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PERFORMER, PRODUCER, PROMOTER

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THE ‘NIGHT CAPS’ YEARS

Click here to read an article by JOEL SELVIN in the San Francisco Chronicle: 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/18/DDG6JKJQAB1.DTL

NIGHT CAPS ON LOCAL BAY AREA TV IN THE 50's THE NIGHT CAPS ON LOCAL BAY AREA TV IN THE LATE FIFTIES

Copy of 7.15.07  more pics from the Oakland Days 003

The Night Caps with Dick Stewart after winning Channel 5’s battle of the bands

7.12.07 NIGHT CAPS WITH ROCKIN JERRY HILL 001

The Night Caps with guest ‘Rockin’ Jerry Hill’

An Impressive Portfolio

Written by Judith L. Sherman

Barry started out as an original member of the NightCaps. And then the British Invasion began, with hundreds of new teen groups impacting the East San Francisco Bay area. At that time, I was living in the area and can remember the group and the excitement of those days.

I’ve known Barry for approximately two years and have had a blessed friendship. He has been a tremendous support of my aspirations and helped me promote my own book. Now let me tell you what I’ve learned about my friend Barry.

Barry realized the need to capitalize on the British Invasion and became one of the Bay Area’s most popular rock bands, known as Peter Wheat & The Breadmen. In addition, Barry managed other popular East Bay Area bands, and followed up with a record label (Baytown) that he formed to record them.

To quote from http://www.60s/”Along with Bill Quarry, Barry is certainly one of the most important figures from the entire ‘60’s West Coast rock and roll scene.”

The Beginnings

Copyrighted and originally printed on

www.60sgaragebands.com by Mike Dugo”.

Here is an excerp from that interview:

Barry was born in 1943 and raised in Oakland California. He lived with his grandparent, which is where he formed his love for music. His grandmother, who he refers to as mom, loved all types of music and always played music on the radio. This environment helped instill in Barry a love for music.

“Barry said that the soonest my mom could get me into playing an instrument was in the fourth grade. Mr. Hackett, the district music teacher, handed me a clarinet and firmly told me to “blow”.  Although Barry was thinking more of owning a pair of drumsticks, he did not argue with the teacher and took home a worn out looking silver clarinet.

A few years later, Barry went on a trip with mom that included New Orleans. He loved the sound and excitement of Dixieland music. Then in 1955, he was exposed to Benny Goodman and the boys when they played “Bugle Call Rag” on a movable stage.

“That was it for me; it was all about the beat from (that point) forward,” Barry exclaimed.

Mike Dugo, when interviewing Barry for his enormously popularwebsite asked:  The NightCaps actually formed prior to the “garage band explosion.” What was your impetus for starting a band before “Beatlemania” officially hit?

Barry’s answer…  “The incentive for me was very simple – I loved the music and the joy it seemed to bring others!

The NightCaps formed in 1957 during my sophomore year at Oakland’s Fremont High School. The initial test of that love came shortly after Bob Fox, Jerry Anderson, Bob Ruggiero, Marvin Hoag and I formed the band and began rehearsing in preparation for the school’s annual talent show.

Somehow, the powers allowed us in. This was a pretty big deal because most adults at that time really did not like rock n’ roll. Then again, neither did the members of the schools hot jazz band, which also played the show. They went on before us, did their usual polished set and received a good ovation. They remained in their seats, which were located just below the stage, and I could see them snickering to each other after we were introduced, surely thinking to themselves that we were going to completely embarrass ourselves. I was so nervous!

Well…when we were about half way through our song, which I believe was “Johnny B. Goode”, the kids went crazy, applauding, screaming and wildly jumping around. I looked down into the orchestra pit and saw a lot of mummified egg on the faces of the members of the sophisticated jazz band. I had my “Benny Goodman” moment and was eager and determined to give it my all. “

The Nightcaps/Breadmen were together for eight years before Barry decided to transform The Tarantels into Peter Wheat & The Breadmen. They had two records released; the first one was an instrumental Barry wrote titled “Mirage” and the second was “Don’t You Know” b/w ‘”Are You Running Away”, two songs written to feature Bob Fox, our lead singer. It was released on the Amber label.

Barry said they did just about every type of gig a band could play. They appeared at all the dance spots – colleges, and high schools. They opened concerts for many of the top selling acts of their time: such as Buffalo Springfield, Van Morrison (a couple of times), Love, The Grass Roots, The Turtles, The Byrds, Paul Revere and The Raiders and many more.

I think it was early in 1967 that Peter Wheat and The Breadmen broke up. The reason? Barry responding to that question by saying, “I’m sure that there were many; however, after all the years I can’t seem to pin down any particular one. It was indeed…a wildly wonderful ride! Nevertheless, the time had come for everyone to get off the train, depart the station and explore new possibilities.

 And that’s exactly what Barry did when he formed Baytown Records in 1968?Barry managed many groups, including The Immediate Family and The Canadian Fuzz. Throughout the ‘70’s he managed, produced and played in Lexington.

