Quicksilver Messenger Service

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1993 (The 1994 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Quicksilver Messenger Service (1968)
Happy Trails (1969)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Fresh Air (1970)

Quicksilver Messenger Service @ Wikipedia

Quicksilver Messenger Service Videos

Will Quicksilver Messenger Service be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


18 comments so far (post your own)

Since we're discussing 60's rock a little bit I had to throw this group in. Not that I think they should be inducted, but they did some good stuff and had a unique sound. "Fresh Air" is one of my all-time favorites...it finally got posted on Rhapsody with great digital quality (which Dameon "the vinyl man" is gonna hate hearing...lol!!!).

Posted by Gitarzan on Saturday, 09.27.08 @ 09:15am

Great band!
I own all their catalog between vinyl/cd.
Gary Duncan often got overlooked as a great guitaist because of John Cipollina be foced on
( who i also really like).

The S/T album called "Quicksilver" sans Cipollina is one of their most consistent imo.

Duncan is still out there using the name touring,they released a couple cds "Shapeshifter" for one,but the only one still alive from the orig. band is David Frieberg who sits in occasionally.
They're more jazz-instrumental now,Greg Errico plays drums with them too from Sly's band.
Dino Valente's son does as well.

Posted by Gary James CA on Saturday, 09.27.08 @ 09:24am

Man, that's good information. I said that about Dameon because he has what sounds like a "killer" collection of vinyl. My vinyl collection went the way of coasters, frisbees, and former roomates who felt like they needed certain albums more than I did... My mom still has a lot of her original Elvis vinyl, both 45's and albums (which I'm always threatening to steal...lol)

Posted by Gitarzan on Saturday, 09.27.08 @ 09:28am

Yes, i was supposed to receive my package via mail yesterday.Could you please tell me when it might come postman?Thank you.

Posted by S.R on Tuesday, 03.17.09 @ 18:56pm

"Who Do You Love" and "Mona" have to be 2 of the greatest live recordings of any San Francisco late sixties bands.

Posted by Ed on Friday, 03.27.09 @ 19:12pm

Never a big fan, but they do have one song I think is truly great - "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". Excellent track.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Saturday, 03.28.09 @ 13:59pm

QMS were also a counterculture band and wrote some politically poignant songs. They definitely were ahead of their time when it came to writing songs about the environment. "Have Another Hit" "of fresh air" was very hip to keeping the environment clean.

"What About Me" was a song that was asking the so-called American establishment (remember this was Richard Nixon's power time) "what are you gonna do about me?" I always interpretted that song as saying that the older generation didn't know what to think of those pot smoking peaceniks and that they wouldn't let them integrate into the mainstream. The writer of this song was upset over the treatment of the counterculture by being thrown in jail and beaten for their anti-war and pro-marijuana lifestyles.

QMS defined the SF hippie movement. I think QMS had some characteristics of the Grateful Dead.

Posted by Ed on Saturday, 03.28.09 @ 15:57pm

In response to Gary James - 9.27.08 - In addition to Duncan & Frieberg, Greg Elmore the original drummer is also still alive - just not involved with his band mates.

Posted by Chasfro on Saturday, 04.11.09 @ 17:28pm

The QMS 1965-68 (pre-Dino)was Amazing!
To us from SF that band is Hall of Fame.
Then dino showed up & John & David left.
Away from dino's ego & act.
Dino's QMS is not Hall of Fame.
Pre-dino one of the great jam bands ever!

Posted by ntg on Sunday, 04.26.09 @ 09:25am

John Cipollina was a hell of a guitarist. Listen to his guitar solo on the live medley of "Who Do Love" (also called "How, Which, Who Do You Love")

Posted by Keebord on Tuesday, 06.9.09 @ 17:40pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the masterpiece that "The Fool" is (on the debut album) and the recognition that in the genre of psychdelic rock, this piece stands out so far above the rest. In addtion to the Grateful Dead's "Thats It For The Other One" I use the 11-minute "The Fool" as a prime example of where everyone's heads were at; way up there...

Posted by st.stephen on Monday, 10.26.09 @ 16:12pm

surprised no one has mentioned the masterpiece that "The Fool" is (on the debut album) and the recognition that in the genre of psychdelic rock, this piece stands out so far above the rest. In addtion to the Grateful Dead's "Thats It For The Other One" I use the 11-minute "The Fool" as a prime example of where everyone's heads were at; way up there...

