While the majority of the San Francisco scene wallowed in long jams that took liberties with tuning, timing and musical structure (and I *like* a lot of those bands, so no insult intended), groups from the bay area suburbs (especially the south bay/ San Jose area, including the Chocolate Watch Band) were far more polished than their urban contemporaries. The Stained Glass formed in the wake of the Beatles, and boasted incredibly polished vocal harmonies, and a songwriter of great potential in bassist Jim McPherson. The rest of the group was guitarist Roger Hedge, guitarist Bob Rominger, and drummer Dennis Carrasco. "A Scene In Between" could have easily stepped off of the Beatles Revolver LP, as its full of trippy sound effects layered on top of a catchy song. Sadly, RCA dropped the band after this release (although the group continued on, minus Roger Hedge, for two LP's of country-rock until breaking up at the turn of the decade).
Rolling back to 1966; after experiencing heavy local success, talent scouts from RCA scooped up the group and released their debut single, a cover of The Beatles "If I Needed Someone". While it's a good cover, the flip side shows off the groups' strengths far better, in a original composition from Jim McPherson. This slice of moody folk rock is sophisticated and haunting.For their next release,
Jim McPherson's songwriting is once again showcased on 'My Buddy Sin"; a track which is a highlight of the San Francisco Nuggets box set. Upping the temp but losing none of the moody nature, the group shows that they had the potential to be a MAJOR act, yet for all of their talent they fell through the cracks. Perhaps the music was too dark and uncommercial...
For their third RCA release, the label took no chances and enlisted Brill Building duo Mann/ Weil to provide the VERY catchy "We Got A Long Way To Go". Although the song is far more commercial than their previous offerings, the sound of the record is still unmistably Stained Glass. The record proved to be a MASSIVE local hit in San Jose, but it never took off nationally. The group had one final shot with the masterpiece ("A Scene In Between") and then their Beatle-esque roots were shed. Sadly, Jim McPherson died in 1985, although he had massive success as co-writer (with quicksilver's David Frieberg) of "Jane", a massive hit for Jefferson Starship.