are written by the band itself. The recordings mostly took place at night, as the band couldn’t afford to rent the studios during the day. Bobby sings two of the songs and the other ones are by Papa Beer. The lyrics tell about their lives on the road, in the city and how it is growing up as an ethnic minority.
 
Musically, the band still brewed on the blues although the structures become a bit poppier. The ballad ‘my intro’ was released as a first single, which catches the interest of a bigger audience. The second single, ‘pride of a praying bear’, endorses their image of young new blues gods and a lot of managers approach them.
 

Critical reception


“traffic” was the first bad medecine album to be mentioned in the magazines. It got overall positive reviews and Papa Beer and Bobby even did two interviews with local newspapers.
 

Artwork


On the cover of the album, bad medecine poses in front of their van on a bridge over a meandering river. The picture was taken by a female photographer in Italy the year before. The band is credited as Papa Beer, Bobby Beeldhouwer & Piet Dehond. The back sleeve has a collage of pictures of the bars they played in and a picture from the guys in the studio, where their hair is already visibly longer and their clothes clearly inspired by the hippie movement overseas.
 

Tour


They plan on touring through Europe again in the summer of 1969 and to support this, they release the EP ‘bad medecine’, a long jam they used to end their concerts with. They had not included it on the album because of its length, but the over ten minutes cut got a lot of airplay in the evening radio shows and night clubs. It was against the advice of John Fergusson, their new manager, who had written a song for them he wanted to get released as a single. From the beginning, the tensions between the musicians and the management were present and a lot of commercial opportunities were cancelled by the stubborn band because they didn’t want to be a sell out.

contact

a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski