A Recording of Brian with Ocean in 1977

I have a ten year old student named Asher. Asher is very enthusiastic about learning to play the guitar. Thanks to his grand parents and parents, he is very familiar with The Beatles catalogue. One day I asked him to do some research to find out which Beatle played the hot flamenco intro to The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill. He did his research, and told me that none of The Beatles played the intro (it was a trick question). The intro was on a recording (a loop) on an instrument they used called a mellotron (although a studio player did the recording for the mellotron maker. His name remains a mystery). Asher was intrigued with the instrument. I told him I owned one in the 70s. Well, that is half true, because I owned half, and Tommy Fisher, who was the singer/songwriter of the band, owned half.

I began reminiscing about the 70s when I was with the band Ocean. I am the worst about keeping old recordings. I have them, but they are in a sack or in the bottom of a box somewhere. So, I went the easy route. I called my old friend Tommy. He was happy to burn me some CDs of our recordings. We met for lunch and reminisced about the good o’ days.

Tommy played guitar and sang as I did. When we bought the Mellotron we didn’t have a keyboard player. Tommy suggested his nephew, Danny could learn. He was 15 or 16 at the time. He learned very fast and took to it like a fish to water. Tommy had a four track Teac reel to reel recorder. We recorded many songs over the next two years.

THE  SONGS:

Brian talks about Valley Of Decision:

This song reveals where my head was in 1977. Musically, I had been listening to progressive rock such as Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Yes. That is quite evident in the style of the song. I had a Gibson  SG that had only one pickup. We called it my ” bendable buddy” because I was always bending the neck and abusing it for effect. I used a Marshall half stack amplifier. I used those for all the tracks on the song.
At the time, I was trying to find myself spiritually. Like many young men, when they get interested in reading The Bible, I started reading The Book of Revelation, which is the last and most enigmatic of all the books. It is probably a good idea to start a book at the beginning instead of the end. I really knew nothing about theology or eschatology (I still don’t know much). Nevertheless, The Book Of Revelation  was the inspiration for the lyrics.

Brian Turner – guitar and vocals (lower voice)
Tommy Fisher- rhythm guitar and vocals (higher voice)
Danny Macfarland – mellotron and synthesizer
Virgil Anderson – drums
Al Acton – bass
Backing vocals – Trevor (Ace) Ben Feltner, Renee Feltner, Karrie Stefflen, Tanya Peacock, Virgil Anderson
Sound and lights- Trevor (Ace) Ben Feltner

Valley Of Decision
music and lyrics by Brian Turner

 

 

Tommy talks about View of Image:

When I wrote View Of Image, I too was searching spiritual things. In the quake of dawning (lyrics of the song) was the creation of the world by God. In the distant mood of light, God is light and he created the world. Have you ever heard the story is the Word of God. Have you ever heard the glory is God and in the wake of the night you will have wisdom, Is when you awaken out of your sin and discover God has been calling you all along. The storms are the storms of life and the peace is what God gives you when you turn to him. In the new day is when you’ve turned to him. Then you’re searching for a new way of life in a city of lonely structures you will not stand alone. And the last part in the new beginning you see a new way of life, all the things that the world forgot, and you see the earth that could be, to succeed what you were doing when you were lost.

Back then, I was pretty ignorant of spiritual things. So, I was just expressing it the only way I knew. That’s why I rewrote the song with more direct words and more accurate spiritual subject. And I changed the last part in the new beginning to be the kingdom of God coming.

Tommy Fisher- guitar and vocals
Brian Turner – guitar
Danny Macfarland – mellotron and synthesizer
Virgil Anderson – drums
Al Acton – bass

Brian talks about View Of Image:

I used my Gibson EDS 1275 double neck guitar for this intro. I slap could myself for selling it. I used my bendable buddy on all leads.

View Of Image
Music and lyrics by Tommy Fisher

 

While talking to Tommy I said, we may not have made the “big times” but, Lord knows we tried. Tommy was quick to point out that out of all the singers under the same management that we were under,  are all dead now except him, in fact, they all died young. Our manager was Tommy’s sister, Bonnie Lloyd, and a great manager she was! She managed to get us signed with Charles Stone and Cobblestone Productions. At the time we were with him, they also had Queen, Thin Lizzy, and Rick Nelson. But Charles Stone, before forming his own Productions call Cobblestone, was with Concerts West. He handled all of Elvis’s production. He was personal friends with Elvis and even had a TCB necklace that Elvis gave him. Rick Nelson was killed in and airplane crash flying to a gig in Dallas that we had shared with him the previous year.

I was with Ocean from 1976- 1979. Those few years have so many memories. We were a group of young men with big dreams. We worked hard. We rehearsed and recorded almost everyday. Tommy, Danny, and I do not see each other often, but we have created a bond that endures. Al and Virgil left town many years ago and we haven’t seen them since.  Out of the five members, four of us were baptized into the christian faith by an evangelist named Dennis Evans in a cow tank in his front yard. The years in Ocean paved the paths for where we are today.

 

Pictures of Ocean

 

 

5 Responses to A Recording of Brian with Ocean in 1977

  • Very interesting Brian!! I always wondered what happened to you in those “lost years” after I left teaching at Garland’s Music!! Great job!!

  • Trevor (Ace) Feltner says:

    I remember helping Tommy record and mix those songs in the Sounds of Ocean studio Brian. Renee and myself even appear on the background vocals on the end part of Valley of Decision along with a few of our other friends. It was great to hear that cool intro to View of Image where you played your Gibson SG double neck through the opposite pick ups and get that dreamy effect. Great memories.

  • JD Daubenspeck says:

    Is this the same group called Ocean that had a song that reached #2 on Billboard in 1971? The song was “Put Your Hand In The Hand”.

  • Brian says:

    That was a different Ocean. We got that question a lot. Thanks for posting.

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