Friday, June 10, 2016


The self-titled 1971 album "The Roots Of Madness" is a truly historic avant/outsider artifact. Incredibly, the recordings of this, well, madness date back as far as 1969. That beats The Residents, and the LA Free Music Society were a couple years away from forming. And needless to say, The Great Punk DIY Explosion was far off on the horizon when this bag of nutters from the wholly unremarkable Northern California town of San Jose made this home-brew concoction. 

Ingredients: tinkly music boxes, short wave radios, free-jazz, blues guitar, beat poetry, smutty poetry, a Dada sensibility, a smart-ass sense of humor, sound effects, even an actual song or two. All common strategies now, but must have been fairly incomprehensible at the time. And yes, they did do gigs in laundromats. It's not like there were too many actual music venues in town to play.

Free listen/download:

"The Roots Of Madness"

One of the members, Don Campau, went on to a still-extant experimental music and public radio career.


Muff Diver said...

Thank you once again Mr Fab for more groovy madness!

Anonymous said...

I KNEW I recognized the name. I was digitizing some old mail order cassettes that seemingly did not appear to exist. I nearly broke the Internet while searching for any hint of them. Until I hit Don's cassette culture page. And lo, there was the proof that Son Of Madness was a real artifact. I hate when that happens.

Mr Fab said...

You are very welcome, Diver Dan. And hey anon, planning on doing anything with those digitized tapes?

Unknown said...

Yes, all The Roots of Madness material that did not appear on "The Girl In The Chair" LP is now available for free download:

Well, actually I;'m not sure all have been posted to yet but that's the plan. If you want any specific recording just let me know. Email