Story by: Barry M Carlos – Manager & Producer







Email:  www.info@onticviews.com






Most people do not know that there was a ‘PETER WHEAT AND THE BREADMEN’ before ‘THE TARANTELS” assumed the name… Let me explain.  The first group I formed back in 1957 was called ‘THE NIGHT CAPS’.  

Left to Right:  Jerry Anderson, Marv Hoag, Bob Fox, Barry Carlos, Bob Ruggiero

We were a five piece group (featured in another section of this website) that played at all the hot night clubs spots and various venue’s throughout Northern California .  After a fun and profitable seven year run, we decided it was time for a name change to better fit in with the changing tide of the music scene. We gathered after a rehearsal one evening for the sole purpose of choosing a new name. Everybody threw out ideas but no name came forward that really grabbed us. I recall saying, “How about something that has to do with money, like dough or bread”.  Bob Fox instantaneously blurted out with, “How about ‘Peter Wheat and the Breadmen’?” (For those who don’t know… Peter Wheat was a bread company that delivered bread to your home in brightly painted trucks). We all fell to the floor in laughter. When we finally regained our composure, we decided to test market the name.

I went to Fremont’s brand new UAW hall and asked if we could rent it for a dance. They agreed and we quickly had posters and handbills printed. We intentionally did not mention that ‘Peter Wheat’ was the new name for ‘The Night Caps’, as we wanted to find out if the name had sufficient drawing power on its own. We passed out flyers at the Fremont Hub to anyone and everyone who would take one.  Almost everyone laughed after reading the name. As it turned out, so did we…all the way to the bank! We played to a jam-packed hall and suddenly…Peter Wheat and The Breadmen were off and running.  We started playing regularly at many of the dances Bill Quarry promoted.  Every DJ on every ‘Rock’ radio station (especially KYA) put his spin on the name, such as, “I just heard that Peter Wheat and The Breadmen are really rolling in the dough.” Corny as it was, it kept Peter Wheat’s name constantly riding high on the airwaves.

After about six months playing under the ‘Peter Wheat’ banner, Bob Ruggiero, Loren Major (who replaced Jerry Anderson after he lost his long battle with Hoskins disease) and I formed Go-Teen Productions and BLB Promotions, opening an office next door to Pete Paulson’s ‘House of Wheels’.  Since the three of us were taking a break from playing, the first thing we did was go searching for a band to take on the ‘Peter Wheat name and then manage and produce them.  We checked out a lot of groups but after seeing the ‘Tarantels’ perform as the opening act for ‘The Turtles’ at the Rollerena,  we knew that we had found the right bunch of guys and offered them the ‘Peter Wheat’ name.  They soon accepted and we signed them to an exclusive management and production contract. The rest, as they say… is history.







Roger Kennedy – Lead Singer and Rhythm Guitar


Bob Birdwell – Bass – Back up Vocalist


Barry Houk – Lead Guitar – Back up Vocalist – Writer


Chuck Tedford – Keyboards


Dale Radcliff – Keyboards


Terry Rissman – Drums / Back up Vocalist



Many people have asked me through the years who came up with the apron’s and I still don’t remember whose idea that was. When we hired The Tarantels to assume The Peter Wheat name, they wore them for a while but soon pleaded with me to lose the aprons. After showing me their idea of dress, I agreed with them and the aprons were hung up forever. (Hmmmmm…I wonder where those aprons are now? Probably for sale somewhere on eBay.)

Before going any further with the ‘PETER WHEAT’ story, I would be amiss if I didn’t include information about the ‘TARANTELS’.   To do this, I have asked BOB BIRDWELL (bassist and vocalist) to provide their history.

