“These guys … baroque one minute, sweet the next…There’s always a fresh sense of musical surprise! — – far more complicated than regular California pop of the time… a timeless quality that’s possibly better discovered from the perspective of the 21st century than the era it was released!” – Review of “Beautiful Sun” (Dusty Groove)
“Fusing psychedelic rock, baroque pop, folk, Association-esque harmonies, and even African-influenced rhythms, the Trolley made music that was equally emblematic of its era, yet timeless. And their lyrics were as ambitious as their music, poetically tackling such weighty issues as the Vietnam War, racism, and death.”
– Steve Stanley (liner notes to “Beautiful Sun” CD)
“I’ll be leaving here soon, I think…for Canada. But first we have to make an album… a great album. We must!”
– Danny Faragher (Journal entry – April 1968)
The Peppermint Trolley Company was an exciting and unique band from California that recorded in the mid to late Sixties, releasing several singles, including the hit record, “Baby You Come Rollin’ Across My Mind”, and an LP, “The Peppermint Trolley Company”, which has become a cult classic,. The band members all hailed from Redlands, California, and were: Danny Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Greg Tornquist, Casey Cunningham, and, for a time, Patrick McClure. All the recordings were produced by Dan Dalton. The music they made is now termed Sunshine Pop, Psychedelic Pop (Sike Pop) or Baroque Rock. The PTC has often been mislabeled as a bubblegum act. In reality, the band bore little resemblance to the fabricated groups who churned out that genre’s hits. With interesting melodies, and strong lyrics, Trolley records showcase superb songwriting and great singing. The lead vocals are heartfelt, the harmonies spot on, and the arrangements frequently have haunting counter melodies. Instrumentally, they often feature a harpsichord (actually a clavinet), and finger- picked guitar. The lyrics are much deeper than the puppy love sensibility of bubblegum music. Some of the words deal with love, both lost and found, or the sad but inevitable parting of friends, others with edgier themes such as war, racism and death. The sound is vulnerable, even fragile at times, but in its way, it is bold and assertive.
“The Peppermint Trolley Company began in July of 1966 when the Mark V, at the urging of producer, Dan Dalton changed their name to release their single, “Lollipop Train” b/w ”Bored To Tears” on Valiant Records. The band members of this first PTC incarnation were: Danny Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Steve Hauser, Dave Kelliher, Brad Madsen, and Dick Owens. The name was arrived at by committee, but it was Jimmy who finally pieced it together. When the group, which had been together since ’62, called it quits in February of 1967, Danny and Jimmy, along with Dalton, decided to continue recording under the “Trolley” name. The PTC would now be a duo.
Through out that winter, the brothers made the drive into Hollywood from Redlands to record, putting down three sides: “She’s The Kind of Girl”, a Beach Boys influenced song, “Little Miss Sunshine”, which sounded a bit like The Turtles, and “Blue Eyes”, which resembled The Lovin’ Spoonful. With the exception of Danny’s overdubbing trombone, marxophone, and melodica, the instrumental tracks were recorded at an earlier date by studio musicians. Danny and Jimmy lay down the lead and background vocals later. Buzz Clifford, a very talented singer and songwriter also sang background, including a great “Help Me Rhonda’’ inspired bass vocal on “Kind of Girl”. ( Jimmy) – “If you needed some kind of voice, Buzz was always able to do whatever: rough voice or breathy voice. He could do it. He was our vocal mentor” Lois Fletcher, who was then married to Dan, did some of the background singing, as well. Dalton released the first two tracks on his own green – labeled Kelly Records, under artist name, “The Faraghers”. These sides are tight, catchy, and well performed, but they are fairly light confections. Music was changing rapidly, and the brothers Faragher, along with producer Dalton, wanted to be a part of that change.
