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North California Groups : B

The information on the North California Groups pages was compiled by Gray Newell based on research by: Alec Palao, Corry Arnold, Ben Chaput, Joey Dryfka, Mike Dugo, Ross Hannan, Vernon Joynson, Gray Newell, Stephane Rebeschini, Obert Sonsten, Jason Sweitzer Bruce Tahsler and Max Waller.

These pages were originally made available on the North California Groups website which, unfortunately, no longer exists. The pages are provided here as an archive of that site and are currently being updated at irregular intervals.

The information is presented alphabetically by group name:


Group name : A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ

BACKYARD MAMA'S R&B BAND

No information for this group is available at present time



BALL

No information for this group is available at present time



BALL POINT BANANA

No information for this group is available at present time



BALTIMORE STEAM PACKET

No information for this group is available at present time. Played the Ark at Gate 6, Sausalito with Sir Douglas Quintet and Overbrook Express May 13/14 1967. Also at the Ark with Moby Grape and the Only Alternative on Oct 7 1967.



BANSHEES

They Prefer Blondes / Take A Ride With Me - Solo 1 1965
Never Said I Loved You / So Hard To Bear - Solo 2 1965

Originally an instrumental group called The Black Knights from Mills High School in Burlingame, they became the Banshees when they added a vocalist to the line up. Some members later formed Ariel.



BAYLANDERS

Kyle Hunter drums
Gary Kennings - bass
Roger Sabine guitar

The Baylanders were a successful local band from the Berkeley/Oakland/El Cerrito area. Hunter, Kennings and Sabine all went on to form Dirty Filthy Mud..



BAYTOVENS

John Green - Guitar
Dwight Pitcaithley - Rhythm Guitar
Rich Green - Bass
Carl DePolo - Drums

1967 Such A Fool/Waiting For You - Belfast 67-1001 45

A San Leandro group heavily influenced by the Mersey Beat sound. Apart from the 45 they also recorded two tracks in 1966; My House/Luv Look Away, which were included on the Big Beat CD You Got Yours! East Bay Garage 1965-1967.



BEDPOST ORACLE

Robert M Davitt
Ted Gullick

1970 The Break Of Dawn/Love Isn't Dead - Corby CR 230
1971 Somebody To Love/Chest Fever - Oracle 29002

No further information is available for this group at the present time.

Thanks to Max Waller



BENEDICT ARNOLD & THE TRAITORS

Played the Band Bash at the Cow Palace April 4/5 1966.



BERING STRAIT

From the East Bay area, they recorded some demos for the Fantasy label in 1967.



BEAT'ABLES

No information for this group is available at present time



BEAU BRUMMELS

1965 Introducing - Autumn (S) LP 103
1965 Volume 2 - Autumn (S) LP 104
1966 Beau Brummels 66 - Warner Brothers W (S) 1644
1967 Triangle - Warner Brothers W (S) 1692
1968 Bradley's Barn - Warner Brothers W (S) 1760

Ron Eliot - Guitar
Sal Valentino - Vocals
Ron Meagher - Bass
Declan Mulligan - Guitar & Vocals
John Petersen - Drums

The Beau Brummels were hailed as the American answer to the Beatles, and were one of the first US groups to counter the British Invasion of the mid sixties. Signed to Tom Donahue's Autumn label they had two top 20 singles in 1964/65, although they never capitalised on their early successes. When Warner Brothers absorbed Autumn the Brummels were made to record and release a disastrous album of cover versions, surprising for a band with such a strong songwriter as Ron Elliot. By 1967 they had reduced to a trio of Valentino, Elliot and Meagher, but recorded the magnificent Triangle, which also featured Van Dyke Parks and session musicians. Although issued to critical acclaim it didn't sell, perhaps because of the preconception of the group as a teenybopper outfit. Nevertheless Elliot and Valentino went on to record one of the first country rock albums, Bradley's Barn, recorded in Nashville with the cream of country musicians. Once again they failed to make the impact they deserved and Valentino and Elliot went their separate ways, Valentino to be a part of Stoneground and Elliot to work with the Everly Brothers and on his own, underrated, solo album Candlestickmaker. The original group did reform for an album and live dates in 1975.



BEDOUINS

S F group that P F Sloan and Steve Barry used for the first incarnation of The Grass Roots in L A, after that episode they relocated back to S F and continued as The Unquenchable Thirst.



BEES

Leave Me Be / She's An Artist (She Belongs To Me) (X-1861/2) Wlp 1965 Mirwood 5503 (65-1018)



BEN FRANK'S ELECTRIC BAND

Played Cabrillo College stadium 9-2-67.



