Sunday, September 6, 2009

37266 Niles Boulevard, Fremont, CA The Yellow Brick Road 1967




Update: thanks to commenters, I have discovered that the name of the venue was actually Yellow Brick Road, and the performing band was Garden Of Chaste Refreshment. See my subsequent post.

This partially-reproduced flyer for a club at 37266 Niles Boulevard in suburban Fremont, California advertises a few shows for a mysterious venue called The Garden Of Chaste Refreshment The Yellow Brick Road. The advertised shows are

June 23-24, 1967 The Plastic People/Yellow Brick Road Garden Of Chaste Refreshment
June 30-July 1, 1967 Purple Earthquake
July 7-8, 1967 The Loading Zone/Wakefield Loop

Fremont is a town halfway between Oakland and San Jose. Fremont was actually only incorporated in 1956, a merger of five smaller communities (Centerville, Niles, Mission San Jose, Irvington and Warm Springs). Although Fremont was and is a prosperous suburb, as a result of being a business-like merger of smaller communities it lacked a larger identity. Niles, where The Garden Of Chaste Refreshment was located, was originally a critical railroad Junction, and was even the location of one of California's first film studios (many early Charlie Chaplin films were made there). Whatever the story of this venue, it appears to be an attempt to capitalize on what was happening in bigger cities to the South and North, but I know of no other shows at this venue, and otherwise I know nothing about it. Did it close soon after? Become a Top 40 joint? Anyone with further information is encouraged to share it in the comments or email me.

The site was most recently "Boss Hogz Bar-B-Que", although it appears to be closed.

Notes On The Bands

The Plastic People (June 23-24) are completely unknown to me. Anyone with any insights, please comment or contact me.

Garden Of Chaste Refreshment (June 23-24) were a Southern Alameda County Band, probably based in Fremont or Hayward.
Yellow Brick Road (June 23-24) were a group featuring singer Jean Piersoll, along with Fuzzy John Oxendine (drums), Bing Nathan (bass), Terry Clements (saxophone, I think) and Henry Salas (not certain of his instrument). They apparently played some sort of rock/soul hybrid. When guitarist Darby Slick (ex-Great Society, co-author of "Somebody To Love") returned from India, he joined as lead guitarist and they changed their name (to the rather poorly chosen) Hair. Slick and Piersoll later recorded two singles for Cadet Concept in Chicago. Yellow Brick Road was the venue name, not the performing band.

Purple Earthquake (June 30-July 1) were a Berkeley band, founded at Berkeley High School in 1966. They were later known as Earthquake, and released albums on A&M and Berserkeley.

Loading Zone (July 7-8) were an Oakland band, one of the first to mix rock and soul music, adding psychedelic guitar to danceable soul. Although successors like Sly and The Family Stone, Cold Blood and Tower of Power were bigger and better, Loading Zone was the first to kick the door open. At this time, they did not yet feature Linda Tillery on vocals.

Wakefield Loop (July 7-8) Nothing much is known about Wakefield Loop (they opened for Loading Zone on July 7-8, but the band name is not visible on this scan). However, Wakefield Loop regularly appears in lists of Bay Area bands, because Ralph Gleason's daughter included them in a famous list of Bay Area band names that has been reprinted several times. It is informative that the band played Fremont, because a Google map search turns up a tiny cul-de-sac in Fremont called Wakefield Loop, distinctly suggesting that Wakefield Loop was founded or based on that street. Update: unknown no more.

update: see here for another post about The Wakefield Loop 

27 comments:

  1. Jeannie Piersol of the Yellow Brick Road was also in the very first incarnation of The Great! Society with Derby, Jerry and Grace Slick.

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  3. OK. I think I figured out how to post a comment...

    My name is Denny Mahdik (actually pronounced Magic), and here's the story...

    I secured a record deal with Hank Donnig in San Mateo for a band I started called "The Perspectives in Sound". Hank was supposed to have had something to do with producing the hit "You were on my mind" by the We Five... I brought the deal to my bands next rehearsal, and was told by our drummer's parents (John Siebert) that "There would be no record deal as John was going to become a dentist", I protested by threatening to quit the band... and that band showed me the door. We were scheduled to perform at Washington High School the following month, for a Pepsi sponsored "Battle of the Bands". I was upset that the band didn't support me, so I immediately set out to form a new band, one that could deliver the kind of music that was just starting to catch on at that time. We did not have a name, but the new drummer Larry Payne lived on Wakefield Loop in Fremont so that is how we pick that name. We had a good laugh over that and it became the name of the new band. By the way "The Perspectives in Sound" replaced me with Bobby Carter, and my new band "The Wakefield Loop" ended up playing against them and we won the whole event. Later they changed their name to "The Collective Works".

