195 comments on “the Knight Riders – I

  1. re; the Knight Riders. I knew the Knight Riders, one and all. I went to the lead-guitar player’s (Butch Daniels) funeral service (stroke) a week ago last Saturday. There I was re-united with Butch’s former wife & his son & grandchildren, John Dawson, the band’s last bass-player, who I went to San Carlos HS with, and Jay Mierly. I also went to HS with the original bass-player, Rod Pearce, my next-door neighbor (who is now an exec with Standard Oil. The drummer, Michael Lentos, was killed in the last year of the band’s existence, and the rhythm-guitar player, Ryan Clark, ended his own life years later. That leaves Jay Mierly, vocalist, who is alive and well and not only is still into music, he looks great, as does John. I’ll check back periodically to see if anyone wants to know more or has any questions. Paul

    • I went to grade school with Mike Lentos. I remember when we were about 10 that he had the best Frankenstein mask for Halloween. He told me before he was murdered that he taught Mike Shrieve – formerely of Santana – how to play the drums and that they both practiced upwards of 8 hours a day. My mom who was an RN at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City was crying and told me that Mike had been shot and killed when I came home from leave from the Navy right about 1970 or 1971 or so. I don’t recall the exact time. I just remember my mother crying.

      • My name is Mike Blum, I was friends with Mike about the same time. I played Little League baseball with Mike Shrieve, Why was Mike Shot?

      • Hello Mike,

        I can’t answer your question but last heard about you from Stef. Unfortunatey he passed away in 2009. I still talk with Bruce once In a while hope you are doing well.

        Jim O

        Sent from my iPhone


      • Uncertain why Mike was murdered. I only remember my mother crying because she was a registered nurse at Sequoia Hospital where Mike died – coincidentally the place where I picked him up hitch hiking the last time I saw him as he talked a lot about his life and drums and Mike Schrieve.

      • I’m looking for a good photo of Butch Daniels for a Memorial slideshow I’m doing for Carlmont’s Class of 64 50th reunion. Does anyone have such a picture?

    • Looking for San Carlos High grads, circa ’65-’68 for a reunion – – August 24, 2013 at Sparky’s Hot Rod Garage in San Carlos, CA. Join us on Facebook – San Carlos Reunion or email at sancarloshigh@hotmail.com. Thanks for a great site….I’ve been looking for info regarding the Night Riders.

    • Gosh, Paul, you do get around, don’t you? I can’t believe I stumbled on this blog immediatly upon Googling the Knight Riders (totally on a sudden whim), and there you were! Jay is the only Rider I was in any way associated with, thanks to Greg’s sister. So many familiar names and places and memories here! How about that beer over which we were going to discuss the events of the past forty-some years since we last saw each other somewhere in San Carlos? Regardless of the fact that I’m a ’67 Carlmont grad, want to meet up at the reunion at Sparky’s in 2013? You think they’d let me in? You SAID, “If anyone has any questions…”
      Say yes and I’ll do my dangdest to get there from Texas.
      Vicki (Petersen) Copp

    • Hey Paul,

      I know that bass player also used to walk by San Carlos High on way to Heather Ele.. Sorry to hear about Butch .

      Take Care,
      Jamie ( The bass player’s daughter)

    • Just saw Jay and John at the Seqouia Alumni picnic on Saturday last. They both looked terrific and admitted to playing together still. Loved to dance to those tunes every chance we got in ’65-’66. They had fabulous energy and we had so much fu.

    • Paul Geller, not sure how I stumbled on this website but find it very interesting. Kinda like old home week so many people I knew as a kid on here: Mike Lentos, Mike Shrieve, Sue Mountain, John Dawson, Mike Blum. Reminds me of some good old days at Goodwin (Gauchos), San Carols High School, and Farm Hills! Always enjoyed hearing the Knight Riders play and remember spending an afternoon in Mike Lentos’ garage watching he and Mike Shrieve modify some cymbals. Oh duh, almost forgot to mention Lydia Pence and Dave Torbert (Grateful Dead) also from Goodwin Junior High. Must have been something in the water there. Quite the cluster of talented musicians!

  2. Paul
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving the information. I’ve loved this song for years and have never been able to locate any info about the band. What town were they from, and did they ever release anything on 45?

  3. Larry,
    The band originated with Virgil “Butch” Daniels, during his high school years at Carlmont HS, Belmont, Calif. Don’t know about the 45 question, but Jay Mierly (lead singer) is alive and well. He told me you can Google his name, as he is still involved in music. There are a few more songs available as far as I know, and neither Jay nor John receives any money from their sales. Paul

  4. PS. The instruments used were; Butch (lead) Fender Jaguar, Ryan (rhythm) Fender Strat, Rod (bass) Fender Precision (all were sunburst) and Mike played Ludwigs. It’s interesting to hear that someone from a different age “discovered” their so-called punk/garage sound. Because we were just high-school kids who happened to have the hottest band in the peninsula be our local band. From the Carlmont YMCA, the Redwood City American Legion Hall, the Terrace Club in RC, we were fortunate.

  5. I am glad I found these posts. Just recently I purchased the CD (The Autumn Teen Sound) with most of the Knight Riders songs on it, I didn’t even know there was any recordings done by them. I first met Mike Lentos in the 3rd grade at Henry Ford school in Redwood City, Ca. We remained friends for years until I was drafted in the late ’60’s. When I returned home I heard rumors of his death & was bummed. I could tell you a lot of great stories of things we did as kids usually at the instigation of Mike..lol.
    Once he had me draw a cartoon on a round piece of cardboard for his bass drum depicting a ‘Murph the Surf” type character riding a wave & holding a lantern. He had me spell the bands name as ‘Night Riders’ & tried to slip it in but I had to ad the ‘K’ at the demand of the other band members. It brought back many great memories to hear these songs. They were the greatest bay area group at that time. I’ll still miss Mike to this day.

    • I grew up in Belmont and lived on 508 Chesterton Ave., just on the corner from our house the Knight Riders would practice and I would sit and listen. I remmber Butch was a real nice guy I dont recall whos house that was its a memory thing I guess? Also later after I grad from Carlmont 1969 I meet Debbie Fredrickson and Mike Lentos was living in her back guest house and rememmber Debbie telling me not to tell anyone that he was there some motorcycle club wanted to find him I think? Anyway I would like to get a copy of all the The Autumn Teen Sound cd I really like there style where can I find a copy? I have a older brother Dan Kolstad you might reconize his name? class of 67.

      Takecare,Kenny Kolstad

  6. I can see the ‘Murph the Surf” type character riding a wave & holding a lantern
    on Mike’s bass drum. Butch doing a Chuck Berry duck-walk across the stage
    at The Cinnamon Tree (where another local band that played there The Warlocks would become The Grateful Dead) and Jay’s great vocals “I” was a major local hit.
    The Knight Riders could light it up Live any one who saw them knows.
    They had Belmont and Redwood City roots and in our neck of the woods
    before The San Franciso Sound and all the other bands became famous
    The Knight Riders were #1 The Hottest Band with a whole bunch of us.
    Was great to hear them and read the posts. Thanks for the trip.

