In 1966, while Commissioner of Pubic Relations for the Student Council at Allan Hancock College, I was involved in my first large rock & roll concert with the availability of Peter & Gordon, a top 40 group with a hit on the charts at the time. I had been involved with rock groups for several years and had put on several small gigs with local bands I was involved with, like Chip Cannon's group "Me & The Rest of Us"1965 (Chips father owned KNEZ Radio 960), "The Ban" with my friend Frank Straight, both from Lompoc, California and "Something Wild" a Santa Maria group that I had been promoting for about a year.
The opportunity to get "Peter and Gordon" was sudden and the student council decided to contract the show, that included a second bill group from San Diego California, called "Phoenix". Hancock College didn't have a facility large enough to handle this gig, the new gym was not opened yet, so we decided to rent the Santa Maria high school gym for the event to get as many seats as possible, figuring this to be a potential sell out, which it was.
Something Wild, pictured here included Joe Geppi, Bill Evans, Bill Payne , third from the left, is to the right of Peter Asher and Gorden ....... of "Peter & Gordon", and Kal X Blue to the right. This picture was taken after the event in the dressing room, the reason I had them there.in the first place.
The Event started with PA problems that we solved temporarily, "Phoenix" played a very good set to a house full of screaming teenage girls, the house did sell out t"hat day. But when Phoenix went on, as scheduled, the headliner had not arrived yet. I had "Something Wild" there because I wanted them to get a picture, if possible with his well know group, the same picture Shown above), and I also had David Silverbrand, known professionally as "Don Sherwood" who was a disc Jockey on KNEZ radio 960 from Lompoc.
David wanted to get an interview with "Peter & Gordon" for his Rock & Roll program on KNEZ radio and had talked to one of the teen magazines about a story of a big name group in a small town. even though we didn't have an OK on this, he was there with a tape recorder just in case Timne would grant the interview.
Well, to make a long story short, by the time "Phoenix" finished the first set, "Peter & Gordon" had still not arrived, or called or anything. The girls were screaming, the group was not sure what had happened to the act they had been touring with. Finally, as the house started to get ugly, Phoenix offered to play until "Peter & Gordon" arrived.
We were desperate and "Phoenix" took the stage again and started into a second set. Some of the way into this set, the PA went out, the power amp went and I don't have to tell you how difficult it was to even find a rock PA amp in town.
The guys from "Something Wild" offered to chase down some equipment they had and some that someone they knew had. they got it together and to the auditorium in about half an hour, but then they had to pull out the old amps and tie in the new ones as best we could. After forty-five minutes down time, "Phoenix" again took the stage, to fill in until the headliners arrived.
Fortunately "Peter & Gordon" arrived within a few numbers, there arrival announced to the house, who were getting restless by now and they came unglued.
The best I can remember, there was very little of the concert by "Peter & Gordon" the girls were screaming to loud unless you were right by the main speakers.
Despite everything, the evening was a huge success, the local girls were thrilled and they chassed the limo as "Peter & Gordon" left the high school about an hour and a half after the gig finished. For me, the time between the last number, and the time they left was the most interesting. As the Picture above proves, they graciously took pictures with the then unknown "Something Wild" .
"Peter & Gordon" also allow my Disc Jockey friend David Silverbrand, to interview the for over half an hour. It all went very well., except that the recorder only got some hallow far away garble that turned out to be useless. Of Course, we only got a couple of shot with a camera that included the group with the exotic females that they had with them.
For those who don't remember "Peter & Gordon" they had two hits on the charts at the time, the U.S. already well into the "British wave" had just made some additional news when it was purported that the two songs that they had on the charts were actually written by the already famous "Beatles", John Lennon and Paul McCartney. At the time, Paul McCartney was going with Mary Asher, Peter Ashers sister. They were said to be trying to see if it was their writing (Lennon-McCartney) that was selling or their name/reputation driving their success. This was said to prove that it was their writing that was special.
Of course Bill Payne went on to Little Feat, where he had a distinguished career doing most of the important groups of the time, and except for a short period that they disband, they are still playing, These "Something Wild" pictures came from their Bill Payne page. I have some different pictures from this event and these groups which I'll add when find them.
Phoenix, it turns out put out several singles and toured some then broke up which I just discovered from a page called "................." says that ...........
Well, let me put it like this. over ten years later, when Pendragon has the studio operating, and doing equipment for other well known groups like Santana, and The Doobie Bothers, that out sound tech Steve Curtis, and I suspect, J Warren as well were spending more time with the Doobie Brothers who like the amps and Steve was very good with equipment. On several occasions, he brought the Doobie Brothers bass player to the Chester St. Band house, a very talented musician named "Tiran Porter", Tiran had told us that he wasn't a member of the Doobie's, he was a professional musician, although he said that the smallest check he ever got from the Doobie's was $37,000.
While doing the research on the Internet for this page I found out that Tiran Porter had come to the Doobie Brothers after playing in another group called "Phoenix", yes, that's right the very same "Phoenix" from my Peter and Gordon Concert" It's a small world.
Joe Geppi Bill Evans Bill Payne, Peter & Gordon, Cal X. Blue
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The Peter and Gordon (above left) concert in the Santa Maria High School basketball court. pictured with Don Sherwood on the left and two security people on the right. They had the San Diego group Pheonix. (above right) as the front band. Tiran Porter, the base player, on the right later played base for the Dobbie Brothers.