Danny and Jimmy dreamed of putting together a new line – up, a self-contained band that could play their own instrumental tracks, but also sing like birds (like their main inspiration, the Beatles). In the early months of ’67 they brought friend, Casey Cunningham on board to play drums. They’d known Casey for years, and had jammed and performed with him numerous times He’d also played washboard in Danny’s hokum band, Clem and his Critters. In addition, for a brief time in late ’66, Danny and Jimmy had joined Cunningham in rehearsing with two fine local rock musicians: Bobby Anglund, guitar, and Pete Sampson, bass and vocals. The goal had been to create a hard rockin’ band with a sophisticated vocal sound. It was a great idea, but the personalities didn’t quite gel, and it was not to be. (Danny) -” These were cats who could play their asses off, but had always been in cover bands. That’s a different mindset.” In the spring of ’67 the drummer was diligently prodding the brothers to get a band together, and urging them to keep a close relationship with Dan Dalton. Casey had jazz technique galore, and an excellent sense of time, but like Danny and Jimmy, he was itchin’ to play original Rock. Besides…he was a funny cat with a wicked sense of humor, and a lot of street smarts… a good fit. The Peppermint Trolley Co. would now be a trio.
While attending San Bernardino Valley College, Danny met a guitarist/songwriter named Patrick McClure. The two found they shared common interests in both music and progressive politics, and became buddies. McClure had just moved down to the Inland Empire from Santa Cruz, and lived with his family just a few short blocks from the Faragher house. Patrick began hanging out with Danny, Jimmy, and Casey.
In early ’67 the Rock field was still a huge tent. There were no FM pop or rock stations; AM Top Forty still reigned supreme. Playlists included such diverse acts as the Byrds, James Brown, Neil Diamond, The Supremes, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Otis Redding, Tommy James and the Shondells, etc. It was all considered Pop or Rock, and there was no rush to segregate the music into genres.
At this time there was also an interest in Baroque sounding tracks. The Stones had had a smash with” Ruby Tuesday”, which featured harpsichord and recorder. The Lefte Bank had released two great records in this hybrid genre… “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina”. The Beatles had experimented with classical influenced arrangements on songs such as “For No One”, and “Eleanor Rigby”, and Bryan Wilson employed harpsichord and Swingle Singers type vocal counterpoint on” Pet Sounds”, and “Good Vibrations”. Danny and Jimmy had been listening to the sounds of Ward Swingle and his group of singers from France for a couple of years, and dug the light swinging vocal treatment of Baroque counterpoint. They recognized the influence not only in the Beach Boys music, but also in Simon and Garfunkel’s “Feelin’ Groovy”, and in “Yellow Balloon” by the group of the same name.
Another stream of music was coming from San Francisco. This Psychedelic Rock scene was beginning to spread down to L.A. Patrick, being from Santa Cruz, had had more exposure to the Bay Area sound, and turned the others on to Jefferson Airplane’s “Surrealistic Pillow”, and the Grateful Dead. At the same time, the L.A. based Doors’ first album was blowing everyone away. These influences would all find their way into to the musical pot.
In late March, Jimmy filled in as a bass player for a band out of UC Riverside, which he was attending. The band, known as The Plague, was playing a spring break gig in Huntington Beach. The venue was a dance being held two consecutive nights in a huge hall. Up to this point, he’d always played an acoustic bass. For this gig, however, he was playing a borrowed Fender electric .It took only a few songs for him to feel really comfortable with the axe. Danny and Casey had driven down to watch… Danny recalls, “It was a bit of a culture shock. I’d come dressed in my best Edwardian style suit which I’d purchased the previous summer at Beau Gentry’s in Hollywood. The look of the night, however, was peasant shirts and jeans, beads and headbands, long skirts and moccasins. There was a light show in which ameba shaped figures danced on every wall. It was my first real exposure to the Hippy scene. I noticed an impish looking dude with a Dutch Boy haircut. I would later see him at every happening event, hanging out in front of Wallach’s Music City on Sunset, or in photos alongside rock celebrities. It was Rodney Bingenheimer. The dance was fun! It was cool to see Jimmy on stage, and Casey and I talked about our desire to get the band together and start making original music.”
