120 comments on “The Caretakers – East Side Story

  1. Not sure if it was the same Doug Brown here, but Brown’s role in gaining the release of “East Side Story” was confirmed by producer/promoter Dave Leone, including in an article I wrote for Goldmine magazine in 2000. (The article is loaded with info on other MI garage bands, too, including the Rainy Days, ? and the Mysterians, and the Rationals.Try to get a copy of the magazine.). I also have an audio recording of an early Doug Brown and the Ones song, allegedly from 1964, with what might be possibly Seger’s first recorded pop/rock vocal appearance.

    • It is the same Doug Brown. I know him. He has gone by the name of Fountaine Brown for the last thirty years or so. He recorded a new cd that is rocking if you like the blues. His friend and Del Shannon’ s manager of 30 years Dan Burgouse produced the work. You can find out more on Fountain (Doug) Brown at Delshannon.com. Hope this helps!

  2. One member of the San Bernadino “Caretakers” of the late 60’s, still lives in Riverside, CA
    If you have not yet talked to Bill Murray, send me a note and I’ll have him give you a call.
    They made several recording and played the local stomps of that area, including “The Purple Haze” in Riverside, CA. I was there.

    • Hi, I stumbled across your site looking for pictures of the Riverside scene in 1966 or 1967. Used to cruise Magnolia, go to the Purple Haze and Mystic Eye. Good days. Better nights. Got any pics of the “Day”? Gomer Park, Magnolia drive in, Plaza roof top dances? B&B drive in? A&W . Love to share some memories. Thanks, Peter

      • Was writing a weekly music column in the San Bernardino Free Press.
        Interesting to see you mention Riverside’s “Purple Haze”.
        Backstage at a Buffalo Springfield show at the “Haze” I still have a photo that was taken with now deceased Springfield bassist, Bruce Palmer.
        I recall Stephen Stills sister telling me (alongside the bandstand) that Neil Youing not showing caused her brother Stephen to play Neil guitar chime on “For What It’s Worth” plus his own guitar parts.

  3. Everyone seems to think that the Caretakers was Bruce Robertson’s first band. I know for a fact that his first band was The Almost, also from San Bernardino. That band also had Ben Mosteller-Bass, Ken Mosteller-Rhythm, Eric Fields-lead, Gary Pinnell- drums, Bruce was our lead singer. We all practiced in the back of Lier’s Music store on E st. Bands like The Youngblood with David Lauser,The Bush and others all use to listen to each other practice.Eric & Barry Fields and I even practiced a couple of times with a friend of our’s named Sammy Hagar. I also went to High School with a friend who played in The Original Southside Blues Band named Buddy Reed. The 60’s was a great time for good music coming out of southern Calif.

    • so who are you, i have buddy all my life. i lived right by him on south st. in rialto. i rememebr his monm and dad both real well.. i talk with buddy almost ever week or so still

      • I met Buddy in 1964 @ Bloomington High School. We were in art class together. In school we called him Ivan.

      • Your Dad and Uncle were good friends of mine. Eric and I played in a band called The Almost before he joined The Caretakers. Ben and Ken Mosteller and Bruce Robertson also were in the band. When I met your Dad we all noticed he would stutter when he was around people he didn’t know. He didn’t have that problem when he was with us, or when he sang. Your Dad would set in on practice sessions with us, he played a pretty good bass and harmonica. I know your Dad and Uncle had a sister, how is she doing? We did have some good times together. Gary.

    • Damn. I have been trying to remember who was in that band. A short lived band I was in played the Muscoy Grange Hall, and I used a Fender Showman amp,I think it was, that belonged to someone in The Cartakers. Around 1967-’68

      • A lot of local bands played at the Grange Hall. Great college parties.

  4. I was a big fan of The Caretakers a garage band based in San Bernardino in the mid 1960’s. Where are these fellows now? Billy Fernandez, Jim Eddy, etc. Where is Andy Greene or maybe it was Andy Grey, Gray, Green, who was credited with managing the band called “The Caretakers” I will check back on this website and hope someone can give me some more information. Recently, The Caretaker’s song “East Side Story” as performed by Bob Seger and the Last Heard has been getting air time via sattalite radio. How can I get a copy of the music and the lyrics. Yeah, that group could rock, and the club “Puple Haze” was a real trip back in the day.

    • YES!! I know of this band…the “Caretakers” I dated the drummer Billy Fernandez for 4 years. I have also lost track of him…any info??

    • Some of us are still around. I see this post is in 2008. This is Jim Eddy. I live in Northern California and was doing a little research to see if there was any info about us. Maybe this will still get to you 5 years later. Nice to hear someone still remembers.

  5. Hi Larry, it’s the same Doug Brown – as far as I can gather he moved to California
    sometime in ’66 – later on, around ’68, he started calling himself Fontaine Brown and that’s how he’s credited on albums by a band called Southwind
    who started out out on Mickey Stevenson’s Venture label then moved to
    Blue Thumb for a few albums. Southwind are enjoyable in a roots / R&B
    bar band kind of vein – there can’t have been many white bands doing Joe Turner songs in 1969.

    Doug Brown also gets production credits on a single by another Riverside area garage band The Good Feelins – “Shattered” on Pebbles vol. 9.

    Another band he produced was Trane on Creative Talents – their single
    “One Way Street” was co-written by Bruce Robertson. Haven’t heard it and as far
    as I know it’s yet to be comped.

