For the past few years I've kept a blog dedicated to the rock bands of the 1960s through early '70s in my native area: the Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties of the central coast of California. For many of you this is not news, but I've never blatantly promoted that blog here...
Recently, I sat down and really took stock of that blog. It was going nowhere and I wasn't keeping it up, although it's really important to me. I finally decided the problem was that I'd bored myself. I'd forgotten my real reason for creating it in the first place, that is, to call attention not only to the great bands that came out of the Tri-counties, but to educate the general garage band-loving public about the important role these bands played.
In the late 1950s the Pismo Beach area of San Luis Obispo county burst open with what would in a few years be called Surf Music: the twangy guitars, the da-dun...da (walk-don't...run) snare drum, and the excitement these guys created swept the nation. Other bands, now well-known to everyone (the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, et al) received the fame for covering certain songs, but our guys were the first. Groups like the Impacts (Wipeout!), the Revels (Church Key), and the Sentinals (whose organ player, Michael Olson, would go on to become Lee Michaels), were playing Surf Music first.
Then came the Beatles in 1964, blowing everyone out of the water and off the charts. Very quickly, dancing on the sand with Brylcreamed, bouffant hair fell from favor, replaced by dance clubs and shaggy bangs. New garage bands appeared and, as Steve Myers of the Duquanes noted,
"Every neighborhood in Santa Barbara had its resident band, much like I imagine everywhere else did, too. No kidding. Get in your car and travel all parts of the city and you could hear teen bands practicing in their garage on any given Saturday morning."
But the Tri-counties didn't adhere to the British Sound. Instead, they took what they liked and cast off the rest. While southern California topped the charts with Folk-Rock (the Byrds, the Mamas & the Papas...) and Progressive Rock (the Mothers of Invention, the Doors...) and northern California grabbed national attention with Acid Rock (the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company...) the Gold Coast, overlooked and passed over, was busy mixing up their own brew that included all of that, but whose base was Surf. Welcome to 1960s proto punk, California style.
Anyway, my reason for this post wasn't to teach you a lesson in popular music history, it was only to tell you that the initial Gold Coast California Dreamin' blog just wasn't large enough, either in size or in vision, so I built a website. A BIG website, where each and every band that I've researched over the past six years has their own page and where our musicians can go to catch up with each other and know that they have not been forgotten.
If you're at all interested, pay a visit!