  7. Another thing about The Knight Riders, most bands of that era
    still dressed in some kind of group uniform from the slick-back
    sharkskin suits of The Stingrays to the stripped shirts surf sound
    of The Fugitives 2+2 to the “gimmick” look of the Beau Brummels
    William Pen & His Pals and The Count Five down in San Jose.
    The Knight Riders dressed on stage like they did off stage.
    With mix of the street & the coast, they were the real deal.
    Another reason that they were our guys.
    There wasn’t anyone who wanted to take The Knight Riders on.
    In a battle of the bands they blew everyone I saw away.
    Driving the hometown crowds into dance’en frenzys.
    People my age from the SF Peninsula got to see all the great bands
    from the Fillmore & Avalon & Winterland days but the mention of
    The Knight Riders still puts a special smile on our faces.
    England had their Stones & Yardbirds we had The Knight Riders.
    Thanks again, you have great taste for the real deal.
    A kid named Mike, who used to watch and learn the drums from
    Mike in The Knight Riders, who was the best around, became the
    drummer for another local band a few years later named Santana.

  8. Thanks for you post, its cool to hear more from those that were there. Yes I remember Mike S. over at the Lento’s house on more then one occasion. He lived right around the corner from Mike L. As far as clothing my memory brings to mind what they wore in the early days as being Beatle Nehru type suits & then when the surf craze came along the exact look of the Beach Boys live album with striped short sleeve shirts & black pants, I guess I missed the street clothes era. I have been promised some photos of the group by a family member, if I get them I’ll post them here.

  9. Hey that is so awesome that you are listening to The Knight Riders!
    My dad is Jay Mierly, the singer and sometimes when he talked about his music career, I would think he was exaggerating a bit. Until he showed me some of the cd’s they are on. It’s creepy listening to their big hit “I” because it does sound like my dad just less high pitched now haha.

  10. Wow, I’ts really amazing to think that that song still stirs the juices. I know it still does mine, mainly because I was there. It’s amazing how music can instantly transport you to a distant place or time. I have visions of Mike L. pulling crazy stunts for the shock effect, Ryan Clark on Butch’s shoulders playing lead with the guitar behind his head, etc. Then there was the time when Ryan,16, was pulled off the stage at Big Al’s Gashouse in Belmont by his mom who had forbidden him to go out on a school night. Ah, the good old days when parents weren’t afraid to be parents. The gig went on without him, and the story came out in the papers the next day. It was a great ride that seemed like it would last forever. We were a family and I loved being a part of it.

    • Wow, this is really strange to hear people talking about the Kinight Riders and all the stuff that happened back then. You probably don’t remember me, but I went out with Michael Lentos for a while. I was pretty shy, blonde, and went to San Carlos High, class of 1968. I was sad to read in the blog that Michael was killed but to be honest, was not surprised. I guess you could say it was something I was always afraid would happen to him and it’s a bit spooky to hear that it actually happened. I remember one time he came over to my house in Farm Hills in Redwood City. When Michael saw that my brother had rifles he, decided to do some “target shooting” in the back yard and almost hit a lineman working on a pole. The police showed up at my door and my brother’s guns were confiscated until my parents went to sign for them. From that point on I had to sneak to see him. Can you tell me anything more about what happened to him or would that be too painful for you?

    • I have always remembered The Knight Riders all these years as a wonderful part of my teens. Takes me back to The Cinamon Tree!! Such great memories! I have thought of you, John, so many times over the years and have always hoped that life has been good to you. You deserve it!!

      • I was wondering if this is Kathy Bloebaum, my neighbor in San Carlos,just off Portofino… If it is, this is Art Klein, just another young drummer, at the time… Now an older drummer… Not to mention knowing most of you guys as I grew up and trying to pick up the mantle of music and make it mine…

    • I was the original drummer with the Knight Riders. I was playing at Big Al’s the night it happened. Paul Harvey mentioned it on his radio show the next day also. We started playing there for soda and pizza. We were all still in high school Butch and I went to Carlmont, Ryan went to Serra and Rod went to San Carlos. Rick Brandenburg was our 1st singer. There wasn’t any surf music or rock and roll on the peninsula at the time and we convinced Big Al’s to give it a shot. They said they would give us three weeks. The first week, no real audience, the second maybe 20-30, but the 3rd was a line outside. That was actually our first bar type gig.

  11. Great stuff from all of you, thank you. And thanks to funky16corners for starting this with his most perceptive review on ‘I’. To me the song sums up everything that is cool about ‘rock & roll’ then & now & is why the song still holds up so well. Someone should really start a website dedicated to this great band.

  12. This is great to read about the Knight Riders from people who were fans! I met Jay and John playing music, and those guys have told me a few stories about those days. They are both still playing, and they both still sound great. They are really good people. I’m a bit younger than those guys, and when the drama and partying of the 80s were over I quit playing music for a lot of years. I met Jay through a mutual friend, and when he heard I used to play he kept twisting my arm to come jam with him. When I finally did, I never looked back, now I play in several local bands and I love every minute of it. I feel like I owe the fun I have playing music to Jay, who pulled me back in.

  13. Wow,as Kori said “this is so cool”..As Jay’s (ex-wife)I remember hearing all the stories about “the band back in the day”. I remember when the family was in a record store years ago and our son Located The Knightriders on a copilation CD.The kids were so impressed with the sound. Jay and John still play occasionally and when they do their “Everly Bros. tribute”, there isn’t usually a dry eye in the crowd. I think their voices have grown better with age. They still play a remix of the oldie but goodie “I”, and “Where did I fail?”. If you ever get to hear them, its definitely worth the experience.

  14. The Cinnamon Tree hosted a good handful of peninsula bands. The Sit-Ins were pretty good and specialized in songs by the Animals (the keyboard player/singer wore a lon-hair wig!) & the Fugitives were pretty polished & specialized in Beach Boy songs. (They came to the American Legion Hall in Redwood City for a Battle of the Bands vs. the Knight Riders and won. However, the Knight Riders went to San Jose – the Fugitives home ground and beat them!) Everyone’s comments about them being the “real deal” are true (contrary to the Sit-Ins, John Dawson was one of the first around with long hair & even got tossed from school for it!) & they went through all kinds of little phases, always honing the act & adding the latest songs or a new original (which were the favorites). They played the Carlmont Y, the Redwood City American Legion Hall, the Cinnamon Tree and the Terrace Club in Redwood City regularly. I’m sure there were others, but I’m 58 now and you know what they say about the ’60’s……………………..

  15. Hi I’m Jay Mierly, I would like to thank everyone for all the kind words. There is a lot more to the saga. In the late 60’s the band changed it’s name to Jungle an went to Europe. Later coming back to the States and recording some stuff under that name. I do have a photo I just got . I will try and post it if I can figure out how to do that. Thanks again Jay Mierly Lead singer of the Knightriders.

  16. Hi Jay, thanks for your input. Has the songs that were recorded under the Jungle name ever been released on any compilation CD’s? Also was Mike L. still with the band when the group went to Europe? thanks

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  18. I also knew all the Knight Riders. I went to High School with Ryan and got to know him very well through the years. I also got to know all the others. I was very sad when Jay called me related to Butch passing away recently. He had an incredible voice and could sing so well with Jay that you would swear you were listening to Brian Wilson or Don and Phil Everly. I used to go see the group every chance I got and soon was playing in a band myself. In the last 10 years Jay, John and myself have been playing the old bands songs as well as others and bringing back the sound of those days. The group was one of a kind. I have enjoyed reading these blogs and Paul Geller, if you read this say hey. I havent seen you in like forever. Jay told me he is going to try and post a picture of the group.