    I’m enjoying your blogs – keep up the good work 🙂

    Davie Gordon

    • Well I got more tracks than the Santa Fe Line.. The 45 is the same on both sides except censored for radio play

  6. The Caretakers was not Bruce Robertson’s first band. It was The Almost from San Bernardino. It Included Eric Fields, Ben & Ken Mosteller and Gary Pinnell.

  7. Eric Fields is now deceased, he passed away on or around May 6, 1997. I am the mother of his full grown (28) year old son. Am looking for any recordings from the Caretaker Days. I have a 45 from the early 80s, but thats all. Anyone help????

    • Hey Angela, Larry Gabbert, I have several recordings with Eric, Ben, Tim Start and myself. If you recall we actually did a couple albums in the mid to late 80s I would be more than happy to share them with you. Just email me wlg1961@yahoo.come

  8. Angela, Eric was a good friend and bandmate in the day’s of The Almost. He was a very talented guitar player. Our bass player Benton also passed away. Their are 3 of us left. Bruce Robertson, Ken Mosteller and myself.

  9. Thanks Gary, I really didn’t think anyone would respond. As far as any recordings do you know of anything or anywhere where we can even purchase it??? All we have is a 45 that he made in the early eighties, thats the only one my son could find in all his music memorabilia. Lots of pictures, including David Lauser and Eric Clapton, and I think Ginger Baker? Even a old letter from Sam himself, when he was with Montrose.
    Anyway, what prompted this was Barry Fields (aslo deceased) daughter, Nikki wanted a copy of the early recording from the Caretakers.
    FYI, Erics music lives on, well somewhat, in our son. He too is talented but does hold a day job working as an Engineer for UP Railroad.
    If you know of any recordings, please notify me here, I will check back periodically.
    Thanks again,

    Do you know a guy named Neil Paris (Perris?)

  10. Thanks Gary, I really didn’t think anyone would respond. As far as any recordings do you know of anything or anywhere where we can even purchase it??? All we have is a 45 that he made in the early eighties, thats the only one my son could find in all his music memorabilia. Lots of pictures, including David Lauser and Eric Clapton, and I think Ginger Baker? Even a old letter from Sam himself, when he was with Montrose.
    Anyway, what prompted this was Barry Fields (aslo deceased) daughter, Nikki wanted a copy of the early recording from the Caretakers.
    FYI, Erics music lives on, well somewhat, in our son. He too is talented but does hold a day job working as an Engineer for UP Railroad.
    If you know of any recordings, please notify me here, I will check back periodically.
    Thanks again,

    Do you know a guy named Neil Paris (Perris?)

    • Hi Angela,

      I am Sammy Hagar’s niece, Shelli. Sammy is looking for Barry & Eric’s Parents or info regarding them. Can you forward me any info regarding the Field’s family and their contact info? Thank you, I can reached at : shellicotriss@gmail.com

  11. Angela, Here’s some old info on Eric that most people don’t know. The first time we saw Eric he was playing a school carnival at Monterey Elementary in San Bernardino. He was on stage by himself with a guitar, amp and mike. We were all into the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the rest of those British Bands. Eric was up there doing Elvis and Chuck Berry. At first we thought he was bad. Actually we were jealous. none of us could play a lick. We all got instruments and started to learn. We ask Eric to join us and that’s how THE ALMOST was formed. We were together for a couple of years and became a pretty decent band. We use to practice in the back of Lier’s Music store and at Benton and Ken Mosteller’s house on 5th St. We added Bruce Robertson to the group and played many Battle of the Bands and clubs in San Bernardino & Riverside.

  12. Bryan Minner, Do you know how to get in touch with Bruce Robertson? Tell him Gary from THE ALMOST is looking for him. THANKS

    • Gary Pinnell, regarding Bruce Robertson? I did not know him, but I’ll ask Bill Murray or Andy Gray. Perhaps Bill Murray join the band (Caretakers) on Keyboard in the late 60’s. I recall there were some recordings made. Also Bill, with the help of Andy Gray, just recorded a single that he co-wrote.
      I’ll ask him about Bruce.

