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The Faragher Brothers ‘Givin’ It Up’ and Gettin’ Funky

April 3, 2015 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts by admin

The Faragher Brothers ‘Yellow album’ is jam packed with great songs. The LP is a harmonious blend of grooves – soulful. jazzy, mellow, steppin’ - but each  one stands on its own, shining like a jewel.

The Faragher Brothers performing Live at The Roxy - Spring 1976

The Faragher Brothers performing Live at The Roxy – Spring 1976

‘Give It Up’  shows off the funkier, grittier side of the band. Recorded in 1975 at Richard Perry’s Studio 55. the players are: Danny Faragher -B3 organ, lead vocal, Tommy Faragher – clavinet, bg vocal, Davey Faragher – bass, bg vocal, Jimmy Faragher – bg vocal, Patrick McClure – electric guitar, John King – drums, Charles Crewes – talking guitar, Vini Poncia – producer.

‘C’mon! C’mon! C’mon, Baby! Give it on up!’

‘Get ready! You got to get ready!’

 

 

Watch and listen to ‘Give It Up’ video.

The Faragher Brothers outside Brothers Studios in Redondo Beach, preparing for the concert at the Roxy

The Faragher Brothers outside Brothers Studios in Redondo Beach, preparing for the concert at the Roxy

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Faragher Brothers ‘Yellow Album’ Review. A Classic.

April 1, 2015 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts, Uncategorized by admin

Our first LP – the eponymous ‘The Faragher Brothers’ aka ‘Yellow Album’ was the the culmination of three years of wood shedding. Countless hours (many of them spent in the The 'Yellow Album' - 1976basement of our folk’s house in Redlands) went into writing, arranging, and honing the sound that would emerge on our first release.  Although the record never gained the status it deserved, it has remained a cult classic. The Japanese Sony reissue of 2000  sold out immediately. As of this writing, a new copy ships for $300.00+.

One listen will tell you why the record has become a classic. It is timeless – artistically pristine, yet soulful and heartfelt. We were the real deal, and I am proud to have been part of it.  The fact that were able to get so much of our music down on wax makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.  

I would like to express our gratitude to our all our loyal fans who have kept the flame burning and spread the word over the years. Thank-you, thank-you. We  love you! For those of you who have expressed frustration at not being able to purchase the music there is good news. A reissue of the entire Faragher Brothers catalog is in the works. Keep your fingers crossed!

Here is a review of the album written by Beverly Paterson for the online mag, ‘SomethingElse’.

 

 

DECEMBER 28, 2014 BY BEVERLY PATERSON

The Faragher Brothers –Faragher Bros (1976): Forgotten series

Actual siblings, the Faragher Brothers starred Jimmy on vocals, Danny on vocals, keyboards, trombone and percussion, Tommy on vocals and piano, and Davey on vocals and bass. Hailing from Redlands, California, these guys had been staples of the scene for over a decade, particularly Jimmy and Danny, having acquired national fame with the Peppermint Trolley Company. 1969 saw the band score a hit single with “Baby You Come Rollin’ Across My Mind,” while their solitary album, The Peppermint Trolley Company, is a masterpiece of its era.

Although the Peppermint Trolley Company specialized in psychedelic pop a la the Left Banke and the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the boys had solid backgrounds in many different styles. Come the early 70s, they pursued their appreciation of soul music with ardent fervor, and signed a deal with ABC Records, resulting in a pair of albums. A real family affair, the band later added brother Marty and sister Pamela to the line-up, and were now employed by the Polydor label where they released two albums before dispersing.

But the album we’re currently discussing is the debut effort, Faragher Bros, which is also often referred to as “The Yellow Album.” Produced by Vini Poncia, who played in notable ’60s bands such as the Trade Winds and the Innocents, penned tunes for the likes of the Ronettes, Tommy James, and Leo Sayer, and worked with Ringo Starr, Melissa Manchester and Kiss, the disc not only perfectly captures the vibe of the hour, but further characterizes the band’s impeccable chemistry and multiple talents.

Torched by a funky undercurrent, wired with stabbing horns and sweeping choruses, “Best Years Of My Life” launches Faragher Bros off in splendid shape as the catchy track homes right in on every aspect of the band’s abilities. Beautifully breathy harmonies, compounded by smart and striking arrangements sparkle forth on “In Your Time Of Need,” fiery funk grooves encompass “Give It Up,” and “Please Hurry Up” mixes reggae beats with sweet soul sensations to satisfying effects. Set to a jazzy motif, “You Touched Me” projects a sexy feel, a version of Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s All Right” remains loyal to its springy and carefree complexion, and “Never Get Your Love Behind Me” soars to a smooth and polished finish.

Emotionally charged singing, derived straight from the gut, joined by locked-in instrumentation and pin-sharp hooks make Faragher Bros an album where each number explodes with radio-friendly qualities. Having researched their Temptations, Isley Brothers, O’Jays, Barry White, and Earth, Wind and Fire records well, and transpiring their knowledge and talent into action, these guys were the genuine article.

Upon hearing Faragher Bros, you’ll no doubt be puzzled as to why the band didn’t crack the big time. Truth be told, image has a lot to do with success, and the group’s hippy jam band look, which entailed long hair, puka shells, and jeans, just didn’t jive with the slick and classy soul sounds they so stunningly sang and performed. Marketing and promotion be darned, Faragher Bros is an outstanding collection of sincere soul music and is primed for rediscovery.'The Yellow Album' - Backside

 

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with “Stand By Me” — which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon’s version. She’s contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International’s associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else!

