Bones (the rock band) video of hit – ‘Roberta’

March 3, 2016 in Happenings

Bones cover

Album photo and design by Phil Hartman

 

My brother Jimmy and I led four different bands.
Although each group was fun to be a part of, the experience as a member of Bones was probably the most exciting. We were four young guys chasing a dream full throttle in a rapidly changing world. Oh, those halcyon days!

The four of us, Jimmy Faragher, Casey Cunningham, Greg Tornquist, and myself, were already a seasoned studio band, having charted a hit record in 1968 with Baby, You Come Rollin’ Across my Mind, and recorded a future cult classic with the eponymously titled album,  The Peppermint Trolley Company.  However, there is no resting on one’s laurels in the music business. We were creatively restless, and felt boxed in, confined within the four walls of the studio. Full of fire and eager to take our music to the streets, we chose to walk away from our contract and not look back, changing both our moniker and our direction.scan

It took us a couple years of wood shedding and playing dives to find that direction, but find it we did. We became a great live act. Crowds flooded to venues like Gazzarri’s, the Whiskey, the Topanga Corral, and the Venice Beach House to listen and dance to Bones. In concerts as an opening act for artists like Little Richard,  Alice Cooper, Canned Heat, and the Eagles, the band always projected a visceral excitement that was contagious.

Through it all we remained a tight recording unit, always arranging  our songs as if we were making records. We great material to work with. Jimmy, the main writer in the group was churning out quality song after quality song. In 1972 the groups first album, Bones, produced by Richard Perry, was released on Artie Mogul’s Signpost label. The following year, after adding our former Trolley mate, guitarist Patrick McClure to the band, we released a second LP,  Waitin’ Here, produced by Vini Poncia (Future producer on three of the four Faragher Brothers albums), on MCA.Bones - 1973 - Waitin' Here

 

Roberta, the hit single, and first release, was the result of  a spontaneous and unrehearsed rendition of the Huey Piano Smith song at the suggestion of producer Perry. He’d heard me singing the tune and thought it might capture some of that live excitement.  It’s the rock and roll side of Bones.

The band’s hybrid sound, an amalgamation of rock, power pop, and soul, was way ahead of it’s time, and provided a template for the Faragher Brothers to step into. The music biz connections the band had cultivated didn’t hurt, either.

So why does Bones seem to be lost to history? I believe part of it is the lack of visual documentation. There are simply very few photos and, unlike both the Peppermint Trolley and the Faragher Brothers, there is no footage of the band (Strange to contemplate a world where folks aren’t catching every moment with iPhones or video cams!). Being more of a counter culture phenomenon Bones never appeared on television. Thankfully, the music still remains.

With pride I recall how committed we were to the idea of peace and social justice. We not

Bones - Opening for Peace Rally - Oceanside, CA - May, 1970

Bones – Opening for Peace Rally – Oceanside, CA – May, 1970

only talked the talk, but in performing pro bono at numerous peace rallies for the cause, we walked the walk. We were a band of brothers. On a mission. Committed to the power of rock and roll and its ability to bring people together. We lived together, made music together, and at times,  starved together. Through the good times and the hard times we had each other’s backs. Bones lives!

Watch Roberta video.

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Danny Faragher in Concert for Music on a Warm Summer Night

June 26, 2015 in Events, Happenings

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Danny Faragher, on his promotional tour of his latest Dancing with the Moment album (recently released on iTunes), will be performing at a one night Special Engagement with the Acoustic Music Series on July 18th at 8pm.

TMP-Shoot---Canyon-Hike-PR-065aDanny Faragher will be playing and singing songs from his albums, Dancing with the Moment, and Blue Little Corner, as well as other tunes from his storied career, and will be accompanied by a full band consisting of Tim Horrigan, Craig Copeland, Chris Blondal and Bryan Faragher. Together they will span the musical range from Jazz to Blues to Funk to West Coast Psychedelic.

Sharing the bill is Raspin Stuwart, performing Blues, Jazz, Acoustic Soul and Adult Contemporary.

The show will take place at the West Valley Music Center, 24424 Vanowen Street, West Hills, CA 91307. Tickets are available for $15 by reservation only. Call 818-992-4142.

Reservations can be made on line here: http://www.westvalleymusiccenter.com/acoustic-music-series.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear Danny on 88.3 Southern FM Melbourne Right Now!

June 3, 2015 in Events, Happenings

—Official Press Release—
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As part of his recent press tour to promote his new album, Dancing with the Moment, Danny Faragher appeared live on the Purple Haze radio show with host Nick Black, 88.3 Southern FM in Melbourne, Australia.

The interview aired Wednesday May 26th, at 8pm AEST, and featured Danny’s numerous stories from  his long recording career, including anecdotes about his time playing on The Sunset Strip as a house band, the emerging Venice counter-culture scene, and the touring of the late 70s, all the way to his recent experiences of producing his recent solo album Dancing with the Moment with his son Bryan.

The 2 hour interview intertwined around many musical selections from The Peppermint Trolley Company, Bones and The Faragher Brothers, along with numerous tracks from his recent solo album Dancing with the Moment.

For those that missed the original airing on the 88.3 Southern FM website, it can be found here at the radio station’s website.

Dancing with the Moment, which has already been called “one of the greatest albums of the year” by critic Beverly Patterson, also received some kind words and attention from host Nick Black who called it, “fabulous” and “brilliant” and praised the album’s cohesive nature and urged listeners to buy the whole album, not just a single track.