In April, Dan Dalton called the Faraghers with some good news. He’d gotten them a record deal with Acta, a division of Dot Records. Danny recalls – “I remembered that Pat Boone’s label had been Dot. (Yes… my brothers and I had bought a Pat Boone record, ’April Love’, I believe.)” The president of Acta was Kenny Meyers, a no – nonsense, hard – nosed record man who’d been in the business since the Forties. “Upon meeting him later, I thought he was an old sour puss, but he really liked the group.” Acta released “She’s the Kind of Girl” b/w “Little Miss Sunshine”. Things were moving along.
During this time, Danny, Jimmy, Casey and friends squeezed into Buster the Band Wagon, Casey’s Chevy van, to make the drive up to San Francisco to participate in the Mobilization Against the War. (Danny) – “It was exhilarating to be a part of such a large gathering of people,… people who felt as I did that the escalation in Vietnam was madness. At one point, the poet, Alan Ginsberg, brushed by. The week-end was a life changing event.”
In May, Jimmy played a song he’d just written. The tune, “It’s a Lazy Summer Day”, seemed to capture the feel of the moment; a Flower Power invitation to join in on what would later be called the Summer of Love. It was catchy; as light and as fleeting as a bubble in a summer breeze. Everyone loved it! (Jimmy) – “I wrote that one in my dorm room at UCR in the spring of ’67. It’s still a really nice song.” (Danny) – “My sister, Patsy was taking piano lessons at the time, and was a fine classical player. Part of her repertoire was a little serenade by the eighteenth century English composer, James Hook. One afternoon I walked into the house to hear Jimmy on guitar and Patsy on piano fusing this classical melody on top of ‘Lazy Summer Day’. It worked like a charm. Jimmy and I decided to use the melody as an intro and an outro to the record.”
Jimmy – “We wanted to record it right away so it would be out there for the summer.” A studio date was set, and on a week night in early June the three band members drove to Moonglow recording studio in Hollywood, laying down the track and recording all the vocals in a five hour session. The basic track was done live, with Jimmy on bass, Casey on drums and Danny playing organ. The acoustic guitar was played by James Fleming Rasmussen, a bespectacled Dane who had been a pop star in his homeland, and was looking to find success in America. (Danny) – “When we listened back at the end of the night, it sounded magical, with the voices whirling about and the record opening and fading out with organ counterpoint.” On the PTC sides cut earlier in the year Danny and Jimmy had sung the lead in unison. With “It’s a Lazy Summer Day”, Jimmy sang solo. (Danny ) – “The quality of his voice is breathtaking… innocent and wistful; a teardrop in the sound.” On the second verse, Danny enters in harmony, and for the remainder of the song vocal counters sung by the two Faragher Brothers and Lois Fletcher run in the background. “Upon listening, it hit us …’Damn, we have our own sound’.” Kenny Meyers liked the recording and decided to rush it out it as a summer release.
A few days later Danny, Jimmy Casey and Patrick McClure jumped into Buster Bandwagon and drove through the night up to Monterey to catch the first Pop Festival in history. (Danny) – “It was a fantastic happening, with all kinds of people, everyone getting along, and digging some great music. The event was inspiring, we felt energized and motivated. We thought we could change the world.”
A week later they took part in the anti- war march in front of the Century Plaza Hotel (President Johnson was staying there at the time). The peaceful event turned into a police riot. (Danny) – “The cops went berserk with no provocation. I could hear the crack of clubs hitting sculls, and could see the blood splatter. It was ugly!”
These two events, Monterey Pop and Century Plaza, happening days apart, signify the yin and yang of the Late Sixties. They were the best and the worst of times.
Focusing on their careers, the three Peppermint Trolley members came to meet with Meyers and staff at ACTA’s Hollywood office. Photos were taken, and they sat for an interview with Morris Diamond, the label’s publicity man. (Danny) – “Morris was cool, he had a great sense of humor; we really liked him.” Within a few weeks, the record would be pressed, reviewed by the trades, and sent out to radio stations.