                                                     1966                               2012

Bob Birdwell:  “We started out as a group known as The Tarantels.   My best friend, David Wheeler, and I used to play guitars together.   David was much better than me, so I learned a lot from him, and he learned a lot from his older brother, Freddy.”
“When we decided to start a group, we asked Roger Kennedy to join us.  Roger and I were friends long before we became bandmates.  In fact, I used to listen to Roger sing and play guitar at his house and during school events, and was always envious of his obvious talent.”  
“Of course, we needed a drummer.   Another friend of mine, Dave Houle, said he knew of a guy who played drums in the Mission San Jose High School band, and might be interested in playing in a combo.  We asked Terry Rissman to join us, and he willing did.   One problem was that Terry at the time, didn’t own a drum set.   However, he was allowed to borrow enough drums from his school to get a set together.”   
“David Wheeler was looking for a name for the group, and saw the word “tarantella”, which is an Italian folk dance, which means “the dance of the tarantula”.  So, we four became The Tarantels.   We enjoyed regional success around Fremont, CA, and played often.   We “cut our teeth” on the Naval Bases around the San Francisco Bay Area, such as, Alameda, Treasure Island, Moffet Field, Oak Knoll, and others.  Those were 4-hour gigs, which we played two nights a week for many, many months on end.   Our Manager at the time was a lady named Santa Cambra, (The Spyders bass player, Larry Cambra’s mother), and those gigs helped us establish our stage presence.”
“Eventually, David Wheeler moved away, leaving us without a founding member, and bass player.   We decided that I would move to bass, and we’d get one of Terry’s friends to come in as keyboard player.   We brought Chuck Tedford in, and he was an immediate success, but we still lacked something.   Chuck offered to contact his friend, and former bandmate Barry Houk, who was a well-known lead guitar player in the area.   We felt that by bringing in a fifth member, and lead guitarist, Roger could switch to rhythm guitar, concentrating more on his singing.”
“We practiced a few times in our then manager’s garage, and then landed a job opening up for The Turtles at Bill Quarry’s Rollerarena.   It was during that show that Barry Carlos, co-owner of go-TEEN productions, spotted us and approached the band about becoming Peter Wheat & The Breadmen.”
“And the rest is history!”

                                         Mike Dugo

              Alec Palao – Bruce Tahsler             Bill Quarry                        Mike Dugo    


Let me pause for a moment, introduced and thank the above five individuals for playing a very significant role in not only the history of ‘PETER WHEAT AND THE BREADMEN’ but countless numbers of  other very talented musicians and singers that make up the American music scene.

To begin, I would like to introduce… BRUCE TAHSLER – Musician & Author:


Back in the 60’s, Bruce was the lead singer for  two or the more popular Bay Area bands… ”THE US MALE’ AND ‘THE TALISMEN’.   With these credentials, Bruce was more than qualified to write a book  about the 60’s Garage Bands of the Bay Area.  Shortly after the world entered the 21st century, Bruce contacted Bill Quarry with a rough outline for the book and a deal was struck…   It was agreed that Bruce would write the book and Bill would publish it through his ‘Teens N Twenties’ publishing company.  Countless numbers of hours, days and months went into interviewing scores of Musicians, promoters and managers.  Bruce also received a great deal of research help from Ken Killion, Alec Palao and Kyle Green.

A title was selected and in 2006,  ‘Garage Bands From the 60’s Then and Now’ was released with much enthusiasm and fanfare.   To celebrate the book’s second edition, released in 2010, ALEC PALAO,  Producer for Ace Records UK, released a CD titled  ‘YOU GOT YOURS’ which included several songs (including Peter Wheat’s, “Baby What’s New) recorded by the groups featured in Bruce’s book.

Bruce’s book sells around the world and was recently honored by being placed into the library at the ‘ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME.’  It makes no difference what country you live in, if you are into Rock Music, treat yourself and  purchase of copy of  Bruce’s most excellent book.




What Bruce Tahsler did for the Bay Area Garage Bands, MIKE DUGO did for all the Garage Bands of America through his remarkable website.   


I believe it is safe to say that no other one individual has contributed more to acknowledge, introduce and preserve the 60’s Garage Band Legacy than Mike Dugo.   Through his masterfully conceived and executed website, millions throughout the world have come to know and appreciate the efforts of the countless number of musicians who made up the bands of an era that will not be forgotten.

