Bassist Mark Tulin, whose career spanned work as a founding member of the ’60s garage band the Electric Prunes to temporary duty in the Smashing Pumpkins, died Saturday, Feb. 26. He was 62.
Tulin collapsed while working on the Avalon Underwater Clean-Up on Catalina Island.
Founded in the San Fernando Valley and originally known as the Sanctions and Jim and the Lords, the Electric Prunes took their risibly hallucinogenic name at the suggestion of engineer Dave Hassinger.
Signed to Warner Bros. Records’ Reprise imprint, the quintet scored a No. 11 U.S. hit in 1966 with the defining slice of garage psychedelia “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night).” The song later appeared as the leadoff track on Lenny Kaye’s epochal 1972 garage compilation “Nuggets.” A second 45, the similarly memorable “Get Me to the World on Time,” reached No. 27.
Two later albums bearing the band’s name and based on liturgical music, the opulent “Mass in F Minor” and “Release of an Oath,” were actually cut by producer David Axelrod primarily employing session musicians. The group essentially disbanded during the making of the former album.
The band acquired a cult-like following of garage-rock fanatics over the years, and Tulin ultimately rejoined original members Jim Lowe and Ken Williams in a new edition of the Electric Prunes in 2001; the band recorded a pair of indie-label albums.
Later Tulin was a member of Billy Corgan’s Sky Saxon tribute band Spirits in the Sky; in April 2007, he briefly joined Smashing Pumpkins as substitute bassist for a Record Store Day live performance in Hollywood. The bassist also appeared on Smashing Pumbkins album “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.”
The Electric Prunes were working on a new album, with Corgan producing, at the time of Tulin’s death.