Just Checking In

I had every intention of keeping you updated during my California Dreamin' trip, but now that it's half over I realize that just wasn't a practical goal. I've been having the best time!

It all began when I flew into Santa Barbara and drove to the home of Ernie and the Emperors. It was awesome to see the guys after so many years, and to meet Brian Faith Band singer, Karen Perry. I got along so well with her and her husband Karl, in fact, I spent last Thursday evening in their beautiful home sharing sips and nibbles and making a lot of music. After I tuned up Karen's Ovation guitar, we went through a fun list of songs, each taking turns soloing and then harmonizing with each other. But I'm jumping ahead of myself...

The Brian Faith Band at Blackbeard's
I went to the BFB's gig on Friday night at Blackbeard's on the Ventura harbor and had a great time. I don't remember the last time I danced so much. Ernie killed the audience with Pride and Joy. In fact, each of the band smoked their own solo number. Seriously, check out the band's website to find out when and where you can see them. You won't be sorry! I met Joel Anderson, who is the editor-in-chief of the Ojai Ventura View, at Blackbeard's. He's a great guy, very caring and supportive of the arts.

Me with Brian Faith.
I moved on to the Santa Ynez Valley where, not only did I sample some excellent wines and take the "Way Back Machine" to my childhood, I did a little research too. What used to be Solvang's main live band venue in the 1960s, The Royal Dolphin Club, was situated directly behind my hotel, so I went there to find it was open. It's a church these days, but some of the members were having a BBQ and had no problem with me walking around taking pictures. So many memories there! Ernie and the Emperors, the Sharkais, the Dovers, Just Four, the Radical Five... only the best bands were booked there and in my mind I still could hear faint traces of the music floating in the rafters. Later that day I drove to Santa Ynez and took pictures of what was The Barn (now Maverick's Saloon), where we used to see live bands after the Dolphin closed its doors. A few days later, while staying in Ventura, I went by The Back Door (later The Beginning coffeehouse where I was the house act for a couple of years in the early 1970s) and took a couple of photos.

Tonight is the Kick Off party for BandTree 4 and I'm so excited! It should be as much fun as the actual event tomorrow. If you live anywhere near Thousand Oaks, you really should try to make it. And if you do, say hi! Here is the info:

Tonight's Kick Off party is at the same venue from 8-11pm, no cover charge. I'm really looking forward to meeting you and listening to some great music!