Jan Ashton

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Jan Ashton [born Jan Errico] was one of the very few women drummers of note in 1960s rock, playing with San Francisco Bay Area folk-rock/psychedelic bands the Vejtables and the Mojo Men. She also sang…
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Jan Ashton [born Jan Errico] was one of the very few women drummers of note in 1960s rock, playing with San Francisco Bay Area folk-rock/psychedelic bands the Vejtables and the Mojo Men. She also sang in those groups, and her strong folk-rock voice was probably the greatest asset that both of those bands enjoyed. She was also a decent songwriter and penned the Vejtables' sole Top Hundred hit, the 1965 single "I Still Love You," which sounded like the lighter work of Vejtables labelmates the Beau Brummels. In 1966 she joined the Mojo Men (who retained the name Mojo Men despite the addition of a Mojo Woman) and cowrote much of that band's material with bassist Jim Alaimo.

Ashton also had a brief solo career in early 1966, when the obscure Autumn single "Cold Dreary Morning"/"Smile, Smile, Smile" was recorded, although apparently not released. Ashton has said that these are in fact Vejtables tracks, despite her solo billing. Both sides were Ashton originals, "Cold Dreary Morning" being a pleasant pop-folk-rocker somewhat in the mold of a rockier We Five or Seekers, and "Smile, Smile, Smile" a tougher tune whose shifting minor keys were more in keeping with the emerging San Francisco psychedelic sound. "Cold Dreary Morning" was eventually issued on the Rhino compilation Nuggets Vol. 7: Early San Francisco, and both tracks are on the Sundazed Vejtables compilation Feel...the Vejtables.