Bard DuPont

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Bard Dupont was the original bass player for the Great Society, the fine psychedelic group that featured a pre-Jefferson Airplane Grace Slick. Dupont was working at the post office and telling co-workers,…
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Bard Dupont was the original bass player for the Great Society, the fine psychedelic group that featured a pre-Jefferson Airplane Grace Slick. Dupont was working at the post office and telling co-workers, falsely, that he played bass in a rock group. This led a colleague to urge him to contact guitarist Darby Slick, who was looking for a bass player for the Great Society. Even though Dupont confessed to Slick that he couldn't play bass at all, Slick asked him to learn, since his hair was already long enough to qualify on visual grounds. Dupont did have a semi-famous contact in the folk world, as in New York he had been a roommate of folk guitarists (and recording artists) Mark Spoelstra and Tom Paxton.

Although Dupont did write some songs while in the Great Society, including "Proud Blues" and "Shazam," they apparently were never played by the band. According to an article in the '60s San Francisco rock fanzine Cream Puff War, he contributed to the group original "Don't Talk to Your Father," later adapted into the instrumental "Father." He did influence their repertoire by suggesting "Deep Blue Sea" (which he had heard Spoelstra sing) and Peggy Lee's "I'm a Woman" as suitable material, although these again didn't make it into their permanent repertoire. Dupont is on the Great Society's sole single, "Someone to Love"/"Free Advice," as well as a wealth of Autumn demos that have been issued on the Born to Be Burned CD. However, the band were dissatisfied with his bass playing, and also felt he wasn't taking music seriously enough, and he was replaced by Peter Vandergelder in early 1966. He later managed the Outfit, which included for a time Bobby Beausoleil, later a notorious member of the Charles Manson Family. He also played in the obscure '60s Californian groups the Demon Lover and the Venus Flytrap.