The Other Half (band)

For the Canadian 2000s tour band, see: Leslie Carter.

The Other Half
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Years active1966 (1966)-1968 (1968)

The Other Half was an American psychedelic garage rock band, based in San Francisco, and active in the mid-to-late 1960s. The band gained interest after one of the Nuggets compilations in the 1980s included their single, "Mr. Pharmacist".


The Other Half formed in Los Angeles Southern California, but later moved to San Francisco.[1] They played several shows at Chet Helms Family Dog shows at the Avalon Ballroom.[2] Their music was strongly influenced by Yardbirds and Rolling Stones. Guitarist Randy Holden had been offered the chance to replace Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds before joining The Other Half.[3] The Other Half were at their peak when the music scene was at its height in San Francisco and the Flower Power movement in full swing in Haight Ashbury. Their style changed from an earlier vocal based garage band, to the loudest big stage band sound of the time, taken in that direction by former Sons of Adam guitarist Randy Holden. Their sound has been compared to The Yardbirds, and contained elements of blues, hard rock, and Eastern melodic influences.[3] Holden left the band after their debut album was recorded, dissatisfied with the recording and the guitar he was playing at the time, later stating "I was trying to accommodate everyone else, at the expense of my own soul and happiness".[3] Despite Holden's misgivings, the album has been described as "awesome incendiary rock".[4]

Holden went on to join Blue Cheer before embarking on a solo career.[1]

The band's "Mr. Pharmacist" was included on one of the Nuggets compilations in the early 1980s, Volume 12: Punk Part Three,[5] and was later covered by The Fall, becoming a number 75 UK chart hit.[1] A collection of their recordings, titled Mr. Pharmacist was issued in 1982. This included their entire 1968 album and several tracks from singles.[6] Two songs, "Bad Day" and "Oz Lee Eaves Drops" appear in the 1968 pilot episode of The Mod Squad.

Band membersEdit


  • "Mr. Pharmacist" (G.N.P. Crescendo Records, 3 December 1966)[7]
  • "Flight of the Dragon Lady" Acta
  • "I Need You" b/w "Wonderful Day" (Acta Records 1967)

Vinyl LPEdit

  • The Other Half (1968) Acta Records (reissued (2004) Radioactive)
  • Mr. Pharmacist (1982) Eva


  1. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie "The Other Half Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
  2. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2000) "Randy Holden Interview", Perfect Sound Forever
  3. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie (2000) "Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers", Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-616-5, ISBN 978-0-87930-616-8
  4. ^ "The Other Half (review)", Head Heritage
  5. ^ "Various – Nuggets Volume 12: Punk Part Three". Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  6. ^ Unterberger, Richie "Mr. Pharmacist Review", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
  7. ^

External linksEdit