(Jimmy) – “We took the record to KMEN, this station in San Bernardino. Initially, we couldn’t get in the door, but, shortly afterwards, we got great front-page reviews in some of the music trade magazines. And then all of the sudden, KMEN’s program director, Dave McCormack, called us and said, ‘Hey, we want to interview you.’” “Lazy Summer Day” went into rotation in the following weeks. KMEN was about to put on a concert featuring Big Brother and the Holding Co. with Janis Joplin at the Kaiser Dome in San Bernardino, and asked the Peppermint Trolley Company to open the show. (Danny) – “We had about ten days to prepare. We officially asked Patrick to be a member. His parents were out of town, so we bunkered down at his place rehearsing every waking hour. I think we rented a Vox Continental organ for me to play. We were able to work up about ten songs. We managed to get through the set, but we must have been dreadful. There were no monitors in those days, so none of us could hear a thing”. The worst of it, however, was that Joplin and company never showed. “A frantic McCormack urged us to get back on, but we’d blown our wad; done every tune we could. Some musician friends of ours (The Plague) took the stage and played some cover tunes. (They also could not resist making some cutting remarks about KMEN). A teenage riot was averted, but the radio station somehow blamed us for their fiasco. ‘Welcome to Show Biz, Boys!’” The Trolley opened for the Buffalo Springfield a few weeks later at the Swing Auditorium as a favor to the station, the headliners showing up this time. “They were such a strong band. ‘Bluebird’ and ‘Mr. Soul’ were getting a lot of airplay at the time.”
The band moved to L.A. in August, renting a house in Silver Lake, and made an appearance on the “Groovy” show hosted by Michael Blodgett, shot at the Santa Monica Pier. They also filmed an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies”. (Danny) – “We wore silly wigs supplied by the Paramount costume dept, but it was fun! We were treated well. Donna Douglas, who played Ellie Mae, was a sweetheart. She even served me in the chow line…’Would you like some Jell-O, Honey?’ In the make-up room I overheard Max Baer Jr., who played Jethro, declare in a deep, (very un-Jethro) voice… “As long as the checks keep coming, I’ll keep doing this shit!”
“Lazy Summer Day” got airplay in some places, but failed to catch on nationally, (it was a mild hit in New Zealand). The band focused on rehearsing, and trying to come up with a song for the next release. Near the end of September, Patrick surprised everyone with news that he was leaving the band to get married. “And then there were three.”
After the initial shock, Casey suggested Greg Tornquist as a replacement. Greg was an old school mate, and had played in a rock band called the Shades of Difference with the drummer. Danny and Jimmy thought it was a good choice, and the three PTC members piled into Buster, and drove down to San Diego, where Greg was attending college. In the process of selling Greg on the idea, the four of them drove to La Jolla to visit some mutual friends and go for a swim, resulting in Danny and Greg being arrested for skinny dipping, and spending the night and the better part of the next day in jail. (Danny) – “We awoke to the strains of ‘Born Free’ being piped into the cell. The common experience made us bond even more…Greg told me inside that he’d decided to join the band.” The Peppermint Trolley was a four piece once again.
Back in L.A. the band got to work. It was clear they needed a hit. Dan Dalton was producing Ex-Rising Son guitarist Jesse Lee Kincaid for Capitol. Jesse’s song “Baby You Come Rollin’ ‘Cross My Mind” was starting to break out, but due to contractual complications, the label pulled the plug. Dalton believed in the tune and thought it was perfect for the band. (Dan Dalton) – “When Capitol took Jesse’s record off the market, I said to the Trolley, ‘This is a hit song. Let’s do it.’ And the guys just didn’t want to do it at first. So I said, ‘I’ll give you each 50 bucks. I just want to use you guys as musicians.’ They agreed, and we cut the track, and [while we were recording it] we all realized it was just sounding wonderful”. The band then recorded the vocals, coming up with the harmony parts on the spot. (Dalton) – “It was pure magic.”
