How Is The Air Up There?
(Steve Duboff - Artie Kornfeld)
New Zealand 1966
#4 NZ

This was The La De Das' second single, although their first, Ever Since That Night/Little Girl on Talent City, had limited distribution.

The B-side was another Duboff-Kornfeld composition, also originally by The Changin' Times, Pied Piper, best known in the version by Crispian St Peters.

The La De Das were a popular Auckland band that grew out of The Mergers, formed in high school in 1963. Their styles moved from the Shadows through the Stones to prog rock, before breaking up in 1975 with Kevin Borich the only remaining foundation member. From the late 60s they worked mainly in Australia, where their biggest hit was Gonna See My Baby Tonight.

See also The La De Das' NZ #1 Hey Baby.

How Is The Air Up There? appeared on Rhino's Nuggets II. [Amazon link]

Further reading: The La De Das page at Milesago covers all the personnel and stylistic changes. See also Bruce Sergent's history of the band at his NZ music site.

Thanks to Dave Monroe for suggestion and background.

How Is The Air Up There?
(Steve Duboff - Artie Kornfeld)
USA 1965
Original version

Single on Philips label.

The Changin' Times were Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld, the writers of this song. Another Changin' Times Duboff-Kornfeld original, Pied Piper (1965), was a hit for British singer Crispian St Peters in 1966 in both the UK and USA.

Writer-producer Artie Kornfeld had worked in the Brill Building school of songwriting in the early 60s: Jan & Dean's Dead Man's Curve was one of his early co-writing credits, and he wrote The Angels’ hit I Adore Him (1963) with Jan Berry of Jan & Dean. In 1967, after writing and producing for The Cowsills, he was appointed Vice President of Rock by Capitol Records, a recording industry first. Artie was one of the originators of the 1969 Woodstock Festival (his face is familiar to anyone who has seen the movie).

Steve Duboff (1941-2004) met Artie Kornfeld at Screen Gems Music Publishing. Duboff-Kornfeld collaborations included The Rain, The Park And Other Things (1967) and We Can Fly (1968), both hits for the Cowsills (produced by Artie Kornfeld).

Artie Kornfeld's official website has more biographical details. See Variety for a tribute to Steve Duboff's varied career.

Not to be confused with Australian band The Changing Times.

Thanks to Artie Kornfeld.

Later versions:

How Is The Air Up There?
(Kornfeld - Duboff)
USA 1982
Later version

On The Bangles' self-titled debut EP.
How Is The Air Up There?
(Kornfeld - Duboff)
New Zealand 1999
Later version

On album Always Outnumbered by New Zealand duo.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.