The interview as well as an archive of Danny’s past appearance on the Purple Haze show is available on the Southern FM website, and a copy can also be found here at Dannyfaragher.com as well.

Dancing with the Moment is currently available on iTunes as well as available in CD from CDBaby.com

————-

Note: Special thanks to Nick Black.

 

Former Peppermint Trolley Co. and Bones Member, Greg Tornquist recalls meeting B.B. King

May 18, 2015 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts

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Received an email yesterday from Greg Torquist, my former band mate in both the Peppermint Trolley Company and Bones in which he recalls our opening for B.B. King at the Whiskey a Go Go in the early seventies,  as well as a later chance meeting with the great man.

Hey Bones Brothers!

I was saddened to learn that BB passed away yesterday.  Age: 89.
We met twice.
The first was when we opened for him at the Whiskey.  Maybe 1971 or 72 ?
Shook hands with him in the dressing room.  I’ve never forgotten his catcher mitt handshake.  After our set when we were heading up the stairs and he was coming down he stopped and complimented me on my playing.  May have been the slide on ‘He Said’.  BB knew songs.  We played good ones and he couldn’t have escaped our roar because you could hear the band on stage in the dressing rooms.  I think he just dug good music.
I wore that compliment like an invisible badge of honor.  Still do.
Then we were introduced by a friend in LA about 3 or 4 years ago.  We met in an optometrist office.
Spoke for around 20 minutes.  Privately.  I explained that I had written a musical called Mississippi and asked for his advice.  He was encouraging.  Enthusiastic even.  Told me to send a copy to his bodyguard so he could actually listen and read it.  
I never did.  Writers angst that it wasn’t quite good enough.  I am rewriting even now.  Oy!
What a wonderful man.  Not just a trail blazing iconic musical hero but a great man.
Peace
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BB and Greg and Nic   11:11:11 copy

Dancing with the Moment Kicks off with Event Packed Party!

February 20, 2015 in Events, Happenings

———Offcial Press Release——

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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”.

 

One Last Time in Harmony

May 1, 2014 in Events, Happenings

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In 2008 we five members of the bands- the Peppermint Trolley Company, and Bones – Jimmy Faragher, Greg Tornquist, Casey Cunningham, Patrick McClure, and myself, Danny Faragher (We affectionately refer to ourselves as Bones Brothers) were reunited. It was the first time in thirty-five years. Though the decades had passed, our friendship bond, based on a unique shared experience was as strong as ever.  Oh what a joyous occasion It was! We played and sang Jimmy’s beautiful tune – Harmony from the album – Waitin’ Here. Little did we know that it would  be the last time we would stand together. In March of this year we lost Patrick.  Here are some moments from that day caught on tape combined with some rare photographs compiled and edited by Bryan Faragher into this touching video, a moving tribute to Bones Brother Patrick McClure. Our thanks to Michael McClure for supplying many of the superb photographs.

‘Broken Hearts and Hopeful Dreams’ – Remembering Patrick McClure

April 18, 2014 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts

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I Remember Long Ago

It was the spring of 1967. A whirlwind of change was in there air. The art scene, music  in particular, was exploding with creativity. Conversely, the war in Vietnam continued its steady escalation, and the draft hung over young males’ heads like a sword of Damocles. Having become increasingly distressed by the conflict, and  committed in my opposition, I planned and carried out a one-man anti-war protest at the school  I was attending. San Bernardino Valley College was a very conservative campus, and as I stood on the walkway with homemade placard in hand, very few students offered any words of encouragement. Most were apathetic, and an angry few met my demonstration with outright contempt and hostility. Some were even confrontational, yelling point blank in my face – the spittle flying. I was feeling truly alone in my forlorn folly when I was approached by a guy with an easy going manner. The eyes behind the wire rimmed glasses were intelligent, inquisitive, and friendly. He introduced himself. His name was Patrick McClure. Right away he let me know that he was in solidarity with what I was doing. As we became engrossed in conversation, the act of chatting served to break the tension.

“Fuckin’ commie lover!” a passerby shouted, extending a middle finger.

The insult was like water off a duck’s back. I was otherwise engaged – thank-you much!

My friendship with Patrick appeared like an oasis in a vast wasteland, and In the weeks that followed, we became fast buddies. I learned that he and his family had moved to Redlands from Santa Cruz, and that they lived just several blocks from my folks. In addition to similar political views, we also shared a passion for music. Being from the Bay Area, he was much more exposed to the San Francisco scene. He had a copy of the Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow.  I remember lying on the floor in his room, listening to the record, marveling at the sound which seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the time. He’d figured out and could play Embryonic Journey on acoustic guitar. I could see that he liked to tinker with music: Take it apart, analyze it, understand it. I admired this immensely. We also hung out at my little pad in Riverside where I introduced him to my brothers and friends. We jammed, talked,  and, I’m embarrassed to say, even tried smoking banana peels, getting nothing but headaches and charred throats for our trouble.

I discovered that Patrick not only talked the talk – he walked the walk. In June, he was with us to share the beautiful  experience that was the  Monterey Pop Festival, and one week later stood alongside my brothers and me as the police mounted their vicious attack at Century Plaza. These seminal events served to strengthen the bonds. We developed a strong sense of knowing we had each other’s backs.

A Lazy Summer Day

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Rehearsing for first concert. From left to right, Patrick, Danny, Casey and Jimmy.

