Arthur Blessitt

Soul Session At His Place Creative Sound 1972
Soul Session At His Place
Can you say hippie? Hollywood street preacher Arthur Blessitt could as well as a host of other late-60's slang terms. Blessitt was known for hosting the all-night psychedelic nightclub His Place in the center of Hollywood's Sunset Strip, attracting "acid heads, speed freaks, bikers, prostitutes, hippies, pushers, Hell's Angels, Black Panthers...', etc. Though Blessit's nightclub (with it's logo of a fused cross and a peace sign!) is long gone, those of us who missed this era can get a taste of what it was like via this little vinyl encapsulization. The album breaks down into three parts: 1) The Sermon - Blessit's 16- minute message doesn't bear up for repeated listening, but is worth hearing once to catch him encourage his audience to not drop downers, but to "drop a little Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John".

Witnessing outside the Whiskey a Go-Go

2) The Music: three songs of low-tech garagy rock by The Eternal Rush - a band of converted drug addicts including Charles McPheeters' brother Jim. 3) The Soul Session: this is the highlight - a hilarious 14-minute combination of song, sermon, and comedy, recorded live at His Place. Blessit's pouting-televangelist preaching style (punctuated with phrases of "can you dig it", "take a trip with me", "bummer", "He'll give you a high...", etc.) is backed with a slow country gospel piano and chintzy organ, with the band singing 'Jesus" (more accurately moaning) through the whole thing, coming off as a strange Red-Sovine-turns-hippie-Jesus-freak tearjerker ballad and making for a most unusual listening experience. Hear Blessit's half-tongue-in-cheek "visions" of a transformed Hollywood where the Whiskey-A-Go-Go becomes the Jesus-A- Go-Go, the Classy Cat becomes the Saved Cat, the crap tables are cut down to make prayer altars, and the sheriffs carry Bibles in their gun holsters. But beneath Blessit's apocalyptic lunacy there's a seriousness that goes beyond the "Jesus is cool' attitude prevalent in the Superstar era. Oddball relic from another time. KS

The Jesus Witness Word 197?