The Seeds formed in 1965 and comprised vocalist Sky Saxon, guitarist Jan Savage, keyboard player Daryl Hooper (who also played the bass parts on his keyboard) and drummer Rick Andridge.
Their first single Can’t Seem to Make You Mine (1965) was a regional hit in southern California, but the band had their only national Top 40 hit in 1966 with Pushin’ Too Hard. Deceptively simple, the single was the embodiment of the band’s sound, making a virtue of rudimentary riffs, Saxon’s aggrieved vocal and Daryl Hooper’s distinctive Wurlitzer.
The Seeds’ debut album arrived in April 1966, featuring the track Evil Hoodoo – a piece of high-octane freakbeat.
A second, more adventurous album – A Web Of Sound – appeared in October 1966 with groovers such as Up In Her Room and Mr Farmer, which provided them with another chart hit.
Their acclaimed third album, Future (1967), would prove to be a highly pioneering effort in full-blown psychedelic rock, and Iggy Pop, Smashing Pumpkins, The Bangles and members of The Beach Boys have all praised this album as a genre classic.
In 1968, the group cameoed in Jack Nicholson’s film Psych Out and were regularly headlining above The Doors, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield.
A later album was devoted to the blues – with liner notes by Muddy Waters – and credited to The Sky Saxon Blues Band, with Bob Norsoph (guitar), and Don Boomer (drums) replacing Savage and Andridge.
Saxon continued to use the name The Seeds, using various backup musicians, at least until 1972. The last major label records of new material by The Seeds (two non-charting singles on MGM) were released in 1970.
Sky Saxon reformed the band again in 2003 with new personnel and remained the only original member of the band – which continued to tour Europe and the United States – until his death on 25 June 2009 of heart and renal failure.