    Don DeAugustine became our drummer (funny thing is that Larry Payne actually did become a dentist)
    Julio Staben was the Bass Player (now running his own landscaping business)
    Dave Simpson was our male singer
    Cheryl Williams was our female singer (now a school teacher in Florida)
    Dan "Freddy" Garvey played a mean lead guitar
    and me... Denny Magic on guitar

    We came very close to "making it" but never tipped the scale our way. Yuri Toripov was our manager (him and Paul Cantalana brought the Beatles to S.F.) and at the same time he was managing us... Yuri also managed "The Sopwith Camel", in the summer of 1967 many of us live or stayed with Yuri and his wife in their flat on Fell Street in S.F. Living upstairs was Marty Ballen and Jack Cassidy from the Jefferson Airplane. We played all over S.F. and Marin that year, but never scored a record deal. Meanwhile my childhood friend Cyril Jordan went all the way with his band "The Flaming Groovies"... Now I design Disney-Style rides and attractions for theme parks (see www.dennymagicstudios.com), and on September 12th Cyril came to my home for a BBQ. It was the first time we had seen each other in nearly 49 years. For me, I can now listen to Cyril tell me aboiut all those years of touring, and through him I can be the rock star that I never was. He, he.

    Life is really a trip, isn't it?

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  4. Denny

    This is completely fascinating. Do you recall any of the venues that Wakefield Loop played?

    Corry

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  5. Because most of our shows were performed more than 40 years ago it would be impossible for me alone to come up with all of them on my own.

    However, if I can interest some of the other band members [who I am still in touch with] to chime in, I would imagine that we might be able to create quite a list, given a little time.

    Of course two of 'the best gigs we never played'... were...

    1 - Yuri Torapov booked us to open for "DONOVAN" at the Cow Palace... Donovan cancelled that show.

    2 - And we were hired by Harry Zevin (of Radio City Music Hall in NY) to open The Circle Star Theatre in San Mateo for the Dave Clark Five, then the next day we received a Western Union Telegram that our date was cancelled.

    Yes, I kept the telegram.

    On the positive side, we were booked at a week long event (summer of '67) that was held at the Muir Beach - Beach House as a "Fill-Band" making sure we were 'ready and able' to go on at a moments notice.

    We ended up playing at least once each day, and on at least one day we did multiple shows to cover for acts that were late, or "no-shows".

    On the days we did play we appeared on the same stage as The Gollywogs (who became Credence Clearwater revival) The Warlocks (who changed their name to The Grateful Dead the following week), The Electric Flag, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and The Jefferson Airplane to name a few.

    As promised, I will contact the bandmates to see if anyone else wants to post a comment or two here.

    PS - I have a few posters, and a number of photographs... but I don't see any way to post them here... any ideas?

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  6. The Muir Beach thing sounds pretty interesting...any idea of the date?

    As to the artifacts, if you can scan them, I'd be happy to post them, but frankly it sounds like The Wakefield Loop could start their own blog...

    Thanks for chiming in with all this great stuff.

    Corry

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  7. Hello, all. Dan Garvey here in Alaska ... Julio sent this link to me. More later this evening.

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  8. The Muir Beach gig was one of several in 1967 at "The Tavern" there, put on by some guy who called himself "Buddah". The locals became so incensed (pardon the pun) at the "hippie" behavior, they began working with the State of CAL to acquire and designate te area as parkland ... was a done deal by '69 ... no more Tavern ...

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  9. There were recordings of us made there at the Tavern ... drummer Don DeAugustine and I slept just a short distance from the buildings on the beach one night and this guy brought over his recording gear and played it for us. He thought we were "incredible" :) Hmmm ... would love to hear it now ...

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  10. The whole Buddha from Muir beach issue is something I have been trying to get my head around and write about for a whiles. There were a series of parties (three at least) held out at Muir Beach Resort and featuring The Charlatans and The Wildflower amongst others. This was a great catch on the "Yellow Brick Road"/"Garden Of Chaste Refreshment" - I of course knew of the band "Yellow Brick Road" so never thought anymore of it. "The Garden Of Chaste Refreshment" still sounds like a Chinese restaurant to me.

    I have made an amendment to the Loading Zone page (www.chickenonaunicycle.com/Loading%20Zone.htm) for the name of the club and have added in the Wakefield Loop as also being on the menu that night. Ross

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  11. Dan, what you are saying is that all these groups played the Muir Beach parties and someone taped them all? Wow.

    Corry

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  12. Hi, Corry ... nice to "meet" here:)

    Can't really speak to "the all bands recorded" part. All I saw/heard was this one guy.

    I certainly do not recall his name, although I'm sure he told us at the time. It seemed like a nice recorder for the time, but it was portable, so definitely not pro gear by any stretch. Now it is possible that he recorded on different gear and used the portable for playback ... who knows.

    It sounded pretty "full" for cheap gear, as I recall. Even Don thought it sounded good ...

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  13. I have additional period materials that I will add to my FLICKR site tonight and over the weekend ...

