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Tim Ward


Tim Ward came of age in the grip of Michigan’s mitten. Like nearly every other boomer with a guitar, he longed to be a Beatle and made further advances in that mission than most. Formed at the leading edge of Ward’s teens, his Ides Of March beat the same-named Chicago outfit to market with the 1964 single “Life Has Been So Good,” which sold out its puny pressing of 300 discs, gained traction with local radio, and landed the band an opening slot for Paul Revere & the Raiders at Saginaw Stadium. The streak continued for Ward’s generically named Blues Company unit, which rode a similar streak of luck that culminated in the “She’s Gone” 45 issued by Great Lakes Records.

But disaster struck when Ward played the draft lotto. He drew 50, low enough to assure service. The band broke up, and Ward acquiesced to his fate, though his conscription physical revealed blood pressure too high for jungle warfare. Instead of a reprieve, the diagnosis sucked Ward into a Kafka-esque bureaucracy. Widespread draft resistance and a crackdown on medical deferments forced Ward to return frequently for random exams and torment from the draft board. Depression and paranoia consumed him, with songwriting his only release. Tim Ward’s sole LP was sketched during this desperate period but remained unrecorded until nearly a year later, when he was cleared from active duty. Issued under the boyish pseudonym Timmothy, Strange But True appeared on Ward’s own Pear label in 1972. Jacket text proclaims, “This album was recorded under extreme conditions, thus making all the songs very strange but never the less true.” Though more melancholy and meandering than extreme or strange, “Good Morning” doesn’t stray far from that description. Apart from finding little substance in a band called THC, Tim Ward flew solo throughout the 1970s, transmitting a handful of singles from his basement studio.


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