My brother Jimmy and I had a recording contract as the Peppermint Trolley Company, and had brought our friend Casey Cunningham into our group to play drums. In July, our single, A Lazy Summer Day, was getting some airplay locally and our manager booked us on a concert as the opening act for Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin at the Kaiser Dome in San Bernardino. We needed a guitarist, quick, fast, and in a hurry, and asked Patrick to join the band. To our delight, he agreed. Pat’s parents and siblings were out of town so we holed up in his house and woodshed like crazy for a week straight, managing to put together a set of perhaps eight or nine songs. Try as we may, there was just no hiding the fact that we were green. I know that it was difficult for me, so I can’t imagine how daunting a task it must have been for Pat. To have never even played in a band before, and to be suddenly thrust on stage in front of five thousand kids is a scary proposition. That takes balls – or naiveté… or both! (read more at the Peppermint Trolley Company bio)

On the night of the concert, we managed to complete a very jittery performance that was largely held together by Casey’s solid drumming.  I’m sure we were dreadful, but at least we’d gotten through it and survived. To top off an absurd night, Big Brother was a no show. The promoter, a program director of a local radio station, pleaded with us to get back on stage.  We replied that we had no more material worked up, that we’d shot our wad, and weren’t eager to repeat the experience. By serendipity, some musician buddies of ours, a band, were in the audience at the time and took the stage to perform some covers. This appeased the crowd somewhat, but then our friends began cracking smart ass jokes about the incompetence of the radio station. As a result, the promoter, who was livid, dropped our record from the play list.

A few weeks later we opened for the Buffalo Springfield at the Swing Auditorium. This time the headliner showed up! I felt a little better about our performance, but knew we were no great shakes as an act. Shortly after this we made the move to Los Angeles. There is a photo of the four of us posing in front of Casey’s Chevy van. The picture was taken in Redlands just minutes before we took off. We look like babes in the wood.

Sadness Within Your Eyes

In front of Buster. Redlands boys L.A. bound

In front of Buster. Redlands boys L.A. bound

No sooner had we settled into the Silver Lake rental house, when our manager landed us a featured spot as a hippie band on the Beverly Hillbillies. There we were on the tube all decked out in whatever silly wigs and mismatched apparel the Paramount costume department could find. It was a kick, and we made a little cash, but there was always that nagging feeling that we needed to get to work and  come up with some new material to keep it all rolling. Patrick was pretty disciplined about sticking with a musical idea and developing it until it was a completed song.  Jimmy has spoken about how much he was influenced as a songwriter by Pat’s dogged example. I recall our trying to work up a couple of his tunes, but deciding they weren’t quite right for the band.

In October, Patrick shocked us all by announcing he was leaving the group to get married. Shortly after this Greg Tornquist joined to take over the guitar slot. Sounds like the end of the story, doesn’t it? The irony is that Pat would have much more creative input to the PTC after he left than before. He continued to be a frequent presence at the band house, and both he and Jimmy began what was to be a creative surge. The first collaborative effort was Pat’s Song – a beautiful and deceptively simple melody. Jimmy, after being frustrated with his first attempts to put words to it, decided to write the lyric about Pat’s leaving. It was a perfect match. The result was both sophisticated and poignant.

You don’t have to tell me. I already know.
Sadness within your eyes says it’s time to go.

Many more tunes were to follow. I still carry the image in my head of Patrick and Jimmy sitting in the living room , guitars in hand,  facing each other as a new song came to life. Patrick would be involved in the writing of seven of the band’s nine original songs on the1968 Peppermint Trolley Company album.

Pat wasn’t one to come up with a chord progression first and write a melody over it.He would start with a fragment of a melocic idea, and let everything ripple out from that center, exploring different chord progressions and key modulations along the way It was a process that seemed to be driven equally by emotion and intellect. The result was something interesting, but always honest, and straight from the heart.

Sunrise was  penned solely by Pat.  It is a song that spoke to me, and which I had the good fortune to sing lead on. Years later he provided the back story of its creation. He’d been up north dealing with the draft, and had driven back through the night. Just before dawn he pulled off to the side of the road, grabbed his guitar, opened the back door of his bread truck, and sat there strumming as the sun rose. The words and music came simultaneously, and the song was completed within minutes.

Today let me down but I know that the sun will shine.

These lyrics bear the imprint of a McClure song: Sad, but always hopeful. In my opinion these tunes are timeless. In a just world they would be recognized as the musical gems they are.

Harmony

Pat also became a good guitar player. I think his strongest suit was acoustic finger picking, and a lot of his songs were based around this style. He was floored by Mason Williams’ Classical Gas when he heard it on the radio, and after figuring the song out, he went on to compose his own piece in the same style (I wish I had a recording of it). A finger picker, yes, but he also grew as an electric player and became proficient in the blues slide style.  In 1972 he became the fifth member of Bones (Same band, different name).  The Waitin’ Here album features some great guitar licks by both Greg and Pat.  The cut, Harmony, features the duo of Greg on acoustic, and Pat on electric slide backing Jimmy’s haunting lead. It is a beautiful example of Bones’ ballad sound. (Read more at the Bones Bio)

Patrick also played electric guitar on several tracks of the Faragher Brothers first album – the ‘Yellow Album’ This was a completely different style –  R&B and soul – but he’s right in the pocket, scratching out solid and exciting rhythm on tunes like Best Years of My Life.   (Read more at the Faragher Brothers Bio).

I deeply regret that after the mid Seventies we fell out of touch. One thinks – “Oh there’ll always be time to reconnect.” –  but time melts away. Thanks to his brother Michael we got in touch with each other about seven years ago and began corresponding via email.Patrick mailed me a CD of original songs. I loved it!  As a songwriter he still had the goods.  In 2008 the five of us Bones brothers were reunited for Greg’s wedding where we performed Harmony. Sadly, it was to be the last time we would all  be together.

