The band that became Quicksilver Messenger Service originally was conceived as a rock vehicle for folk singer/songwriter Dino Valente (b. Nov. 7, 1943, d. Nov 16, 1994), author of "Get Together." Living in San Francisco as the band was being put together, Valente was imprisoned on a drug charge and he didn't rejoin Quicksilver until later.

They debuted at the end of 1965 and played around the Bay Area and then the West Coast for the next two years, building up a large following but resisting offers to record that had been taken up by such San Francisco acid rock colleagues as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. Quicksilver finally signed to Capitol toward the end of 1967 and recorded their self-titled debut album in 1968 Happy Trails, the 1969 follow-up, was recorded live.  By the time of its release, however,  the group became  a sextet.