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  14. "By the way "The Perspectives in Sound" replaced me with Bobby Carter, and my new band "The Wakefield Loop" ended up playing against them and we won the whole event. Later they changed their name to "The Collective Works"." DM

    At this B of the B's, the guest group was The Sons Of Champlin ... lead guitarist Terry Haggarty borrowed my amp, and in turn, he gave me a copy of their brand new single, "Sing Me A Rainbow".

    Denny has not mentioned the other band we played against and beat was my old group, "The Reasons Why". Bill Remington replaced me when I left. Ah, victory is short and sweet :)

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  15. As far as band personnel, we don't want to forget my old and dear friend, Steve Lind, our last bass player, who joined the band after Julio left. I am still in regular contact with Steve, who is still playing on a fairly regular basis. Steve and Don made up the best rhythm section I have ever played with.

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  16. Ah, a memory! Must be the coffee!

    The Muir Beach gig was towards the end of summer, for certain, so possibly the third event there. THE ELECTRIC FLAG closed the show, and our set was just prior to theirs. Thank God we didn't have to follow them!

    I certainly remember being quite impressed by them, and I could sense the upcoming changes in the music scene hearing them. Same feeling I had hearing the Sons of Champlin for the first time.

    Things were maturing, and I remember thinking "could we?" In fact, that was the subject of conversation between Don and I later that night/morning on the beach ... then the guy with the recoding came over and soothed our worries :)

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  17. Also at Muir Beach, same gig, I remember meeting Dino Valenti. We did our version of his "Lets Get Together", and after our set, he came over and began speaking with Cheryl about wanting us to record it, as he liked it ... makes me think QUICKSILVER played there as well, but I don't remember. Funny, we never had a clue how much "music history" we were wading through at the time ... I suppose one never really does ...

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  18. "I think it was August, 1965 that a very straight me (I had just got out of the Marines) popped into a used bookstore on Polk, between Broadway and Pacific, and froze when I saw the proprietor, Yuri Toropov, who had hair half way down his back. Who was this guy?! What kind of place was this!!? I lingered near the counter where he was talking to another longish-haired guy who turned out to be Marty Balin, the eventual founder of the Jefferson Airplane. Marty needed a poster for a Great Society gig at the Matrix, and I spoke up and ended up knocking something out for them in one color. I wish I had a copy of it now!"

    (The above taken from Paul Olsen's website ... hope you don't mind, Paul.)

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  19. Yuri TOROPOV
    Birth Date: 28 May 1937
    Death Date: 12 Mar 2007
    Social Security Number: 556-46-2385
    State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: California

    Death Residence Localities
    ZIP Code: 97230
    Localities: Parkrose, Multnomah, Oregon
    Portland, Multnomah, Oregon

    Just found this on the internet ... last time I spoke with Yuri was by phone, about 2003. Rest in peace, old friend.

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  20. I still remember Yuri's Fell St. SF phone number, an easy task, though ... it was FUNLUSH :) Tells you all you need to know about him.

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  21. Does anybody know who or what "Buddha from Muir Beach" is/was? I'm trying to clear the name for use on reproductions of the Family Dog posters. Their name appears on FD-11 "Stone Facade" by Victor Moscoso...any help is appreciated - thanks!

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  22. "The Buddha" was a dj and promoter. He promoted a lot of shows at Muir Beach Lodge, among other things. I'm not certain of his real name or what station he had been a dj on, but he was a local "personality."

    He would act as an emcee sometimes, and here and there i've seen remarks about his (apparently tiresome) comments between sets.

    Hope this helps a little...good luck

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  23. The Buddha was a master sargeant in the Army or Marines - I recall Army who had gotten out in 1964 or so. A larger than life character, he had funds to pay for the parties. As Corry mentioned, or alluded to, he emceed a few shows. Assuming the reproductions that you are proposing Ryan are legal, you don't need to clear the name with the acts but the copyright holder of the posters. That is a little bit more of a mess of course with much of the artwork and plates moving to England (ref the San Francisco Poster Company), the abuse that the artists have taken over the years, and Chet's estate. I don't know if the Buddha is still around - but will enquire as I am with someone who new him this evening. Ross

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  24. Way late to the party, but Yuri Toropov (1937-2007) was my dad, and my memory is that he did manage the band known as the Wakefield Loop. Their lead singer, on whom I had a terrible six- or seven-year-old crush, was named Cheryl. She was quite beautiful, and read me books from time to time. I remember believing her to be the greatest singer on earth after Grace Slick.

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  25. Replies
    1. Brandon, thanks for checking in. Cheryl was indeed the name of the lead singer. She passed on being the next Grace Slick, however, and went on to live a happy life. Sadly, she passed away some years ago, much missed by her family, friends and former bandmates.

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  26. Wow -- that's a stunner. Thank you for bringing me up to date. I have many warm memories of her.

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