The following evening they recorded the Psychedelic Pop number, “The 9 O’clock Business Man” (penned by Casey), as the B side. Issued in January of 1968, “Baby You Come Rollin’” b/w “9” O’clock Business Man caused little commotion upon its initial release.
Through that winter the band kept busy, writing and rehearsing. Patrick McClure was now hanging out at the house and collaborating on songs. The idea of recording an album began to take shape in their minds. (Danny) – “Among the hipper crowd, the LP format, with its creative possibilities was becoming more important than the idea of a single.” The Trolley began putting together songs with an album in mind.
To pay the rent, the band pursued outside work whenever possible. The PTC played on a couple of sides for a band signed to Ranwood called The Cherokee (not The Robbs offshoot). For The Cherokee, they recorded a cover of The Who’s “I Can’t Reach You” b/w “Willie and the Hand Jive.” They also played and sang on an album Dalton produced for Dot Records of a WC Fields imitator – “Uncle Bill Socks It To Ya”. (Danny) – “The LP featured songs that were hits at the time. ‘Quinn the Eskimo’ was a bit of a gas, but trying to fake an Irish accent on “The Unicorn’ without losing it was a challenge.” Reconnecting with old friend, Pete Samson, The Trolley was the backing band on Samson and Hagar’s 1967 Ranwood 45 “Reach Out to Find Me” b/w “Read My Thoughts,” which was the debut single for future Montrose and Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar.
A few months went by, and the Trolley were still pursuing the goal of recording an album. Sometime in May, Dan invited Kenny Meyers to visit the studio and have the band play him ten songs or so. In a private meeting with Dalton, Meyers nixed the idea of an LP. Dan called a meeting with the band in his tiny office at Moonglow to break the bad news. (Danny) “We were all sitting around on the floor, feeling dejected. It looked like it was back to square one…once again. Suddenly the phone rang…” (Dalton) – “It was Meyers… Kenny said, ‘Dan, I’ve changed my mind. You can do the album.’ Well, I told the guys, and they just screamed and hollered, and jumped up and down. And I said to Kenny, ‘Why did you change your mind?’ And he said, ‘Well, you’ve got a pick hit on KHJ. That’s why I’ve changed my mind!’”
Just like the title, “Baby You Come Rollin’ Across my Mind” had been quietly rolling from region to region over the months, gradually picking up steam. It was a number one hit in Louisville, Kentucky. Eventually it had gotten the attention of powerful radio consultant, Bill Drake, who, having fallen in love with the record, was now putting it on the playlists of some of the country’s biggest stations. That very night the guys went back to their pad and heard their record played on L.A.’s numero uno station… Boss Radio KHJ.
(Danny) – “Suddenly we were doing television appearances… ‘Boss City’, ‘ Ninth Street West’, Dick Clark’s ‘Happening ‘68’; sharing the billing with artists like Ike and Tina Turner, The Four Seasons, Brenton Woods, Merilee Rush, The Troggs, and the Iron Butterfly. It was a heady time”
With Acta now fully behind the record, “Baby, You Come Rollin’ ’Cross My Mind” stayed on the “Billboard “charts for two months, peaking at #59 in July 1968. The record being a top ten hit in some regional markets, the Trolley made some select live appearances. (Danny) – “Our live dates were rare. We probably played about ten gigs during the entire life span of the band… Bakersfield, Phoenix, and then there was the Biggie in Cleveland.” This “Biggie” was a package concert …WIXY’s second annual “Appreciation Day,” held on August 2, 1968 in Geauga Lake Park, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The P.T.C. shared the stage with Gene Pitney, The Box Tops, Jay and the Techniques, The 1910 Fruitgum Co., and The Amboy Dukes. The event drew a crowd of 120,000 attendees. At that time, it was the largest audience ever assembled in the Cleveland area.
