Friday, December 28, 2007

A Spiritual Greeting From White Witch

So if I were to ask you who your favorite Christian glam/hard rock band from Tampa, Florida in the 1970s is, what would you say? Wait! Don't answer yet. You still haven't heard White Witch, a band so excellent you might just forget that they were Christian, or from Tampa. "A Spiritual Greeting" (1974), the band's second album, was a vast improvement over their 1972 self-titled debut (an overpowering hackneyed pop influence, despite vocalist Ron Goedert's struggle to take things beyond mediocre). "A Spiritual Greeting" has slight tinges of Bowie, Alice Cooper, Queen, The Sweet, and even shades of the lighter AOR fluff that predominated at the time, but remained pretty unique. Lyrically, White Witch's narratives imparted a veiled religious message and the just flat-out goofy. "We'll All Ride High In The Saddle" kicks off the album with a tale of a Scrooge McDuck-style tycoon unable to enjoy his wealth due to a spiritual bankruptcy. Another highlight is "Class of 2000," a naive look at the future complete with silver suits, an obligatory sexy android (a R.I.L.F.?), and machines that get people stoned. What kept White Witch from superstardom? Why does an album this good still rot in obscurity? My guess is that this great band from Florida could not win over the more sophisticated audiences and critics in New York and the UK. And perhaps the world wasn't ready for Ron Goedert's crazy vibrating, over-the-top wailing. The guy was fucking nuts, and that is a huge part of why this album is so good. You get that while Bowie may have wanted you to think he was really strange, Ron actually was. He takes on a sort of insane Master of Ceremonies role, presiding over his talented minstrels with a foamy-mouthed madness. Though my cd copy regretably contains no photos of the band, they were very visual in their presentation (as the music and name almost demand) with face paint, gaudy clothes and capes. Ron Goedert died ironically enough in the year of 2000. He didn't live long enough to see robots we can fuck or White Witch inducted into the Florida Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame (which they recently were) but, one imagines that he rests a bit easier in Heaven knowing that his White Witch is hailed along side of such luminaries as Molly Hatchet and Miami Sound Machine.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=9WEJORHQ

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Listening to "A Spiritual Greeting" right now at work and lovin' every note. What a great album. Too bad it didnt get the attention it was capable of...

Fiddlestixx said...

wow only listened to one song so far but these guys should have been huge! thanx...

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enought to see White Witch live in the 70s . The first time they opened for Alice Cooper, Their show was basically identical to their first album. While the era had most people relaxed they had the crowd wide awake with their energy. I know they opened for a couple other bands but dont remember who. If you lived in Atlanta maybe you do. If you love old music and the effort it took to produce a different sound give the a try

Anonymous said...

Omg! Thanks for this, I've been seatching for this album for ages. Best band, I actually met Ron Goedert before they became big in Ohio in 1967, truely an awesome guy..!

Anonymous said...

Just dropping by to say I saw these guys in early 1973 in Rapid City, South Dakota. Had never heard of them before that and went with some friends (was in the Job Corps out in Nemo, S.D.) We dropped some mescaline before getting there, smoked a bit too if I remember right. This is a show that still stays in my mind, it was really a good one. First time (and only time) I saw a guitar player use a bow across the strings as well... Eventually I wore out two copies of the LP but now have CD of the 1st one (my favorite) In years since that time I always expected I'd hear more from the guitar player at the least....

Anonymous said...

I saw WW at the local junior college gym in Albany, Georgia in the mid 1970s. My first concert at age 15. Their shows were beyond words. Peace and love to my brothers, Ronn and the gang.

Sarah Goedert said...

Hello, my name is Sarah Goedert I am the singer of this band, Ron Goedert's daughter and I wanted to let you all know how special it is to me to see that people still give his band credit. After my father's passing I was not sure if people would remember them as they should be remembered and it brings tears to my eyes and emotions to my heart that you can't even understand. These men put their hearts and soul into their music, and oddly enough right before he passed they were talking about getting things back together. I just wanted to say thank you to you all.

Aesop said...

Wow, Sarah, thanks for commenting. Your father must have been a special and great man, his genius is not wasted on us. They should have been huge. A truly great band that cut their own path. This album has given me so much pleasure. Your dad was way cooler than mine, and probably most. All the love and respect to your family.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think Wolfmother sounds alot like White Witch? I'm really getting into the Cosmic Egg cd, mostly because it reminds me of White Witch.

Ralph said...

I'm trying to sort out which gigs White Witch opened (and when) for Alice Cooper back in 1972 as there is currently some confusion as to which ones they were. These exciting and culturally important events seem to have got lost with the passage of time and it's important they get accurately documented before they DO disappear for good.

If anyone can help please contact me via the www.hotrails.co.uk website (yes, it's a Blue Oyster Cult site but as a side-project I'm trying to sort out those early 1972 Alice dates)...

:-)

Anonymous said...

I saw White Witch a bunch of times at the old civic center in Sarasota FL, what an amazing band to see when you were only 16. Also went to see the Ron Goedart Band in Tampa once. I still listen to there music and think about my youth!!!!

Jake Strickland said...

I saw WW numerous times in Sarasota and Tampa. I later got to know Buddy Richardson through his in-laws. I once was fortunate enough to jam with Buddy at their house. I must say, Buddy is one of the few musicians with a professional past that I have met who has zero ego. He was at the time we played together, all about the songs and not about showing off. That was a night I will remember for as long as I live. Thanks to ALL in WW (NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE) for the memories and the music.

Anonymous said...

I had this album when I was in High School in Charleston, WV
It was my favorite!
Thanks Cosmic Hearse!

TheTheory said...

The first track just blew my mind. Great link!

Smitty said...

Just got a mint copy of this album on 8 Track and am cranking it right now. Always loved this band. Back in the early 90s I did some gigs with the bassist and he was so awesome to talk to about the band and the many stories he had to tell. What's funny, as when I was on the first gig, we had performed and were having a drink afterwards, I asked him what other projects he was a part of he said "WHITE WITCH", I nearly flipped out. This was a great band. Visionary Rock and Roll. Great energy, and intense arrangements back by seasoned players. Needs to be more of this.
All hail White Witch!
Cheers
-Smitty