Lost Classics: Tripping Daisy “Tripping Daisy”

They’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

Tripping Daisy // Sugar Fix/Good, 2000

One of the reasons why Polyphonic Spree leader Tim DeLaughter seems so relentlessly upbeat and annoyingly happy? He’s not in Tripping Daisy anymore. The Dallas band endured a long, hard slog through the ’90s due to major-label indifference (three albums for Island went nowhere), a hard-to-shake reputation as Flaming Lips lite and the 1999 death of guitarist Wes Berggren from a drug overdose. Featuring Berggren’s last recordings, Tripping Daisy’s self-titled swan song was a clear bridge to DeLaughter’s future (“Kids Are Calling,” with its “follow the sun” lyrics, is virtually indistinguishable from the Polyphonic Spree) but retained the punchy vibe of a free-spirited, guitar-rocking band that could tour in a regular-sized van.

Catching Up: A handful of Daisy members joined the ranks of the Polyphonic Spree. Guitarist Ben Curtis formed the Secret Machines with brother Brandon, while guitarist Philip E. Karnats issued a solo album in 2006.

“Kids Are Calling”:

23 replies on “Lost Classics: Tripping Daisy “Tripping Daisy””

i wouldn’t say their album “i am an elastic firecracker” went nowhere, they had a hit single “i got a girl” that got regular rotation on mtv, but i suppose that might be viewed as nowhere from an indie pedestal, but their next album jesus hits like the atom bomb was incredible, island just promoted that album bad, plus the label was in trouble at the time. the last album is great too and they will always be remembered in texas..

The photo is wrong for the album you’ve selected. That one is from early 92′ during the record “Bill” I will say, I do look like Carol Channing in that photo by the way. The correct line up photo is in the contents of the CD artwork. Obviously you don’t have it or you would have put it up instead. We’re going to re-release this record on “Good Records” (which was the first release for that label by the way) For two reasons.. It’s Fucking Great! and 2. nobody really knows about it, cause we only printed 2,500 copies. There’s also a song called “Tragaverse” that’s one to behold. Quintessential Tripping Daisy at it’s moments best. I know I’m shameless for boasting my own group so forgive me. I can’t help it, I’m just excited someone has finally noticed this record. Like the feller said in the earlier comment 1998’s “Jesus Hit’s Like The Atom Bomb” IS an incredible record. Another the one that went unnoticed. We were dropped very soon after it’s release. Clearly the best record we EVER
made. It’s definitely our “Odyssey and Oracle” if you will. (god I’m bad) You can even hear hints of Polyphonic Spree pushing to the surface even before the self titled “Tripping Daisy” Thanks again for noticing and allowing me to gush on my own group. Tim

Hi Tim! ‘Really excited about the fact that this album will be available again! I’ve been looking for it for such a long time. I love Jesus Hits, but ‘never heard The S/T 2000 album. Do you have an idea about when it’s gonna be re-released??

Hello Vincent,
I do not have a definite date of release. But it will happen hopefully in the next year or so. You will definitely know when it happens, I will be blowing my horn all around the planet so the people will know. We’re going to add some materials that will make it a little more special than it already is.
Thank You for your love of “Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb”

My brother taped this for me as a gift when it came out. Found it the other day again after…years…and listened to it non-stop driving all the way to south London and back home last Sunday (4 plus each way hours, traffic was a ‘mare) the album helped!

I’ve not heard the last album but it sounds great. I grew up listening to Abbey Road nearly every day so in which case according to the review, should be a real treat!

Never knew that Wes passed on so that was a story I missed out on and he ‘sounded’ (pun alert) like a nice person who loved making music and its great that his and the bands influence still reaches today.

My brother is a guitarist himself in a great psychdelic band and he his re-listening to ‘Jesus hits like…’. for anyone interested! I am glad he turned me on to this album. I’m glad I still have my cassette copy. I bloody well love it and want to hear the final album now. Some things you just appreciate more and more with age.


I am 25 and live in Dallas. I am a MASSIVE Daisy fan who owns almost everything they ever released. I looked for that self-titled album forever and couldn’t find it at all. I also checked Good Records. I finally found one at the Borders books by Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville. I only grabbed one copy, but there where 3 or 4 more copy’s there. They might still be there if anyone is without it. It is an extremely important record for any Daisy fan to have. The last six songs run together wonderfully, kinda like the end of “Abbey Road”. If you fast forward to 11:20 on the last song, you’ll get a nice little treat. I taught myself to play guitar listening to TD albums, and they are all great. I do agree that “Jesus Hits” is them at their best. Defiantly can’t wait for the re-release of some of their stuff.

Wow they only made 2500 copies and I owned one. Wish I still had it, This album was great. Hope they re release it, makes me fell like a kid again to hear it.

