Copperhead were an American psych-rock band from San Francisco that released a self-titled album on Columbia in 1973.

Members: John Cipollina (guitar), Gary Philippet (vocals, guitar, organ), Jim McPherson (vocals, piano, bass), Hutch Hutchinson (bass, vocals), David Weber (drums)

Copperhead was formed by guitarist John Cipollina, a long-serving member of the Quicksilver Messenger Service. Pianist/bassist Jim McPherson hailed from psych-rockers Stained Glass.

Copperhead released their singular album on Columbia in 1973. It features eight originals, including “Roller Derby Star,” “They’re Making a Monster,” “Kibitzer,” and “Kamikaze.” The album was produced by David Brown (Santana, It’s a Beautiful Day) with a string of engineers, including Glen Kolotkin (Aorta, Azteca, Electric Flag, United States of America). The cover photo was taken by famed fashion photographer Art Kane.

McPherson subsequently backed blues-rock singer Kathi McDonald. He also appeared, alongside Cipollina, on the pro-marijuana single “Grow Your Own” by the Novato Frank Band, issued on green vinyl on self-press Private Stash Records in 1977.

Guitarist/keyboardist Gary Philippet resurfaced in proto-punks Earth Quake and appeared on The Third Reich ‘n’ Roll album by The Residents while masquerading as “the former bass player from the front line.”


  • Copperhead (1973)


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