He fought valiantly for years to beat the odds in his battle with cancer.  I believe he fought so hard because he loved life so dearly. It was inspiring to hear family and friends testify to his loving and unique character at the event celebrating his life. He was a wonderful brother, father, friend and colleague.  He possessed an artistic soul, a keen intellect, and a generous spirit. He was also a man of action, a man who loved biking, playing baseball and soccer, and traveling the world. In short, he was a renaissance man.

I look at a photo of Pat and  I see a person who engages the camera, just as he engaged the world – with confidence, energy, and curiosity. Someone who is comfortable in his own skin. Someone who is able to reconcile the yin and yang of being both a realist and an optimist.

I thank my lucky stars that he approached me that spring day so many years ago. He was a friend, band mate, and fellow activist. Oh how we sang the good song and fought the good fight.  We were young artists driven by the creative urge, and the world was our oyster.  How  I cherish those memories. How I will miss him. He was a brother, and I loved the man.

MoreOrLessLyrics

On the Waitin’ Here LP there is a song written and sung by Pat. It’s called More or Less. It has become my favorite cut from the record. The tune hearkens back to that Northern California sound of the mid to late sixties. It begins with a fingered guitar weaving a woodsy spell  followed by Greg’s mystical flute part answering the call before Patrick enters to sing the simple and direct words that say so much.

Love in life is all I want
Not a car or a restaurant
And so I love you more each day
You help me find my way

 The rain will fall upon the land
No matter where you chose to stand
The sun will come again one day
To help us find our way

And it’s more or less as it seems
The broken hearts and the hopeful dreams
My question is – Will our dreams come true?
Come true

 We are all stardust.

 

 

 

My New Album – ‘Dancing with the Moment’ – It’s a Wrap!

March 20, 2014 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Banner discussing the upcoming album for Danny Faragher - Dancing with the Moment by Danny Faragher

sometimes on a sleepless night
the elusive muse appears before me
and with seductive charm implores me
in sweet persuasion I can’t fight
she reaches out to extend the touch
of fingertips beneath my chin
and gently lifts my gaze to hers
to command with whisper – ‘Write’. 

D.F. 

The Moment

 It had been a productive session. Now we could sit back and enjoy the fruit of our labors. The track rolled… Suddenly over the studio speakers voices rang out with joyous urgency – “Dancing with the moment, and the moment sets me free.” Bryan, his hands on the soundboard,  turned to look over at me –

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Danny laying down a track.

“I think we’re on to something!” he said.

My son is not given to throwing out  such statements lightly, so when  he speaks I pay attention.    I closed my eyes and let the music swirl around me. Indeed, we were ‘on to something’ – something singular, something real. After  a long process of writing, arranging, and recording, my tune, Song in the Night  had come together as I had envisioned. How often in life does that happen?   I felt as if I were flying.

This moment in the summer of 2010 infused energy into a project which had been on a slow burn for years. The song not only supplied the title to my album, it gave it shape and momentum.

Now, four years, and six songs further along,  Dancing with the Moment  is a wrap!  It’s been recorded, mixed, and mastered, and the cover art will be finished in time for a spring release this year. The album’s launch will also be accompanied by several video releases for some of the songs.  We are excited! It was a long time coming, but well worth the years of hard work. For me the album has been a labor of love.  It’s supplied  direction for my creativity, and given me the opportunity to work with Bryan. I will always cherish those hours spent  ‘Burning the lamp through the night’.

Because my career has been varied, and my pallet broad, I initially felt some reluctance at attempting to put my songs into a single package. After all, we live in an age where music is pigeon-holed and stamped with the narrowest of labels. An artist is expected  to describe their sound with one or two words. Rolling the idea over in my mind, I flashed back to 1967 when  I would listen  to underground FM radio. The DJ played it all, from hard rock to classical and everything in between – the Beatles, Joan Baez, Otis Redding, Brian Wilson, John Coltrane, Fred Neil, early Elvis, Bach, Satie.. .  It was a trip!  What a mix of sounds!  I decided I wanted to create something comparable to that experience, and vowed to heedlessly trespass across genre lines.

Chaucer, Keats, and Willie Dixon
Echo in this crazy brain
Emily, Robert, Walt and Hank
O lustrous star! O lonesome train!

Frederick, Miles, Brian, and John
Good vibrations intertwined
Words and music coalesce
To form the soundscape of my mind 

D.F.

Dancing

So if label we must, here’s a new moniker… Are you ready?  Call it Retro Eclectic, i.e. Music that is both rooted and experimental. It is music that embraces modern recording techniques like electronic sounds and drum loops, while maintaining focus on the heart and soul of the song. It also crosses generational lines – a result in part from the collaboration with my son, a fantastic sound engineer who has also been composing exciting electronic music for years.

The title – Dancing with the Moment – can be taken three different ways. First, it signifies embracing the here and now (For that’s all we really have).  Secondly,  it means trying to keep one’s balance as life hurls the unexpected upon you (Sound familiar?). Lastly, it’s about those salient moments in life – epiphanies, or just being acutely aware of being alive – that dance in the memory. Many of the tunes on this album are about such moments and have a cinematic sensibility to them. My goal has been to put the listener right there in the scene with me, whether it’s about a glorious summer day at the beach (Pacific Blue), or being deep in the blues amidst a smoky night as the Santa Ana winds howl (Devil Wind Blues).

