Josefus

Get Off My Case

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The cult legend surrounding obscure Texan hard rockers Josefus was established almost entirely by their 1970 album, Dead Man; a self-released rough gem of psychedelic hard rock originally printed in such limited quantities that even avid collectors were largely unaware that the group had in fact recorded an earlier, never released version of it tentatively entitled Get Off My Case. Taking place at the same Phoenix, AZ studios, just four months earlier, on December 17 and 18, 1969, at a modest cost of $1,500, the Get Off My Case sessions yielded seven tracks, four of which would eventually find their way, re-recorded, onto the Dead Man LP. None of these -- "Crazy Man," "Country Boy," "Situation," and even the epic jam "Dead Man" -- differed all that much from their revised, second attempts in terms of structure, but did boast looser executions and rougher production standards, which may actually prove even more appealing to low-fidelity-loving crate-diggers. Among the three cuts left out of the return sessions, both the rambling, unfocused "Get Off My Case," and the instrumentally inspired, but lyrically fragmented "A Social Song" were, in retrospect, understandable casualties. But the more elaborate, well-constructed "Feelin' Good" showed great promise in its sunny So-Cal psych intro and subsequent sub-Sabbath riffs, which could have easily been fine-tuned for a second attempt, had the band chosen to reprise it. In sum, these tracks afford an interesting but not quite essential survey of Josefus' earliest material that only diehards might truly appreciate. As for the history that surrounded it: after the Get Off My Case sessions wrapped, band manager Jim Musil took its tapes to L.A. and, still insisting on touting the band by the more provocative name, "Come", instead of their preferred Josefus, and proceeded to shop them to record companies, all to no avail. By March, he received a letter from the group requesting that their relationship be severed, as Josefus was already re-recording the album for its eventual release as Dead Man, leaving Get Off My Case to vanish into oblivion, until being tagged onto Dead Man CD reissues of the late '90s.

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