Tim, if you read this then i hope my two pesos will help support the re-release of your self-titled album.
First off, i followed you guys around as much as i could in the texas area going to any show i could since Bill. I grew up listening to your music experiencing it since i was 17 and saturating my life with it. It was and is that good to me. Tripping daisy WAS the soundtrack to my youth.
Each new album ,” Elastic firecracker” and then “Jesus hits like the atom bomb”, got better and better. “Jesus hits like the atom bomb” was a complete masterpiece. Individual songs have multiple melodies that are just… beautiful. I never understood why your albums didnt get more recognition but if it means anything, EVERY SINGLE ONE of my friends i turned on to you got hooked. They would say to me “I’ve had the atom bomb in my car cd player for 2 months straight and i just cant get enough of it”. It was one of the few infections one was glad to get.
The last album is, for me at least, very…”emotionally intense”-for lack of better description. I owned it for a year or two before i lost it in a breakup and am still trying to track it down in its entirety, although ive gotten a couple tracks here and there. Its an awesome album with clear traits of the Polyphonic beginning to show. I am SUPER excited to hear of its return and relieved that those wonderful sounds wont be lost and fading in my head. I hope i dont offend by saying that you owe it the band and to your fans give us access to the music that feeds the soul and paints the backdrop to the play that is our life. Its also something that Polyphonic fans will love: the REAL beginning stages of.
I know i sound like a nut, but with music so good i know im not alone.


When you re-release “Tripping Daisy”, would you please print some copies on vinyl!
Also, it’s not a shamelessl boast. That album is beautiful.


To Tim DeLaughter,

I personally met you and the rest of Tripping Daisy playing pool in a blues bar in Kansas City, MO way way back. You were hanging out before you guys played a show across the street at The Hurricane. Those of you I met, were way cool.

Honestly, I didn’t know about the loss of your guitarist, my condolences. Just researched it today and found this post after realizing you are the voice of Polyphonic Spree. Cool. (Ok, so it took me a while to figure it out, different hair color, that’s why 🙂

I am also a drummer in a local KC pop/rock band and we LOVE what we play (shameless plug: Haunting Heather – ha ha)

My main reason for writing this is: I am happy to know that you and your fellow band mates found and perform the style of music that you love. Don’t get me wrong, Tripping Daisy was an awesome ensemble and it is a chapter in the story that is just as powerful. I look forward to the re-release. Life is an Adventure, you never know where it’s going to take you. It’s good to know you guys have continued on and found a way to live it to the fullest. Don’t ever stop.


I’ve had this window open for a few days, trying to figure out if it is the real Tim DeLaughter of Tripping Daisy/The Polyphonic Spree who posted the comments above. Whomever did make the comments misspelled “Tragiverse” and incorrectly punctuated “Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb.” That does make me suspicious.

I’m still investigating my curiosity about Timmy D. posting on here. Probably cuz I should be applying to jobs, so researching this random thread of comments I found whilst googling for the track listing of this album is naturally how i’m using my time.

I stand corrected from my prior comment (1/19/10, 3:39am). I am back to thinking it is the real Timmy D. who commented. I noticed this Tripping Daisy setlist at 1:37 in the following video:

Not that anyone besides me gives a hoot!

does anybody actually own this record??? after loving JHLTAB for about 4 years now and just hearing Kids Are Calling for the first time, all i can think about is hearing to the self-titled album. i NEED it!

This CD is pure magic and brilliant. When Tripping Daisy disbanded, their former publisher demanded royalties, and our distributor didn’t pay us, that ended our label effectively. We believed if the band were still together and had toured behind this release, it would’ve been a big underground hit and would’ve very likely been picked up for many movie soundtracks. Oh, well, such are the results of drug abuse and the rock n’ roll lifestyle. I still have my memories, two copies of this CD, and my health. What could have been…

Hey Tim –

Got “Tops” a couple of weeks ago on vinyl when GRRs relaunched! Love it, you and the band. Took me back to a better place and time. I can’t thank you enough for the music you’ve created and the memories I’ve created listening to you guys. Tripping Daisy was the soundtrack of to high school/college years.

Hopefully everything you guys released will see the light of day again on vinyl (hint!). Especially Bedhead. I can’t find that thing anywhere.


I’ve been listening to TD since Bill was handed to me by a friend in high school in 94. This band got me though my teenage years and beyond. When Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb came out I couldn’t stop listening to it and played it relentlessly on my college radio show. I’ve got every album including a 7 inch that was put out with Centro-Matic. Thank you Tim for all the great music you’ve put out over the years. I can’t wait to own the Preteen Zenith album. From what I’ve heard so far, it sounds incredible.

Jesus hits like the atom bomb and the Tripping Daisy self titled record
can be found. One of the easiest and best ways is to do an internet search for them. Try google shopping,, and others.
Another gem to surely get if you’re a Tripping fan is Time Capsule.
There is a copy of it at right now lol!
And of course, put in some leg-work and pound the pavement at your local
music/record store. I hope you all find them.

Listen to a podcast review of I Am An Elastic Firecracker by Tripping Daisy on Dig Me Out at, a weekly podcast dedicated to revisiting lost and forgotten rock of the 90s.

This is eons late but I would LOVE some Tripping Daisy on vinyl!!! I just bought I Am An Elastic Firecracker from Discogs, totally worth every penny! I would much rather give those pennies to the dudes who created this incredible music though! Although I love every album I would love nothing more than to own “Bill” on vinyl, I’m actually doing a project in my Graphic Design degree of a vinyl anniversary-ish package design for “Bill”. I’d probably poop my pants if it was released on some swanky vinyl! To sum this up, thank you for existing and I love you.:D

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