Jan 4, 2017

A Unique Opportunity!

If you were at Santa Ynez High School sometime between 1964 and 1969, you’ll remember what an exciting time it was musically. There was the Royal Dolphin Club on Oak Street, where bands from all over the county played while we girls danced in our minis-dresses and go-go boots with boys wearing powder blue cords and madras shirts. When the Dolphin closed its doors, the Barn in Santa Ynez opened theirs and, somewhere in there, we also danced at The Soaring Sun and all of the school dances. It seemed a live band played somewhere every weekend—and we were there!

In 1965 a band of four good looking guys in matching suits and dog collars performed at the Dolphin Club and took us by storm. That band was Ernie and The Emperors (the core of which was the three Orosco brothers, Ernie, Cory, and Brian) and they hooked us with their Reprise Records 45 “Meet Me At The Corner.” Do you remember going to Bob’s Appliances to buy your records? The Emperors’ single hit the Top 5 not only in that shop, but also on all of the county’s radio stations. When they had a night off of their job as the house band at Earl Warren Showgrounds, they played all over the state and went on to make some pretty impressive tours as Big Brother Ernie Joseph, sharing the stage with the Allman Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, and many others. Their albums, including the iconic collectible, Confusion, is still selling, fetching upwards of $300 per copy.

When they returned to Santa Barbara, they opened a recording studio where through the years they worked with such luminaries as members of Ambrosia, the Doobie Brothers, the Grass Roots, The Drifters, Herman’s Hermits, Missing Persons, the Marshall Tucker Band, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, Toto, Vanilla Fudge, Tower of Power, and Canned Heat, as well as Katy Perry and Chaka Kahn. And the list goes on.

In 2012 Lillimar Pictures made a documentary on the band, Makin’ It, in which filmmaker John Ferry follows the musical careers of the Orosco brothers from when they sang for snacks at the market in their childhood State Street neighborhood, to today. In Makin’ It, Ferry caught the essence of what made Ernie, Cory, and Brian so popular with their audiences, and what has kept them popular all these years. Focusing on their dedication to music and to each other, Ferry delivers an intimate look into their lives and hearts. And heart has always been what sets them apart from other bands.

In more recent years the group has been performing under the name of The Brian Faith Band and, speaking as one of their original appreciators from the Dolphin Club, I’ll vouch for them. The years have been good to them. Their sound still is fresh and they still put on a good show. The dance floor is seldom empty once they get going! From Ernie’s prowess on lead guitar, Brian’s amazing voice, and Cory’s mastery of any instrument he picks up, this band just plain rocks. But don’t think you’ll hear merely a great cover band. Just as they did in the 1960s and ‘70s, they have a huge catalog of catchy original songs, too. The band has been through a number of incarnations through the years so they’re more than qualified to please any audience, from those of us who love to experience a little nostalgia to those who enjoy taking in new bands. Whatever you want to hear, these guys will deliver, and they’ll do so with the magic they showed us back in the Sixties when they first thrilled us with their uplifting sound and their unique showmanship.

On Friday night, January 6, you’ll have the opportunity to see them when they perform at The Maverick Saloon (the old Barn where they used to perform in the Sixties) in Santa Ynez. If you’re an alumni of Santa Ynez High School (or even if you're not!) you won’t want to miss this event!

Dec 13, 2016

Our Bands' New Year's Eve Gigs!

Some of our Gold Coast musicians will be playing on NEW YEAR'S EVE! They're kind of scattered around the country these days, but that only means more people can enjoy them! I'll be adding more gigs to this post as I receive them. If you'd like your gig added, please email me via the Contact page.

(Wade Johnson)
Fusion Grill and Bar
503 E. Hurst Blvd.
Hurst, TX
9 pm

(Ernie and The Emperors)
The Sportsman
4426 Central Ave.
Camarillo, CA
9 pm

Wherever you live,
Support Your Local Musicians!

Jan 24, 2015

RIP Tom Boyce

March 18,1952 - January 24, 2015

Born in Chicago,Tom Boyce moved to Thousand Oaks in 1964, where he attended Glenwood Elementary and Thousand Oaks High School before graduating from Moorpark College with a degree in Music. Through the years he played the music of many genres,including classic Rock, acoustic music, roots Blues, Jazz, and his own original music.

