Deluxe reissue of the legendary ’70s California bedroom psychedelic album – restored/remastered transfer and never-before-heard demos. Includes a 32-page booklet with dozens of unpublished photos and images and a thorough investigation into this exceedingly rare artifact.
Psychedelic rock record collectors have been repeating the name Heitkotter as if it were a mantra ever since the first copy of a hand-made demo LP turned up in a Los Angeles music publisher’s reject bin, with nothing more than that word scrawled across a plain white jacket.
Now-Again Records embarked some years ago on what seemed like a fruitless crusade â€“ to find out more about this Heitkotter, his music, his story. In the process, we’ve visited the house where this confounding album was recorded, found Heitkotter’s musicians, rescued the demo-recordings that paved the way for this album, uncovered unpublished photos and paintings by the man behind the album, and are now ready to present the definitive look into a musical vision equal parts dangerous and peaceful, nihilistic and optimistic. It’s safe to say the world has never heard something like Heitkotter â€“ it is a unique piece of art unlike anything that came before or has come after it.
The bizarre LP known as Heitkotter â€“ recorded in around 1971 and pressed in a run of less than twenty five copies – was the culmination of one Stephen David Heitkotter’s artistic career. Ross Dwelle, Stephen’s childhood friend and the drummer on the record, describes the bedroom sessions in a handsome Craftsman home in Old Fresno as this young trio “trying to play five songs written by a man losing his mind… probably stoned the whole time.”
Heitkotter, this time issued as Black Orckid, as we assume Stephen would have wanted it – is too complicated to be written off as a symptom of a greater ill, or lionized by a few (and dismissed by the majority) as “outsider” art. It’s a rare and vital look at 60s and 70s American rock through the sad story â€“ and incredible music â€“ of an untethered soul. And as we hope to show in enlightening more of Stephen’s backstory, it can also be considered sweet, kind and optimistic. The Heitkotter tale is cautionary, but Stephen’s music is as close to the sublime as American rock has ever ventured.