Stack was formed in Los Angeles in 1967 by a group of high school friends, two of whom were guitarists Rick Gould and Kurt Feierabend. They played the usual teenage gigs through the year before merging with another local band, Wabash Spencer. The final lineup included Gould and Feierabend, along with Bill Sheppard (vocals), Buddy Clark (bass), and Bob Ellis (drums). Not your average forgotten teenage band of the '60s, Stack opened for the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly, and Frank Zappa, but beyond supporting larger acts, they also gained a certain degree of popularity themselves throughout Southern California, headlining over acts such as Alice Cooper. Stack, like so many other young bands during the time, were undone by poor management and youthful naivete. They rehearsed and played at Long Beach's Marina Palace, and its owner, Bill Robertson, became their manager. While playing one night at the Palace, Stack was offered a recording contract with Mike Curb's Sidewalk Productions. They signed an eight-year deal with the company that gave them virtually nothing besides the opportunity to record their music. It did, however, enable the band to record Above All at several Los Angeles studios in 1969; unfortunately for the band, the album was shelved, and Stack became a tax write-off for Sidewalk Productions, with no recourse other than to call it quits since they were still under contract. The album was never officially pressed, so the reissue on Gear Fab is a godsend for lovers of raw psychedelic beat music. ~ Stanton Swihart

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