  19. oh yes the cinnamon tree, terrace club, legion hall & dancing to the knight riders. Don’t forget the cross and the rock in Redwood City. John and I had a typing class together at San Carlos High School..strange huh. Yes John was expelled for his long hair which he absolutely refused to cut..

  20. No, Lydia was with The New Invaders, a horn band that specialized in R&B tunes. Great band. Some of the players were her classmates at Sequoia HS. Lydia is still playing with Cold Blood. The Sit-Ins were a four piece group (Organ, Guitar, Bass, & Drums) with Don Perazzi (in a longhair wig) on Organ, Greg Ferber on Drums, and Tito and Dino Dal Porto on Bass and Guitar. They played mostly Animals stuff. Another great group.

    • John, Lydia and Cold Blood played tonight at The Smoking Pig in Fremont…
      i was talking to Danny Elmore tonight and we were reminiscing about the band(s)
      and he wondered about you and asked when Butch passed… 9 years ago next saturday.
      when Danny & Gary Turner visit in April or May, we’ll try to find some music if someone
      will post it here. and, let me know if you’re interested in seeing them.
      Really love this blog… great memories. thanks

      • Hey Janet, I’d love to see Danny and Gary. If you would email me the details, I’d appreciate it.

  21. Hi from Sydney Australia, it’s great to read about the Knight Riders especially the comments by Jay and others who saw the group live. I recently purchased an acetate 45 of the Knight Riders “I” (2nd Mix), and on the flipside is a completely unreleased cut called “I Cannot Cry” (3rd Mix). It’s a nice piece reminisacnt of the Beatles and written by R. Clark. A question for Jay – can you remember how this acetate may have come into existence? It says “Autumn Records” at the top of the label, but the real origin of the acetate is unknown. By the way, the extended version of “I” sounds awsome on this disc!

    • I would like to ask you if you could send me a copy of each of the songs you have I lived and grew up on 508 Chesterton Ave in Belmont and went to Carlmont class of 69. The Knight Riders practiced down the corner from my house and was lucky enough to have sat in and listened and remmber Butch was real nice to me he was a great guy.

      Ken Kolstad

  22. Before Lydia joined The New Invaders she was a member of The Siit-Ins
    You don’t have Domingo as a Sit-In member so you must have caught up
    wiith what ever the Sit-Ins were later, Domingo was a horn player.
    Ask Lydia next time you see her. Happy Trails

  23. Ran across this someone left a few years ago as a myspace blog on Bay-Area
    bands of the Mid-60’s pre-“Hippie” Ballroom era, he missed Butch as lead and might not be 100% accuarate but was fun to read thought ya all might enjoy.

    “The Knight Riders
    The group had formed in the surf era and quickly gained a reputation for raising hell. They’d employ their fans to intimidate other kids at Battle Of The Bands, openly smoke dope when most of their musical peers hadn’t even gotten their first taste of alcohol, and “borrow” other groups’ amplifiers and stage clothes, returning them with switched speakers or ripped sleeves. They were notable not only for their strong originals, but also for their personnel: arrogantly confident lead player Ryan Clark, the Arthur Lee-like figure of black guitarist Virgil “Butch” Daniels, and most of all, drummer and leader Mike “Mad Dog” Lentos, a legendary character prone to lighting cherry bombs underneath unsuspecting victims or happily pilfering equipment from combos foolish enough to lend it out. Vocalist Jay Mierly and bassist Rodney Pearce rounded out the outfit. While they were very popular on the peninsula at teen spots like Big Al’s Gas House, the Knight Riders rarely ventured from their home turf. Despite an attempt at a single (“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”) a couple of months later for Autumn Records, no release eventuated, and by 1966 the group was no more. ”

    City: San Carlos – home of nothing, really

  24. Butch was the Lead Guitar, wasn’t he? I did talk to some of my old Sequoia people
    who all remember Lydia with the Sit-In’s before The New Invaders but I’ll let Lydia speak for herself & let it be. I do know what ever intimidation factor The KnightRider
    fans had during Battle of the Bands sounds way more Redwood City than Belmont
    or San Carlos who never Intimidated Redwood City or Sequoia. That’s for sure.
    Happy Trails-Love to all

  25. Hi John, it’s nice to know that you are still active with your music…I would enjoy hearing from you…you could contact me through classmates.com

  26. To answer the question about Jungle recordings. None were released, but they seem to be out ther somehow. I found some on different sites including a German site. Lydia Pence was also with a band called the New Castle Five out of San Mateo Ca. just before she joined Cold Blood who’s founder Larry Fields (decested) was also founder of The New Invaders. I have a couple of songs unrealeased recored by Lydia with the New Castle Five, just before Ryan Clark and myself joined them while Butch was in the Army. They were the Martin Brothers Rich and Tom. If any one knows where they are today I would like to know. They also went by the name The Frost Brothers. Thanks, Jay Mierly

  27. Nick: The myspace blog is almost word for word what was written in the booklet from the ‘Dance With Me’ CD. Remarkably, Lydia Pence lived right around the corner from Mike Lentos. I remember seeing her at a talent show held at Goodwin School (now Kennedy) doing her Brenda Lee thing.

    Thanks for the info Jay. Now how about posting that photo you have? Were all dying to see it …lol

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  29. Awesome! Very cool. I’ve never seen the photo of the group by the stream, reminds me of the Love album.

    The photo of Mike at the drums is from a Sequioa High yearbook I beleive, the Knight Riders played at a dance there. I remember it well because I was suspended at the time & wasn’t allowed to go into the dance so I watched from the door as long as I could until I was finally made to leave. They were wearing the ‘Beach Boy’ shirts at that time.

    Thanks Jay for sharing these photos & Larry for posting them.

  30. The photo of Mike in his yep, Beach Boys stripped shirt, has to be the one of him from The Sequoia 1965 Football Kick-Off Dance for school year 1966, in the same yearbook in the Home-Education-Dept. photo page their is a photo of Lydia mixing something in a bowel above the caption “Future Hommakers of America.” which was after we danced to her with a band called the Sit-ins a year or so before, we think.
    She sang a Summertime at a highschool assembely that everyone I know
    who was there will never forget. . Hey Jay & Knight Riders Thanks! for
    some All-Time great R&R times in the young wild west of my youth.
    Don’t know if anyone has said anything about Lentos’s show-stopping
    Whipe Out which brought down the house and I passed this page to the
    other Mike drummer from Woodside Plaza side of town who for sure
    remembers The Knight Riders & Lydia singing at a Goodwin assembely too.

    • Wow, Nick! I DO remember!
      Lydia’s performance at the Goodwin School Assembly is something I will never forget. In fact, right after that performance, in which see sang a Brenda Lee song, I think, “You Don’t Own Me”. It was so amazing that the whole student body went crazy. This was some beautiful singer girl, in the same school I went to!
      So , what do I do?
      I go up to her in the hallway, after the assembly, and I say to her, “I don’t believe that was you singing. Proove it to me me. She kind of looked at me like I was crazy, but with a smile, and started to sing. And there it was, the voice of Lydia Pence! That day, I walked her home to her house, which was directly on the way to my house. Lydia Pence and Cold Blood was one of the main soul/funk groups in the Bay Area in the 70’s, and their brand of funk lives on to this day.
      Michael Shrieve

  31. Yep I checked pic of Mile is from 65 football dance 66 yearbook.
    I remember the “other” Sit-Ins the Animals one. I liked them too.

