2016-09-19 13:46:27 UTC
RIP Eleanor Barooshian AKA Chelsea Lee of The Cake
Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ajsmith, Sep 6, 2016.
Sad to hear from Duglas T Stewart of the BMX Bandits that Eleanor passed away on August 30th at the age of 66.
Duglas T Stewart on Twitter »
Eleanor Barooshian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia »
Eleanor centre in this image with the cult girl group the Cake, who were notable for being a psyche-era girl group who wrote their own material:
Eleanor was later a member of Ginger Baker's Airforce.
She is also famous for her gender reversed 1967 duet with Tiny Tim:
Monday 19 September 2016 07.47 EDT
My friend Eleanor Barooshian (sometimes spelled Beruchian), who has died aged 66, was a member of the American all-women group the Cake, whose 1960s recordings exerted an influence on subsequent female rock groups in inverse proportion to their negligible commercial impact.
One of five sisters, Eleanor was born in Weehawken, New Jersey; her parents were killed in an accident when she was 13. She first came to musical prominence as a teenager at Steve Paul’s Scene Club, a headquarters of the New York underground of the mid-60s. She was a frequent vocal partner of Tiny Tim, and their duet on I Got You Babe – Eleanor taking the male part while Tiny Tim sang the female line – was immortalised in the 1968 cult movie You Are What You Eat.
The Cake, in which she was joined by Jeanette Jacobs and Barbara Morillo, started out singing a capella at the Scene. Managed by the team behind Sonny and Cher and Iron Butterfly, they recorded two albums, The Cake (1967) and A Slice of the Cake (1968), at Gold Star studios in Hollywood during the heyday of psychedelia, with the New Orleans veteran Harold Battiste as their musical director.
She and Jeanette had become confidantes of Jimi Hendrix in New York, before the guitarist left to make his name in London, and she accompanied him to the Monterey pop festival in the summer of 1967, where they were photographed with Otis Redding, the other star of the event.
The pianist Mac Rebennack had been one of the musicians on the Cake’s sessions, and when the group split up in 1968 Eleanor and Jeanette joined him in his guise as Dr John the Night Tripper, as his backing singers. That year she also sang on Soft Machine’s Why Are We Sleeping?, a track for the band’s debut album, recorded in New York. One of their members, Kevin Ayers, made her the subject of a song called Eleanor’s Cake (Which Ate Her), written for his first solo album, Joy of a Toy, in 1970.
I first met her around that time in London, where she and Jeanette joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force as lead singers. After leaving the band, Eleanor moved to Japan where she recorded an album with the sometime Free and Faces bassist Tetsu Yamauchi, before vanishing from the music scene.
When she resurfaced several decades later, she reintroduced herself to a wide circle of friends under the name Chelsea Lee. A resurgence of interest in the Cake led to a reunion appearance with Morillo at a Hendrix tribute concert in 2006 and to a swift reissue of the group’s much sought-after albums.
Eleanor was twice divorced, and is survived by her sisters.