Tampa Bay Garage Bands


Bethlehem Asylum
CHARLES DECHANT sax, flute, vcls A
CHRISTIAN GANDHI piano, trombone, alto flute A
DANNY FINLEY ld gtr, vcls A
BUDDY HELM drms, perc A
JIM NEIMAN bs, vcls A

1(A) COMMIT YOURSELF (Ampex 10106) 1970
2(A) BETHLEHEM ASYLUM (Ampex 10124) 1971

1 Child Of The Mountain/Talkin' 'Bout Love (Ampex 11009) 1970
2 Child Of The Mountain/Talkin' 'Bout Love (Ampex 11020) 1970
3 Ring My Bell/? (Ampex 11041) 1971

This band's two albums are worth a listen with the first album being the better of the two. It contains lots of jazzy instrumentation and the better tracks are Sea Rider (which has lots of good piano work), Sailboat Ride (which features some nice sax and flute) and Earth (which also has some good flute pieces and jazzy piano). The final cut It's About starts with some rather discordant guitar work. The first 45 was taken from this album but consisted of the two most commercial but least interesting tracks. There's more of a country influence on the second album, particularly to the vocals - a good example of this would be Ring My Bell, which was also issued as a single. Also of note are Blind Man's Buff, which is quite bluesy and has some good flute pieces and Tales From The Citadel for its spacey intro. which soon gives way to the sort of jazzy instrumentation that characterises both albums.

They originated from the Clearwater/Tampa area in Florida although they toured extensively all around the South and had a good live reputation and were often double-billed with The Allman Brothers.

Buddy Helm (ex-Those Five) went on to play briefly with Frank Zappa and then Tim Buckley. Charles Dechant later played with the Hall and Oates band, with whom he has spent the last 15 or more years. The guitarist/vocalist Danny Finley went on to the Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys band and co-wrote many songs over several albums. Christian Ghandi has been missing many years, any info would be appreciated and Jim Neiman is now deceased.

www.buddyhelm.com/bethlehemasylum.html is their web page...

Copyright © 2004 By TEDD WEBB • All Rights Reserved