There was a lot swirling around the San Francisco music scene in 1965. We think of the Summer of Love as sort of spontaneously happening, but San Francisco bands like Jefferson Airplane just didn’t appear out of a rabbit hole in ’67. No, before the Airplane there was the Great Society, Grace Slick’s pre-Airplane band, who recorded a single named “Someone To Love” on San Francisco’s local Autumn label.
Also on Autumn? The Mojo Men, who back in ’65 released the very cool garage rock single “Dance With Me.”
One of the producers over at Autumn at the time was named Sylvester Stewart, but he went by the much cooler Sly. Sly produced “Dance With Me” and even took a little run with the band as Sly and the Mojo Men. Fortunately for us, the producer chose to take his own road instead, and Sly and the Family Stone was born.
“Dance With Me” cracked the top 100, but it was 1967’s “Sit Down, I Think I Love You” that pushed the band into the top 40. That track landed on the legendary Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets garage rock compilation, and while it’s good it’s nowhere near as garage-y as “Dance With Me.”
So yeah, 1967 was a huge year for the San Francisco music scene, but it never would have happened without the groundwork laid by bands like the Mojo Men and their producer Sly a couple of years prior.
You can pick up a copy of “Dance With Me” on the original Autumn label for just a couple of bucks, or you can hear it on a bunch of different compilations. Happy hunting.