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The ‘Dancing with the Moment’ Release Party Big Success. Thank-you!

March 9, 2015 in Events, Happenings by admin

 

Blowin'HarpatRecordRelease

Blowin’ Up a Storm at Record Release Party. Photo by Taylor Series

Thanks to everyone who braved the rare L.A. rain to come and be a part of the ‘Dancing with the Moment’ Record Release celebration! We had us a party!  Yes, the house was rockin’, and there was delicious food, fine wine, and good vibes galore.  I was truly touched to see such a gathering of friends, family, and colleagues. Connecting once again with familiar faces and meeting new people was a treat , indeed.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank-you one and all! For me the album is a creative milestone. It is the culmination of years of intense focus and hard work.  My son, and creative partner, Bryan Faragher, and I had spent many a night burning the midnight oil, and it was a project that at times appeared to be never ending.  Knowing that we were able to cross that finish line filled me a with a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The occasion called for a soiree and a soiree we had.

Let me give a shout of appreciation to the party guests: Bryan Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Tommy Faragher, Rosie Bliss, Davey Faragher, Pammy Faragher, Marty M. Faragher, Anita Faragher, Tibo Cuellar,  Jeanne Harriott, Connie Catalan, Emily, Deena McClain, Nick Lane, Dave Armstrong, Alec Echevarria, Shervin Ahdout, Jordan Faragher, Tim Horrigan, Anne Horrigan, Emily Horrigan, Chris Blondal, Craig Copeland, Randy Crenshaw, Denia Bradshaw, Probyn Gregory, Steve Hauser, Michelle Hauser, Michael McClure, Jody Mortara, Ted, Bill New, Phil Elmore, Donna Duessen, Harry McNeil, Kristine Chinn, Chuck Nickerson, Babbet t Goss, Brent, Bryan Davis, Mellie, Adam, Dierdra, Willard Lewis Snow, Irene, Josh Buehler, Lauren Wong, Rick, Linda Hubbard, Annie, Lindsey.

Bryan aptly stepped into the DJ role, playing original music as he projected a visual slide show, and handled the MC duties with aplomb. His sincere introduction touched my heart.

Tibo Cuellar, who was first to air tracks off ‘Dancing with the Moment’ on his ‘Cold Cuts’ show on radio  KCSB made the trek all the way down from Santa Barbara to make his warm and personable presence felt.  Always great to see him!

Some very talented singers and musicians joined me on stage to perform, including siblings: Jimmy – guitar and vocals, Pammy – vocals, Tommy – piano, Davey – bass and vocals, and Marty – percussion,  my son, Bryan – percussion, and friends: Tim Horrigan – bass, Chris Blondal – drums, Denia Bradshaw – flute, Randy Crenshaw – spoken word, and Craig Copeland  - guitar, (Randy and Craig, along with Bill New, who was in the audience, are members of my doo wop singing group, Daddy Cool). We debuted our energetic new video of  the hard groovin’  ‘Too Much Pressure’ , and it received an enthusiastic response from the crowd.  The video was directed by Bryan,  and filmed by Shervin Ahdout, with assistance from Alec Echevaria.

We also premiered  the exciting dance mix of the same song, and the infectious and driving rhythm brought people to the dance floor. Copies of ‘too much pressure – rebel sole pressurized underground mix’  were free to all party guests.

The party couldn’t have  happened without the help of the following people: Anita Faragher, who got the word out; my wife Jeanne, who tirelessly shopped, and personally sewed the table covers from scratch; my daughter Deena, who planned and spent all day Saturday preparing the food platters (a feast for the eyes as well as the palette); Connie Catalan who helped to organize and lend a hand where needed, and, I might add, first came up with the suggestion of throwing a release party; Nick Lane, who helped to serve the food; Alexander, who tended the bar, Alec Echevarria, our roaming photographer, and Shervin Ahdout, who assisted Bryan with the visuals. Thank-you;  Dave Armstrong for videoing the performance, and Taylor Series, and  Michael McClure for photos.  If anyone else  has photos or video, please let us know. We would love to share it.

Love and Harmony,
Danny

'Dancing with the moment, and the moment sets me free.'

‘Dancing with the moment, and the moment sets me free.’

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Dancing with the Moment Kicks off with Event Packed Party!

February 20, 2015 in Events, Happenings by admin

———Offcial Press Release——

banner-the-moment-has-arrived

Danny Faragher’s New Album “Dancing with the Moment’ Throws Event Packed Party to Kick off Launch

Legendary Singer and Producer Danny Faragher Celebrates His New Album with Exclusive Record Release Party, New Video and Limited Edition EDM Remix

Music business veteran and pioneer Danny Faragher, (The Peppermint Trolley Co., Bones, The Faragher Brothers) has announced the release date for his new album Dancing with the Moment, as well as a special event record release party complete with live performances and the album’s first video.

CD400_outThe album titled Dancing with the Moment has been in the making since Danny’s last album A Blue Little Corner nearly 10 years ago, and will be release on his new label, The Blue Print Sound onMarch 1st.  It’s an eclectic collection of works that represent the many facets of his varied career, ranging from sixties inspired psychedelic folk tunes to California beach sounds, lush ambient piano ballads, a jazz quintet, and electronic productions of soul and classic R&B grooves.

“It is the album that takes a whole life to write.” says Danny Faragher, “There is a track on the album I first wrote in high school, before the Beatles invaded America.”