BERKELEY STRING QUARTET

Coming from Classical and Jazz musical backgrounds, the Berkeley String Quartet actually played a blend of jug band, traditional and good time music, utilising such diverse instruments as guitars, banjos, harmonicas, kazoos, autoharp and washboards. They were classical pianist Carl Shrager, Bob Cooper who played 12 string guitar and banjo, Toby Lightheiser on bass, Bill Steele on washtub bass and Joe McDonald prior to his more famous incarnation as Country Joe. McDonald and Shrager went on to The Instant Action Jug Band.



BETHLEHEM EXIT

Pete Sultzbach - guitar
John Tomasi - lead singer and harp player
Dave Wilkie - bass
Chris Ingstrom - drums

1966 Walk Me Out/Blues Concerning My Girl - Jabberwock 110

From Cupertino, Peter Sultzbach and John Tomasi later became members of The New Delhi River Band.

Thanks to Rich Strauss.



BFD. BLUES BAND

Played Cabrillo College stadium 9-2-67.



BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY

1967 Big Brother - Mainstream 6099
1968 Cheap Thrills - Columbia CBS PC 9700
1970 Be A Brother - Columbia CBS PC 30222
1971 How Hard It Is - Columbia CBS KC 30738

Pete Albin - Bass, Guitar
Sam Housten Andrews - Lead Guitar
Dave Eskerson - Guitar
James Gurley - Lead Guitar
Dave Getz - Drums
Janis Joplin - Vocals
Nick Gravenites - Vocals

One of the major attractions on the SF Ballroom scene, Big Brother are primarily remembered as being the first showcase for Janis Joplin's powerful blues vocals. She was introduced to Sam Andrew guitar, James Gurley guitar, Peter Albin bass and David Getz drums, by Chet Helms who had known her in their native Texas and was now managing the band, thus Big Brother and the Holding Company came into being. The band signed to Mainstream and recorded an album, but this did not see a release until after Big Brother had made a national impact with their appearance at the Monterey Pop festival in mid 1967. Cheap Thrills was the next album to be released and was a much stronger effort, spawning the well known recordings Piece Of My Heart and Ball And Chain. By this time Joplin was ready to break free from the band to capitalise on her reputation and embark on a solo career with her new backing outfit The Full Tilt Boogie Band. Big Brother carried on with the addition of Nick Gravenites as vocalist and recorded a further couple of albums for Columbia. Janis Joplin died of an accidental heroin overdose in 1970.



BIG TIMERS

Guy Wiliams - vocals
Marty Howard bass
Chris Howard guitar
Bill Endicott drums
Delbert Bump saxophone
Bob Brien
Ferrel Deaton
45Hangin' High/? Mason Speciality 2123 1964

Also known as the Cavaliers, the Big Timers were a Chico based R&B outfit. Chris Howard and Bill Brien went on to the Boy Blues and Guy Williams joined Psycho.



BIRTH

Appeared at the Aquarian Family Festival, Santa Cruz Showgrounds, San Jose 1969 and supported Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield at the Fillmore West 3/7/69



BITTER SEEDS

A blues rock outfit from the Monterey area around 1968.



BITTERSWEET

Played at the Band Bash at the Cow Palace April 4/5 1966.



BLACK ARM BAND

A Monterey band from 1967.



BLACK FOX

Jean Riley - vocals
Lenny Walker - guitar

Voyage To The Moon/Journey of Man, Transplanet 1422, 1969

An odd recording by a bunch of enigmatic hippies, with the A side recounting a voyage into space as if it were a camping trip..



BLACK PEARL

Bruce Benson - Guitar
Tommy Molcahy - Lead Guitar
John MacKay Morris - Lead Guitar
Bernie Fieldings - Vocals
Jerry Causi - Drums
Jim "Oak" O'Connor - Drums

Black Pearl - Atlantic SD-8220 1969
Black Pearl Live At The Fillmore - Prophesy PRS-1001 1970

Formed by members of Boston's Barbarians (of "Moulty" fame) when they migrated to San Francisco (sans Moulty), taking with them Jim O'Connor, who had been the drummer with The Tallymen. The twin lead guitars gave them a heavy psychedelic r&b sound which was becoming popular. The Fillmore album was recorded in 1968 but shelved, as the band didn't like the results, only to see it released without their knowledge in 1970 when the original line up had split and a new incarnation was doing the rounds. The debut album was very well received and they became a successful outfit. Various line-ups continued playing under the Black Pearl moniker through to the late seventies.