When the 60’s era music came to a close, we musicians, producers, writers and fans packed up that bag, placed it on a shelf  never expecting that anyone in the future, except maybe our kids and a few ‘ol’ friends would give a hoot about what was happening in the ‘old days’.  

Then something quite unexpected happened… Computers and eventually the ‘Internet’ came about and found it’s way into everyone’s home.   No one took better advantage of this new information phenomenon to advance his passion than Mike.   Individual members of  well known and not so well known bands  steadily came forth sharing their memories in the quality constructed interview questions created by Mike.

I have to admit, back in those days I thought the West Coast was where the majority of good bands hailed from.  Mike’s website changed that erroneous notion forever.   My hat goes off and I extend much respect to the many many  bands  that were creating great music throughout America in those wildly wonderful, crazy days of the 60’s.  

   Even though I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Mike in person, we have shared many many enjoyable conversations through the years and  I consider him a valuable and trusted friend.  Please take some time and visit his most excellent website:    http://www.60sgaragebands.com/    



  It is my pleasure to continue the history of ‘PETER WHEAT AND THE BREADMEN’

by including portions of the following interview I did with MIKE DUGO 

Read the entire interview: http://www.60sgaragebands.com/peterwheatbreadmen.html 


60s: What was it about The Tarantels that made you think they’d fit the shoes for the type of group you were looking for?

 BC:  The very first thing that they had going for them was that they had a keyboardist. That was a definite requirement. Secondly, as time went on, they were not afraid to test their creativity by exploring innovative chord changes on new original material or embark on complicated arrangements of cover tunes that I arranged for them. However, the most important attraction was that they looked and sounded like they were having fun. I have never regretted choosing Roger Kennedy, Bob Birdwell, Barry Houk, Terry Riesman, Chuck Tedford and later Dale Radcliff to be the personnel that made up the revised Peter Wheat and The Breadmen. They always cooperated with me and gave their fans a great performance every time they stepped onto the stage.

60s: What type of gigs were you able to land for Peter Wheat & The Breadmen? How popular did they become?

BC: Just about every type of gig a band could play. They appeared at all the dance spots – colleges, high schools and large auditoriums. They not only headlined many shows but were also the supporting act for many of the top selling acts of the day, to name a few: 

The Rollarena in San Leandro, California where Bill Quarry held

his weekly dances featuring the biggest names in Rock N’ Roll.



Bob Birdwell proudly displaying four of his mint condition posters


60s: Do you have any  favorites that you would like to share?

BC:  Well, being on the same show with Neil Young and Stephen Stills, two of my favorite writers and artists was really cool and of course sharing the bill with the ‘YARDBIRDS’ was a thrill.  However, I guess I do have a couple of favorite shows where ‘Peter Wheat and the Breadmen’ performed as a supporting act.  One was with ‘PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS’.  There were two  different sold out concerts, one in Santa Rosa and the other at the Oakland Auditorium.  Paul Revere at the time was one of the hottest acts in America, largely due to their many appearances on Dick Clark’s TV Program… ‘Where the action is’.  They also had a top ten single at the time titled, ‘KICKS’.  By the way, they were not only a great band but they were absolutely the nicest bunch of guys too.

The poster for the Paul Revere Concert in Oakland


60s: and the other?

