Ribbons of Euphoria


Ribbons of Euphoria was a super-tight blues- and psych-rock trio that developed a huge following after forming in London in 1968.  In 1970, they expanded into a quartet when they took a gamble and asked Rod Tarpleigh--the adventurous free jazz vibraphonist and former leader of the Jazz Sentinels--to join the group.  The gamble paid off.  Tarpleigh's unconventional style--including close-miking his vibes and running the signal through various effects pedals (wah, fuzz, phaser)--created otherworldly sounds that melded with the band's aural landscape.  

Although the band was most known for album tracks such as "Boxy Woman" and "Periwinkle Fog," Tarpleigh surprised the group during their appearance at the 1971 PLUS Fest by calling out an oldie-but-a-goodie:  "The Star Spangled Banner."  It is certainly true that no one in attendance had ever heard anything like it, and the rendition has become iconic.  (Not necessarily in a good way; the Francis Scott Key Preservation Society sent a strongly-worded letter to ROE imploring the band "not to do that again.  Please.").