  13. Great blog! Loved the Caretakers’ version of East Side Story. Doug Brown who produced this is the same Doug Brown from the Omens and Bob Seger association. Runaway Productions as it says on the label comes as a Del Shannon reference. Del Shannon’s organist Max Crook recorded Seger in his Ann Arbor home around summer/fall 1961 with “The Lonely One” and “Jackie The Thief.” Max remembers Seger as “a pimple faced 16 year old eager to cut a record and become a star.” Del Shannon and Doug Brown bumped into each other at Ollie McLaughlin’s house in Ann Arbor, MI. Ollie was a DJ there and discovered Max Crook, who later introduced him to Del. Doug Brown hooked up with the Hideout crowd in Detroit, eventually running with underaged kids Dan Bourgoise (later to become Del Shannon’s manager and open Bug Music), and Stephen Monahan (who recorded on VeeJay and Kapp). Del’s wife Shirley Westover bowled in a league at Norwest Lanes at Norwest and 14 Mile in Southfield, Michigan. While waiting for Shirley to finish her bowling, he caught Doug Brown and the Omens doing a set. They became fast friends and Del funded a recording session at United Sound Systems Studios in Detroit around 1964. Doug Brown and Bob Seger sang “Alone In The Crowd” and “Until I Saw You Cry”. Del was the ‘talking’ voice in the background of “Alone In The Crowd.” Stephen Monahan also attended and sang on that session, which yielded “Please Tell Bobby Not To Cry”, “I Don’t Mind,” and “Too Good To Be True.” “True” included Del Shannon again singing “wee-ooo” in the background, using this on his “Keep Seachin'” Top 10 hit around this same time. Del Shannon also cut two songs himself at this session that were never released: “Just You” which he wrote for Elvis, and “Here Comes That Fool In Love Again” with the intention of shopping to a girl group on his upcoming Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour. Doug Brown starting working with Mickey Stevenson in Detroit, and produced the group “The Wanted” on A&M Records. Mickey started a new label called Venture in California, and asked Doug Brown if he wanted to write and produce for the label. Doug agreed, changed his name to Dugg Brown and produced the group Southwind. Dugg Brown (along with Dan Bourgoise) produced Brian Hyland on Dot Records, the mega rare but mega cool “Come With Me” (co-written by Brown and Hyland) b/w “Delilah” (co-written by Del Shannon and B Hyland). Dugg Brown also produced (again with Bourgoise) Del Shannon’s 1968 psychedelic album “The Further Adventures of Charles Westover” on Liberty Records. About this same time, Dugg joined the band Southwind replacing Phil Hope on organ, and changed his name to Fontaine Brown. As Fontaine, he released a “Fast Fontaine” LP, and wrote some material for Dave Edmunds including “Closer To The Flame”. This year he is releasing a new album produced by Don Dixon.

  14. Brian
    Thanks for all that info! Very interesting story. I’ve always been intrigued (but don’t know much) about Del Shannon’s work in the mid-to-late 60’s work on his own records and with other acts.

  15. To whom concerned…Neil Paris is probably Neo Paris & The Futures..Andy Gray managed The Caretakers who were an opening act for many shows at defunct Swing Auditorium in Berdoo in 60’s..The late Johnny Holcombe was somewhat the soul of the group..There was a fringe association between them and the Good Feelins and Mike Kravitz..A good source is Mike Stax who publishes “Ungly Things”…Much of the SoCal sound in that era developed in Muscoy, CA

  16. Angela, I have A recording with Eric singing several songs if you are interested. This recording was done in the late 80’s I think . It has Eric ( guitar vocals), my brother Benny ( bass), Tim Start ( guitar vocals) and Larry Gabbert (drums) Eric sings Polk Salad Annie, Georgia, Flip Flop and Fly, and Lend Me A Dime

    • Hi Ken,

      I don’t know if you will check back, but I would be very much interested in that recording. Eric was my uncle. Barry was my dad. Please contact me at 0mag-mblx at spamex.com. (Sorry about the weird address–to reduce spam, I use disposables online) I hope to hear from you. Thank you!

  17. Most of the bands I knew came from Rialto, Fontana,San Bernardino and Riverside. The Original Southside Blues Band with Buddy Reed, The Youngblood with Dave Lauser, The Bush with Greg Eckler, The Justice Brothers with Sammy Hagar, The Misunderstood, The Almost with Eric Fields & Bruce Robertson, Ben & ken Mosteller and Myself. I can’t remember the Bands from Muscoy. Could you please list them.

    • What about The Friends and Relations? We were hot there for awhile. Opened at the Swing for The Doors, Eric Burdon and War, Blue Cheer (yuck). Opened for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap at the Kaiser Dome. Played at the Mystic Eye, Purple HAZE, even did a concert at UC Riverside with Steppin Wolf. Did gigs in Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear.

      • Was just talking about them yesterday as someone mentioned “Mother Lizards Ball” Our band (Touch) opened for Friends and Relations, ahh gosh 1968-69, at this age I can’t pull out any names, one guy played “Vibes” they all has the new “Acoustic” amps, we were all jealous.

      • Yeah! TOUCH! That was the last concert I did with the band at Mother Lizard’s Ball. We were all in debt to Glenn, the drummer’s Dad who bought the Acoustic amps. Every penny we made went straight back to him. Soooooo much fun!

    • Hello Gary,
      I remember The Original Southside Blues Band & Buddy Reed. The Youngblood and Dave Lauser…before I was in the Original Y.B. Blues Band. I was friends with Greg and Bob from the Bush, White Pepper, Psalm 32 etc. I often saw the Justice Brothers play up on Highland ave. 3 piece power trio. I saw Sammy open for Eric Burden at the Branding Iron after it got sold. He wore Red pants even then. I remember when Steve Hoard and Glen Campbell left for England to play with the Misunderstood. I remember Eric Fields and Bruce Robertson. Oh and we used to practice in Muscoy when Larry Polk lived there for a while. Good times. We did alot of opening act stuff at the Swing for Spirit and the Iron Butterfly also opened for the Who in Santa Barbra with the Caretakers. I grew up with Donny Ferro Bass player for the Caretakers…we were neighbors and went to Catholic school together. Hey Do you remember Tommy Hilton and Michael Lanning they played in Jiva. Got signed by George Harrison on his Dark Horse label. I knew those guys as band rivals in the day but Tommy was a good friend of mine. He also went to St. Adelaide. We played all the time at the Purple Haze opened for the Seeds and then they had come in early when we were doing sound check and all they did was steal our bass players connecting cord for his Vox Bass. They were also wearing dresses. Sky Saxon and all were very druged up. Got back on their bus and so we had to play 2 sets that night. What great daze. Let me know if you remember any of us from then. You seem to remember everyone.