  32. I had a question for the gentleman from Australia. (bosshoss) I was wondering how you came to find the Knightrider acatate with the two songs on there. Autumn Records was the label we were on. Owened my are Bay Area disc jockey from radio station KYA Later to become one of thr founder’s of under ground radio right here in the Bay area. Anyway I would like to know if you could burn me a CD of those songs and send them to me. That would be great if you could do that for me. Thanks again, Jay Mierly

  33. The Knight Riders! Man, they were IT at that time in Redwood City. Going to the Cinnamon Tree was always a special treat when they were playing. I was a huge fan, and remember being awed by their singing, those harmonies, the tightness of the band and it’s vocals. It was always exciting when the Beatles came out with a new song, which was special enough, an event really, but then you’d go down and hear the Knight Riders play that song, like, the day it came out. And they’d play and sing it perfectly! One time I remember them playing “And Your Bird Can Sing” I believe and it was so perfect it was mind blowing. I believe they also had a Rickenbacker 12 string as well and used it on the Beatles tunes that used that guitar. I think they also played “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds as well, if memory serves. That great harmony stuff!
    I learned to play drums on Mike Lentos’ drums and one of the Palladino boys drums. Remember Palladino Market on Woodside Road? I didn’t own any drums yet, couldn’t afford ’em, but was learning from Mike, who lived around the corner from me. I lived on Maryland St. and he and Lydia Pense lived on Kensington St.
    Mike was am amazing drummer. He do a left-handed roll. A roll with one hand! He added so much to the band. It’s true that a band is only as good as their drummer, and Mike showed that to us is spades. I looked up to all those guys; Jay, John, Ryan, Butch and Mike. I would sometimes try to hang out or watch them rehearse, but they were like gods and heroes to me at the time. To me they were so cool! And the music was really special.
    Later I became the drummer of Santana, when I was just 18 years old, so I left the neighborhood, and saw Mike only occasionally. He went through some very hard times. He was somewhat delinquent even when we were kids, always getting in trouble one way or another. I remember him throwing a bucket of mud in the corner mailbox as a kid and laughing his ass off. He had a somewhat wicked laugh and sense of humor. And throwing mud in a mailbox is a Federal Offense! Later he had drug problems and was living in San Francisco basically on the street. He’d been through it and was hardened by that life, but we would still connect sometimes and I would try to help him the best I could. Later, I was living in London for awhile and one day I got an incredible pain in my stomach. It was so bad I had to leave the studio where I was recording and go home. The next day I found out that Mike was shot and killed by a policeman in a robbery situation in SF. I hope I have my facts right, I’m not certain. But I always felt that when I got that terrible pain in my stomach was when Mike got shot.
    I’ll always be indebted to Mike for letting me play his drums and teaching me stuff, and to The Knight Riders for making such great music when I was growing up.
    Thanks so much John and Jay for the great sounds and memories.
    Thanks to Ironleg for bring back the memories and to Nick for turning me on to Ironleg.

    Michael Shrieve

    • Hey Mike, I remember you playing in Little League Majors. You went to school with my little brother Steve. I always thought you were the greatest. I used to pal around with Mike Lentos when we were about 9 or 10 – can’t remember exactly. He was a bit of an accident waiting to happen. Sad, very sad. I remember giving him a ride in my VW one day right by Sequoia Hospital while I was on leave from the Navy around 1970 or so – can’t remember precisely. He had nice things to say about you that’s for sure. I could tell though that he was a bit strung out on something. A pity. I remember my mother who was a nurse at the hospital came home just before I was to go back on duty crying that he’d been shot. It was right around that time Mike Ralston got murdered as well. In fact the photo of him lying on the ground was in the papers. That’s tough to take. Anyways, the best to you and yours Mike.

      • Saw Lou Dematteis a couple of weeks ago and we were recalling our days in RC. Lou and I are cousins. I remember Mike Lentos, Mike Blum, Mike Shrieve and Mike Ralston (my best friend who was murdered).
        Great and sad times.

  34. Michael Shrieve?!?!?
    Man, as a kid learning the drums your solo at Woodstock on ‘Soul Sacrifice’ blew my mind (still does every time I hear it)!
    I just needed to say that.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  35. Hi Mike, thanks for your post…I remember that ‘wicked laugh’ well..lol. The last I saw of Mike was in late 1967 or early ’68. He came by to visit at a place I was staying in Redwood City. After that I dropped out of the scene, had some struggles with the draft & was gone for some time & lost touch with Mike. When I returned briefly to the Bay Area I heard some bizarre rumors of Mike’s death but never found out what really happened. Can you please tell me the year he was killed? thanks again….D.

  36. Shrieve! I found this site from Larry Cohn (San Carlos ’66 & my neighbor) & answered a few unanswered questions, then, poof! You and Ron Bramsted (sp?) used to surf with us San Carlos boys, Doug Meyer, Gary Strachan, Scott Kendall, Barry Horowitz, etc. We used to hang out other times at Mike’s parent’s house (Farm Hill area?). I’m in contact with John Dawson regularly. Rod was my next-door neighbor. Been lokking for you since you hit the “majors”. Get in touch at 1881rodeo@gmail.com…………………
    Paul Geller
    & to Iron Leg, a great-big Thanks for alowwing all of this to happen. Butch & Ryan would’ve loved it, Jay & John seem to dig it and Mike would’ve expected it!

  37. Hi to Jay and John-
    I am so sad to hear of Butch’s death…please let me know how and when he died. Jay I googled your name and found this great sight. All the memories of our great times came rushing back.
    All those late nights..sneaking out of the house. I have some great pictures of Butch and I and John,one of you in a Beatles hat at Fishermans wharf…I think obout ’65 or ’66. I also have a reel tape..3 songs that Butch and I put together for a demo when he went to LAX in ’73 and 74′ . Lots of letters and poems from those crazy years.
    Does anyone else remember Rod’s yellow ’56 chevy with the white “tuck and roll’ upholstrey?
    Hope all is well with the 2 of you…please let me know the info on Butch.
    Love you both…..Bets

  38. Wow! It’s so cool to realize that my dad (John Dawson) is a rock star!! hahaha! lol! Seriously though, my dad has been a major musical influence on me throughout my life, and now I ,too, play and write music thanks to him. Not only have I heard all the great stories about the Knight Riders and Jungle and all the people involved, but to this day my dad still plays the guitar and sings regularly…and very well I must add…and I swear I’m not just saying that because he’s my dad! There is this one song that my dad wrote called “Fly” which I really like. I’m not sure if he wrote that when he was with the Knight Riders though…I need to ask him next time I talk to him. I’ve seen him and Jay perform at some shows and it made me in awe thinking how it must have been back then in the 60s when they were the Knight Riders performing for the rebellious youth of the time! I wish I could have been there to party with them because I know they had a great time. I think it’s not fair that my dad and his band members aren’t getting any royalties while their records are currently selling like hotcakes in Germany! That’s a bunk deal! -Dan Dawson

    • I just caught your post about your dad. Not only was he a ‘rock strar’, but he played a smooth harmonica and with that red hair looked fabulous. All us girls were very interested until Lillian Cristofani caught him. Still married?
      Cindy Casci Adrian

      • The red hair is gone but we’re still goin strong! Nice to hear from you Cindy. J.D.

