Few bands possess a cosmic alignment as strong as that of MU, the early ’70s band led by West Coast psychedelic visionary Merrel Fankhauser and Captain Beefheart guitarist Jeff Cotton. Following the relative lack of commercial success with his ’60s projects, the cult-favorite Fapardokly and HMS Bounty, Fankhauser joined with Cotton and a series of players from the Mojave Desert scene and went on to form MU. Taking their name from cloud formations and mythology relating to the lost continent of Lemuria, the group remained true to the psychedelic experience by embarking upon extended “LSD meditations” to compose their songs.
After the release of their debut album in ’71, the members of MU continued to follow their spiritual callings and wound up moving to the Hawaiian island of Maui to explore UFO and extraterrestrial connections. They later purchased a banana and papaya plantation to finance their life on the island, where they continued to write songs and perform at local gigs for years after. When the group finally drifted apart, Fankhauser moved to the jungle where he lived for almost 14 years.
Merrell Fankhauser is performing at the The Hilton Garden Inn Ballroom in Palmdale California on July 17. What a long strange trip it has been, indeed.
Listen to one of the songs composed during MU’s “LSD Mediations” below.