BC:  Bill Quarry called me very late one night and said that he had an opportunity to book ‘THEM’ with Van Morrison for their first American show and wanted to know if I thought they would draw a good crowd into the Rollerena.  I said that they had ‘Gloria’ and several other hits and should do well.  I don’t know if he just felt the price tag was a little high or what, but he asked if I wanted to go 50/50 on the show.  Go-TEEN, our production company had just had a few profitable dances out in the Valley and I said “Sure, but I would like ‘PETER WHEAT’ booked second on the bill .   He agreed.  He also agreed to include another one of our groups, ‘THE CANADIAN FUZZ’ along with two other lesser known bands.  On the day of the concert, Loren and I went over to the San Francisco airport and picked up the group.   We arrived at the Rollerena about an hour before the doors were to open and I was both thrilled and relived to see that the lines to get in stretched clear around the block.  After entering in through the back doors, I first made sure that the members of Peter Wheat had arrived and were in their dressing room and then headed to where Bill’s in house office was.   He was obviously happy.  By the time the doors were to open, the crowd had swelled to a point that the rush to get in practically broke down the doors.   Needless to say, it was the biggest crowd to ever attend a show at the Rollarena.

Yes, here we all are at the back of the Rollerena after the show.  This is the night that Van Morrison met his future wife, Janet Planet.  That is her to the far right zeroing in on him.

This is a little ditty that BARRY HOUK (lead guitarist and writer for ‘PETER WHEAT’) remembers about that show with ‘THEM’


                                                  1966                                  2012

Barry Houk:  The band ‘THEM’ was great to work with.   It was May 27, 1966 at the San Leandro Rollarenea when I first met the members of the band.  Jim Armstrong, their lead guitarist, sat down to tune up his guitar.   I told him how much I liked his lead work on “Baby Please Don’t Go”.    Jim said thank you and started playing it.   I asked, ‘how did that go again/’ and he started giving me a guitar lesson on the spot.   After jamming a little while, he let me try using his Tonebender (a distortion box).   I liked it, so he said take it on stage and use it.   I did and later actually bought one and started using it all the time”. 

“Later after the show both of our bands went to a Pizza parlor in Hayward on Mission Blvd.   I did not usually get autographs from the bands we work with because I didn’t want to bother them,  but since I had a poster with me, I asked the guys .   I still have the poster and enjoy looking at it and remembering  what a great time we had.” 

“We got to work with “Them” again at Strand Theater in Modesto, July 23, 1966.   Jim Armstrong and I ( once again) jammed while everyone else was partying before showtime; that’s a whole different story.”




60s: Is it true that Peter Wheat & The Breadmen were scheduled to perform with The Beatles at the Candlestick performance? If so, what happened that cancelled this out?

BC: Yes, it is true. It was a conflict between two Musician’s Unions: Local 6, where Candlestick is located, and Local 510 San Leandro, where Peter Wheat held membership. Local 6 insisted that one of their bands be in the concert or no one from any other Bay Area local could be. Peter Wheat had previously done a few shows and benefit concerts for KYA, the radio station who presented the Beatles Candlestick concert.  Everyone but the two rival locals tried very hard to resolve the unending conflict,  however, neither local would give in.   What a story it would have been to share with the grandkids but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.


As stated earlier, there are four individuals with varying talents and vocations who significantly contributed to the ongoing story of  ‘PETER WHEAT AND THE BREADMEN’.  At this time let me introduce the individual who sent the bands name out  over the airwaves thousands and thousands of times…

BILL QUARRY – Promoter… Extraordinaire


( Be sure to check out Bill’s website:  www.teensntwenties.com )


I cannot say enough good things about BILL QUARRY.  All of us who managed and/or produced bands from the East Bay area during the 60’s and 70’s owe a great deal of respect and gratitude to Bill.  He produced and promoted the shows that sent out ‘PETER WHEAT’S’ name over the airwaves just about everyday in their career.   It has been said over and over again by those whose musical careers were dramatically enhanced because of Bill Quarry’s passion to produce outstanding shows… “Bill Quarry is not only a great promoter, he is also a really nice guy!”  Believe me, nice guys are not always easy to find in this business.  Kudos to you Bill for your legendary career and many heartfelt thanks.

(click on picture to enlarge)

Watch the following video tribute to BILL QUARRY  which aired on GREGORY CORREA’S popular TV Show- ‘HARMONICS’.



60s: Peter Wheat & The Breadmen recorded in 1966 on the Amber label. Do you recall the circumstances leading to the recording of the “All The Time” B/w “Baby What’s New” 45? 