  39. How about Jay & the other surviving members compiling all the songs available including the extended version of ‘I’ on one CD. You could use the above 8″ x 10″ for the cover & whatever other photos you have for a booklet inside the written history of the band. I’d buy one & I’m sure lots of others would to. I just bought an older compilation CD on the Sundazed label (Psychedelic Microdots 3) with ‘I Don’t Know’ on it which isn’t on any of the other CD’s.

  40. Knight Riders who? Jungle went to Europe? Sounds like all this group needed was a good manager. Obviously kidding…….thanks for the blog bringing back some fun times and good memories. Joan

    • Fun to see all the comments continuing about the fun we had because of the music and characters of the members of the Knight Riders/Jungle. Went to Worms, Germany last fall so of course thought about Butch and memories again. For anyone who did not know that is where he spent 2 years in the army. Glad Jay and John are making more music. Toast your health, Joan

  41. To answer Betsy’s question about Butch’s death. He had a massave stroke on Easter Sunday, He was taken to Stanford Hosp. He was on life support and would not recover. The decision was made to pull the plug two days later. May he rest in peace. Betsy if you want to contact me you can do so at knightdog@gmail.com Oh by the way Mike Lentos was not shot by a policeman. It was just a random act. The wrong place at the wrong time. Thanks, Jay Mierly

  42. Michael Shrieve, great to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words. I remember those days in Mike’s little room at his mom’s house with the stereo plugged into a Showman amp and Mike kicking those skins to a hard driving tune like “You Really Got Me”. Fantastic. The one -handed roll was his trademark. He used it to great effect to totally destroy the competition in many a drum battle. Having Mike behind us pushing was the key to our success. I truly believe Mike was of the same calibre as Krupa and Rich. He (like you) was a born drummer. He told me he made his own drum kit out of pots and pans when he was very young. He made an otherwise “good” band sound “Great”. I guess extreme talent and craziness kind of go together. It was a very sad day when I got the news of his death. I’m glad I was able to make it to his funeral. By the way, did you know that your dad and my dad knew each other? Once again, thanks for checking in Mike. If you want to contact me, I can be reached at jcdawson@sbcglobal.net. Take care bro. John

  43. Betsy! How are you? Great to hear from you too. Yes I remember the sneaking out nights. How did we all survive? I’d love to see those photos, and hear those recordings. Contact me at the address above. Love to hear from you. John

  44. Great seeing all these people taking an interest in the old group. Great local bands are a rare find these days, and alot of clubs only have DJ’s not really my thing. I feel really lucky to have had the chance to play music with Jay and John in the last ten years. we have had alot of fun and it was something I aIways wanted to do. I miss hanging out with Ryan and Butch, but I do have all the memories and they will never fade. I guess we will never see the likes of that type of talent again, it was the right combination of people, that made its mark and will be etched I’m sure in all our memories as long as we live. I know without a doubt that the Knight Riders are what inspired me to actually join a group and want to play music.

  45. Rod’s car was actually a ’57 chevy with black tuck and roll. Lentos was pissed-off at Rod for some reason or another, and one day while we were in school Mike loosened the lug-nuts on Rod’s beautiful wheels. He was driving home from school via St. Charles church, and I was walking. I saw the wheels wobbling as Rod nursed that thing home. I don’t know what Mike was upset about, nor do I remember what Rod did about it, but I’ll never forget it.

  46. Correction to the “Original Lineup” photos. The middle photo is the original lineup, the top photo was the second, and we don’t have one with me in the third!

  47. Hi everyone…..It’s Rod Pearce, still alive and well in Granite Bay, Ca….A friend of mine from San Carlos High sent me this link. I wish I would have known about Butches death as I loved that guy and would have been there. One of the best….I’ve got a ton of stories I’d like to share if there is any interest out there. And Paul, wow, remember some of the stuff we’d get into neighbor. And Hi to Jay and John. I’m gonna get ahold of you guys.

    • hey rod. CHARLES WD CLARKE SR here. im butch’s friend. singer. and im mourning today. today is the day that butch died eight years ago. I am really at a loss for words. but. I have the last thirteen songs butch daniels wrote. well. im starting to find other musicians. to record it. if you see it in your heart. can you pay for the studio time. you can come record be on em. we’ll if they sell. give lionel and Nicole. his kids. whatever we can. and put butch’s legacy really where it belongs. alive. (650-207-0279. WD PEACE MAN.

  48. “Update” Hi everyone this is Jay Mierly with an update for you. John Dawson and myself have been talking about perhaps putting a cd togather with a some of the released an unreleased tunes that we have fom both The Knightriders and after the name change to Jungle. Also we are thinking of going in the studio to rerecord some of the old Knightrider songs. Another idea is to put a live show togather for concerts, with some really hot musicians to back John and myself. I am also trying to get in touch with Jan Errico aka Erica Errico former drumer and lead singer from the Vegatables and the Mojo Men, to see if she might be interested in playing drums. That way we could also do her hit songs. as they were on the same record label with us. I would look forward to any feedback you folks may have on this. Best Reguards, Jay Mierly

  49. Jay,
    This is Rich Martin. I just stumble across this site. Hope all is well with you, it’s been a long time. Good to hear you’re still singing and that Ryan is still around. Ryan and I go back to the Surf days. Sorry to hear about Butch passing away. Let’s talk old times sometime.

    For the record: The New Castle Five bass player Bob Miller and Lydia Pense became an item and left The NC5 to form an R&B outfit called Profound Sound before the formation of Cold Blood. I don’t know what happened to Bob but I heard drugs had gotten the better of him.

    • Rich,

      Steve Chriest here in Danville, CA. It’s been a very long time since we played together. Can you fill me in on Tom, your younger brother (I recalled his name a couple of days ago and now I”m drawing a blank), Scott from Los Altos and anyone else we played with? I haven’t played on a set of drums in decades, but I pound on a drumpad everyday that MIckey Hart gave me when I worked at Drum City, his store in San Carlos. Would be good to hear from you.

      I just stumbled on this site and learned that Butch passed away. I filled in for Mike Lentos one night while the Knight Riders played at the Bold Knight in San Jose. It was just before Butch reported for Amry duty – something he definetely did not want to do.


      • I’m getting to this very late and we’ve already covered this stuff over lunch. I just want to close out this open email.
        Best as always.

  50. I fell upon this site a few days ago. I was shocked to hear about Butch’s death and thought Ryan was still around. Sad day. The Knightriders were one of my band’s arch rivals. Looking back, rivalries were a positive because they pushed the bands to be better. I have a lot of memories here. Ryan and I used to sit around his house listening to Surf music at his parents house in San Carlos. These were the early days before The Beatles. We nearly started a Surf band together but if memory serves me, I was already in a band (The Impressions with Jeff Kewley) at the time. Early on (Pre-Beatles) Mike played with us for one gig at Ravenswood High School in Palo Alto. No doubt, no one could play “Wipe Out” as good at Mike :>)

    After the breakup of the Knightriders, Jay and Rod sat in with us at the Continental Roller Bowl in Santa Clara. I don’t remember what we called ourselves that night. We may have made up a name just for the gig. Can’t remember. Even though we rehearsed and got ready to play, I don’t think anyone was seriously thinking we would stick together as a group. We went over very well though.