      • I’am sorry but I’am drawing a blank on your name. I knew Sammy because he was friends with Eric and Barry Fields and we practiced in the back of Lier’s together once. We knew David and Greg and Buddy from playing Battle of the Bands. I also went to H.S. with Buddy. Do you remember Ben and Ken Mosteller ? Me, Eric, Bruce, Ben and Ken played in a band together. We use to practice in their shop on E. 5th st. in San Bernardino. Was your bands photo on the wall at Lier’s ?

  18. How many of the Good Feelins are still with us? I’ve lost track of Ken Myers. I hope he’s still around …. I’d like to publicly acknowledge how supportive Buddy Reed was to me when I auditioned for his band some 40 years ago. I was clearly overmatched at that time, but he encouraged me to continue developing and offered some tips to improve my style. I’ll never forget his professionalism.

    • buudy is living up in northeren calif, seem to be doing ok. i did talk with him about a month ago. but not like the ole day on south street.

  19. RE: Muscoy Sound.?..A 60’s underground developed in Muscoy and not sure of pop band names from there…Plenty of ranches, grange and Muscoy Inn…Some hippy groups..Sally Thomas hosted Taj Mahal, Son House, Odetta, Clabe, etc…Jim Ringer and his singing wife… Lots blue grass/folk..Blue Cheer, Jefferson Airplane, etc appeared at ranch just past wash on left along dirt road off Cajon…Many local artists learned art forms in Muscoy which merged into rage and expression.

  20. were is buddy reed now i remember him when i lived on south st in rialto back in the 60’s let me how to get intouch with him
    thank chuck

  21. I just talk to Buddy reed today he is living up in Northen Calif, sound ok. I lived clost to buddy as a kid. and its good to know that he is still singing the blues so yes buddy is alive and well to all who knows him go to buddy reed/com

    chuck armstrong

  22. Hi guys. I am a huge Garret Lund fan, and had no idea how much mystery was behind all this until the past few days. I am manager at Trademark Recordings in Los Angeles and I would love to get into contact with anyone from The Undertakers. I see that Gary Pinnell has commented here, but he didn’t leave an email. I am really interested in interviewing Gary Pinnell or Bruce Robinson. Anyone with information please write me here:


    • I continue to try to find Bruce/Garrett Lund. Bruce was the lead singer in the group called The Almost in San Bernardino, CA. Benton and Eric have passed away. Bruce, Ken and myself are whats left of the band.

      • How about Johnny Holcomb…he played with them when we were in High School, at San Bernardino High, in 1966-67 era. I rode in their Hurse they use to cruise town in and pack their gear in. Black with dark purple velvet interior.
        Steve Portias

      • Hello Gary, there are a huge lot of rumours arround the net made by some stupid record collectors out there, pointing Bruce, now Garrett as a mistery man.
        A lot of blah blah without any kind of background, just big mouths trying to be smarter than smart.
        While doing the Garrett Lund CD Re-Issue with Andy Grey, I have found Garrett!
        All I can say is that it was a heavy conversation in the beginning but after a while, I just started to love this freaked out guy called Bruce Gordon Robertson!!!
        He´s real crazy, but I´m as crazy as he ever can be so we understood each other perfectly!
        So now big mouth collectors out there, stop making untrue noises and rumours about Bruce, no one of you ever spoke to hing, but me!

        Gary, please get in touch with me and I will give you all the information that you need to find Bruce.

        Miguel Rodriguez, Germany


  23. Thanks for this great blog. I loved the Inland Empire concert scene in the 1960’s. I was a regular at a lot of shows at the Swing Auditorium and occassionally I made the trek over to the Purple Haze over there on the Tyler Mall end of Riverside.

    It’s great to read about the Caretakers and the other local San Bernardino/Riverside local bands of those great days.

    I went to school with Eric Fields and Neil Paris in Fontana in the 1960’s. I remember Eric Fields from Fontana Junior High School (probably around 1964). I wasn’t a musician but I loved to keep track of what was going on. Eric seemed to be somewhat eccentric, he was definately his own person. I remember one day in particular when he had a guitar with him and he stood on one of the benches in the “quad” area of the school and started to play (probably at lunch time). A large group of students gathered around to listen and watch him play. I’ll always remember Eric as a unique individual.

    • Eric played lead guitar and was one of our lead singers in The Almost. The rest of the group were Ben & Ken Mosteller, Bruce Robertson and Gary Pinnell. You are right, Eric was a unique person but he could play that guitar with style. We use to practice @ Ben & Ken’s house on 5th st. in San Bernardino and Lier’s Music on E ST. We were all friends and enjoyed playing music. We played The Swing Auditorium @ Battle of Bands and the local clubs.I miss those times.