BC: I think the sole purpose of going into the studio and cutting that 45 was to have something of theirs to place on the air up in the Santa Rosa area and later in Oakland to support their appearance at the Paul Revere and The Raiders concerts.  

While we diligently worked to develop a hard driving and innovative live show, we were still a ways off from having the quantity and quality of original material I felt we needed to put out a first class album that would satisfy the expectations of their fans. 

Those individuals lucky enough to have an original copy of the 45 have what is considered by ‘Collectors’… ‘A Rare Record’.  The most recent sale of the 45 on EBAY went for almost $1000.00.

It wasn’t until the release of  the 10th edition of the very popular PEBBLES series of compilation albums that PETER WHEAT’S  recording of ‘ BABY WHAT’S NEW’ got world wide attention.  

In 2007 the Producers of the ‘PEBBLES’ series released their first CD of the series titled PEBBLES VOL 11 – NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’.   

The first song listed is ‘PETER WHEAT’S tune… ‘ALL THE TIME’.  Also included was a song I wrote titled ‘Don’t you know’ recorded by the Night Caps.  There were also three songs on the CD that were recorded at ‘BAYTOWN RECORDS’, the studio I co-owned.  The problem with the entire CD was that the company released it without getting any of the artists permission.  ACE RECORDS, which was soon to release a new authorized CD titled ‘YOU GOT YOURS’ featuring PETER WHEAT’S recording of ‘BABY WHAT’S NEW’ promptly went to court and  successfully stopped any further manufacturing and sales of the PEBBLES 11 CD.  

An interesting side note to all this is that the Original release sold on Amazon for around $18.00.  Whatever stock left on hand after the cease order was issued sold for over $100.00 a copy.


This brings me to the introduction of  my friend… ALEC PALAO 

palao.jpg                       Alec Palao of Ace Big Beat records play bass    Karl


Musician, Historian and Grammy nominated Reissue Producer

I first met Alec at Bill Quarry’s office I believe in 1999 while being interviewed for Bruce Tahlser’s book… ‘Garage Bands from the 60’s Then and Now’.  I was immediately impressed by his knowledge of the Bay Area Music scene especially since he was born and raised in England and didn’t come to the States until 1988.  Alec and I have spent many hours since our first meeting discussing various aspects of the music industry as well as  the careers of the talented individual’s who continually breathe life into it.  

As an ardent music Researcher/Historian, Alec has penned some of the best liner notes to ever accompany the great music produced on the many compilations he has been involved with (he has three Grammy nominations to prove it).  This man knows more about music’s  famous and not so famous  than anyone I know.  Alec is also a very accomplished bassist… In fact this man does so many good things that I suggest you ‘Google’ his name and check out for yourself his many outstanding credentials.  

  Mr. Alec Palao is not only a very creative and talented individual,  he is a true Gentleman if ever there was one.  His graciousness is long remembered after one spends time with him.  I count it a vaulted blessing to be a friend of this humble, yet extraordinary man. 

Alec produced the recent CD release from ACE Records titled ‘YOU GOT YOURS’.  I am very pleased that he included  PETER WHEAT’S recording of  ‘BABY WHAT’S NEW’.  


60s:  Have there been any video’s produced featuring ‘Peter Wheat’s’ recordings?

BC:  Yes, video’s have been created for both ‘BABY WHAT’S NEW’ (saico66 – Producer) and ‘ALL THE TIME’ (blacflag – Producer, featuring actress Judy Huxtable)

60s:  Has any group recorded a cover of either one of  ‘PETER WHEAT’S’ recordings?