    Several of the local bands used to borrow guitars and amps from George Ferguson at Sherman & Clay in the Hillsdale Mall. I never understood why George would hand out brand new equipment to a bunch of crazy kids? I used to return everything as new as I got it but as legend has it not the Knightriders. I bumped into George 20 years later still working at a Sherman & Clay Store (Hayward). I bought a piano from him.

    Remember: The Swiss Chalet, San Carlos. They had this funky white Astro-Turf hill to ski down.


    • Rich…saw The Impression’s, at Hillsdale High School. Must’ve been in 1964, or so. That band changed the way I looked at music and inspired the formation of a band that would become “The Druids.” Originally, with Phil (lead) Schraub, Jerry (rhythm) Ange, Parker (bass) Jones and Dave (drums) Meyers. Dave could do a wild “Wipe Out” roll, but that was about it! In desperate need of a drummer, Dennis Schraub, Phil’s older brother, was drafted. Jerry was shortly replaced by Clay Caughman, all Hillsdale students. Mentored by Mike Dunn, of William Penn and his pals..and the Weber’s (The Reverberations) from Belmont…our first gig was at a bar-mitzvah in Burlingame.

      Wild times with many gigs in Berkeley followed. Thanks for the inspiration
      Long live the memories!


      • Wow!…I certainly remember The Druids and Mike Dunn. Mike was our lead player in the early days of the DiscCounts and William Penn, and he was a big Freddie King fan. Every playlist in those days had to include “Hide Away” and “San Ho Zay”. Were the Webers you mentioned the same guys who had the hearse? A couple of us went by their house on San Carlos Ave. one night when they were working with Bob & Earl (“Harlem Shuffle”).

      • I think the best of the Druids’ gigs was “The Military Brawl” played at a Berkeley frat house in about ’65 or maybe early ’66. I still have one of the orange business cards that we handed out!

  51. Hi Rich Martin, I have been trying to find you and wondered if you were still here in the Bay Area. If you would please contact me that would be great. I would love to talk to you about the music etc. You can reach me at knightdog@gmail.com I shall look forward to talking to you. Thanks, Jay Mierly

  52. Hi to all…..I remember the Kinght Riders so well..I grad. from S.C. in 68′, all the time going to the tree,(S.C), the Carlmont Y, and of course nobody missed the battle of the bands, NOBODY!!, I do remember John Dawson’s long red hair, I think every girl in school wanted it…I moved to Sandpoint, ID a year ago from San Carlos, and a friend just called and told me of this site…Thanks so much for all the info, and the great music.

    Best to all,

  53. Jay,
    I feel as though I’ve made a connection with a long lost friend ! Although I don’t think you’d remember me personally, I’m betting that you would remember my cousin, who
    was the prominent vocalist and rhythm guitar player for The Fugitives 2+2, Rusty Sabella. I spent alot of time at band practices (usually at Mike Walker’s house) and
    sang with the group from time to time, my name is Phil Fetterman.

    It’s exciting to see the level of interest and the enthusiasm of all who have been taking part in the recollections of one of the great bands of our time…The Knight Riders ! My memories of the relationship between The Fugitives 2+2 and The Knight
    Riders was one of friendship and mutual respect. Lots of great music and frolicking
    fun. I have much to share with you, but would prefer speaking with you either in
    person or by phone.

    I Have an extensive collection of business cards from bands of the 60’s (about 450),
    including 2 variations of cards from your group…”I Wancha To Know”…I also have some stories; drummers have always been a strange breed, but Lentos…well, he was the king of both.

    It would be nice to talk with you…if you are interested, please include a phone number
    with your reply and a time that I am most likely to reach you, and I’ll give you a call.
    P.S. I am living in Sunnyvale once again, and Rusty is also back in the Bay Area, in
    Saucelito, after living in Sandpoint, Idaho for the last several years.

  54. I remember the Knight Riders, along with the Megatones and the Sit-ins. I remember the Knight Riders had their equiptment stolen out of a car after a gig one knight. I remember the Fugitives would lend them their equiptment occasionally after that. I heard that Dino Dalporto, from the Sit-ins was shot to death. Has anyone heard about that?


  55. I went to the Cinnamon Tree when it first opened. I was the official President of the Sit-Ins Fan Club. Any news of their whereabouts? I saw the Knight Riders too many times to count. I met my husband when I was 15 at the Tree (us regulars called it that). My girlfriends and I went to a party with the Knight Riders one night. Don’t remember much about that (it was the 60’s). Musically, they were way ahead of their time. Their harmonizing was unbelievable. Sure miss those days! I’m so glad I stumbled upon this web site.

    • Donna,
      As you probably know, Dino Dalporto is deceased. Tito is stil in the Bay Area as is Don Parazzi (sp?). Don’t know about Greg Ferber. Wish I knew more. I asked Tito, but he doesn’t either. Do you have any pics of the Sit-ins or Knight Riders?
      John D


    • WD,
      I discovered this site last year attempting to locate Butch for our class reunion. Of course I was saddened to discover his passing. I had spent many halfassed and futile attempts over the decades trying to locate him. Greg Mahoney and Butch taught me how to surf at halfmoon bay and Santa Cruz. Those were very memorable times for me. Mike had sent me the pictures loaded here. And I thought I had read “everything on this blog. But I just found your post. If you are still monitoring all this 7 I’d like to take you up on the offer to foward pictues of Butch. Aloha Jim


  58. holy shit man. if i get out of hand someone please tell me. jim yes tino dal porto was. his nephew paul was one of the founding members i thought for twenty years of the redwood machine butch daniels and my band. my god. as i look into this blog and see all the messages to each other. here it is man. jay john rod. you three are reborn man. in christ. in music. and when butch died. he was starting up his music again. he spoke of you guys often. as we were checking out equiptment. at the consignment shop at gelb. someone who i introduced butch to. new him from the night rider’s. i didnt how far ago you guy’s were. paul dal porto. the nephew and son of the dalporto brother’s was my first pick nex to butch to start the band. here you guys are knowing michael shrieves. he was friends of my key boardest james boyson. who use to play with tim sheridon from eddie money. and james goins. i am extactic. he was my guitarist. i had so many people ask us to sit in at jams. i didnt realize. in the eighties just how well known he was. his stroke. took my freind away. but. it also brought you guy’s back together. i know it did. now lets not be coy. go ahead and ask schrieves to play the fox theater with you guy’s if you do the fox. and please take the songs butch left behind to try to do something with. and can i sit in. we were going to go to africa to release by hopes of course our first video. and im stil wanting to go there. well. i was also looking forward to a few other things. i know he wanted to see you guy’s again. im sorry i seem so deep. he was my roommate. his picutre is across from the bed he slept in. when he first died. i know this sounds wierd. but i asked the cat amber. where butch was and showed him his picture. and she cried out. she would go into the bedroom and only sleep on his coat. but if you removed it. she wouldnt. some other things have happened. and there unreal. there because of his music. because he wanted to live on. and with this im able to express myself. if you guy’s get back together. and do the fox. let me in on it. i can help sing his parts. maybe. if im out of line sorry. wd


  60. Does anyone have any photos of the band? Jay and I are trying to put a tribute together and we really need photos. Unfortunately, we were too busy partying in those days to be taking any pictures,and too paranoid! You can respond here.