      • Hello,
        I played in a group in San Bernardino in the 60’s for a while also …well lots of groups but the one I played with that got to open at the Swing for many acts was the Original Y.B.Blues Band. It was Larry Polk lead vocals and Harp, Rick Joslin drums, Alfred Navorre Lead and background vocals and Ray Auirre Bass. Oh and by the way I grew up with the bass player of the Caretakers and was wondering why no one ever mentioned Donny Farro. He was my best friend for years. Did a lot of traveling around with Bill Fernandez too. Actually I remember we opened for the Caretakers and the Who in Santa Barbra at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in 1968. What a gas…was in battle of the bands with the House of DBS which was Rod Piazza’s band then. played at the Purple Haze on opening and following nights. Seed, Yardbirds, and too many to remember. Will always miss Jim Hoard forever great kid and man later. Was just up for a visit 2 years ago for the reunion in Yuciapa saw Greg Ekler playing with his new religious band Psalm something…knew him and Bob Anglian from the Bush…cover the song with a band once that creepy tune they did later called “there on her vanity” I think…miss those daze. Where is Bill Fernandez? and if anyone knew us guys from back then I would love to get together with Larry Polk or Ray Aguirre and of course Alfred Navorre…I have never lost Rick Joslin’s friendship. Please reply.
        Lynn E. Brown

  24. Just found all these comments. Been looking for info on The Caretakers for years.

    I have a good quality MP3 of East Side Story as well as the flip side if anyone is interested.

    Here’s what I’m looking for, if I am correct the followup single was a cover of Bob Dylan’s “all over now baby blue” I remember it live, cripes they did a great version

    any memories of that

    • Bruce’s CD Almost Grown has a cut of Baby Blue on it. It’s really good. Contact Ugly Things magazine about getting it.

  25. O.K. I might be putting things together, after countless hours on the internet. Bruce and Garrett are the same. The one thing that always fascinated me the few time I saw The Caretakers was the “Pedal Steel guitar player” unheard of at that time, which was also on the single “East Side Story” Am I correct that it was Glenn Ross Campbell, later of the misunderstood. Gary help me here , the name of the Keyboard and bass player ??

    Gawd I had photos of them for years (now lost in the shuffel)


    • Hi Denis, I do know that Bruce was lead singer, Eric Fields played guitar. The rest of the band consisted of Bill Burray, Bill Fernandez, Don Ferro and Jim Cain. If anyone out there know’s where Bruce is let me know. Thanks.

  26. I saw Billy Fernandez’s name appear in this thread…Is this the Billy Fernandez who is a drummer and played with the early concerts of the reunited ‘Monkees’ in the mid-1970s? If so, I am urgently trying to track him down and any leads would be greatly appreciated — I am writing a book on Dolenz Jones Boyce and Hart, the half-Monkees reunion in question…

  27. Johnny Holcomb played with them for several years. They played at almost all of our San Bernardino High School dances in the 1965-67 era. Rode in their old Caddie Hurse which was black with purple velet interior that cruised around the old original McDonalds on 14th and “E” Street, and also used it to pack their gear in. Johnny now lives out of state, but his daughter Lisa lives across the street from me.
    Steve Portias

      • Miguel, thanks so much on that info about Bruce. I was friends with him for many years (as well as Kenny, Benny, Eric and Gary in The Almost years) and I’ve been thinking about him and wondering how he is. I’m so excited to hear about the reissue of the Garrett Lund album. He brought me the demo stuff when he was working on it and it’s great to know that he finished it to such wonderful reviews. My name was Mary Sluder then and he always meant a lot to me, so it’s good to know that he’s doing well. And thanks Gary for all your info on the band. I’m sad to hear of Eric and Benny’s passing.

    • YES and billy fernandez was the drummer…would love to find him

      Carol letro….dated him from 1967-1969

  28. I’m not now nor have I ever been a musician but I was fortunate enough to know and hang with, back in the day, the Original Y.B. Blues Band. For a short time they were called the Youngbloods, but we all know what happened there. I’ve seen no mention of Jamie Brzezinski (lead guitar) or Jack Blair (keyboard). I knew Jamie and Dave Lauser (drums) from Holy Rosary and met Larry Polk (vocals and harp) at Aquinas (I think he was sent there to straighten out). Larry was from Muscoy by the way, maybe he brought some of that “raw” to the band. I remember you too, Lynn Brown. I even got to go to the recording of “Cold, Cold Fog” somewhere in Riverside. And to a club where the guys opened for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Mike DeSantos, also from Aquinas played bass for a while. I also got to know some of the Caretakers during that time. Jim Eddy used to give me a ride home from school sometimes and Donny was in some of my classes. Bill Fernandez also went to Aquinas. I remember the Hearse pulling up to collect them for a promo at KMEN radio. I know some of the Friends and Relations went to Aquinas too, can’t remember the names though. The back of Liers was a fun place to be to hear the locals practice. Damn, I had fun when I was a kid.

    • Hi Mike. This is Jim Eddy. I don’t know if you will read this as it is a few years later. I am still around living in Northern Cal. I haven’t seen Bill in a few years. I was just doing some looking to see if there was anything about the caretakers and found this blog. Being one of the original members I did not know some of the later members. It is nice to know some have some fond memories of the group. I was doing a little reminiscing myself. My old guitar is 50 years old and has become a sought after classic. I am 50 years older and am not a sought after classic. Good thing life is great.

      I have been thinking of putting a few of our demos up some place for all to hear. Need to find an old record player as the demos are on vinyl.

      Regards to all who might read this,
      Jim Eddy

      • Hey, Jim, nice to hear from you. Hope all the years have treated you kindly. Don’t you wish you still had your old Corvair as well as the old guitar. You used to give me a ride home from time to time in that car when I wasn’t doing “jug” after school. I’m glad this site went up so those of us who remember the good times back then can share some memories. Hope to read more about you and the band. Take care, Jim. Mike Holmes Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 02:38:54 +0000 To: chromedome51@hotmail.com

      • Hi Mike,

        Great to hear from you. I .graduated from the Corvair to a 65 GTO. I still have the old guitar. My wife still wishes we had the GTO. I was thinking of selling the guita for a nice acoustic one. I didn’t know it was worth something. I am still playing some music but am now playing a bass. It is at my church now. Imagine that! My high school sweetheart is still my sweetheart. We will celebrate 46 years next February. You might remember we got married while still in our senior year.

