Bubble Puppy

Home » History Greatest People » Bubble Puppy

Bubble Puppy is a Texan psychedelic rock band originally active from 1967 to 1970. Bubble Puppy was formed in 1966 in San Antonio, Texas, by Rod Prince and Roy Cox who had previously performed together in the rock group called the Bad Seeds.

Looking to form a “top gun rock band” based on the concept of dual lead guitars, Prince and Cox recruited Todd Potter, an Austin, Texas gymnast, saxophone player, and guitarist.

With the addition of Danny Segovia and Clayton Pulley, the original line up of Bubble Puppy was complete. The name “Bubble Puppy” was taken from “Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy”, a fictitious children’s game in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

Bubble Puppy’s live debut was as the opening act for The Who in San Antonio in 1967. They made a terrific album in 1970 that documented the band making a transition from psychedelia into a more direct, powerful style of what would eventually become hard rock.

“Demian” yielded no hits, but it remains a collector’s item, with sellers seeking $50-$100 on eBay for a copy these days. On March 19, 2011, three of the original members of Bubble Puppy reunited for the first time in 25 years for a performance at The Austin Music Awards.

The band also added Mark Miller (guitar) and Jimmy Umstattd (bass) to the line-up. David Fore met the two while playing in Austin cover band, the Kopy Kats. David and Mark also played together in the mid-70’s in another popular Austin cover band, Zeus.

In April of 2013, Gregg Stegall joined the line-up taking Todd Potter’s place in the band. Bubble Puppy was the second-most-famous ’60s rock band named after writings by Aldous Huxley.

Which isn’t to diminish what the Texas psychedelic rock band accomplished during its four-year run, only to say that Bubble Puppy made one album with one formidable hit before bad business sunk the group? The Doors, which also looked to the English writer for its name, managed to stick around a little longer.

Houston provided Bubble Puppy its first break. Prince and Cox were recording demos with a friend in town when they got an offer to record for the International Artists label, which also was home to Austin’s popular psych-rock band the 13th Floor Elevators.

The band had a number of issues with International Artists, as many acts did. Among them was a clumsy approach to releasing music.

“Hot Smoke and Sassafras” was the B-side of the song “Lonely.” Fore says the band thought “Hot Smoke” should’ve been the lead single with another B-side, and have “Lonely” released as the second single.

Houston provided Bubble Puppy its first break. Prince and Cox were recording demos with a friend in town when they got an offer to record for the International Artists label, which also was home to Austin’s popular psych-rock band the 13th Floor Elevators.

The band had a number of issues with International Artists, as many acts did. Among them was a clumsy approach to releasing music. “Hot Smoke and Sassafras” was the B-side of the song “Lonely.”

Fore says the band thought “Hot Smoke” should’ve been the lead single with another B-side, and have “Lonely” released as the second single.Bubble Puppy hit with “Hot Smoke” before it had an album, “another IA oversight,” Fore says.

Eventually, “A Gathering of Promises” was assembled, and the band had a record to promote. The cover is a brilliant relic of its era, with the four members dressed by a theatrical costume designer.

The four men of Bubble Puppy didn’t find fame out West. By the numbers, Bubble Puppy was a one-hit wonder. But that shouldn’t be read as a pejorative. The band’s output is rich and deeper than one song.

Bubble Puppy hit with “Hot Smoke” before it had an album, “another IA oversight,” Fore says. Eventually, “A Gathering of Promises” was assembled, and the band had a record to promote. The cover is a brilliant relic of its era, with the four members dressed by a theatrical costume designer.

The four men of Bubble Puppy didn’t find fame out West. By the numbers, Bubble Puppy was a one-hit wonder. But that shouldn’t be read as a pejorative. The band’s output is rich and deeper than one song.