Dec 032010

Will Your Mystery Date Be a Dream or a Dud?

Who was that anonymous, mid-1970s band featured in our most recent Mystery Date that sounded a lot like a Jefferson Airplane that had been hijacked by The Byrds with Lindsey Buckingham calling the shots from an undisclosed location? As BigSteve and misterioso knew—and as mockcarr actually mentioned in his initial comment—it was…

Anonymous! You read that right: Anonymous.

The graphic coup de grâce of the worst marketing plan in the history of rock?

That’s right, our Mystery Date was the song “Pick Up and Run,” by Anonymous, from their 1975 album Inside the Shadow, their one and only album. Anonymous was a short-lived band from Indianapolis, Indiana led by Indianapolis native Ron Matelic, whose career stretched back to some successful local garage bands and would continue a few years after Anonymous with J. Rider, a band involving some other members of Anonymous and named after the following song from Inside the Shadow.

Anonymous, “J. Rider”

[audio:|titles=Anonymous, “J. Rider”]

I’ve played this album in the background, while working, every month or so for the last couple of years, since it was given to me by Townsman pudman13, a pretty low-key contributor to the Halls of Rock whose obscuro-rock powers run deep. I hope he’ll tell us more about this band, but there’s a pretty cool interview with Matelic here, which explains a lot about the band’s sound, including the fact that Matelic and bandmate Jon Medvescek had a Mahavishnu Orchestra-type fusion band in the works prior to the formation of Anonymous. (At least one of our Townspeople heard traces of prog-rock in the band’s West Coast sound.) The band’s bassist, Glenn Weaver, was the driving force in turning Matelic onto Fleetwood Mac and the Buckingham/Nicks album, the main post-’60s strain of music Townspeople tuned into. And how ’bout singer Marsha Rollings? This ensemble goes down easy on my sensitive ears. I’m sure the following statement will horrify front-line folk-blues rockers like Townsmen geo, mwall, and dr john, but I appreciate this chance to hear The Jefferson Airplane without all the freaky caterwauling.

Here’s a track that’s heavily indebted to that Buckingham/Nicks album. Pull your honey close…

Anonymous, “Up to You”

[audio:|titles=Anonymous, “Up to You”]

Along with hearing from pudman13, I hope BigSteve and misterioso explain to us how they got to be so smart. Thanks.


  5 Responses to “Mystery Date Revealed: It’s a Byrd, It’s an Airplane, It’s…Anonymous?”

  1. misterioso

    Mod, I’d like to explain to you how I got to be so smart, I really would. But you just wouldn’t understand (sigh).

    Seriously, though, I thought these guys made another record, maybe with somewhat different personnel? Am I wrong?

  2. misterioso, I could easily be wrong about them only making one record. In the extensive research I did while setting this date and this recap I thought nearly the same line-up recorded an album with the new band name, J. Rider. So, in a sense, we could both be right – but if we accepted that we wouldn’t really be Rock Town Hall, would we? Let’s do some more research on the matter and see who gets to don the Pince Nez.

  3. BigSteve

    I had downloaded this song from some blog or something somewhere. It didn’t click right away, but I realized the title was Pick Up and Run, and there it was in Itunes. I didn’t know the backstory.

  4. misterioso

    I think you’re right. Was the J. Rider lp called “No Longer Anonymous”? Thus, my confusion?

  5. Yes! Now that’s a snappy title!

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