April ’67: the Levi ads

Rivets inst.

In the spring of 1967 we finally got back to San Francisco. Our beautiful pad near Alamo Square was gone; Cavallo had not paid the rent and all of our stuff had been stolen or seized by the landlord. We had to sleep on the floor at an apartment down by Fisherman’s Wharf that Chris England our roadie had rented. We were contacted by Ron Young, the hotshot young ad exec who had gotten the Jefferson Airplane to record radio spots for Levi Strauss. Ron offered us 10 grand cash and a batch of studio time back at Coast Recorders with our favorite engineer Walt Payne.


Walt was an old hand; he’d worked with the original batch of captured Nazi tape used on the Bing Crosby show. We asked him to try out some tricks such as the Beatles had been using . “Stretch” has half the instruments going forward and half backward up to William’s big gasp in the middle and then switching directions after.


Another trick was cutting the speed in half as on “Good Morning Old Jeans”. Here’s full speed, then half, then the finished spot:

Here’s the “Levi Strauss Waltz” might be interesting to note that it predates Sgt. Pepper by a couple of months.

“Workin'” Young Martin Beard at his best. I’m doin’ Wolfman Jack, tell’em ’bout y’r pants!

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