Memories race through my mind
The good and the bad, the happy the sad
Streaming again in my mind
Life is a blink of an eye
No sooner begun when it’s over and done
All in the blink of an eye
As time rushes by

D.F. – (from  Song in the Night)

Over time the structure of the album has evolved into more than just a collection of tunes. It has taken shape as a whole piece. Each song unfolds to the next, as if on a journey that weaves through a day, or perhaps through a life. Throughout the creative process I have tried to stay honest, to keep it real.  No posing. No pretensions. Nothing has been forced to fit into a preconceived notion. Rather, it has evovled organically. With the goal in mind of creating something real, I feel I have given a little piece of myself with every song- in  the writing, arranging, singing and playing.

Bryan at the soundboard.

Bryan at the soundboard.

I believe those who are fans of the bands I was a part of – the Peppermint Trolley Company, Bones, the Faragher Brothers, and even the Mark V – will find something they really dig. something that speaks to them in Dancing with the Moment.. I’ve tried to carry on the lessons  I learned from years in the studio – Come up with a good song (catchy and soulful melody with intelligent lyrics),  create interesting arrangements (both instrumental and vocal), and feature solos that are concise and to the point.

The album will be available both as a CD copy, and as downloadable mp3. We will be offering free downloads of some of the tunes, so stay tuned.

For all those times when I’ve felt like a kid sitting at the back of the classroom  with my hand perpetually raised, waiting to be called, I can say  it is a sweet feeling to have siezed the moment  ‘...to dance ‘neath the sun.’

Peace,

Danny Faragher

A list of artist friends who contributed their talents to the making of Dancing with the Moment (I will sing your praises in the coming days):

Bryan Faragher, Tim Horrigan, Chris Blondal, Craig Copeland, Jane Getz, Simeon Pillich, Bob Tucker, Bob Gother, Davey Faragher, Jimmy Faragher, Pammy Armstrong, Matt Tucciaroni, Pete McCrea, Donna Deussen, Karen Schnurr, Jody Mortara

 

My Fifteen Minutes with Andy Warhol

December 18, 2013 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts, Uncategorized

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It’s November of 1971. Danny, Jimmy, Greg, and Casey – ‘Bones” – are getting ready to play for a gathering of Hollywood elites for the first AFI Film Festival. The gig turns almost surreal in a most unexpected way. For Danny, issues arise concerning  image, performance and staying true to oneself.

 

 On ‘Standby’

We were gathered in back of the stage behind a wall of speaker cabinets. I sat on the left rear corner of the riser behind a P.A. column, facing the back of the hall. We’d already done our sound check, playing to a sea of linen covered tables as young men and women, attired in black slacks and white shirts, scrambled to set out the dinner ware and flower arrangements. The amplifiers were now switched on ‘standby’, their backsides illuminated by the warm glow of power tubes. The horn on my Leslie speaker circled steadily. It brought to mind a ball player pin wheeling his bat as he waited for the first pitch.  I turned my head to the left to look at my band mates. Greg, his head wrapped in earphones, sat slumped over his black Les Paul guitar as his fingers pulled and hammered the strings. God, he was diligent! My brother Jimmy, the group’s main lead singer and songwriter, held the top end of a ball point pen to his mouth, deep in thought,before scribbling some words on a piece of paper. He was mapping out a set. Our drummer, the ever cagey Casey Cunningham, stood with drumsticks in hand, laughing and kibitzing with Skip, our new manager.

I loved these guys. We’d been together for four years, the first year as the Peppermint Trolley Company and the following three as Bones. We were tight – both as a band and as friends. Through the good times and the bad times we’d had each other’s backs. Yea, we were survivors. The previous year we’d sequestered ourselves in a Marin County pad intent on wood shedding until we found our own sound. In January we’d moved back down to L.A. and right away, people had begun to take notice and respond. It was exciting to see fans lining up at the local clubs, and to be wooed by record companies and managers. The pace had accelerated palpably. Oh what a heady few months it had been!

Bones Poster 2-001

Casey, Jimmy, Greg, and Danny. Bones in their prime.

In April, we’d moved into a house high on a bluff in Malibu. The view of the blue Pacific through the large bay window was spectacular. On our first day in the place we saw a whale surface, dive and surface again as it stitched a pathway northward. That spring held some of the happiest moments  of my life. It was just the four us – gigging nearly every night  (still schlepping our own equipment), rehearsing every day, and making the rent payments. Our lives were totally immersed in the music.

By summer,  we’d tossed the dice, made our choices, and signed on the dotted lines. We had a record deal, a production deal, a publishing deal, and a management deal.  A lot of our future now lay in other people’s hands. We knocked on wood and held our breath.

 

Chasing the Dream

It was now November and no longer was it just the core of the band living in the Malibu house. We’d taken on two school buddies, Ron and Billy as a road crew, and brought in a P.A. guy, Bill, and his assistant, Bruce. On top of that, Jimmy and Greg had each fallen in love with a woman who had a small child, and their girlfriends and the kids had now become part of the household. Casey’s ‘on-again-off-again’ relationship with his high school sweetheart was  ‘on-again’ , bringing another female face to the mix. In addition, we  usually had a house guest or two… or three, and many friends  who frequently popped in.  Don’t get me wrong. For the most part, it was an amiable bunch of people, and there was a lot of mirth to go around, but I missed the simplicity and singleness of purpose that we had known.

An inevitable feeling of transition hung in the air. It’s funny how we can chase after the future while at the same time fearing  what it will bring. I sensed that a fork in the road  lay ahead. My brother had recently written a song  that expressed what I know we all felt.

