Few businesses are more square than the insurance racket. Still, the Kansas City Life Insurance Company did inspire Jaded to write their own psychedelic songs. Originally a five-piece called Castle Ghost—named after a Chad & Jeremy song—the band mostly played covers until the suits came calling in ’67, looking for a “youthful-sounding” slant to their insurance pitch. For Donald Meador’s first original composition “Come Our Day,” Castle Ghost was paid what a group of high schoolers call a small fortune—$200 for 20 seconds. The track saw distribution as a flexi-disk sent through the mail, intended to introduce hip new parents to the “young family money builder.”
With their confidence bolstered, their wallets heavy, and their guitar player departing for Vietnam, Castle Ghost regrouped in 1968 as a quartet—this time named after “Jaded,” the Shel Silverstein folk song. The new lineup featured Donald Meador on guitar, Gary Allen on drums, Greg McArthur on bass, and William B. Anderson on vocals, organ, flute, recorder, and harmonica. Where Castle Ghost leaned pop, Jaded explored more experimental terrain, incorporating wah-wah, echoplex, tape effects, and fuzz into their turned-on original material.
Under the watchful eye—and financing—of B-Jet Records’ Robert Marquez, Jaded headed to Cavern on March 26, 1969, to record “Lovin’ You’s Blues” and “The King Was.” Though the songs never saw vinyl, Marquez had a handful of acetates cut on Cavern’s lathe for the band to shop around to local radio stations. Sadly, disk jockey Johnny Dolan hated their fuzz guitar and said they were “too psychedelic” for him to air on WHB-AM. More appreciative were Jaded’s peers and fellow area musicians: Fraight even recorded the Anderson/McArthur composition “One Girl,” produced up the road at Damon by the Classmen’s Drew Dimmel.
Failing to gain much radio or record label attention, Jaded faded circa 1970. The band split apart as Anderson and McArthur went full-on folk with Hot Cha Cha. Anderson would later join the punk movement, playing with Atlanta’s Heathen Girls in the late ’70s, finally paying off Silverstein’s “Jaded” lyrical promise: “Yeah, I’m over loved and overfed, And you say I should settle down with you instead. Well I may be tired, but baby, I ain’t dead. And I’ll never be that jaded!”