Quicksilver Messenger Service

Quicksilver Messenger Service

Psychedelic Rock Psychedelic Classic Rock 60s Rock
Quicksilver Messenger Service is an American psychedelic rock band, formed in 1965 in San Francisco. Of all the bands that came out of the San Francisco area during the late 60s, Quicksilver Messenger Service typified the style, attitude and sound of that era. Dogged by early personnel changes, the original band in 1964 comprised of vocalist Dino Valenti, guitarist John Cipollina, David Freiberg on bass and vocals, Jim Murray on vocals and harmonica, and drummer Casey Sonoban. More Info »

Top Albums

  • Happy Trails
    Happy Trails
  • Quicksilver Messenger Service
    Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • Classic Masters
    Classic Masters
  • Just for Love
    Just for Love
  • Shady Grove
    Shady Grove
  • Quicksilver
    Quicksilver
  • Comin' Thru
    Comin' Thru
  • What About Me
    What About Me
  • Shapeshifter Volume One
    Shapeshifter Volume One
  • The Best of Quicksilver Messenger Service
    The Best of Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • Solid Silver
    Solid Silver
  • Anthology
    Anthology
  • Masters of Rock
    Masters of Rock
  • Sons of Mercury (1968-1975)
    Sons of Mercury (1968-1975)
  • Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold and Silver
    Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold and Silver
  • Peace By Piece
    Peace By Piece
  • Live At The Quarter Note Lounge
    Live At The Quarter Note Lounge
  • Shapeshifter Volume Two
    Shapeshifter Volume Two
  • Live At The 7th Note
    Live At The 7th Note
  • Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold and Silver (disc 1: Live From 1968)
    Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold and Silver (disc 1: Live From 1968)
  • Fillmore West September, 14 1967
    Fillmore West September, 14 1967
  • Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold and Silver (bonus Disc: Studio)
    Unreleased Quicksilver: Lost Gold and Silver (bonus Disc: Studio)
  • Live At The Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, 9th September 1966
    Live At The Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, 9th September 1966
  • Live At The Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, 4th April 1968
    Live At The Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, 4th April 1968
  • Strange Trim
    Strange Trim
  • Fresh Air - Greatest Hits
    Fresh Air - Greatest Hits
  • Shapeshifter Volume Three
    Shapeshifter Volume Three
  • Shapeshifter Volume 4
    Shapeshifter Volume 4
  • Live At Sweetwater
    Live At Sweetwater
  • Live At The Filmore Auditorium San Fancisco 6th febuary 1967
    Live At The Filmore Auditorium San Fancisco 6th febuary 1967
  • Live At Field Stone
    Live At Field Stone
  • Sons of Mercury: Best of 1968-1975 (disc 1)
    Sons of Mercury: Best of 1968-1975 (disc 1)
  • The Ultimate Journey
    The Ultimate Journey
  • Sons of Mercury: Best of 1968-1975 (disc 2)
    Sons of Mercury: Best of 1968-1975 (disc 2)
  • Winterland New Year's Eve 1967
    Winterland New Year's Eve 1967
  • Three In The Side
    Three In The Side
  • Hawaii June 13, 1970
    Hawaii June 13, 1970
  • Shady Grove/Solid Silver
    Shady Grove/Solid Silver
  • 1966-11-06: Fillmore West
    1966-11-06: Fillmore West

Quicksilver Messenger Service. Artist Bio

Quicksilver Messenger Service is an American psychedelic rock band, formed in 1965 in San Francisco. Of all the bands that came out of the San Francisco area during the late 60s, Quicksilver Messenger Service typified the style, attitude and sound of that era. Dogged by early personnel changes, the original band in 1964 comprised of vocalist Dino Valenti, guitarist John Cipollina, David Freiberg on bass and vocals, Jim Murray on vocals and harmonica, and drummer Casey Sonoban. Alexander 'Skip' Spence also spent a brief time with the band, before being whisked off to join Jefferson Airplane as their drummer.

Significant in Quicksilver's development was the almost immediate arrest and imprisonment of Valenti for a drugs offence. He did not rejoin the band until late 1969. In 1965, the line-up was strengthened by the arrival of guitarist Gary Duncan and, replacing Sonoban, Greg Elmore.

They debuted at the end of '65 and played around the Bay Area and then the West Coast for the next two years, building up a large following, but resisting offers to record that had been taken up by such San Francisco acid-rock colleagues as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.

Quicksilver finally signed to Capitol toward the end of 1967 and recorded their self-titled debut album in 1968. Jim Murray departed soon after their well-received appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

The quartet of Cipollina, Duncan, Elmore and Freiberg recorded the first two albums; both were important in the development of San Francisco rock music, as the twin lead guitars of Cipollina and Duncan made them almost unique. The second collection, "Happy Trails", is now regarded as a classic. George Hunter and his Globe Propaganda company were responsible for some of the finest album covers of the 60s and Happy Trails is probably their greatest work. The live music within showed a spontaneity that the band were never able to recapture on subsequent recordings. The side-long suite of Bo Diddley's 'Who Do You Love' has some incredible dynamics and extraordinary interplay between the twin guitarists.

Duncan departed soon afterwards and was replaced by UK session pianist and ex- Steve Miller Band and Jeff Beck Group member, Nicky Hopkins. His contributions breathed some life into the disappointing "Shady Grove", notably with the frantic 'Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder'.

"Just for Love" showed a further decline, with Valenti, now back with the band, becoming overpowering and self-indulgent. "Fresh Air" gave them a Top 50 U.S. hit in 1970. Cipollina and Hopkins departed, as did Freiberg following his arrest in 1971 for drug possession (he found a lucrative career later with Jefferson Starship). The remaining trio of Valenti, Duncan, and Elmore hired replacements and cut another couple of albums before disbanding by 1979.

Various incarnations have appeared over the years with little or no success. As recently as 1987, Gary Duncan recorded an album carrying the Quicksilver name, that also featured Freiberg on background vocals, but by then old fans were more content to purchase copies of the first two albums on compact disc.

Gary Duncan has a side project as Crawfish Of Love.

Not many of Quicksilver's members are left. John Cipollina passed away, May 29, 1989, and the great Nicky Hopkins left us in September 1994, and Dino Valenti died November 16, 1994.

In 2006, Gary Duncan and David Freiberg launched a 40th-anniversary Quicksilver celebration tour as Quicksilver Messenger Service. They are still performing.

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