        How are you? It is hard to believe the years have passed. Are you still in the area? Do you see any of the old classmates. Being in Northern Cal I have not stayed in touch much. The last couple of times that I saw Bill Fernandez it was at funerals. The last being for Richard Cabrera who was one of the real early members of The Caretakers. He was a really gret guy and one of our classmates at Aquinas.

        I had a bout with leukemia 5 years ago. Jim 1 and leukemia 0. If you know anything about cancer 5 years is good.

        I look forward to hearing from you as well as others. Those were good times. I am enjoying really good time now as well.

        Good to hear from you,

      • I think it’s wonderful that you and your wife have taken a high school romance and nurtured it into a life long love affair. That’s incredible. I too live in Northern California. I’ve been in the Redding area for over 30 years now and I visit San Bernardino fairly regularly but I don’t have contact with old classmates. I’ve tried to dig some up (so to speak) on Facebook but to no avail. I’m glad you knocked down that leukemia. I’m coming up on 5 years since my prostatectomy. Not so devistating as leukemia but I didn’t like it. Feeling great though. Gotta go get ready for work so I’ll see ya later. Mike Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 19:19:45 +0000 To: chromedome51@hotmail.com

  29. My brother, Mike, remmebers a lot more than I do about the San Bernardino Music Scene, but one of my fondest memories is sneaking back stage at the Swing Auditorium. It was either a Turtles concert or Lee Michaels…. or maybe it was both.. it was a long time ago. One of our Aquinas associates did some fast talking and got us backstage. We lasted quite a while helping the roadies. I tried to help myself to the buffet table and blew my cover and got kicked out. One othe best memories of my youth.

    In the early seventies, we used to hang at the “quad” at San Bernardino Valley College on Friday at noon. If I am not mistaken, Barbara and Gary played there. I can remember wishing I could play guitar like Gary….

    When are the Stones coming back to Berdoo? Don’t they owe us a return visit? It could be some kind of benefit or something.

  30. Come all ,you all. No more memories of the Friends and Relations? WE opened for the DOORs and ErIC BURDON AND WAR in 67 and 68 at the SWING, Gary Pucket and the Union Gap (yes! can you believe it?_ at the Kaiser Dome), and did a great concert with Steppin’ Wolf at UC Riverside. We did many college parties, high school homecomings. Performed at the Sugar Shack in Big Bear and some other place I can’t remember the name of in Lake Arrowhead, the Mystic Eye with the LIGHT, headlined at the Purple Haze,and Mother Lizard’s Ball with Lee Michaels and Frosty who played the drums with his bare hands and the crowd went wild.

  31. Did anyone know Barry & Eric Fields sister Stephanie? I’m trying to locate her for Sammy. I know she still lives in the San Bernardino area, but I don’t know her married name. Does anyone know where she is?

    • I am Stephanie’s niece (Barry’s daughter). I should be able to reach Stephanie for you. Email me at 0mag-mblx at spamex.com.

  32. Buddy Reed’s first band was called the Exit. that was before buddy and Rod, and dickie started south side blues band, Buddy was living on south street in Railto. I use to sit in the livingroom and here them play.

  33. “The Caretakers Rule”
    I was a Caretaker …
    We had two legendary singers:
    Bruce Robertson AKA Garret Lund &
    Eric Fields who played the guitar like a ring in the bell…
    Jimmy Kain, our band leader played a left handed rythem guitar…
    Donny Farrell on Bass…
    Billy Fernandez, “The Fat Man” though he was trim and an athlete on Drums..
    There were 6 giant Fender Duel-man Amps set up prior to performance by a road crew of 6 to 7 roadies headed by Dell Durham…
    Our light show team were the pioneers of the era’s lighting and later became copied…
    We were the premier band…No one had the kind of promotion we had from the late Andy Gray “Productions” and management…
    Who presented almost every major concert at the great Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino…Manager of the “Teen Center” to become the Purple Haze…where we would draw over 2,000 kids not counting the overflow in the parking lot…
    We were the first to power on the steam machine spraying into the dark from the stage..Andy would make the announcement…in his deep rich voice…”Ladies and Gentlemen…the Caretakers…to screaming cheers standing room only… first real powerful wall of sound…full light show spot lights out front…an event…We had No.1 hits on KFXM radio in San Bernardino and air play in LA…
    7 recordings I have…Bruce…Jimmy…and I were the writers…”One way Street My Favorite (I am on Hammond B-3) in the “Trane Days…
    In the late 60’s the band merged into Trane. The late Chris Malloy on Steel, the late Jesse Llamas on lead (later guitar center teacher) Steve Gray (not a relative of Andy) on drums…Chris, Steve, and I were Riversiders…
    We were living the dream…
    Bill Murray

    • Hi Bill,

      If you would be willing to share any recordings you have with Eric Fields on them, I would love to have them. Eric was my uncle, but I don’t have any of his recordings.

      Thank you!