Posted by st.stephen on Monday, 10.26.09 @ 16:12pm

True ROCK leaders they did it their way.. I hope they get IN

Posted by mrxyz on Monday, 10.26.09 @ 19:54pm

I don't know if they've got enough going for them overall to put them over the fence, but they've got some killer tunes. And Cipollina was a great guitarist.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 03.29.11 @ 13:35pm

They were the #3 band in the "Classic" SF pecking order scene of 1966-1970. They had the best lead guitarist, and were by far the tightest of the top SF bands in the Filmore West era (bands like the Airplane & G.Dead could barely tune their own instruments!). They also put down on vinyl the very, very best "artifact" of what psychedelic SF music sounded like in its prime. The "Happy Trails" LP is the closest you can get to being there w/o a time machine.

Oh, and when microwave popcorn came around but no microwaves were yet in dorm rooms, how do you think people made the popcorn? By cranking up, way up, Chip's (John C.) guitar solos on "Who Do You Love", of course. And how about that intro to "Mona"?- "this one's rock n' roll", and then they prove it!

Posted by Skip on Wednesday, 05.15.13 @ 04:51am

This band defines psychedelic rock. No one who attended one of their concerts in the 60s will ever say they don't remember it...even though this might be the only thing they remember from the 60s. QMS "tore the roof off" long before Parliament-Funkadelic.

I was a veteran of the Fillmore in the 60s...BLESS you Bill Graham and friends! After moving to SoCal in 1968, I saw QMS at a place called the "Bank." That concert was one of the loudest, most astounding musical presentations. Why, my ears are still ringing.

They took everyone's breath away with their arrangements and sonic inventiveness. There were no holes in their music. They certainly laid the foundation for the evolution of Pink Floyd and others who explored electronica and feedback.

So, if you think those movie portrayals of Voodoo rituals depicting bodies writhing on the floor and whirling like dervishes are fantasy, I am here to testify that the Bank concert was that scene.

Not only that, their lyrics ran the gamut from politics ("Pride of Man" - remarkable, TIMELESS song; "What About Me" - a great environmental statement) to love ("Light Your Windows").

Cheesecrop (above) mentioned "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You." You gotta believe that Led Zep adopted this number because of what QMS did to make it so powerful.

St.Stephen (above) called "The Fool" a "masterpiece." Indeed...it is. If you have not heard it, get undistracted, turn off the phone, stop texting, slide the headphones on, and submerge into the 12 minute version. What a sonic tour de force. QMS did things in this song not heard before or since.

For anyone who needs to know this band, the first album (Quicksilver Messenger Service) is perfect.

Happy Trails is a full-on, psychedelic concert with some great music. The Original Score from...Revolution is a great time capsule of excellent 60s music and features two QMS numbers. I believe it's available only in vinyl.

I am waiting for some enterprising tribute band to pick up on the QMS sound. If they play it true and with passion, they will melt minds.

Posted by steven on Thursday, 07.2.15 @ 23:08pm

Have no logical idea why they are not in..

Posted by Calkid on Sunday, 09.6.15 @ 23:10pm

We will be playing a few cuts of my fathers in the newly formed " Airplane Family & Friends" on the East Coast in Dec. 2016
Along with my Pop's hit song "Get Together" which was made famous by the Youngbloods and was one of PK's favorite which The Airplane covered in almost every live set.
QMS does belong in the Hall tho.
Joli Valenti

Posted by Joli on Monday, 10.24.16 @ 01:56am

BB King was the headliner for a show including two other bands in the early 70's. BB said that if the audience were to hang around for a stage change, "A special treat of performers will be coming up next". We were tripped and peaking even more wondering, what's up with this, we stayed and so glad we did. QMS was introduced, I was not hip. QMS was a real treat, they played great, an exceptional jazz tinge Rock n Roll, cool,clear,clean badass psychedelic music and lyrics. I got hip about them soon after that concert show. This r-n-r band should be introduced into the r-n-r hall of fame. I understand why BB King set us up that night with this blues based band, Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Posted by Allen Franzen on Thursday, 10.5.17 @ 10:44am

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