Changes comin’! I don’t know if they’re good or bad..                                                                                                                                                              Changes comin’! Make you happy or make you sad.

Skip glanced at his watch. A glint of light reflected off his upturned wrist and caught my eye. Pueblo Indian jewelry was very much in vogue with the counter culture at the time, and his watch band was a fine specimen of stamped silver and inlaid turquoise. He was also sporting several  turquoise rings on his fingers.

“They should be arriving any minute.” he said.

We were expecting a crowd of people  to be coming from Grauman’s Chinese Theater across the boulevard where they’d  been attending the AFI Film Festival’s first ever screening. It was a movie called “The Last Picture Show”. Skip had been at the theater and seen most of the flick before ducking out early.

“It’s really cool.” he said. “It takes place in this West Texas town and they use a lot of old Hank Williams recordings in it.”

“Wow! ” I said.

“Yea.  I know you guys like Hank. You’d dig it.”

Jimmy broke into song.  – ‘Hey, good lookin’. Wha-t ‘cha got cookin’?’

Greg and I joined in with harmony, “How’s about cookin’ somethin’ up with me.”

Bones Misc 301

The Malibu band house.

Skip laughed. He wasn’t your typical music biz guy. Oh yea, he was smart and savvy. He’d come up through the William Morris Agency. But he didn’t have the edginess that so many of these guys seemed to thrive on.  I don’t think I’d ever seen him get riled or lose his cool. He was pretty mellow, and with his beard and long hair he looked more like a hippie than a high powered manager.

” I was just telling Casey, ” he said. “we’re working on lining up a short tour for the band in December. Concerts and club dates. Mostly in the Midwest, including a big concert extravaganza in Indianapolis with Alice Cooper, Canned Heat , of course, and Dr .John the Night Tripper.”

“Yea,” Casey added. “Apparently Alice remembers us from when we opened for him at U.C.L.A. and digs the band.”

“We know we remember him!” Jimmy responded.

“Yea, it’s hard to forget a guy in drag kicking a doll’s head into the twenty-fifth row!”  I said.

We all laughed.

The idea of Rock as theater had been bantered about by music critics for years, going back to the Doors and Jim Morrison. Now, bands like Alice Cooper ,and Iggie and the Stooges were making their mark. Although I was cool and open minded about the concept, I knew that the four of us came from a different place. For us it was all about  letting the spirit move us, being in the moment, and above all – being real. We were counter culture cats at heart who hated phoniness. We’d performed pro bono at so many peace rallies, sometimes putting ourselves in precarious situations because we believed in the cause.  After walking away from our record contract as the Peppermint Trolley we’d vowed never  to ‘sell out’. At the same time, in order  to keep the creative train rolling, we needed to be commercially successful, which required our dealing  with the phony Hollywood music biz scene. It was a dichotomy, and a confusing situation to be in.

Skip continued – “We’ll start spreadin’ the word about the band.”

“Bones hits the road, Jack!” Greg exclaimed.

Bones - Opening for Peace Rally - Oceanside, CA - May, 1970

Peace rally in Oceanside – 1970

“And don’t you come back no more, no more…” Casey answered.

Suddenly I heard  laughter,  and a rustle of fabric wafting in through the open door at the front of the hall.  I peered through a gap between two speaker cabinets and saw people beginning  to trickle in. They were elegantly dressed – men in tux’s and women in evening gowns. I ran a finger nervously over the embroidery on my vest, stared down at my feet, and wiggled my naked toes. How was it that I’d started performing barefoot? I couldn’t recall, but the bare feet, along with a wide flat brimmed hat had become part of my stage persona.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I mumbled to myself.

We were to play for about a half hour as the dinner guests were served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. It occurred to me that the Mark Five, Jimmy’s and my old prom band from high school would be a more appropriate match for this event, providing some nice non-threatening dinner music.

“Hey, Jimmy,” I shouted.” Shall we open with Moon River?”

He laughed. “No, I think … um…  I Left my Heart in San Francisco.”

“Hey, don’t sweat it.” Skip said “They knew who you were when they hired you. Just go on and do the show you always do.”

 

Filling the Void

We took our places on stage. Greg, stage right, me, stage left and J.P.  in the center. Jimmy turned to make eye contact with me, then turned to Greg, and finally to Casey in back. “One, two , three…” he counted, bobbing the neck of his bass. We all entered on the one and off we went with a blast of sound. The song –Honey Baby– which could best be described as rock n’ soul hoedown music, was a number guaranteed to get crowds up and dancing at venues like the Topanga Corral. It was our standard opener. After the four bar intro, Jimmy snuck up to the mic.

“Well, I don’t know why these other women have to treat me low down dirty.” he sang.

I turned my head to face the tables and my eyes began sweeping over the crowd.  I  liked to work the audience, engage them.  Some faces looked  a little shocked or perplexed by our performance, while others seemed to dig it.  I noticed a smiling young woman bobbing her head to the beat. That was reassuring.  I recognized a few actors  I’d always admired. There sat Lee J. Cobb, and Gregory Peck,  and, oh wow, there was Bette Davis.

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Lost in a stream-of-consciousness jam.

“Honey Baby! Oh, Honey Baby. . .”

Jimmy finished the chorus and gave me a nod as he stepped back from the microphone. I pulled out some of the Hammond’s upper draw bars, switched the Leslie to tremolo and swept the palm of my left hand up the organ’s keys in an aggressive glissando that climbed to a wicked right hand flare. I bent at the knees and stamped my feet as the phrases poured through the circuitry from brain to keyboard, some driven by yearning and others by rage. When the solo reached its climax I leaned my head back and gave out a wild cat scream. Casey played a ’round-the-horn fill and Greg picked up where I’d left off.

