An Interview with Peppy Castro of the Blues Magoos

Q: When did the idea for Psychedelic Resurrection come to be?

A: Over the years and decades people have always been suggesting a reunion. It actually took years to put into place. Once it was decided that we would attempt it, I (Peppy) came up with the CD title. I wanted to have the word Psychedelic in the title as this has been part of the groups legacy.

marklindsay4_largeQ:It’s fun to see Mark Lindsay with a splashy, colorful CD cover, as well as current “garage bands” utilizing neo-psychedelia – perhaps pastel meets psychedelic. Who did your cover art and who came up with the concept?

A: The Cover was a combination of two friends and myself. Kenn Lubin who is an iconic Art Director started it off and then Scotty McAloon took it from there and did the majority of the lay out and design. They both are with a company called King Displays in New York that do all the signage for the Broadway Shows among other things.

Q: Do you know what TV show this clip of We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet is from?

A: Sorry I did survive the sixties in tact but haven’t a clue anymore as to where that one was. I want to say a local TV show in Texas?

Q:What was the “Demo That Got The Deal” for the 45 RPM on Verve Records and/or was it a live performance that got the contract for”So I’m Wrong and You Are Right” b/w “The People Had No Faces”

A: Really The Magoos on the streets of New York playing the Nite Owl Cafe got us the attention but I would say both songs were independently produced and that secured the Verve Deal.

Q:Were guitarist Dennis LePore and drummer Jon Finnegan onboard for the Verve single or had they already been replaced by Geoff Daking on drums and Mike Esposito on guitar?

A: Yes we never went to records with Dennis and John.

Q:What is the current 2015 line-up of Blues Magoos?

A: Ralph Scala (Keys voc Orig) Geoff Daking (Orig drums) Peppy Castro (Orig Guitar/vox Mike Ciliberto (New Member Guitar
Peter Stuart Kolhman (New member Bass).

Q:What was the Demo that Got The Deal for Mercury Records or was it a live show?

A: I’d say more based on the group live.

Q:Did you know other Mercury/Philips acts like Spanky & Our Gang, Bobby Hebb and Buzzy Linhart?

A: We were on the same bills with Spanky and knew them as label mates and casually at shows. I didn’t know Bobby Hebb but was very close with Buzzy.

Q:Did the Blues Magoos ever play onstage with Jimi Hendrix?

A: Never with a professional gig. He did come in and jam with us at the Nite Owl.

Q:Ralph and/or Peppy, did you fellows know Jimi Hendrix well?

A: We knew Jimi in passing and hanging out in the same places in the Village. The Tin Angel etc.

Q:Did you and Buzzy Linhart ever jam together with Hendrix?

A: Not all three. Separately. Again Buzzy was very close to all of us but I have to say more so with me. We spent a lot of time together.

Q:How does a group in 2015 launch a single in this climate? Internet radio, YouTube, traditional terrestrial radio?

A: All of the above. Sadly intellectual property and the sanctity of ones creative recorded works seems to be public domain these days.

Q:Are there plans for a follow-up to Psychedelic Resurrection?

A: At the moment it is a gargantuan effort to even play out and gig. The logistics of being a working band is much harder these days. So it is more a labor of love and reunion. We are taking things one day at a time. The creative juices are there though.

Q:The Vanilla Fudge play their self-titled hit album in its entirety on tour, will the Blues Magoos be performing Psychedelic Lollipop and/or Electric Comic Book on tours?

A: Not in it’s entirety. Oddly enough Basic Blues Magoos our 3rd Lp is a fabulous record and we even do some songs from that as well.

Q:Are you considering a live album from this tour?

A: It hasn’t been discussed. I think we are testing the waters.

Q:Do you have live tapes from previous years, and would you consider a vintage Blues Magoos Live album from tapes made back in the day?

A: We haven’t really done that much. One offs here and there. I don’t think recordings exist with any kind of quality. If we keep performing, that would be an option. The band is very musical live and the more we play out the tighter we become.

Q:What do you think of the CD vs Vinyl and the new Vinyl craze?

A: Vinyl is always welcomed to the purists. CD’s bring in a younger audience. I think both are pretty obsolete in the big picture because people just rip off the music and records sales are way off.

In 2011 Sundazed Records reissued Psychedelic Lollipop and Electric Comic Book on limited edition (1000 copies) vinyl and CD from the first generation Mercury master tapes with greatly improved sound quality compared to earlier reissues. (from Wikipedia)

A: The people at Sundazed are dedicated Audiophiles and keep the music alive and much appreciated.

Thanks for your time, Peppy!

My Pleasure Joe. All the best.

Peppy to be interviewed on 2 pm on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The Blues Magoos will appear at Johnny D’s in Somerville on Thursday, May 21, 7 PM

Here are the dates for Somerville/Boston, Connecticut and New York for this upcoming weekend.

May 21 – Somerville, MA – Johnny D’s
May 22 – New Haven, CT – Café Nine
May 23 – New York, NY – Bowery Electric

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.