      • Hello Nikki,
        First time on a blog for me and may loose you do to my technical limitations…
        Ah Eric Fiels…a true emotional troubadour…would bear his soul when he sang with his distinctive tenor vibrato…I mean the man would get down on his knees and look up like in a prayer…yes he sang a Bill Bellman KFXM producer with Andy who insisted on using one of his compositions on one side of the singles he financed…and not looking at my collection…Eric was featured on “Heart of Love”. I will have to dig out of the garage…and we were far from a “garage band”…
        I should have mentioned our black hurst painted psychedelic we used as an equipment truck with “Caretakers” dripping down in bright paint parked out front of the concert halls as part of the show…like the night we opened before the “Who” can you believe wanted to borrow our amps (correction – Fender Dual Showmans 6 of them) at the time they were wrecking gear…This was all prior to their “Magic Bus” copy…we opened for them at the Santa Monica Civic…and numerous other concerts around Southern Cal..
        …anyways I would be happy to forward your Uncles recordings…where can I send them?

    • Thank you so much, Bill! Please email me at 0mag-mblx at spamex dot com. Sorry for the goofy email address–it’s a disposable used to prevent spam. I will respond from my real address. I can pay you for materials and shipping if you don’t have the ability to convert to digital format. Whatever is needed. I very much appreciate this, and I would love to hear more stories from you. I really know very little about my uncle’s (or my dad’s) early years.

      • Hello Nikki, I knew your dad and uncle before Eric became a Caretaker. He played in a band called The Almost with me, the Mosteller brothers and Bruce Robertson.Your dad hung out with us all the time. He would also set in on practices and play the harmonica. Your dad and uncle and I practiced in the back of Lier’s Music store one time with their friend Sammy Hagar before he went to San Francisco. Your dad was a real nice guy we all liked him alot. I remember your aunt to. She was pretty young back then. This was in the late 60’s. I can tell some stories of back then if you would like. Gary.

      • I would love to hear your stories, Gary. Please feel free to email me at the address I gave Bill. Thank you, and take care!

      • Gary, many of us who were friends with The Almost and The Caretakers would love to hear your stories, so post them here! 🙂

  34. I was born and raised in Riverside. I remember the Mystic Eye, The Gasser and Purple Haze…pretty cool. There was also a place I remember that was out on Magnolia Blvd & Tyler St. called The Playpen (I think it was a strip joint). It was near the A & W drive-in. I remember hearing the Caretakers doing “Eastside Story”. I have a copy of the Bob Seger version. Thank you for this site, its a lot of fun for “oldsters”. I live in Seattle and looking back is fun once in a while.

  35. I can tell you for a fact that Bruce Robertson a.k.a. Garrett Lund is alive and well in Calimesa, Ca. and he still sings like a bird.

  36. I just discovered a great internet radio station, psychedelicized.com, they focus on those great psychedelic years. A review of their playlist on their website shows that the Caretakers recording “Epic” is in their rotation. They’ve got a very large playlist so it might take awhile to work around to it.

    • Just thought I’d leave a note. This evening internet radio station psychedelicized.com played “Epic” by our Caretakers. I don’t listen all the time. For those of us who grew up in Southern California the music is pretty much what was on KMET and KLOS from the mid 60’s to mid 70’s.

  37. Stumbled across this website while looking for information on the Swing in San Bdno. It was a pleasant trip down memory lane. I read about people I went to high school with: Mike Holmes, Donny Ferro, Jim Bryzinski, Bill Fernandez, Jim Eddy, Larry Polk; middle school: Dave Lauser; even grammar school: Ken Mosteller. I lived 2 blocks from Ken and rode the bus to Monterey elem with him and his brother. Those were definitely some great times and the groups that would play at the Swing were really amazing. I lost track of how many times I saw Lee Michaels and Frosty back then.

    • Hey, Wayne, old Aquinas mate. Cool to see your post on here. Glad you’re still among the breathing. The older I get the more I realize what a special time and place we lived in as teenagers/young adults. Keep your head rockin’.

      • I was surprised to see your post as well. Went back to Aquinas a couple years ago for a bbq get -together ran into Dave Stubben and Chuck Street, it was great to talk about the “good old days”!

    • Wayne, my name is Gary Pinnell. I’ve known the Mostellers all my life. I lived on 5th St.the oppisite side of the st. about 3 houses down, played drums in The Almost with them.

  38. I remember one day we were practicing in the back of Lier’s Music store and Eric’s brother Barry brought his friend Sammy Hagar in to listen to us practice. We thought he was cool because he loved music as much as we did.

  39. Hi all,
    My father, Tom Draper, owned Lier’s Music in Oceanside. I used to go in the back room with my brothers and sister when I was just a little girl to listen to you all practice. My dad is in his eighties now and doing very well. I bet he would really enjoy hearing from some of you! Suzy Draper

  40. An add – on to my previous post… As I said, I bet my father would love to hear from some of you and I will pass along any posts to him :). He speaks fondly of those days, listening to all of you practice, battle of the bands, etc. I sure wish I had one of those old Lier’s a go go tee shirts! Suzy

  41. Oops, this is Suzy again. I made a mistake on my previous post. I meant to say my dad, Tom Draper, owned Lier’s in San Bernardino. After he sold it ( I think in the 80s), he opened another Lier’s in Oceanside. I meant to say that I think he would love to hear from some of you that practiced in the San Bernardino back room, and I used to listen to your bands practice when I was a little girl. If you want to pass along a hello to my dad, I’ll pass it along for you 🙂

