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The Jelly Bean Bandits

From: Newburgh, NY, USA

This New York state punk-psych outfit formed in 1966 as the Mirror. Members included Billy "Brewster" Donald (vocals), John "Jack" Dougherty (guitar), Michael "Mr. Addams" Raab (keyboards), Fred "Fables" Buck (bass) and Joe "Laredo London" Scalfari (drums). After finding out that there were two other bands with the same name playing around the local area, the group decided to switch to the Jelly Bean Bandits, which was mainly inspired by the Peanut Butter Conspiracy's creative moniker. They were very popular in their home town of Newburgh, a Hudson River village resting about 70 miles due north of New York City, and also Poughkeepsie, which is located about another 10 miles further north.

In 1967, the band laid down some demo tracks that culminated in the signing of a three LP record deal with the Mainstream label. A self-titled album was then record in a single 12 hour stint and released late that year. The record has some rather unique guitar licks and keyboards, and includes the stylishly gloomy, folk-psych standout 'Plastic Soldiers'. Unfortunately, while working on their second LP, the group decided to call it quits in 1968 and it was never completed. 1999 saw the Bandits reform without Donald, and they ended up playing together and releasing multiple CDs for another 13 years until Scalfari tragically broke his back by falling out of a tree while hunting in 2012.

If you have any further information on this group, please e-mail to paulmaze@techwebsound.com.

Artist information sources include: The book, 'Fuzz, Acid, and Flowers Revisited' by Vernon Joynson. A special thanks also goes out to Mike Raab for his contribution to this article.

Original LPs/EPs

The Jelly Bean Bandits

Original LP/EP Label: Mainstream S/6103

Released: November, 1967

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Songs from this album played on TWOS:

  • Plastic Soldiers