Landing In California

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We loaded up the truck and moved to Beverleeeeee .... Hills that is. We had a funky ol' green step van with three bicycles mounted on the roof. We really felt like the Beverly Hillbillies as we drove around L.A.

We crashed on the floor of some friends from Philadelphia who lived in Santa Monica. Within a few days, we found a house to rent in Canoga Park. It was a big house, on a corner near a cul de sac ... and actually came with an old upright piano in the living room. We were able to leave all our equipment set up in the living room, where we could rehearse during reasonable hours.

We got settled ... called the agent we were referred to by the agent in Chicago (see 'The Big Switch') ... played a few songs for him ... he paused for about 5 seconds, then asked: 'Do you guys play disco?' Ugh!

So ... no work from him. And here were were in L.A. with a very small amount of money. Let the rock 'n' roll begin!

We rehearsed and poked around until we somehow found a dive or two to play in. We were pretty close to penniless for quite a while. But we were playing music all the time. And writing songs. Singer Michael Caruso and I decided to try a little game: We agreed to meet at the piano every day to write songs ... as though it was our job. In about two weeks, we wrote about 30 songs. Maybe five of them were pretty good. Maybe ten. Click the link below to hear one of them ('Colorado Summer' or 'Hollywood Freeway').

During this funky era, Steve Eisenberg heard from his family in Philadelphia that some friends of theirs had a relative in Los Angeles ... manager Danny Kessler and his partner Clancy Grass. They came to hear us at the house, and immediately signed us to a management deal.

Kessler-Grass tried their best to keep us working while they were launching our career. They booked us in a few local clubs, and hired us to play on some of their other acts' recordings. They managed to sign us with Fantasy Records, a fairly successful label based in San Francisco. They also managed to have us record the American Song Festival's 1975 winning song, 'Why Don't We Live Together' ... written by Peter Thom and Phil Galdston, and later recorded by Barry Manilow.

In the meantime, they had us backing up another of their acts ... a singer named Eddie Haddad. This was somewhat torturous for us, and as we trekked with him as far as Alaska and Toronto, we started to become disenchanted with playing clubs and waiting for something big to happen.

It was then that our bass player, Steve, decided to leave the band, shave his head, give up his belongings and live in Toronto with the local Hare Krishnas. No kidding. We limped back to Philadelphia to regroup, literally. Rick left the band. Michael, Paul, Walt and I added new bassist Craig Really, then called Kessler-Grass to get going again. To our surprise ... they got us signed to RCA Records ... and told us to load up the truck and head back to L.A. to record an album! 'Y'all come back, now!'

Heading from Chicago
SunriseLeavingChicago.jpg
to Los Angeles

Me at the piano
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Canoga Park Band House

Mike at the piano
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Canoga Park Band House

Steve & Rick, guess where
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Canoga Park Band House

Michael at the Grand Canyon
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On the way to L.A.

Click the above picture to hear 'Colorado Summer' ... written in Canoga Park and recorded later on our RCA album.

Eventually this link will play 'Why Don't We Live Together.'

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