    • Tom: really glad Suzanne posted this, you have no idea how that simple back room practice influenced my career, see I was only about 14 at the time, cripes I couldn’t afford any of those gigantic (for the day) Fender amps, so you gave me the opportunity to actually plug into something that had real sound, at least compared to my “Silvertone” bass amp, That was the early beginning of a 20 year music career. thanks so much

      Denis Winters

  42. Thank you, Denis! Your words will mean so much to my dad! I am going to call him today and read him your sweet message. Thanks again, Suzanne

  43. Hello Tom, Thank you for everything you did for all of us young want to be Rock stars. I played in a group called The Almost. It included Ben and Ken Mosteller, Eric Fields and Bruce Robertson/Garret Lund. Eric and Bruce went on to play in The Caretakers and Bruce cut a album. Ben played in a group with Sammy Hagar and Jesse Llamas. I went to Vietnam and came back to play music in a country band for a couple of years. I still have a drum kit set up in my house. You will be forever remembered by many. Thank You. Gary Pinnell.

  44. Thank you so much for writing, Gary. My dad will be so interested in learning about what happened with you and your buddies and the paths that your lives took with music. Your kind words will mean so much to him. When I next talk to him on the phone, I will read him your message, and I’ll also let him know about this blog. Thanks again so much, Suzanne

    • I also forgot to say that Lier’s was where I got my first drum kit. They kept our bad supplied with guitar strings and drumsticks.

  45. Hi,this is Bill Draper. I’m Tom Draper’s son. I spent a lot of my youth hanging out at Lier’s. I remember when some of the bands would be in the practice room, I would sneak behind the amps, killing the power. The guys playing would think they “blew” the amps. The things we do when we are kids! I have great memories of Liers Music. I actually still have one of those t-shirts.

  46. Remember the photo wall with all the local bands ? We all considered it an honor to be up there. Your dad did such a great thing by giving us all a place to practice. It was our home away from home.

  47. Hi Gary,
    Thank you so much for your comments. I read them to my dad over the phone and they meant a lot to him. I am also going to print the posts left by you and Denis Winters and send them to him. I also told him about this blog, and hopefully he’ll check it out. I do remember the photo wall of all of the bands that practiced at Lier’s. My dad remembers all of you fondly. I also remember him taking me to one of the battle of the bands when I was a little girl. Thanks again for writing, Gary. 🙂 Suzanne

  48. I remember the first time I met Sammy Hagar. His friend Barry Fields brought him to one of our band sessions in the back of Lier’s Music store. Barry’s brother Eric played lead guitar for us. The band also included Ben and Ken Mosteller, Bruce Robertson and myself. After we were done we went to Sammy’s and he showed us a red gibson guitar. Sammy,Barry,Eric and I also took a drive up in the San Bernardino Mts. in his black VW. Those were fin day’s.

  49. The Mosteller brothers Benton and Ken, me and my brother Rob grew up together on E. 5th St. We were always at each others houses. We got interested in music when we heard The Beatles on the radio. None of us had any musical training or instruments but that didn’t stop us. We listened to their music and memorized the words. We eventually got instruments and started to learn to play by ear. We went to a school carnival at Monterey Elementary and saw a guy singing and playing guitar. His name was Eric Fields and boy could he do a mean Chuck Berry. We talked him into joining our band. My brother Rob ended up starting a band with Tim Start.Benton, Ken, Eric and I thought of names and setlled on The Almost. We practiced in the shop @ Ben and Kens house. All of our friends would come and listen to us practice. One day Bruce Robertson showed up and asked if he could set in and sing. We said yes and the rest is history. The Almost was born and the fun began. We ended up making great friends. David Lauser, Sammy Hagar, Buddy Reed, I went to high school with Buddy. WE were in Art class together, we called him Ivan in school. Benton and Eric haved passed away and I miss them a lot. It was a wonderful time in our lives. To all our faithful friends who stuck by us and showed up at our gigs, Thank You.

    • Yes both Ben and Eric are missed what great musicians and great guys. Does anyone know how to contact Tim Start .?? Please let me know .

  50. I have business oil deal worth billions of dollars, can we partner to do business? if yes contact me for more info.

  51. Don Ferro, Bassist for the Caretaker’s still lives in San Bernardino. Bill Fernandez, drummer who went on to be a session drummer for the Monkeys, until they learned to play their own instruments, still lived in the Inland Empire; but I’ve lost contact.

    Feel free to contact me if you’d like to connect with Don. I’ll give him your information. If anyone has any old pictures of the band, I’d sure like to get some copies. I’m especially interested in pictures of their band vehicle – a black Hearse!

    • Hi Jeff. This is Jim Eddy. I have been following this post for a few years. I am one of the original members of the Caretakers. I went to school with Don and Bill and your sister. I have pictures of the early days with John Holcomb, Jim Cain, Don Ferro, Bill Fernandez and myself taken at Pioneer Cemetery as well as other newspaper clippings and photos and features from the local radio stations. I have a few of the old Buick Hearse. I also have 2 demo records from a couple of early recording sessions. One with “Walk Of The Dead” and “Thirteen North Shadow” on them which did not have Don playing the base and the other from Locy studios in Riverside with Don playing the base. I have tried to get the whole album that was made in Riverside (12 songs +/-) but was told it was lost in a fire or flood at Andy Grey’s home. I would be glad to share what I have with you or Don. I would be great to touch base with him. I saw Bill a few years ago and he was living near Lake Arrowhead. I have lost touch since then.

      I look forward to hearing from you, Jim

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