(Danny) – “On the morning of the concert I was awakened by the unmistakable sound of the great Gene Pitney warming up his voice down the hall of the Holiday Inn. What incredible pipes!” (Guitarist Greg Tornquist): “For the Cleveland gig, I had Johnny Rivers’ old red Gibson 335, and the neck cracked on the plane flight there! We weren’t able to get a replacement guitar in time, for whatever reason. So I played the show with a cracked neck. As soon as I pressed down on the strings, it went out of tune! I sweated more bullets on that gig than any other. But we went over really well, and the crowd loved us. In those days, it was hard to tell exactly what they were hearing anyway. We certainly had no sophisticated monitors or anything like that!”
The band may have had a hit single, but for the Trolley times were always lean, “Living in Silver Lake [a neighborhood in Los Angeles] was really different from Redlands,” says Jimmy.” “I remember walking into Norm’s diner in the middle of night with Greg to share one cup of coffee. We went to Hughes Market and bought a huge package of cheap pancake mix and lived off pancakes for about a month and a half. Everything was geared towards recording.”
All involved knew a follow-up single was essential to keep the momentum going. Songwriters Paul Williams and Roger Nichols came knocking with a tune they thought would do the trick. Paul and Roger were couple of years away from the fame and fortune brought by The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun.” (Danny) – “We’d met Paul a few times before when he’d visited Dan’s office (the little one room space at Moonglow), making the rounds, pitching his demos. The song, ‘Trust’ was romantic, but hip. Everyone loved it! Jimmy put down a lead accompanied by Nichols on piano for a demo version. It was a great match up of voice and song.” Recorded by the PTC augmented by strings, horns (Chad Stuart, arranger), and the piano of Roger Nichols himself, “Trust” won critical praise and a “Top 20 Pop Spotlight” pick in Billboard, but, nevertheless, it failed to catch on. (Danny) – “I think it stands up decades later as a beautiful recording…I love the way we arranged the vocals… but it may have been too sophisticated for the time. It didn’t have the simplicity and emotional directness of ‘Baby, You Come Rollin’’. Who knows?” (The band can be found lip-syncing “Trust” on an episode of Upbeat, and an episode of Mannix, which includes a scene in which the band appears to be recording the song.)… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZrrxveGTUg
Meanwhile, the Trolley got to work tracking the remaining cuts that would appear on “The Peppermint Trolley Co”. A lot of the recording was done at C.P. MacGregor’s, an older studio on Western Avenue that dated back to the golden era of radio. (Danny)” It was a big room, with an eight track machine! Up to this point in our careers, we’d only recorded on a four track.” “C.P. MacGregor’s was more like a museum,” Jimmy recalls fondly. “They had a sound effects cart with a sliding door and all of the noises they used to use on radio. It was big room surrounded by a bunch of benches for people to watch and behold. They also had stacks and stacks of old radio show acetates. It was a lot of fun to go through them.”
Released in September, the self-titled album showcases the band’s myriad talents… From the gentle folk rock of the LP’s opener, “I’ve Got To Be Going” to the Psyche rock of “Beautiful Sun” ; the World Beat urgency of “Free” (With Steve Hauser of the Mark V blowing s ome exciting flute), to the baroque elegance of “Pat’s Song”—with its Brian Wilson-influenced staccato picked bass— to the album’s multiple-movement masterpiece, the anti-war “Fatal Fallacy”. (Danny) – “We carved out our own identity. The Trolley album is probably the least derivative music I’ve ever played a part in.” An enthusiastic “Pick Hit” review in Billboard stated, “This new group offers a bright sound that sometimes crosses into folk . . .”
Despite the good reviews and the album’s obvious merits, it never entered the charts. It did sell well in well in many markets, and can easily be found 40 years later; an indication of label support (good distribution and multiple pressings).
