Artist: Bubble Puppy

Hot Smoke and Sassafras ~ Bubble Puppy

bubble-puppyBubble Puppy was a Texan psychedelic rock band.

The group was formed in 1966 in San Antonio, Texas by Rod Prince and Roy Cox. Looking to form a “top gun rock band” based on the concept of dual lead guitars, Prince and Cox recruited Todd Potter; a gymnast, saxophone player and guitarist. With the addition of Danny Segovia, the original line up of Bubble Puppy was complete. The name “Bubble Puppy” was taken from “Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy”, a fictitious children’s game in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Bubble Puppy’s live debut was as the opening act for The Who in San Antonio.

After several line-up changes, the final roster for Bubble Puppy settled at Rod Prince and Todd Potter on lead guitars, Roy Cox on bass guitar and David “Fuzzy” Fore on drums. In 1967, Bubble Puppy moved to Austin, Texas and signed a recording contract with Houston-based International Artists, home to the 13th Floor Elevators and the Red Krayola.

In 1969, Bubble Puppy released their first full-length album, A Gathering of Promises. However, despite Bubble Puppy’s early success with the “Hot Smoke & Sassafras” single, they experienced numerous conflicts with International Artists, and parted ways with the label in 1970.

Signing Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf as a manager, Bubble Puppy moved to Los Angeles in 1970. Their name was changed to Demian (after Herman Hesse’s 1919 novel at the suggestion of their manager’s wife); this was to avoid contractual difficulties with their previous record company but also because the former name appeared to link them with Bubblegum music.

The members of Bubble Puppy continued to be active in the music industry after the band’s demise. Potter and Prince played with Sirius during the 1970s, and Fore drummed with the Texas punk rock band, D-Day, co-writing their cult hit, “Too Young to Date”.

When Demian disbanded in 1972, Potter stayed in California, working as a session player, before joining and touring with Rusty Wier’s Fabulous Filler Brothers.

Prince bounced around in different bands including Deadhorse Puppy, Manbeast, and The Prince Trio. With the addition of drummer Mark Evans and bassist George Rarey in 1979, Potter and Prince reunited in Sirius.

In 1984, the original Bubble Puppy lineup reunited for performances and recordings, and they released their second LP, “Wheels Go Round” in 1987.

Roy Cox founded The Blues Knights and released two CDs: “Before I Go” in 1999, and “Road To Freedom” in 2001. He formed the NYC Outlaws in September 2007 in New York City, along with Tony Saracene on guitar, Dan Curley on guitar, Cody Willard on guitar, Evan Hammer on bass, and Billy Brooks on drums. Cox died on  April 2, 2013.

Hot Smoke and Sassafras

Bubble Puppy scored a US Top 20 hit in 1969 with their single, “Hot Smoke & Sassafras”. The name was a misheard line lifted from an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies”. The single peaked at number 14 on the Billboard 100 and number 15 (RPM) in Canada. In addition, the song was at the top of many radio station playlists over the spring of 1969. The song was also covered internationally by MGMT, a popular American psychedelic rock band, and by The Mooche in the UK.

In 1969, Bubble Puppy released their first full-length album, A Gathering of Promises. However, despite Bubble Puppy’s early success with the “Hot Smoke & Sassafras” single, they experienced numerous conflicts with International Artists, and parted ways with the label in 1970.

Hot Smoke and Sassafras – Prince, Cox

In the mist of sassafras
Many things will come to pass
And the smoke shall rise again
To the place above where it began

Time will bring the fire and flame
As surely as it brought the rain
But in the gardens of the moon
Time is held within the silver spoon

If you’re happy where you are
Then you need not look too far
If you’ve found your place at last
Then you need not use the looking glass

Play 
  • Audio from the 1968 album, A Gathering of Promises:

a-gathering-of-promises
Purchase-Music Hot Smoke and Sassafras  $0.89

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