Fifty Foot Hose formed in San Francisco in 1967. Like few other acts of their time they consciously tried to combine the contemporary sounds of rock with electronic instruments and avant-garde compositional ideas. They were one of the most radical groups of the psychedelic era, and their experimentalism still has the power to shock and surprise even now.
What set them apart were the pioneering experiments in electronic music, like the band they are often compared to, The United States of America. Incorporating theremin, siren, audio generators, and other various electronic effects as Cork Marcheschi, the band's original bass player had developed an acute interest in the dadaist/futurist experiments of composers like John Cage and Edgar Varese. David and Nancy Blossom brought both psychedelic and jazz influences to the band. Cauldron, their only album, was released in December 1967, including "Fantasy”, “Red the Sign Post” and “God Bless the Child”, a Billie Holiday cover. An intriguing mix of jazzy psychedelic rock tunes with fierce and advanced electronic sound effects. These sound experiments differentiated them from their contemporaries and most audiences didn't quite know what to make of them.
So fans of flowery, psychedelic 60's music must beware of this odd gem, Fifty Foot Hose’s music leans more towards White Noise, Silver Apples and specially United States of America than to the whole flower power movement. After only one album, the proto-cyber psych outfit passed as quickly as they came. Their only mention would be a name-check in Ralph J. Gleason’s 1969 book, “The Jefferson Airplane And The San Francisco Sound” published over a year after their demise. Ralph J. Gleason wrote: “I don’t know if they’re immature or premature.” History has proven them to be the latter. Today the original album is very collectable and considered a touchstone of avant garde rock music.
"The concept was to expand what contemporary popular music was. I thought the avant-garde could have had a home with this new group of listeners but they turned out to be pretty conservative - intellectually . Drugs were fine - sex was fine - stop the wars was good but when challenged with abstract art., they reacted like conservative people look at a Jackson Pollock painting." (Cork Marcheschi).