    • John,
      This email was forwarded to me and I just wanted to say hello. I don’t know if you remember me as it sure has been some time. I have a picture from a newpaper article (I know it is somewhere in my house) I beleive that it was taken from the Cinnamon Tree (can’t believe I even remeber the name). I stay in touch with Rod on occassion.
      Hope you are well,

      • Denise,
        Great to hear from you. I certainly do remember you and Linda as well. How have you (both) been? Jay, Rich Martin and I are hoping to put a Knight Riders concert together. We’re thinking it’ll be at the Little Fox in RC if we can get all the details worked out. We’ll keep this site updated as things develop. Hope to see you there!

      • Denise, I almost forgot. I’d love to see that picture if you find it. If you could scan it and post it here, or email it to me direct, that would be super. Thanks,

      • Holy cow, Denise Jacobs! This is Sue Mountain (now Kimball). How the hell are you? I found this website on a fluke because I was thinking of Michael Lentos and Googled him. I hope you are good. If you want to get in touch with me you can email me at smkimball@hotmail.com

  61. I had a girlfriend from San Carlos High who turned me on to The Knight Riders.
    She said they were Great!! I said I’d wait and see for myself when I saw them.
    We went to some church in Redwood City or San Carlos to see them.
    They were Great! I was blown away at how good they were.
    We went to see and dance to them a few more times at a club
    in downtown Redwood City and they were Great! everytime there too.
    This is a Trip-I’m not from the area and her family moved to LA in 1966.
    43 years later here I am flashing on her and how good they were.
    Great hearing their song-And seeing where I can find some others-Thanks,
    And thanks to the guys in the band.

  62. It sure touches me to see all this. I new back in the day that The Knight Riders were an exceptional group to say the least. I guess you had to be there. With Butch up front and Mike as there drummer, all that four part hamony, it was an experience. I felt that I was part of something special almost like a dream, but it was real, they were that good!!!! I hope to be a part of the reunion in some way as it brings back a lot of good times and memories.

  63. well here it is. one year later. im just reading everything. looking back on the year gone by. i met butch at the redmorton rec center in redwood. we started the redwood machine. if you could see butch now. alive and performing. we’d be at the pioneer/mardi gras/villa roma. jams mostly. but we were talking about going to africa/with a vh1 crew. and video our first release. later. realizing. all theese years since the knight rider’s he and i. were just sitting in. if you understand missing someone. his picture is sitting across from me. im getting the pictures posted up at the st james gate as soon as i get the copy of the rest of the band. he is missed. there are a lot of people that knew you guy’s. wow. it blew my mind. now ive got the last of his material. and a tape of his last recording. i use it to sleep sometimes. his guitar is with me. his key boards. he was my freind. my guitarist. i miss him. peace. and rock on.

  64. Another guy who’s happy he stumbled on this blog! I went to Carlmont HS and knew Ryan Clarke slightly in the mid-60s. Looking back, the garage bands in the Bay Area were really great, but it was a great surprise that so much came of it a little later. We moved away in the Autumn of ’66 and I looked back with amazement at it all. Who could have known?
    Funny story: I remember walking away from a VD film with Ryan, who was quite worried that one of the symptoms of Syphilis was that it made your hair fall out.
    Michael Shrieve was one of the kids who haunted the Cinnamon Tree? Wow.


  65. I am blown away… I was in a band called the SONICS and we opened for the KNIGHT Riders a couple of times we played on there travel dates at the YMCA in Belmont That band was solid TALENT. I had a lot of great times with Butch and Mike, I can’t believe Butch is gone,Dam I’ll write something later this hits home for me.Mike Lemos

  66. It was fun reading all this info. Brought back memories. I stumbled upon this site after emailing Patty Lentos, Mike’s sister, asking whether Michael Shrieve had lived in her neighborhood, as was my recollection. She replied he had.

    Prior to Mike Lentos, there was another drummer, Rolf Naeshim from the same neighborhood, who was in a band (name escapes me) with Bob Steffens, Randy Oran, and Mike Gomes. My recollection was that Rolf was an inspiration to Mike Lentos, as Mike was to Michael Shrieve. I remember listening to that band at Bob Steffens’ home around ’63. Joe Bennett from the Sparkletones (Black Slacks fame) came to check them out. Rolf died of cirrohsis of the liver in his early 30s and Bobby Steffens committed suicide in his junior/senior year of high school.

    Aside from Lydia, don’t forget Dave Torbert who was with the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Kingfish who lived off of Woodside Road, if memory serves me.

    I graduated from Sequoia in 1965, but remember Mike as far back as Henry Ford when he and Bobby Esposito were always getting in serious, physical trouble with Mr. Mitchell. I remember Michael Shrieve from my days at the Woodside Plaza and the soda fountain at the back of Thrifty’s. I later worked with Michael’s brother Rich at Bank of America back in the ’70s.

    I also remember Jay, but I doubt if he remembers me. Can’t remember if Debbie Mierly was related. The New Invaders were also another band at that time playing around RWC with Bill Stogden playing the sax. I knew Tito and Dino DalPorto and their Mom from the time they moved to RWC from San Francisco. I also knew Dino’s wife, Donna Woods, from kindergarden at the Rec Center before they built Hawes Elementary, and went to Henry Ford, Goodwin and two years of Woodside before going to Sequoia for my last two years due to a boundary change.

    And I remember seeing the Warlocks at some coffee place on Santa Cruz Ave in Menlo Park in ’64/’65. I started going to Longshoreman’s Hall in ’65 and later to the Fillmore in ’66. I still have 5 years of handbills from the Fillmore and Avalon Ballroom. Wow, long time ago.

      • Not too worry. 🙂 I have complete sets of a couple of years and I am missing only a couple of weeks or so of the other 3 years. Cheers.

    • Herb, I went to school with you for one year as a freshman at Woodside High.
      You mentioned Rolf Neashim and Mike gomez and Dave Torbert. I took Torberts place in their band for a short time when he quit to join Dino’s group. Dave went on to become one of the New Riders of the purple Sage and passed way from a drug od in “82. .Mike gomez was an excellent guitar player. Do you know what happened to him? Rick Chamberlain was in that band also.

      • Hi Jim. Yes, I do remember you from Woodside. I transferred to Sequoia my junior year when they moved the boundary lines. Hope all is well with you.

        Do you know how Dino was killed? I have my feelers out to see if I can get some feedback from Donna Woods, his girlfriend/wife about the incident. I don’t know what happened to Gomes. I am still in contact with Randy Oran, maybe he knows. I am friends with Kitty Chamberlain, Rick’s sister. She was at a reunion we had up in Huddart Park about six years ago, but her email addresses don’t work anymore.

      • Herb,

        Thanks for your response. I don’t know if you remember, but I last saw you at Kitty’s Chamberlains apartment in 1973. If you need Kitty’s email I may be able to get it from Paula Phillips.
        I transfered to St.Francis High school in ’62 and Mike Shrieve was as that school also.
        I hear from a friend that saw in a newspaper Dino died in a bad drug deal. I was wondering what happened there.

    • herb, i went to the New Riders of the Purple Sage last night at the Great American Music Hall……..memories ! Could someone tell me if John Dawson from the Knight Riders is /was the same as the John “Marmaduke” Dawson of the NRPS?

    • Hi Herbie,

      I remember when you were the “Cano Kid” in 5th grade and when you were a caddie up at Menlo with Larry and Paul. Weren’t those great times?

