Incense and Peppermints – The Strawberry Alarm Clock

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………on November 26th of 1967 “Incense and Peppermints” by The Strawberry Alarm Clock hits the top of the Billboard Pop chart. The recording was initially intended as a ‘b-side’ and the lead vocal is actually that of a friend of the band, 16 year old Greg Munford, who was just hanging around during the session. Munford was not even a regular band member, but ended up singing a tune that would become a Rock and Roll standard and sell over a million copies. Despite this success, Munford never actually joined the original group and drummer Randy Seol sang the song in concert. Although it was a huge success in America, the single didn’t chart at all in the UK. This song has a rather convoluted history that Mark S. Weitz, who was the original keyboard player of the Strawberry Alarm Clock, helped us sort out. The writing credits on the song are listed as John Carter and Tim Gilbert, who were not part of the band, and the lead vocalist on this track Greg Munford was also not a member of the group. The group’s guitarist, who co-wrote this song, was Ed King. In 1970, an unknown band called Lynyrd Skynyrd opened some shows for The Strawberry Alarm Clock, and King got to know them. In 1973, King joined Skynyrd on guitar. This is a good example of “Psychedelic” music, which was very popular at the time. Many of these songs had a drug influence, and that may have been the case here. According to the group’s bass player George Bunnel, they were trying to sound British when they sang this, but their fake English accents ended up sounding trippy, which ended up working very well.