I lived for the expression that music and performing offered me. I didn’t have much of a personal  life. My wife and I hadn’t lived together for two years. Although the marriage was in its last throes, I still clung desperately to the idea of being married. It seemed to stabilize me as I negotiated my way through an environment that was fluid and even chaotic at times. Oh, I’d tried playing the field, but a string of one-nighters with women I had little in common with had left me feeling hollow. Only music could fill the void.

” Cause I’ve got the strangest feeling , girl, I don’t believe you’d ever hurt me. . . ”

Up north I’d gotten into a disciplined regimen of stretching ,exercising, and eating healthy food. I was limber and fit – in the best shape of my life. I’d found myself experimenting with moving and dancing on stage, each night trying out something new and daring. It had gradually evolved into a routine. Lately, though, I feared I might be losing my mojo, that my performance was in danger of turning into shtick.

“Well I’ve been in love before but this love just ain’t like the last one.” Jimmy sang with conviction.

 

Hear No Evil

I checked out the tables directly in front of me. One face stood out. The man’s pale white skin was almost washed out by a shocking flash of bleach blond hair. His eyes were hidden behind sunglasses, but those dark lenses were focused on me like a laser beam. He began shaking his head with obvious disapproval. Unmistakably, it was Andy Warhol, the artist. No…no…no.” his body language said,  “This does not please me.”… “This cannot be allowed.” 

Needless to say, it was a bit disconcerting. I felt like a fly in the ointment , a pimple on the Mona Lisa.  

I didn’t know that much about Warhol. I remembered seeing him interviewed on television by Louis Lomax, the late pioneering African American journalist. He was frustratingly uncomfortable and reticent, allowing  the women in his entourage to do most of the talking. When I was still in school my roommate had a copy of the Velvet Underground LP, which featured  a Warhol rendering of a banana on the front cover and a photo of the artist’s face framed by a tambourine on the back. We’d listened to the record quite a bit, and  I did dig the song – Heroine, which featured Lou Reed ‘s hypnotic, and intense monotone.

“Honey Baby!. . . ” We were in the last chorus heading toward the finish.

My eyes fell on Andy once again. In addition to shaking his head, he was now sticking his fingers in his ears to telegraph his displeasure, as if to tell  all the world – “I refuse to listen to this”.

“Yea, it’s all about you, Andy!” I thought to myself.Andy_Warhol

The ridiculous image of this guy plugging his ears with his fingers  reminded me of the  ‘Hear-no-evil monkey’. In my mind I could see a picture of his face in a Warhol style repeating panel. The idea made me chuckle. On an impish impulse, feeling I had nothing to lose, I smiled and gave him a wink.

Jimmy and I turned to look at each other and started laughing. We played another couple of tunes before Skip told us to wind it up. All the while Warhol stared at me, shaking his head and plugging his ears.

Backstage, we gathered around Skip. “You know,” he said with amusement. ” Warhol  was threatening to leave the dinner if Danny didn’t get off the stage.”

“You’re kidding!” I said.

“No, honest to God.”

“We’ll never work in this town again.” Casey said in mock admonishment.  “And It’s all your fault.”

” Yea, Danny! Why did you have to go and piss Andy off? Jimmy joined in.

“What’d I do?” I pleaded with palms up, suddenly  feeling in the hot seat.

“Our career …” Casey piled on – “up in smoke.”  He snapped his fingers.”Just like that!”

“You know what you should do?” Greg said.

“What?”

“You should take a chair up on stage, sit there, and stare him down.”

We all began laughing.

“Maybe he’ll start pelting you with soup cans!” Casey added.

“Isn’t it interesting how quickly everyone wants to kiss Andy’s ass.”  I said.

Greg began shouting like a carnival barker. “This way, folks! Form a line! Okay, now down on your knees!” 

“It’s like a little kid who threatens  to take his ball and go home.” I declared. “What a jerk!”

“Think of it this way, Danny,” Jimmy said.  “You’ve managed to be the focus of this little shit’s attention for a quarter of an hour or so. Do you know how many assholes would kill for that opportunity?”

Bones Live San Bndo College Oct 71 copy

Greg and Jimmy get down as Danny mounts the B3

I nodded and laughed. “Yea. Fuck him!”

All the while we’d been talking, Skip had been cutting lines of coke with a razor blade on the woofer speaker of the P.A. column.  This business was hidden from general view by the tweeter which sat on top. He handed me a tightly rolled twenty dollar bill and said – “I think you should get  the first toot.” Cocaine, new to us, seemed to be ubiquitous in the music biz in 1971. Everyone was doing it. So there we were snorting  and partaking the illicit drug behind the PA speakers at a Hollywood gala. It was bizarro world!

Skip informed us that we would start playing again after the guests had finished dining. I felt hopped up and antsy. I couldn’t wait to get back on. But wait we did.

 

A Crowd Pleaser

After desert and coffee we again took the stage. I looked out. This time there was no shaking white head. No doubt, Warhol  had probably been among the first to split. People were rising to their feet, many shuffling their way to other tables to say hello and schmooze. We’d only have time for one tune. Better cut to the chase. Jimmy called Potatoes., Although  a throw-away as a musical piece, the instrumental was always a high energy crowd-pleaser.

