How did such a wonderfully strange name such as Ant Trip Ceremony come about? The band's name came from Steve DeTray. He entered Oberlin College in Ohio in 1964 but took a hiatus from college in 1966 and part of 1967. He went to stay with his brother in Logan, Utah. There Steve formed a band and needed a name. By chance he mentioned it to an English professor at the nearby University in early 1967. The professor suggested a phrase, "ant trip ceremony", from an American novel whose title Steve can't recall. The author described modern societal life as an ant trip ceremony. Steve thought it spoke to the alienation felt by many of the younger generation in 1967, and the name stuck. So in essence there were two different groups with the name Ant Trip Ceremony. The first one Steve formed in Utah in early 1967 and then the second one which he formed at Oberlin in the fall of 1967.
Steve left Utah in the summer of 1967 and headed back for a tour of duty at Oberlin College. The band he had in Utah had broken up and Steve wanted to put together another band at Oberlin. Steve put out the word that he wanted to form an electric rock and roll band. Gary Rosen was playing in a blues band with George Galt and Mark Stein. Stein, a multi-talented instrumentalist, was a flute major at the Oberlin Conservatory. Roger Goodman was a brilliant keyboard player, but refused to play it while in Ant Trip Ceremony and only wanted to sing. All the members for the new band were from Oberlin with the exception of Jeff Williams who was a local sixteen year old up and coming jazz musician.
The Ant Trip Ceremony album was recorded during two sessions. the first
session was in February of 1968
in a rented hall at Oberlin. Steve
was there for the first sessions but had left Oberlin by the spring of
1968 and was not present for the second recording session. The album was
called "Twenty Four Hours"because that was the feeling behind the
sessions(ie.that it took what seemed like twenty four hours to record). The
machinery used for the recordings was primitive. The band used a KLH tape deck for playback and a two track
Roberts reel to reel for recording. When
they wanted to multi‑track
they would record on one side of the tape and then record
on the other side as well. Then they would
mix it down to the KLH. The reason the album sounds somewhat
because the KLH had one faulty speaker and thus the speaker balance
leaned heavily to the left. This
ended up affecting the final mix-down.
Three hundred copies of the album were pressed and one hundred were sold
for $3.00 each!! The album's expenses was shared equally by the band members.
The artwork and production was done at Oberlin for free. Why was the album done?
Steve was leaving Oberlin, and the band wanted to capture some of the magic they
had collectively created anything could happen in those days, that there were no
Matter Now”-a lovely psychedelic number that predates the background vocal
effect John and Yoko were doing in 1969 and 1970. “Sometimes I Wonder”- no
available comments on this blues flavored melody.
T TRIP CEREMONY- 24 HOURS
2. Pale Shades Of
4.Four In The
8.Violets Of Dawn
12.Get Out Of My
A special thanks
first and foremost to Steve DeTray for the great photos and inside information,
George Galt for the time he took to be interviewed for this project and his
great wealth of information about the 60's.
Gary Rosen for putting the finishing touches to the whole project and his
continued success in the music business world, albeit a children’s one with
lots of fun.
(C)(P) 1999 Cicadelic Records P.O. Box 30054 Tucson, Arizona 85751