The Trolley rode out 1968 making the occasional appearance in support of the record. In November, trying a different angle, Acta picked the up-tempo and slightly experimental “Beautiful Sun” b/w “I’ve Got To Be Going” as the third single release. Again, despite promising reviews, the record couldn’t get traction.
In early ‘69 the band got the opportunity to record the theme to a new television show in development. Greg – “We went into Dan’s office above a Chinese restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. Dan Dalton played us a tape of guy just speaking the words, ‘Here’s a story, of a lovely lady . . .’ The recording didn’t really have the melody, or even the instrumentation. We arranged it, and I can remember making up chords for it. We worked on the vocal parts too. I remember being excited about it because it was a union gig, so that meant we were getting paid. I remember thinking, ‘This is the dumbest idea in the world for a TV show. Nobody will buy this!’ Little did I know; The Brady Bunch is still in syndication!”
Shortly after the recording of the “Theme to the Brady Bunch,” relations between the producer and band became strained, and the Trolley made the decision to leave Dalton. (Danny) – “Rightly, or wrongly, we felt the ball had been dropped. We’d had a hit record, and here we were, not a penny to our names, living in a small house in Echo Park without a refrigerator. Besides, we were feeling confined by the name and the image. Pop music was changing rapidly, and we sensed that the West Coast harmony sound had run its course. Groups like the Association, the Mamas and Papas, and even the Beach Boys were in decline. The Beatles were getting back to a more rootsy sound, and the Stones had just released ‘Beggars’ Banquet’. We were listening with fresh ears to our old 45’s from the Fifties and Early 60’s. We wanted to rock a little harder, so we just walked away from it all.”
Dan Dalton continued releasing Acta 45s under the Peppermint Trolley Company moniker, using other singers, and rerecorded the Trolley’s vocals on “Theme To The Brady Bunch. (The original version of the theme has recently surfaced on You Tube) Danny, Jimmy, Greg, and Casey soon adopted the name Bones and began yet another chapter in their remarkable career. Two albums, and a 1972 hit single, “Roberta,” followed. In 1973 Danny and Jimmy reinvented themselves once again, forming the blue – eyed soul band, The Faragher Brothers, releasing four albums and a hit single, “Stay the Night”, and reaching a whole new audience..
Today, the members of the Peppermint Trolley are still tight. They recently reunited for Greg Tornquist’s wedding. Greg leaves us with these final thoughts: “1968 was a time of momentous change for this country, politically. [As a result] we were a pretty serious group, lyrically. And yet, we were just kids. Not only were we happy to be playing music together and living together, we were also very important to each other in understanding the times that we were living in. Dealing with Vietnam and the draft . . . We were real brothers.”
With Danny Faragher
In 2003 I began to be contacted by fans of the PTC who loved the band… loved the album. At the time I literally hadn’t listened to it since it had been released; thirty – five years! I put my old vinyl copy on the turntable and began listening with fresh ears. What I heard was great… the music heartfelt, but audacious… vulnerable, yet experimental …and… always…always honest. No posing here!
The next year Shawn Nagy called me. Shawn has an oldies station on the web called SuperOldies.com. He informed me that both the PTC and the Mark V were in rotation, and popular with his listeners. Over the years, Shawn has been a great supporter of the band, generously spreading the word whenever and wherever he could.
In 2006 Peppermint Trolley videos, including footage of the band from a television appearance in 1968 began turning up on the internet, resulting in a ground swell of interest in the PTC. Finally, in January of 2009, I was contacted by Steve Stanley of Now Sounds, a division of the British label, Cherry Red., with the idea of putting out a CD reissue of the album. Steve is a true renaissance man… artist, musician, writer, and entrepreneur. The result of our combined labors is “Beautiful Sun” which includes Steve’s marvelous liner notes, lots of photos, and bonus tracks.
My thanks go out to everyone who played a part in making the Peppermint Trolley Company more than just the answer to a trivia question.
- Danny Faragher