BLACK SHIT PUPPY FARM

John Hicks - bass
Scott Simmons - rhythm guitar
Jimmy Hobson - drums
Bruce Hobson - tambourine and vocals
Greg Troll - lead guitar and vocals
David Berger - harmonica
Bruce Bonnell - lead guitar

A commune band from the La Honda area, around 1966/69 that got their bizarre name courtesy of the commune's pet dog, Arnold. They also provided light shows, with the additional personnel of had Russ Towle, Susan Klein, Johnny Creelman and Milton Taulbee , most notably at the Straight Theatre on 24/25 November 1968 where they illuminated Freedom Highway, Psycle and Clover, and 23rd December 1968 for Mad River and the Santana Blues Band.



BLACKBURN & SNOW

Jeff Blackburn - Guitar, Vocals
Sherri Snow - Vocals
Chicken Hirsch - Drums

1967 Stranger In A Strange Land/Uptown-Downtown - Verve VK 10478 45
1967 Time/Postwar Baby - Verve VK 10563

Jeff Blackburn and Sherri Snow explored the same folk rock paths as the Signe Anderson era Jefferson Airplane, with a similar combination of intertwined male and female vocals and jangly folk guitars, accompanied by Chicken Hirsch on drums. Indeed Sherri Snow was approached as a possible replacement for Signe Anderson when the latter left the Airplane. Despite recording over an albums worth of songs they only released two singles at the time, the first being the David Crosby composition Stranger In A Strange Land, an amazing example of chiming folk rock. The follow up, Time, was an early country folk song and was backed by the up-tempo Postwar Baby. Fortunately Big Beat released Blackburn and Snow's Trident Productions recordings and the Verve 45's under the title Something Good For Your Head, a stunning collection of folk rockers. After they split Sherri Snow went on to sing with Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks while Jeff Blackburn eventually played in a 70's line up of Moby Grape. Chicken Hirsch was also drummer for The Cleanliness And Godliness Skiffle Band and Country Joe And The Fish.



BLUE CHEER

1968 Vincebus Eruptum - Phillips 600264
1968 Outside Inside - Phillips 600278
1969 New! Improved! - Phillips 600305
1969 Blue Cheer - Phillips 600333
1970 The Original Human Being - Phillips 600347
1970 Oh Pleasant Hope - Phillips 600350

Dick Peterson - Bass, Vocals
Leigh Stephens - Guitar, Vocals
Paul Whaley - Drums
Burns Kellogg - Keyb'ds
Randy Holden - Guitar
Norman Mayall - Drums, Guitar
Bruce Stephens - Keyb'ds, Bass
Gary Yoder - Guitar, Harmonica

Starting out as a power trio of Stephens, Peterson and Whaley in 1966, they hit big in 1968 with the release of their debut album Vincebus Eruptum, an early example of heavy rock. Their take on Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues was released as a 45 and became a Top 20 hit in the US. Whaley had previously drummed for Oxford Circle and Peterson played bass in Group B from Sacramento. The line up was supplemented by Burns Kellogg on keyboards for the second album, Outside Inside. Stephens then left the band and was replaced by Randy Holden on 1969's New! Improved!. Gary Yoder from Kak joined for Original Human Being, although by this stage Peterson was the only original member left in the line up, with Norman Mayall having taken over the drum stool. This line up also recorded Oh Pleasant Hope in 1970.



BLUE CRUMB TRUCK FACTORY

No information is available for this group at the present time.



BLUE HOUSE BASEMENT BAND

Formed spring of 1966 at Blue House on Oak St. - Haight Ashbury.

Dan Smith - drums, vocals
Nicky Salvin - vocals
Robert ? - bass, vocals
Warren Phillips - guitar, vocals
Stan Muther - lead guitar
Richard Astle - harmonica

Formed in the spring of 1966 at Blue House on Oak St. - Haight Ashbury. They played as an opening act at Bay area clubs including The Ark, Jabberwock, and Winchester Cathedral. They also appeared at the Trips Festival. Amongst others, some of the acts they shared billing with included the Buffalo Springfield, Sparrow, Country Joe & The Fish, and Sly & The Family Stone. Blue House Basement were managed by Mike Burns.



BLUE LIGHT CONSPIRACY

From Hayward, they made at least one recording. Her Heart Said No was included on the Big Beat CD You Got Yours East Bay Garage 1965-1967.



BLUE LIGHT DISTRICT

From Danville.



BLUE TRAIN

No information is available for this group at the present time.