Critical reviews so far have been nothing but positive. Beverly Paterson of Something Else Reviews called it “Enchanting and electrifying. Dancing with the Moment is one of the greatest albums of the year or any year for that matter.”

To commemorate the launch of the album, a record release party has been scheduled for March 1st at The Guitar Merchant Live Music Venue. Many members from Danny’s past musical projects will be in attendance, from The Peppermint Trolley Company, Bones and The Faragher Brothers, as well as a live performance by many of the original Faragher Brothers playing one of Danny’s songs off Dancing with the Moment.

In addition, the unveiling of the music video for the song Too Much Pressure, will also be a key feature of the event. The video reportedly took 6 months to produce and features the cinematography of Shervin Ahdout.

As a promotion for the event, a limited edition release of the dance version of “Too Much Pressure” will be given out to exclusive guests. The Too Much Pressure –Rebel Sole Pressurized Dance Mix was made exclusively for the event and produced by, EDM producer and DJ, Rebel Sole.

Radio Station KCSB DJ Tibo “Tibonious Funk” Cuellar will have a booth to hand out additional promotions as well, broadcasting a recording of the event on his following show “Cold Cuts”.

 

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Bring Your Dancin’ Shoes to the Party!

February 11, 2015 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts by admin

We’d decided to make a dance mix of ‘Too Much Pressure‘, one of the tunes on my new album, ‘Dancing with the Moment’.  Withtoomuch-pressure_CD100_in its James Brown groove, and infectious energy, the track seemed  ripe and ready for some club mix fun.

My son, Bryan Faragher, is excellent at what he does, whether it’s sound engineering, graphic arts, or e-marketing. He’s been creating electronic music since he was thirteen. Just as some boys may be into building model airplanes, or tinkering with engines,  so Bryan was always creating some new electronic rave track.  I often stood in the hallway listening, as the boom of a kick drum emanated from his room, astounded by his creativity in manipulating sounds. It was a different approach to making music. The result was a kind collage in motion, a wild toad’s ride through a cacophony of sound. His structures always had a beginning, middle, and end.  Early on I recognized the artistry.

So when he put forward the idea of doing a remix of ‘Pressure’, a  song that already bore his creative stamp as co writer, engineer, and drum programmer,  I immediately gave the green light. I trusted him implicitly.

Last Saturday he sent me a rough mix. I was blown away. I couldn’t sit still. Had to move my feet. There were my ideas – shouts, asides, horn lines – twisting and turning in entirely new ways. I rushed to tell my wife how overwhelmed I was. ‘I think I may like it even more than the album version.’ I said. The more I listened the more I dug it.

We are going to debut and give away free copies of  ‘too much pressure’ – the rebel sole pressurized club mix at the Record Release Party on March 1, so bring your dancin’ shoes!

 

Too Much Pressure
(Danny Faragher-Bryan Faragher- Alec Echevarria)

Too much/ Too much pressure
Too much/ Too Much Pressure

All around, all around/ All around, all aroundDanny-Faragher-TMP-Back-Cover-Gauge
All around, all around/ All around, all around

I can’t take this much
I can’t take this much…
Pressure

Now the rich and greedy keep goin’ to town
While the rest of us just movin’ on down
Empty pockets and dreams
Where’s my chance to make the scene

I can’t take this much/I can’t take this much
Pressure

Whoa, some crazy maker keep shoutin’ in my ear
Words full of hate. Words full of fear
Chill out! (Why don’t ya?) And step on back
Get yourself acquainted with all the facts (For a change)

All around, all around/ All around, all around  2x
We can’t take this much/ We can’t take this much
Pressure

Now be it fast or be it slow
This funky system has got to go
So send a message to the banker boys
That the people ’bout to make some noise

All around, all around/ All around, all around 2x
We can’t take this much/ We can’t take this much
PressureDanny-Faragher-TMP-CD-UD109-c

 

 

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‘Dancing with the Moment’ to air on KCSB-FM 91.9 this New Year’s Eve

December 30, 2014 in Events, Happenings, Uncategorized by admin

DJ Tibo ‘Tibonious Funk’ Cuellar will be airing  selected
tracks off the new Danny Faragher album, ‘Dancing CD400_outwith the Moment’, on his show – ‘Cold Cuts’ (6:00 – 8:00 am).

Start off the New Year’s Eve celebration with the eclectic sounds of this critically acclaimed LP.

 

Click here for the live stream http://www.kcsb.org/webcast/

 

 

 

 

 

CDT100_out

Danny-Faragher_Dancing-With-The-Moment2_CDT100_in

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Dancing with the Moment – The cover art nails it!

December 15, 2014 in Events, Happenings, Uncategorized by admin

CD400_out I originally envisioned the album as simply a vehicle to showcase some original songs.  Then in 2011, I wrote ‘Song in the Night’,a swirling, psychedelic tune with lyrics that dealt with the song’s own creation, a very circular idea. Musically, it projects a heady sense of motion and the passing of time (My mother once told me. ‘Life is a blink of an eye.’). I took a line from the chorus – ‘Dancing with the moment…’   as a theme to pull the entire LP together.  The tracks came to represent the myriad thoughts and emotions experienced through the course of day (or a life): joy, sadness, yearning, disappointment, hope, love, lust…

Having wrapped up the musical side of the project, with all the tracks mixed, mastered and ready to go, my son, Bryan and I set our focus on finding a visual image to compliment the sonic. I racked my brain to come up with  a few ideas.  Alas, I am no painter. My ideas were too literal, too representational .  A dancer precariously  perched atop a shaky pedestal, was one example. When I suggested them to Bryan, he gave me a ‘Come on… Really?’ look. ‘How would you actually do that?’ he asked. He thought it should be more abstract. Going through his original photos, he found a shot taken through the windshield  of a moving car on a rainy night. I then sat and watched with amazement as he manipulated the image into its glorious eye-popping result. I love it! It perfectly fits my idea of motion and time, and it’s beautiful. Check it out.