In addition, in the late ‘60’s, he was asked by Mimi and Doc to manage Tower of Power. However, his commitment at that time focused on building up Baytown Records so he had to regrettably decline. On that note, Barry said they went on to great success and he is so happy for them. We were fortunate to have Towers’ horns on many sessions at Baytown. In fact, Mimi and Doc choose the name, ‘Tower of Power’ out of a book of names conceived by one of the Baytown partners and super lyrist Oscar Hefner.”

In the spring of 1968, Barry helped form Baytown Records. He remembers, “Five people came together to build a recording studio and label for five different reasons. Oscar Hefner wanted an outlet for his lyrics, Marvin Hoag wanted to be a recording engineer and Bill Freitas wanted to put a melody line to Oscar’s lyrics. He doesn’t remember why Sandy invested but she was a real sweetheart and there everyday doing whatever she could to support the studio. Barry’s interest was to discover and development new talent, produce them and hopefully have the label release hit records.

“We recorded many groups and placed them on the Baytown lable. however, if I remember correctly, only three were entirely produced by Baytown. Let’s see… Our first release was ‘Soul on Ice’. Oscar was inspired to write the lyrics for the A-Side by Eldridge Cleaver’s best-selling book of the same name.   I did the arrangement and produced the record. I was fortunate to get Duane (Beans) Sousa and several members of The Vandells to initiate a recipe for success by laying down a driving rhythm track. Next, I asked Mimi and Doc of Tower of Power to arrange a horn track to match the intensity of the basic track. As always, they went beyond the expected. The final musical touch was provided by the mastery of Randy Nichols (Eddie Money’s band) powerful Hammond B3 solo.   To complete and further energize the entire effort, Bobby Watkins was brought in to handle the vocals.”

“We initially pressed 500 copies and I immediately went over to San Francisco to ask the premier distribution company if they would pick it up. The main man (I won’t mention his name) loved the record and instead of handling the distribution, he wanted to buy the whole project for $5000.00. After meeting with all my partners, it was decided not to take the deal. When I delivered the news to the unnamed individual, he immediately informed me that unless we sold it to him he would see to it that it never received any airplay. If anyone wonders if he carried out his threat, I can only say, has anyone ever heard the record?

I was informed recently that Oscar gave licensing rights for ‘Soul on Ice’ to a record company in the U.K. Good for him – although I wish he would have given Alec Palao the rights.

Our second release was titled “The Meat Rack” b/w “Minnie Skirt Minnie.” One night I was watching Van Amberg, the anchor for the Channel 7 evening news and he was talking about how teenagers were flocking to San Francisco in groves. He further stated that so many of the girls ran out of whatever money they brought with them and were ending up on “The Meat Rack”. (This was a street term for prostitution.) He then read a short poem that he had written on the subject.

I contacted him the next day and suggested that we put music to what he had written. He liked the idea and we struck a deal to release a 45. I used most of the same personnel as I did for “Soul on Ice” but with a couple of exceptions. After auditioning several singers, newcomer Arthur Ratcliff was chosen to fill the role and Gary Raffanelli (Vandells and Abracadabra) was chosen to provide the Keyboard energy.  I also added the very young but still fantastic ‘Pointer Sisters’ to cover the Back up vocals.

The third release was “My Momma Was a Bottom Land Lilly,” with lyrics by Oscar Hefner. Roger Campbell sang the lead and played the piano. We used the The Gates of Eden to lay down the basic tracks and U.K. producer Michael Mitchell and I produced the record. The song was in the spirit of a typical John Fogerty/CCR recording.


Copyrighted and originally printed on

www.60sgaragebands.com by Mike Dugo”.

The Night Caps - like Johnny Cash, entertaining at Folsum PrisionTHE NIGHT CAPS (LIKE JOHNNY CASH) PLAYING FOLSOM PRISION

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  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDRDSouUh_s

 

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LEXINGTON

THE AUTHORS AND THEIR MUSIC

In the 1970’s, Barry Carlos needed a first rate trumpet player for his new Rock Band – Lexington.He received the names of twenty players from the Musicians union and for some unknown reason began calling them from the bottom of the list to the top.You guessed it; Jeff Micheli’s name was the last one on the list and the first one to audition.After Barry heard Jeff play, he cancelled all other auditions.

There began a close friendship that has spanned over three decades. During their years of touring with the band, they would spend hours after the gig drinking several cups of ‘Joe’ at the local coffee shop with their fellow musician, Mike ‘The Boneman’ Mirko, discussing the possibility of UFO’s and Aliens, the Spirituality of man and of course… music.

LEXINGTON 001

LEXINGTON

Barry and Jeff (L to R in center in Rock band 'Lexington'

Barry and Jeff in center of picture

LEXINGTON at the Canterbuy Inn

LEXINGTON at the Canterburry Inn

lexington-at-the-canterbury-inn-006

LEXINGTON opens for STEVIE WONDER at Winterland 1973

LEXINGTON opens for SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE in Seattle 1972


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