BC:  Yes, the ‘Shitbirds’ featuring Miss April March covered ‘BABY WHAT’S NEW’ on their CD titled ‘FAMOUS RECORDING ARTISTS’

Photo by Isabel Asha Penzlien    April March



From: barry@barrymcarlos.com
Date: 07/23/08 10:59:34 AM
To: aprilmarch@aol.com
Subject: Re: Recording: Baby What’s New
Hi Elinor (April March);
I recently discovered that after you left the ‘Pussywillows you formed  the ‘Shitbirds and recorded a great cover of Peter Wheat’s, “Baby What’s new.  I was wondering how that came to be?  Did you first hear it from the original 45 or from one of the many pirated copies?  Whatever the reason, thank you… we are flattered that an artist of your caliber chose to sing one of our tunes.
You are a wonderful talent and I am glad to see that you are doing so well.
With Kindest regards,
Barry Carlos
(Manager/Producer – Peter Wheat and the Breadmen)


Date: 07/25/08 12:15:26
To:  barry@barrymcarlos.com
Subject: Re: Recording: Baby What’s New
Hi Barry
What a thrill to hear from you! I adore this song (of course).  I heard it from Pebbles Vol. 10.
Thank you so much for contacting me.  I’d love to hear more.  Did they record more?
“Baby what’s new” has long been one of my all time favorites.
All the best,
(April March)




                       THE GREAT CAKE FIGHT

                         DATE:  SOMETIME IN 1966
DANCE CONCERT:  Peter Wheat and the Breadmen
                                       Big Brother and the Holding company with Janis Joplin
Bob Birdwell:   I wanted to tell the story of what has become to be
knows as “The Great Janis Joplin Cake Fight Incident”.
My memory isn’t 100% clear on the details.  Had I known that I’d be required to recount the tale 46 years later, I would have paid more attention!
Another clouding issue is that when band members who were there discussed the incident 40+ years later, we certainly all remembered it…but we all remembered it slightly different!
So now, my own recollections are tainted by theirs.
We were booked to play a concert at John Swett high school in Crockett, CA.   This was sometime in 1966, I think it was their ‘Home-Coming’ dance but I don’t recall the exact date.  We were the headline group, as we just had a record released that was getting a smattering of air play.  Big Brother was booked as the opening act.
Before the concert started, the promoter and the students  presented us with a big sheet cake to celebrate the release of the “45″, as single’s were called then.   The top of the cake said something like “Congratulations To Peter Wheat & The Breadmen – Baby What’s New”.
We were standing around a table with the cake on it, thinking about how to cut it, etc.  Janis Joplin was there, but wasn’t really taking part in the festivities.  I actually don’t recall where the rest of her band was, but I’m sure they were there too.
Janis walked up to the table and stuck her finger deep into the middle of the cake and scooped up some icing.   My reaction was almost involuntary, and I slapped her hand away and told her to keep her dirty fingers out of the cake since people were going to be eating it.  She said something back to me (I don’t recall what it was) then either tried to smear the icing on my clothes, or flung it off her fingers at me.
This is where it gets fuzzy.   Someone said I scooped up some icing and flung it back at her. I personally don’t think I’d ever do anything like that! ( LOL )  Nevertheless the incident quickly escalated into a full flung mini-cake throwing fight.  It ended quickly, and we all had a good laugh about it.
The students were very enthusiastic and we all had a great time at this dance. 




This is where I have the pleasure to introduce JOYCE CANRIGHT.  Joyce was my right-hand woman in the promotion of Peter Wheat.  I hired Joyce after meeting her at the Annual Chabot College Battle of the Bands.   Peter Wheat was the guest band at this popular event and after their performance, Joyce came up to me and introduced herself.    It only took a few moments of conversation with her to realize that she would be a great publicity person for our company… BLB Promotions.


( more coming about Joyce)

  1. An interesting blog post right there mate ! Thank you for it !

  2. I simply want to tell you that I’m all new to blogs and truly loved your web site. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You amazingly have beneficial articles and reviews. Cheers for revealing your blog.

  3. Wow that was fantastic Bob, I just wanted to say it was a pleasure to play some gigs with u in my group Tom Thumb And The Hitchikers we were all truly Blessed , Sincerly Rich Alves on Drums.


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