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The Big Shoot

September 8, 2014 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts by admin

 

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On August 6, 2014, Danny Faragher and son Bryan, along with  Shervin Ahdout, and Alex Echevaria shot video footage for  ‘Too Much Pressure’, a song featured on the soon to be released album – ‘Dancing with the Moment’. Here are Danny’s impressions of the experience.

2014-08-03 23.19.15

Shervin, Bryan, and Alec

I woke up earlier than I’d planned. Had I even slept?  I lay in bed  while my mind scrolled through the day’s  agenda. It was Sunday, the one day that I allow myself the luxury of sleeping in, and my body was tired.  It would have been wise to try to catch a few more winks, but I had a video to shoot, and my brain was just too active. I could feel  the clock ticking. I swung my legs off the bed  and rose to my feet. Owe! I felt a pain. Glancing down, I was shocked to see that the little toe on my right foot was purplish in color and swollen as a sausage. The night before, In my haste to get things ready,  I had stubbed it badly, perhaps even dislocating it. Canceling the shoot, however, was out of the question. It had been difficult enough to set a window of time that worked for everyone involved, and we’d already rescheduled twice. I’d just have to bite the bullet and deal with it.

After a shave, shower, coffee,  and breakfast – I learned long ago not to jump into the day on an empty stomach – I dashed off to pick up my son, Bryan. He and I had been creative partners for the last seven years, working together  in the studio on my now completed album, Dancing with the Moment. The two of us had already shot a couple of videos for two of the original songs – The Sad Man, and Song in the Night. Now we were focusing on Too Much Pressure, a funky tune with a soulful vocal and a message in the lyric. We both felt that the track was an important one and wanted to create a video that captured its excitement.  We’d  brainstormed and come up with a bold idea. As I had played most of the instruments on the recording, Bryan thought it would be cool to have me visually make up the band by combining individual shots into a composite. We could also feature close-ups of each character. To assure a professional look, we’d approached a videographer  friend of his, Shervin Ahdout. who  had a lot of experience both as a cameraman, and as a lighting tech. Shervin’s input had already been invaluable, and the three of us had mapped out a basic course to follow. Also coming to the shoot to offer his help was Alec Echevaria, a piano student of mine. Alec, too, was a videographer,  and had, along with Bryan, had a hand in the writing of the song, so it was fitting that he be involved.

Upon arriving back at my place, Bryan and I began loading the truck, checking off each item on the list: musical instruments, amps ,mic and stand, props, costumes, hats, etc. It was a lot of stuff, and a lot of things to keep track of. I always have a nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something. it was a good thing the location was nearby. For our film site I had chosen the concert room at West Valley Music Center in West Hills, where I teach music five days a week. The owner, Jeff Gold, was more than cool. When I’d asked him  if I could rent the space, he’d waved me off, saying – ‘Nah, Don’t worry about it.  I don’t need anything for it. Knock yourself out!’

Me, wearing Faragher Brothers shirt and channeling my brother, Davey, on bass.

Me, wearing Faragher Brothers shirt and doing my best to emulate my brother, Davey, on bass.

The store is in a little strip mall that lies at the foot of a wooded hill. Just beyond is the kick off point for a hiking trail that winds into the Santa Monica Mountains. The August sky above was unusually dark, and as we unloaded the gear, a few big drops began to fall to the asphalt . Although it would shower off and on throughout the day, luckily for us the threatened downpour was never to materialize.

After a few minutes, Shervin arrived with camera and lighting equipment. He and my son greeted one another as they always had – ‘homey to ‘homey’ – with a ritual that included bumping  fists. ‘Hey, Bryan.’ he said.

Looking respectfully my way, he extended a hand. ‘Hello, Mr. Faragher.’  he said, addressing  me with an old world courtesy and formality. Shervin and Bryan had met as sixth graders not long  after the former’s family had emigrated from Iran. Shervin is intelligent, soft spoken, and to the point. When he speaks, it’s because he has something definite to say. I respected his opinion and had a lot of confidence in his ability.

A few minutes later Alec pulled up. The young man, in his mid twenties had been studying with me since he was  about seventeen.   He’s smart, talented, and artistically curious. I admire him. I introduced him to Shervin, and the two of them  were soon conversing in film speak. This was a relief. One never knows if two people are going to or hit it off or rub the wrong way.

There was a lot to do before we could begin. Dozens of rental instruments,  a few pieces of furniture, and a wall of hanging pictures had to be removed before we could open a space to set up. The fact that there was so much grunt work to do was a good thing. Keeping busy helped to calm my pre-performance jitters, and keep my mind clear of doubting, and second guessing.

I was to play eight different characters, and that meant eight complete and separate costumes , including shoes and hats. My wife, Jeanne Harriott, is a professional set costumer. When I’d run my ideas past her she had given her stamp of approval.  ‘Sounds like you’ve got it under control.’ she’d said,  This did wonders for my confidence. I’d always loved wearing costumes (After a third grade Thanksgiving play, I was loath to stop wearing my Pilgrim attire), so it was going to be fun.  At the same time, I knew that the process had to be quick and smooth. Having observed Jeannie working on projects, I knew how important it was to be organized. She’d  gotten me a clothes rack, which I set up in the office. It would help immensely.

As for make-up, I couldn’t afford a professional, so I was on my own. I’d learned the basics of applying make-up when I was acting in a theater production, so I wasn’t completely at sea. If I had it to do over again, however, I would be sure to bring a good sized magnifying mirror with built in lighting.  As it was,  I had only a little traveling kit shaving mirror, and the light in the room was far too dim to see properly. I told myself  I’d just  have to do my best, and pray I didn’t come out looking  like Bozo.

Shervin Ahdoot

Shervin Ahdout

Meanwhile, Shervin and Alec were setting up for the first shot -an intro scene which occurs before the song kicks off. This was chosen not for chronological reasons, but because they wanted to take advantage of the sunlight coming through the blinds. In this scene I am dressed as a janitor  sweeping the floor dressed in coveralls – an older man forced by circumstance to take on menial work.  Bryan is playing a roadie who is busy winding  a cable. He accidentally bumps the table and causes a drum machine to begin playing a funky groove. The two characters look at each other for a moment, then smile and start moving to the beat until the track kicks in. We are then transported to a parallel world in which the janitor becomes each member of the band, and the roadie turns into a D.J.  creating the drum and percussion tracks.  At the end of the song the carriage turns back into a pumpkin and the two characters return to their chores. We were going to shoot both the intro and the outro.

Bryan and I both spent long stretches of time standing in place as Shervin and Alec  tweaked the lighting and camera angle of each shot.

‘Now you know why there are stand-ins.’ Shervin remarked. ‘If you were big stars, you’d be back in your trailers with your groupies.’

We all laughed.  It brought to mind the old adage about the experience of shooting a film – Hurry up and wait!  Indeed we did a lot of standing and waiting as Shervin and Alec did the hurrying. Ultimately, though,  in between those tedious periods would come the moment of truth  -  the instant when the clapper snaps,  ‘Speeding!’  is shouted, and one has to summon the actor inside. This rapid tandem from left brain to right brain can come as a shock to the uninitiated. It’s suddenness can leave a person feeling like the proverbial deer in the headlights. It took a few times to begin to feel comfortable.

‘This time I’d like you to wait two beats before you react.’ Shervin directed.

Ah, yes… react naturally, as you would in life. Such a simple thing, but so difficult to achieve. Just as in music or any other art, you don’t think about what you’re doing, you just do it.  We did multiple takes on a number  of shots – Bryan and I together, the two of us separately, long shots, close-ups, over the shoulder, etc.  - until we reached the point where Shervin felt he had the right footage in the can.

Cowboy Dan

Cowboy Dan

After this experience, the four of us were exhausted and hungry. Time for lunch break. I looked at the clock. God, had it really taken that long? We hadn’t even started to film the actual song sequences yet. This was going to be a race against the clock. I could feel  the time beating with each throb of my toe.

After a lunch of foot long sandwiches, we were ready to roll, starting with the lead singer. I changed into a nice shirt with vertical strips and black jeans. Simple but slick.. My toe smarted  a bit when I crammed  my right foot into the pointed shoe.

About a week prior I had bought a high quality camera with the intention of using it on the shoot. A lot of time could be saved by shooting with two cameras simultaneously. Shervin removed it from the box, inserted a battery and a card. and attached it to the shoulder mount. When he turned on the camera, however, it refused to go into video mode. He handed it to Alec, who gave it a college try, but It was no dice. The camera stubbornly refused to cooperate..

‘Mr. Murphy makes his entrance.’ Shervin said, referring to Murphy’s Law. ‘Were’ going to have to  continue without it.’

My heart sank. I knew that the stationary camera could not be moved until every character was shot, otherwise a composite would not work. That meant  we would have to film all the characters in the full body shot, then remove the camera from the sticks to film the close ups.  I would have to put on and take off each costume twice, more than doubling the time.

While we were processing this unwanted detour, Bryan suddenly announced – ‘ I got it to work!

‘Wow, no kidding? How did you do it?’

‘I just kept trying things. Shutting it off and restarting.’

‘Bryan saves  the day!’ I shouted.

I felt a sudden rush of elation. I was ready to sing. ‘Okay,’ I exclaimed. ‘ Let’s do it!’

We ran through the song.

‘I’m just getting warmed up. I said. ‘ Let’s run it again.

Dressed in Eighties hipster suit.

Dressed in Eighties hipster suit.

On the second take I began to settle into my element, grabbing the mic for effect,  gesturing , and most importantly,  feeling and believing the words I was singing…

Too much. Too much pressure
All around, all around ,
All around, all around…

Now the rich and greedy keep goin’ to town
While the rest of us – just movin’ on down
Empty pockets and empty dreams
Where’s my chance to make the scene?

When we got to the section where the harmonica solos, I started moving my feet.  Dancing for me has always meant liberation and expression. Now, some folks  may believe that men of a certain age shouldn’t dance, they should play golf. But all my life I’ve loved to move, and I’m not ready to stop, yet.  Just give me fifteen minutes,  and a four by four area of hardwood floor  where I can kick off my shoes and slide my feet, and I’m in seventh heaven.

As I came out of the break down and into the last verse, I braved a pivot spin and pulled it off. Lord, I was feeling good, truly dancing with the moment, and  I let myself really get down as the piano took over.

‘Those J.B. moves are great’ Alec said, ‘but it would be cool to see you come out from behind the mic stand so we can get a better view of your  feet.’

‘Okay,’ I agreed. ‘Let’s take another one  from the breakdown.’

I jumped into the shot. By the end I felt as if I’d sprinted a 440. Tired, but energized. The lead was by far the most important shot. It was satisfying to know I had a good performance in the can.  I  was just starting to hit my stride, and wished I could do another half dozen takes, but I knew that  time was flying by and we had to press on. Over the next five hours or so we filmed another eight characters: the harmonica player, Bryan’s ultra cool DJ, the  guitarist, bassist, pianist, trombonist, sax player, and cornetist.

In Peppermint Trolley jacket

In Peppermint Trolley jacket

By the time we’d filmed the last shot (me with silver cornet, wearing my Peppermint Trolley band jacket), packed the equipment,  and returned objects to their place, we were into the wee hours. We’d worked a fourteen hour day. I knew that the next day I would be useless, a zombie, and that I would have to deal with the injured toe. Right then I just wanted to savor the moment. The four of us hugged. We had worked well as a team. For me it had been a demanding but gratifying experience. Now it would be up to Bryan to work his magic in the editing room.  I had every confidence in his ability to do just that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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by admin

Peppermint Trolley Company on Boss KHJ Aircheck – June 5, 1968 -UPDATE

June 13, 2014 in Events, Happenings by admin

Luxuriapng

Gary Schneider, host of the show, Open Mynd Excursion  (Luxuria Music, Wednesday, 9:00 – 11:00 pm PST) delights listeners each week by playing a recording drawn from his vast collection of radio air checks.Recently he featured an air check from June 5, 1968 of Boss Radio KHJ, in which the Peppermint Trolley Company’s hit “Baby You Come Rollin’ Across My Mind”  was aired.(approximately 15 minutes in) The DJ was L.A. radio legend, the Real Don Steele. The artists on the program represent a myriad of styles, from the Fifth Dimension to Cream. from  the Stones to Tiny Tim. It is a fascinating time capsule in sound.

Click play below to listen to this blast from the past:
Courtesy of Gary Schneider of Luxuriamusic.com

 

KHJtop30

Back in the sixties 93 KHJ was king of the L. A. airwaves They were the biggest, baddest top forty station on the West Coast. If your record got played on Boss Radio, you had  a very large foot in the door. That this giant would put our little ol’ 45 on their playlist was was like manna from heavden.

We had recorded “Baby, You Come Rollin’…” in November of 1967, and the single was released early in ’68. Though we believed in the record – it was heartfelt, honest, and catchy as hell –  It hadn’t caused much of a stir, and by May we had all but given up on it. In the meantime, we were living in a rat infested band house in Silver Lake. In spite of being poverty stricken and undernourished, we’d managed to maintain a creative regimen of writing, arranging, and rehearsing new material with the intention and hope of releasing an LP. Our manager/producer , Dan Dalton tried selling ACTA president, Kenny Myers on the idea, but Myers, being an old school record man,  was reluctant. I remember sitting in Dalton’s tiny office, when Dan got the call from Myers that nixed the idea. Talk about feeling dejected, it looked like the end of the line for the Trolley. Then something strange happened, something out of a feel-good fantasy  movie.  The phone rang  again  a couple of minutes later.  It was Myers,once more, but this time he was eager to green light the album.  Why? It seems that , just like its title, “Baby You Come Rollin’ Across my Mind” had been quietly rolling from region to region over the past four months, gradually picking up steam. It was a number one hit in Louisville, Kentucky. Bill Drake, the top forty consultant with an uncanny knack for picking hits, had fallen in love with the record. To a number of stations located in major cities, Drake’s word was gospel; they trusted him implicitly. KHJ was putting our single into rotation as of that very night, and  not only was Boss Radio jumping on the record, so was the entire Drake Chain.

Baby You Come RollinjpgThat night we heard our record played on the radio. A few days later we were appearing on television.  By June 5, the date of this air check,  we were still holding our own among such classics as Sunshine of Your Love, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and Mrs. Robinson. It’s sad and eerie knowing now that tragedy was about to strike. On the following night of June 6, having wrapped up a recording session at Moonglow Studios (probably for the album cut, Put Your Burden Down), we heard the heartbreaking news over the car radio that Bobby Kennedy had been shot. To quote Dickens – ‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

Peace,
Danny Faragher

by admin

Rosewood Redemption

May 15, 2014 in Events, Thoughts, Uncategorized by admin

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It‘s New Year’s Day, 1980. The opening fanfare of a new decade finds Danny ill in bed, adrift and rudderless. Here is a a small testament to the resilience of the human spirit…


Rosewood Redemption

An angry Santa Ana was whistling through the overgrown mulberry tree.  I could hear the  branches whip and scrape violently against the house. The dry, stifling air seemed to invade through every crack and crevice, engulfing all in its suffocating presence. My scalp tingled with static electricity as I tossed and turned on the bed. There was just no getting comfortable:  My back was sweaty, my head hurt, and I was semi-delirious with fever. I could hear nothing with my infected  right ear, and my swollen throat was only capable of an occasional moan or sigh. I lay in my jockey shorts with the sheets peeled back, feeling hot and bothered as the sunlight sliced through the blinds and over my sick body.

‘A Happy fucking New Year!’ I mumbled  sarcastically to myself.

Backstage at Starwood Sept, '79

The Faragher Brothers at the Starwood – Sept ’79. One of our last gigs.

The small black and white TV which sat on the dresser was broadcasting yet another bowl game. I couldn’t muster enough strength to get up and turn the station. In my prone position I’d watched the myriad helmeted crews bash into one another. It all seemed so pointless, so absurd. The realization that millions of people had an emotional stake in this exercise made me feel all the more isolated. Still … I watched, waiting  perhaps for that breath of fresh air, the long pass. I did love to watch the ball sail down the field and fall safely into the cradling arms of a man running like the wind. The play served to break the brutal monotony and claustrophobia of a game I otherwise hated.

A new decade was dawning. Nineteen-eighty. It felt strange to shape the sound.

It’s just an arbitrary number. Why do we place such importance on these things?  Do you think this goddamned wind, which will still be blowing long after we have disappeared,  knows or gives a shit?

It dawned on me that this would be the first year since 1960 that I wasn’t a member of a band. I let my memory scroll back in time nearly twenty years to when I was a thirteen -year-old. My family had just moved from Long Beach to Redlands, and I was a new kid in town. Kennedy had been elected president, and the hope and optimism of the time was contagious. Bursting with new-found energy, I’d succeeded in putting into action a dream I’d nurtured for three years – I started my own band. It was the beginning of a  musical  thread that was to continue through two decades and six different  groups. The Faragher Brothers, the final ensemble, had officially broken up this last Thanksgiving day,.

Where do I go from here?  I wondered.

Many of my contemporaries had completed their education and were settling in to their careers; my career  was ending. I was thirty-two, married with two children, and had no visible prospects on the horizon.

Suddenly  a strong gust of wind bore down on the house, shaking the windows with impunity, as if to remind me of my humble place in the scheme of things. When the force subsided, I raised my arms to stretch, flexing my fingers – fingers that were half numb from repetitive work . Patches of gooey down still adhered to their tips, the residual of countless hours spent crafting feather jewelry and roach clips. For several years I’d been supplementing the music income by selling my wares to head shops, hair salons, and hip clothing stores.  Production was slow and tedious. Sweatshop work.  I’d spent many a night seated at my garage work bench burning the midnight oil with feathers flying and the pungent scent of glue in my nostrils. In fact, it was the act of pushing myself to fill a huge order for Christmas that had gotten me ill. I thought of Bobby Darin’s song about the little girl who succumbs to the cold in a tenement house.

‘Artificial flowers… artificial flowers….fashioned from Annie’s despair.’

I sighed. The poor will always fall under the radar in this mean, cold world.CSUN---Feathered-Freind-Story

The whoosh of the wind and the noise of the stadium crowd on the television seemed to merge into a common stream of white sound. My eyelids grew heavy and  I began to feel  I was body surfing that stream. The ride accelerated and soon I was rushing through a twisting tunnel… down… down…deeper and deeper…

I found  myself sitting in the garage fashioning jewelry. Instead of  feathers, however,  I was attempting to use palm fronds. They were huge and unwieldy, but I just had to get this order made. I kept trying. I gradually became acutely aware of the wind picking up outside. I could feel it was building to a crescendo. Suddenly there was a crashing sound as the roof flew off, and the fronds took flight, disappearing into the blue…

I awoke with a startle. The room was dark.  The silhouette of a tree branch danced on the moonlit wall as the wind continued to blow. On  the TV screen the news was showing a photo of the Ayatollah Khomeini. To me he looked like a bearded Sean Connery, though sans the twinkle in the eye. ‘Oh,  yes,’  I remembered – ‘the Iran Hostage Crisis.’ This stressful  stand-off was bringing out ugliness and intolerance from all quarters.  It felt like we were moving backwards. I clenched my fists.

What a fucked up world!

With my clear left ear, I detected a faint sound of music coming from our daughter’s room down the hall. She had her radio tuned to KROQ.  I recognized the song. It was a cover of the Johnny Rivers tune, Secret Agent Man, sung in a robotic monotone.  I identified the sound as Devo. The band was a part of the new movement – labeled Punk, New Wave, or whatever  moniker some self-proclaimed prophet of pop wanted to call it – which was considered to be the epitome of post modern chic. Personally, I found the choked throat singing of Devo or David Byrne of Talking Heads to be the equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard. Oh,  I’d tried to dig it, as my younger brothers had, but to me it was a case of the Emperor’s Clothes. This trend seemed more defined by what it wasn’t than what it was. Yes, I was aware that it was purposely meant to be ironic and detached.  I just didn’t give a shit. I was too warm blooded, and this music just left me cold. For me there had to be a visceral connection, an emotional spark. Wit and irony on top of that I could buy.

I gave out a sigh as the mechanical thumping droned on. Eventually the beat seemed to lead me on a pathway down into the rabbit hole and back to a dream world…

My Brothers and I were getting ready to play at the Hollywood Bowl. We were on in five minutes. Where was my Hammond organ? Oh  God, it was up in the seats! I realized I would have to play from up there. How would I plug in? I started running up the aisle. Though I was sprinting in leaps and bounds and huffing and puffing, I didn’t seem to be  gaining any ground. I could hear my brother counting off – ‘One… a-two…a-one , two, three…’

I woke up in a cold sweat with my heart racing.  Upon realizing it was only a dream, I uttered a laugh of relief, and began singing the old Jimmy Clanton tune in a gravelly timbre. – ‘Just a dreamjust a dream’. My panic subsided. The perspiration served to cool me down.  I began to reflect on the past year…

1979 had started off with such promise (My God, Israel and Egypt were even  talking about peace!). We Faragher Brothers had a great album in the can and were contracted by Polydor to record another.  We appeared on American Bandstand and shot a video. Then the bottom seemed to fall out of the music business; the album got lost in the shuffle. Sadly, the ties that had held the band together began to unravel. No longer did we trust one another. Although we did record one last LP, it was  done with record company bottom liners breathing down our necks and with palpable tension in the studio. In November we’d  gotten word that our contract would not be renewed. It was the end. All those years of work and sacrifice… all for naught.  It was over. A line from James Taylor’s Fire and Rain rolled through my mind…

‘Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.’