An RMI piano sat atop my B3, and the tune was basically built around a funky left hand figure on this instrument.  I kicked off with the left hand into. After another four with the band I began punching out the horn- like lead on the organ with my right hand. When we got through the head of the piece Jimmy, Greg, and Casey dropped down into a one chord killer groove as I danced to the front of the stage with a hand held mic. Strutting like a rooster, I began to deliver rhymes in the time-tested braggadocio tradition. After the vocal, I shouted ‘Watch me shake a tail feather!’ and tore into my wild, crazy legged dance. Steaming  to a frenzy, I mounted the organ with my right foot positioned on the one inch ledge in front of the keyboard, and my left  foot planted on top in the space next to the piano. I slipped a small piece of cardboard in between the organ keys to allow the chosen pitches to continue screaming as I played piano with my left hand. To the audience it gave the illusion that I was playing with my feet. On top of this I began to swivel my hips. I turned my head to caste a cocky glance out at the audience the way I’d seen Jerry Lee Lewis do.  Instead of the multitudes Jerry Lee would encounter, however,  there were perhaps a dozen or so people standing in front of the stage taking it in. The rest of the crowd had made an about-face to the exit.  The room looked like a flood of dresses pouring out the door.

After I dismounted,  we played the head one last time, and ended the song with an aggressively sustained chord. As the decibels rumbled,  I climbed back up and on the closing hit leaped from my perch to land near the front of the stage. By now the room was nearly empty. The people who’d stayed gave us a small but heartfelt applause. As I stood there trying to catch my breath, a woman approached. I recognized her as an older character actress whom I’d seen many times in film and television. She took my hands in hers and looked  directly into my eyes. Surprised  by this warm and unexpected human connection I felt the tears begin to well.

“That was wonderful!” she said. “You… are a marvelous performer!”

Bones cover

Bones first album cover.
Photo by Phil Hartman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art work by Bryan Faragher

 

I was recently contacted by Bill Brown who was the sound man mentioned in the story. He writes…

Hi Danny,

 I am hoping you remember me from long ago when we all shared the house in Malibu …  (the house was slipping off the hill, empty swimming pool).  I was the guy who had the sound system Bones used.  I shared the front room with Casey Cunningham.I read some more of your website and saw myself mentioned ( Chasing the Dream)  my assistant was Bruce Darling.  We had Earmouth Sound, an off shoot of Bob Luly’s Solid Sound.  I ended up going to work as a sound man for Earth Wind & Fire.

I have thought of you guys over the years; hope your brother is well.  I remember a brief potential producer relationship with Richard Perry.Anyway, just reaching out…hope all is well!!  Best for 2014!!

 Regards,

Bill Brown

Incidentally, our two buddies who handled the equipment and busted their asses to make a Bones show possible were Ron Smith and Billy Funk.

D.F.

 

Podcast, Photos and More From Danny and Jimmy Faragher’s Live Performance on KCSB 91.9 FM

March 15, 2013 in Events, Happenings, Uncategorized

Danny_and_Jimmy_Faragher_Live_KCSB2

Danny and Jimmy Faragher teamed up with DJ Tibo “Tibonious Funk” Cuellar of KCSB 91.9 FM Santa Barbara to take over the Sunday afternoon’s broadcast. Spanning from 1:30-4:00pm Tibo interviewed the Faragher Brothers and played many of their classic tracks from back in the day, including the hard to find original Brady Bunch Theme from the pilot. The Brothers also performed several songs live, ranging from gospel to the Beatles to the Impressions. He brought back a ton of photos and even a Podcast of the event.
SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE PODCAST. 
 

It was great way to spend a Sunday- driving up the California coast with my wife, Jeanne, and my adult son, Bryan. The air was mild, the sky was clear, and I had to let out a sigh as the blue Pacific appeared on our left . Our destination was the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. The Faragher Brothers have had a special relationship with the town since the seventies, and as the engine hummed,  my mind wandered back to a magical night at the Arlington Theater, and to the concert at the Earl Warren Show Grounds. Wonderful memories!

Traffic was light , and in no time we were pulling into the parking lot of the hotel where my brother, Jimmy, and his wife, Lisa, had gotten a room. We broke out the guitars, and within two minutes we’d begun harmonizing,  just as we’ve done all our lives. Like getting back on a bicycle once again, one never forgets. It feels so natural I thought as appropriately  we sang “We Belong Together”.  Soon my brother Marty, his wife, Anita, and Jimmy’s daughter, Jordan arrived, making it truly a family affair.

Suddenly, our host, DJ Tibo Cuellar appeared, backlit by the sunlight flooding through the door. Some good vibes. What a friendly, and big-hearted guy. It was great meeting him.

On we proceeded to the gorgeous UCSB campus. The carillon was ringing sweetly from the bell tower as we entered the KCSB studio to get prepared. I love that slightly chaotic feeling of trying to pull things together before the countdown, knowing we’ll be flying by the seat of our pants. Tibo played some choice Faragher Brothers cuts, as well as earlier sides Jimmy and I’d recorded with the Mark Five, the Peppermint Trolley Company, and Bones. The two of us sang some duets, and we had some good conversational moments. I found it particularly moving when my brother talked about hearing Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By” for the first time and having to pull to the side of the road as his eyes filled with tears, and years later meeting a fan who described the same reaction to hearing his song “I’ll  Never Get Your Love Behind Me”.

Some fans called in to chat, and after the show we met some really nice people. Some had brought albums for us to sign. It felt  so good to be appreciated for the music we created way back when. It was great fun, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Photos

 

Podcast: