Check out Paper Rad's music video Bubble Puppy (Flash animation, takes a few secs to load--but worth it!). The tune is actually "Hot Smoke and Sassafras" (1968), by the Texas psychedelic band and one-hit-wonder the Bubble Puppy (more info on them below). Mixing '60s hippie mysticism with '70s bad taste, Paper Rad envisions the band riding (and playing) on top of painted vans with names like "Green Shock" and "Midnight at the Oasis" while the Egyptian desert scrolls in the background. The eponymous dog suffers from some sort of magical mystery hydrophobia that causes blue bubbles to hover in front of its mouth and ass. The animation has a nice dirt-style feel with lots of gratuitous gradating and sunburst effects--like van painting come to life. Of course, it's also completely self-aware, recycling all the MTV moves in a hilarious, inept-but-not-really parody style.

Back to the Bubble Puppy itself, here's a cached text from an apparently defunct web page (really takes you back to the days before corporate control clamped down on the music biz, when you could still have spontaneous regional hits):

Memories of Bubble Puppy
by Roy Cox


BUBBLE PUPPY
THE "HOT SMOKE AND SASSAFRAS" BOYS

I instigated the formation of the "Bubble Puppy" in 1968. We were four of the best available musicians the State of Texas had to offer. I had worked with Rod Prince in the Bad Seeds. We heard about Todd Potter from our original drummer, Clayton Pulley. Rod Prince knew David Fore and he took Gregís place. Greg was our second drummer. After the Puppy solved itís personnel problems, the band was one and we really came together.
In my opinion, we were four of the most talented and dedicated musicians the world had to offer. I have never since and neither will I ever again experience that type of bonding with other human beings. We all wanted the same thing - to be a Rock and Roll player. And for two wonderfully creative years, we did just that. No one on this planet could have been more dedicated to the cause than "The Bubble Puppy".

We wrote "Hot Smoke" one night in the recording studio. We had the place all to ourselves. Todd was ill at the time, so Rod, David, and I went to the studio to jam. Oh, the jams we used to have! Cream was our inspiration. Todd came in a few days later and added his lead part. "Hot Smoke" was then on its way into the history books and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is listed under the category of "One hit wonders". I am proud. Incidentally, "Hot Smoke" was not the intended single, the flip side was.

The Puppy was then on its way. "Hot Smoke" was a huge hit. Staying at the top of the charts for literally months, it was #1 in such places as Houston, Chicago, Miami, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Philly, etc. for two and three months running. We were amazed.

We then managed to have the ultimate experience. The Puppy toured with everyone who was anyone -- Steppenwolf, Spirit, Canned Heat, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Grassroots, MC-5, Ambouy Dukes, Chambers Brothers, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Nice, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, ZZ Top, Moody Blues, BB. King, Grand Funk Railroad, Mother Earth, Rare Earth, The Turtles, Ohio Express, The 1910 Fruitgum Co., The Buckinghams, Sir Douglas Quintet, Blackoak Arkansas, Bob Seger. The list goes on and I just canít remember all of the wonderful and talented artists who we met while on the road. And if you came to Texas, you played with " The Puppy".

Some of these men and women are still my friends. And they, as well as I, are very excited about this new venture - the "BluesKnights". Many of them are ready to participate in this project and I am extremely happy about that.

I will mention the time I met Hugh Hefner and Buddy Rich in Chicago at a club called the "Kenetic Playground". We were there to perform for the weekend and Friday had been canceled because of a unruly "peace demonstration". However, Mayor Daily of Chicago lifted the curfew the next day, and we performed Saturday night. That night, our booking agency - William Morris, talked us into staying over for Sundayís performance of Buddy Rich. That Sunday night, I watched Buddy and his band play the complete score of the musical "West Side Story", and he performed a forty-five minute drum solo. Only the way that Buddy could. Later I met both him and Hugh. I could go on about four young men with a hit record. It was merely AWESOME.

And that was then and this is now.

The New Bubble Puppy CD Hot Smoke will be released soon!

Click here to go to the NEW Bubble Puppy UPDATES page!

Ciao . . . Roy

BluesKnights Headquarters
505 San Jacinto, Ste. #101
Austin, Tx 78701
512-472-9888
roycox@bluesknights.com

- tom moody 5-22-2003 3:40 am


I used to go to the "playground" on Friday and Sat Nights, where else could you see three bands for $5.00. We were all bummed that the Puppy didn't play on Friday, but we all got tickets to come back, and I did. Your group, ZZ Top, Nugent et al help to keep me sane during those crazy daze. Thanks
- anonymous (guest) 5-15-2005 3:26 am


I remember when "Hot Smokes" hit the charts. I believe that unique sound influenced other bands at the times. Although many tried to duplicate you, they never came close. Thank You for your contribution to the world of "Real Music".
- oldGuamrocker (guest) 2-07-2007 2:41 am