It was over.

I realized that for the past month I had been in denial about my reality. Now the stark truth hit me hard. It just broke my heart! Without warning I found myself crying. At first, a lone drop here and there, but soon the tears began to pour. There in my dark, sick isolation I wept unabashedly, grieving both the loss of my musical career, and the tear in the familial fabric. Gradually the sobs began to taper off. I could hear the washing machine agitating on the service porch. The steady rocking lulled me and I drifted into sleep once again.

I dreamed I was in my folk’s Victorian era house in Redlands.

The staircase at the Faragher House

The staircase at the Faragher House. Photo by Jerusha Faragher

I walked into the long rectangular living room with the high ceiling. In front of me, my parents sat facing the other way; my father in his easy chair, reading the paper; my mother in the family rocker, darning socks and watching television. I smiled. My heart warmed at the sight of these two beloved people. I made an about face and tip toed to the family piano which sat in the room’s near end.  I reached my fingers down to the keys and struck a beautiful chord. ‘ It all began here.’ I said to myself. I turned to the right  and walked through the large entry way and into the foyer. The staircase angled directly in front of me. To the right of that was a small paneled area in back of the floor furnace grate. I noticed a rosette in the corner of the panel. In its center was a rosewood button. Curious, I just had to touch it. I rubbed my finger over its smooth surface. It felt springy, so I pushed it. Suddenly the wall opened inwardly, exposing a secret room . I marveled. ‘Hey, I didn’t know this was here?’ The room was lit by candle light. I gave a spin to a huge globe of the earth and watched as the continents rotated. In the warm glow I could see shelves filled with wonderful objects – leather bound volumes from the Nineteenth Century, musical manuscripts, ancient maps of vellum, bronze sculptures…. Beneath the bookcase were six dark walnut drawers. I opened one and removed an oblong case. Inside was a  rosewood recorder nestled in velvet lining. I fit the two segments of the instrument together , and set the flats of my fingers against the holes. It felt magical  in my hands. I raised it to my mouth and  blew a gentle stream of air. Out came  a melody that was both sorrowful and sweet. My head swayed as the music filled the room….

When I awoke, the lamp was on and the TV was broadcasting an episode of Happy Days. On the sitcom, Richie was setting up a joke for the Fonz, who swiftly delivered the punch line to audience laughter. Both the wind and my fever had subsided. The lilting melody from the dream was still wafting through my brain and I was filled with an overwhelming sense of well being.  I became aware of three beautiful pair of brown eyes looking in from the doorway.

‘How are you feeling?’ my wife, Jeanne, asked. “You look like you’ve been through the wringer.”

‘Better.’ I responded.

“That’s good.”

Deena, our fourteen -year-old, was holding her baby brother, Bryan, in her arms. He laughed as she bounced him playfully. “Hey, Bry-Bry…”  she coaxed. – “say ‘Get well, Papa!’ ”  He giggled some more.

“Do you need anything?” Jeanne asked

“Just some water.”

“Okay.”

Deena grabbed Bryan’s hand and moved it in waving motion. “Bye, bye! We love you!” she said in sing song tone.

“I know.  I love you ,too.”

The words replayed in my mind – I love you, too. 

Love…. I pondered the  ‘L’ word.

‘Faith, hope, and love abide; these three, but the greatest of these is love.’

The words of Paul that I had been required to memorize at nine years of age to receive my allowance now breathed with life on my lips.

Perhaps my faith, and hope were running a little dry at the moment, but like an underground stream , my love was still flowing freely. Indeed, I loved and was loved in return. This was just as true as the reality of my strained circumstances. Within my core I knew that this realization would be enough to get me through  the rough days ahead.

Love, and Family… I pondered the word, this other ‘F’ word. I realized that for me it was and always had been about family. I was fortunate to have been raised in a loving one, and as a result, I viewed my relationship with the world as being a member of the largest of all families – the Family of Humankind.crossroads

I sensed that I was at a crossroads. The direction my future would take was entirely up to me. It would be so easy to choose the path of bitterness and cynicism, and to become someone who pisses and moans about the world having passed them by. I knew that wasn’t me. I recognized that life, by nature, is about change, and to resist change is to stop growing. In essence, it is to die a slow death. I vowed I would travel the other path. There would no doubt be surprises and challenges behind every bend, but…  hey, I’d always had a resilient streak in me. I felt eager to get back on my feet and work my way down the road.

As for music. Though I would have to put my artistic career on the back burner for a while, not for a moment would I ever stop singing, or stop dreaming. Are you crazy? It was an integral part of who I was.

I would eventually rebound. I would reinvent myself. I would reach out and explore different genres. I didn’t need to be a star. I just wanted to become the best I could be.

As I lay there, the melody that filled the secret room continued to play within my mind, filling my heart with love and a generosity of spirit.  My siblings and I were destined to veer off in different directions, but we would always share the familial bond and I knew that one day we would once again be close. Every fiber of my being still vibrated with the sound of the rosewood recorder.  Energized and optimistic, I could feel  the healing process commencing.

Happy New Year!  I cried.

‘Hey, maybe I’ll even give Devo another listen.’