While still in high school he played bass with the BluCoats, a local band whose members included Wade Johnson, Larry Caird, Jim Peretti, and Medardo Canales.

He was a founding member of SeaCloud, a band that wrote, recorded and performed original music.

Tom also played professionally with Rock Bottom Freight, touring the Western United States and Canada. He performed throughout Germany, France and Switzerland, culminating with performances at The Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1978.

Tom also built two service companies. He formed TBW Landscape, a gardening and landscaping company in the 1970s and Prosteam, a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company in 1978.

Tom was a songwriter, co-producer, and co-owner of Equal Eyes Productions/Cardinal Recording with Matt Schaffer, dedicated to assisting local talent by producing and recording songs and co-writing. He performed locally with SeaCloud, Maddjakk, Hambone, and the Worship Band at Anthem Church, as well as other projects. The director of Musicians On a Mission California and the Thousand Oaks Music Awards, Tom took on bass students at all levels as well as music theory students.

Tom lived with a life-threatening heart condition for 17 years before undergoing a heart transplant in 2010. Afterward, he wanted to honor his heart donor by being of service to others. Working with Musicians On a Mission California allowed him the opportunity to combine his love of music with his desire to give back to young musicians in the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas.

Nov 18, 2014

Order Yours Now!

This Just In:

Forced Exposure, the distributor of the new Children Of The Mushroom LP and CD, are now taking pre-orders. Release date for the album is set for December 3rd.

Click here to visit the site.

Here's the write-up:

"Though they only released one 45 during their existence, Children of the Mushroom epitomized the psychedelic garage sound coming out of California in the late '60s. Formed in Thousand Oaks by Jerry McMillen and Dennis Swanson, they evolved from a mid-'60s teen-beat band called The Captives. In 1967, they became Children of the Mushroom, a name which reflected their new psychedelic sound and image. The following year, they caught the attention of a couple of young producers, who signed the band for a 45 release. Recorded in 1968 for Soho Records, August Mademoiselle/You Can't Erase a Mirror is one of the masterpieces from the first psychedelic era: feedback, fuzz, organ, and mysterious vocals. Soon after, the band incorporated a new guitar player, shortened their name to The Mushroom and started playing in a more heavy psych vein, in a similar style to Iron Butterfly. This retrospective album includes both tracks from their monster 45, with sound taken from the master recordings, plus previously unreleased tracks by The Mushroom, recorded in 1968. These are raw, lo-fi home recordings with lots of fuzz guitar and organ. It's the sound of a psychedelic band in 1968 playing free and wild, without any producer or record label executive telling them what to do. An incredible document. Remastered sound. Fold-out colour insert with liner notes, interview with the band members, and rare photos."

Thanks to Dennis Swanson (COTM drummer) for this news!

Nov 17, 2014

Keeping in Touch

Now that winter is closing in on us (maybe our Tri-Counties will be blessed with a little rain...PLEASE?), I want to remind you to visit The CGCD Webpage for info and pix on all of your favorite bands. There's a lot of stuff over there, but I can always use more!

Also, don't forget to send in your upcoming gigs information. The Gigs Page gets a little lonely and I know a lot of your guys are still out there making the music happen!

Meanwhile, here's a pic Wade Johnson (BluCoats) posted of Gary Plyly's house ("Jam Central"), taken in February 1972. And guess what? I'm in the pic. You can barely see me in my pale green shirt. (Click to enlarge.) From left to right: Patrick Van Auken, Charity Carter, SK Waller, (unknown), Larry Wiseman, Gary Plyly, (unknown). If you know those other two guys' names, please leave them in a comment.

Stay warm and keep on keepin' on!

Aug 15, 2014

Wally-Fest VII

On Sunday September 21, Thousand Oaks bands and musicians who have known each other and have performed together since the 1960s will be holding their annual Wally-Fest, a benefit to aid Wally, who is Wally World Music Store owner and original member of Cast of a Thousand.

The public is invited to come to the store's parking lot, 1526 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, from noon to dusk to enjoy a BBQ, music, and good times!