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The Mystery Trend

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The Mystery Trend was a rock band from San Francisco, California. They were part of the early wave of bands in the “San Francisco Sound,” with The Charlatans and The Great Society, and played with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane early in their careers. Although they are categorized in the San Francisco Sound, they differed from other bands in the scene because they were not a folk rock group nor did they go psychedelic, but their sound was influenced more from the British rock and mod sound of The Kinks and The Who and the Motown sound writing of Holland-Dozier-Holland.

The Mystery Trend’s name has proved appropriate in defining their fate. They were a band that lots of rock music scholars have heard of — mentioned in lots of essays about San Francisco in the mid-’60s — but never heard. Even the Charlatans, another Bay Area band that barely made it out of the starting gate where records were concerned, are better known, by virtue of their music having bounced in and out of print from various sources over the past 34 years. The Mystery Trend never recorded much professionally, and a lot of what they did was in the realm of works-in-progress, rather than finished pieces of music.

The group’s other big problem was that their sound wasn’t too much in sync with the music most people associate with mid-’60s San Francisco. They started out doing R&B based dance music, then gravitated toward the Beatles, the Kinks, the Zombies, and Bob Dylan, but they never really sounded like any other band.

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