The Electric Flag was an American brass-rock band that debuted with a soundtrack recording for the 1967 counterculture film The Trip, followed by two albums on Columbia in 1968 and a third studio release on Atlantic in 1974.
Members: Nick Gravenites (vocals, guitar), Buddy Miles (drums, percussion), Mike Bloomfield (guitar, percussion, 1967-68, 1974), Barry Goldberg (keyboards, 1967, 1974), Harvey Brooks (bass, guitar, 1967-69), Marcus Doubleday (trumpet, percussion, 1967-69), Peter Strazza (tenor saxophone, 1967-69), Herbie Rich (guitar, saxophone, 1967-69), Michael Fonfara (keyboards, 1967), Stemzie Hunter (saxophone, 1967-69), Roger Troy (bass, 1974)
The Electric Flag was formed in early 1967 by Chicago blues-rock guitarist Mike Bloomfield. For the original lineup, he enlisted guitarist/singer Nick Gravenites, bassist Harvey Brooks, drummer Buddy Miles, keyboardist Barry Goldberg, saxophonist Peter Strazza, trumpeter Mark Doubleday, and violinist Bob Notkoff.
Bloomfield (1943–1981) first recorded during the early 1960s with bluesmen Sleepy John Estes and Big Joe Williams. In 1965, he played on albums by Bob Dylan (Highway 61 Revisited) and blues guitarist John Hammond (So Many Roads). He rose to prominence as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, playing on their 1965/66 albums s/t and East-West.
Brooks (b. 1944) first interacted with Bloomfield on Highway 61 Revisited, which credits him as Harvey Goldstein. He played on 1966 folk albums by David Blue, Tom Rush, Eric Andersen, and Jim & Jean.
Gravenites (b. 1938) cut the 1965 single “Drunken Boat” (b/w “Whole Lotta Soul”) as Nick the Greek on self-press Out of Sight. He was recommended to the band by Bloomfield’s original choice, singer Mitch Ryder, who opted to stay with the Detroit Wheels.
Goldberg (b. 1942) led the Barry Goldberg Blues Band on the 1966 Epic release Blow Your Mind (with guitarist Harvey Mandel).
The Electric Flag initially called itself the American Music Band, reflecting Bloomfield’s vision of fusing Chicago blues, Stax soul, and jazz. They set up fort in San Francisco and took their first project, the soundtrack to the 1967 psychedelic film The Trip starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. Director Roger Corman chose Electric Flag after deeming the prior choice, Gram Parsons’ International Submarine Band, ill-suited for the project.
- The Trip (OST, 1967 • The Electric Flag, an American Music Band)
- A Long Time Comin’ (1968)
- The Electric Flag (1968)
- The Band Kept Playing (1974)
- Groovin’ Is Easy [aka Live] (1983, recorded 1969)
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