BOGUS THUNDER

Alan Graham - vocals, bass
Ned Torney - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Jim Sawyers - guitar
Ken Matthew - drums, vocals

1968 What A Day/Upsome A&M 1061 Promo 45 credited to Gladstone

San Jose's The Otherside after a name change and a slight personnel change. They were in existence from 1967 through 68, and recorded some demos at San Jose's Westmont Studios in early 67. Later they were signed to A&M and had a couple of tracks produced by Lee Michaels which were released as a promo 45 credited to Gladstone, unfortunately nothing came of this and the band broke up shortly afterwards.



BOOGEYMEN

Tom Salles - guitar

Old Styx River/ There Is Light There, Pan 2610

Tom Salles had previously played with Crystal Syphon. Here he displays his incredible John Cippolina influenced guitar work on Old Styx River.



BOOK OF CHANGES

Bob Bailey - vocals
Saul Lewis - keyboards, vocals
Roland Oeller - bass
Art Penthollow - drums
Frank Smith - guitar
Joe Brackett lead guitar

1967, I Stole The Goodyear Blimp/Suddenly I'm Desperately In Love, Tower 337 45

The Vejetables recorded these tracks, which were subsequently released under the name Book Of Changes in late 1967. Joe Brackett went on to form Gossimer Kyte.



BOND STREET EXPRESS

No information is available for this group at the present time.



BOOGIE

John Barret - bass
John Fuzzy Oxendine - drums

A power trio (guitarist unknown), who rehearsed at Sausalito Heliport. Barret and Oxendine were later in the Rhythm Dukes with Jerry Miller and Bill Champlin. They supported Country Joe & The Fish and Pacific Gas And Electric 7/23/68. Oxendine kept on working with Jerry Miller ("Live Grape" in 1979, "Life Is Like That" in 1995), but also recorded with Doug Sahm ("Hell of A Spell" in 1980)



BOY BLUES

Mark Cipolla - guitar, vocals
Bob Brien - rhythm guitar, vocals
Chris Howard - vocals
Rick Wagner - drums
Randy Reaves - bass
John Palmer - lead guitar
Jeff Gadbois - bass

Feb 1966 Living Child / Think About It Baby - Vardan 538 (45)
1967 Coming Down To You/Living Child - Frantic CR-2131/2 (45)

Evolving from the Chico outfit the Disciples, the Boy Blues were one of the most popular acts in the North valley area and heavily influenced by the "British invasion" sound of Them, the Yardbirds and the Pretty Things. Managed by George Martin of Frantic records they issued two 45s both of which featured their best known number "Living Child," albeit different versions, one of which featured horns dubbed on afterwards. After a drug bust in early 1966 Howard and Reaves left the Boy Blues to be replaced by John Palmer and Jeff Gadbois. After further line up changes they became Colours. Palmer and Gadbois subsequently joined Lincoln's Promise after which Palmer became a member of Savage Resurrection. Howard briefly played drums for the Sons of Champlin.

Thanks to Alec Palao and JoeyD



The BOYS

Gary Lee - vocals
Gary Mertz - keyboards
Randy Hammon - guitar
John Palmer - guitar
Ephriam Jo - drums
Vic Guitard - bass Rick Sweet - guitar

From Richmond and in existence during 1966/67. Randy Hammon was later in Savage Resurrection alongside fellow ex-Boy John Palmer. Previously Palmer had been a member of the Boy Blues and Lincoln's Promise, he was replaced in the Boys by Rick Sweet.

Thanks to Obert.



BRIMSTONES

Cecil Hutchings
Patrick McCarty
Richard Smith

1966 I'm in Misery/Cold Hearted Woman - World Pacific 77834 (45)

A Beat influenced pop group from Placerville. Both sides of their 45 can be heard on the Frantic CD So Cold!!! Unearthed Mid 60s Sacramento Garage



BRISTOL BOXKITE

Dennis Hutchinson vocals
Dave Mesquite guitar
Jerry Dohrman bass
Fred Allen drums
Sandy White - vocals

1968 If You Love Me / Colors of Love - World Pacific 77886 (45)

From Castro Valley, Dennis Hutchison left and was replaced by Sandy White sometime in 1967. Bristol Boxkite recorded an albums worth of material for World Pacific that was never released. A demo recording, I'm Feeling Good, appears on the Big Beat CD You Got Yours East Bay Garage 1965-1967.



BROKEN ARROW

1970 Every Night - You Never Give Me Your Money/Keep On Truckin' (Vault V-968) (45)



BRONZE HOGG

Frank Hayhurst
Don Connoly
Richard Hughes

Hey! The Bronze Hogg Live - Getaround 41578 LP



BUNDLES

Two tracks recorded for Autumn that went unreleased at the time turn up on the Autumn Teen Sound comp.


Last updated April 2009