      I remember being in 1st grade with Rolf Naeshim at Goodwin School who lived around the block from me. His favorite food was Sugar Jets. He was a very nice young man. I wish that he hadn’t passed so young. His was the very first bicycle I ever rode. Those were good times.

      I remember Dino and Donna. Sweet people to be certain.

      I miss you Herbie. Looks like you remember Mr. Mitchell too. I remember that he couldn’t do algebra to save his soul.

      I remember one time when you and I were waiting for a loop – Miller and Quist most likely – that you actually were talking with Janis Joplin one night while she was drinking vodka and orange juice. I’ll never forget that. I was very impressed. My girl friend’s – at the time – big thing was the Filmore scene with Janis, Jimmy Hendrix and The Doors. I don’t know how many time she dragged me over there. I even kept a couple of items from the Family Dog – but they’re long gone.

      In 1965 I took Ilene Wasson – from Woodside – to see the Yardbirds at the Carousel Ballroom on Van Ness and Market [it doesn’t exist anymore]. I remember the D.J. came out to talk to the 100 couples that were there as it was a very small show to tell us about good news and bad news.

      The bad news was that the lead guitarist – Jeff Beck was sick in the hospital [actually he was ready to quit because they weren’t being paid very much]. But the good news was that England’s best session guitarist – Jimmy Page – was taking his place.

      Believe me when I tell you that he came out smoking!!!!!!! It was the best concert I ever saw.

    • Hi Herbie,

      Speaking of the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore I remember when my former fiancée – Lynette Fairchild from Milbrae – used to go there all the time during the summer of love – 1967. I’m surprised I never saw you there although if I remember right there were some reasonably good gigs at College of San Mateo now and then.

      I hope things are going great guns for you Herb.

      btw, Elin probably used a sand wedge on Tiger last week to make that large of a divot in his beamer. **ha, ha**

      • Wofen244,
        Hahahahaha…the Cano Kid, you got a great memory. And caddying at Meno Country Club to help pay for our weekends. 🙂

        My guess is that you are one of the Dowell boys. I have my email address down below…send me an email so I can know who you are…

        The night I spoke with Janis was a Thursday night. I used to like to go to the Fillmore on Thursday nights because it was $2.50, it was up close and personal, and it was just the freaks — no weekend kids from the suburbs. On stage Janis glowed…the kind of glow you see people have when they are really enjoying what they are doing, and it made her prettier than the pictures or videos one sees of her.

        Big Brother had completed their first set, and my brother Sam asked me to ask Janis to sing “Ball and Chain”, the Big Mama Willie Mae Thorton song. So I went up stage and told her how wonderful she was and requested the song. She was drinking Southern Comfort, is my recollection. She said she’d sing it on the second set, but my brother and I left before they came back on.

    • Hi everybody, it’s great that this site is still going, Just in case anyone is interested John Dawson and myself along with Rich Martin great lead gutiar player from Powder, and the Newcastle five with Lidia Pence and good friend of John and myself are working on Knight Rider’s reunion. It’s coming togather and sounding great. More will be revieled. Also I have another song posted on utube. It’s under (knightdog and the Howelers) Feel free to check it out if you like. I will keep you posted. Thanks, Jay Mierly

    • Hi everyone, just to update you on the reunion project. We had practice last Sat Feb. 13th. and things went really well. It’s sounding really good and it feels good to have the songs take on a new life. Now were looking for a place to play where we can showcase the band without a lot of preasure on us. Perhaps a free big party. Does anyone want to host or have an idea where we could do this? Maybe a club or other venue? We will look forward to hearing any ideas. Thanks, Jay M.

  67. hey. im reading on. im seeing all the comments. you all had a friend.i had a friend. it’s been two years. i miss him. i hope the reunion goes well. ive got something that is from his funeral. it’s a book marker. i could give them to you for friends to have his last picture. i hope your all alright. im blessed to have had him as my guitarist. i have his last recordings and lyrics. i gave his key boards to a young man to learn to play. but. his fender guitar is mine. i have songs that could be used for the reunion. just call or write me. i miss him. his presence in my house without playing. i pick up his guitar to play it and i feel him. ya know. peace. wd

      • wow john i just read this e mail no it’s the acoustic fender i gave him when he moved in. are you guy’s going to ask me to sit in on this reunion. ive got some songs we could put together get back to me. dont leave me out.

    • yes John I do, my mother about had a heart attack that I gave away that guitar. but whatever my parents thought about my ability to play guitar was not working..I knew it and they did too. I sucked…

      • Joy, I have no memory of the aforementioned incident. If I indeed lost your Steel guitar, I’m truly sorry.

      • If you lost the guitar, no problem, I gave you the guitar as a gift…:)

  68. Man, it was probably left at my house when we went to Spain. I didn’t get home for the next two years. A lot of my stuff was lost during that time.

    • John, were you in Ibiza with Butch and the Jungle guys in 1969? I arrived there in February and then some time later these tall handsome long-haired guys blew into town and amazed us all with their clothes and music. I’m pretty sure that the first person i ever heard say “right on” and “out of sight” was Butch, who I remember as a sweet guy. The band had a house in the country and the ones I remember best are Butch , Bob Bollinger, Danny, and Steve, who as i recall dressed up like a priest when he travelled so he wouldn’t get searched. I was a 22 year old kid from Wisconsin and lived there for 6 months. I left to go back to college and always planned to keep in touch and go back to Ibiza one day – now I’m doing one of those things, anyway. I’ll look for any photos of the band – I think I still have a business card which had the word Jungle shaped like a map of the US. – Mary Arnold

      • Mary, yes I was one of the tall handsome long hatred men you saw coming into Ibiza town. I was the redhaired one.The month was June as I recall. We did indeed have a nice, tile floored, small country house with no running water or electricity. The house was about 10 kilometers outside of town. We only had our acoustic guitars as the equipment we had shipped to the island was held up at the airport for non-payment of import duty. The result was that we had a lot of time on our hands to live the island life, go to the beach, write songs, meet girls, etc., etc. Ie was a lot of fun until we ran out of money. We were picked up by a young man who brought us back to the Stastes and set us up in a farmhouse in Vermont. It was there that we made a demo album titled simply “Jungle” which we recorded in NYC in November 1969. The demo got us a contract offer from Polydor, but the groupbroke up before we could follow up on it. That demo later surfaced on the web as a German bootleg with ficticious German names of personnel. I’d love to see your photos Mary.

  69. The first get together for the Knight Riders was when I introduced Butch Daniels ( Carlmont High) to Rod Pearce ( San Carlos High ) I believe it was 1964 in Rod’s mom’s garage on Knoll Dr. I remember when we had a party for Karen Fair who had moved from San Carlos to Louisianna; she came home for a visit. The party was at my house and Ryan had a beer and was smoking but my mom handled it well. Hi Rod, from Gary Brady

  70. Does anyone remember a club in Belmont, CA, circa 1965 named the In Room? The place was suppose to be pretty wild! The Warlocks and the Beau Brummels played there.

    Also the old Victorian “Hippy” House on Ralston Ave. at El Camino where Walgreens is? Jerry Miller from Moby Grape says he lived there.

    Also does anyone remember seeing William Penn and his Pals, with Journey’s Greg Rolie, back in those days?

    • That “Old Hippie House” was called “The House of Lemon” at some point in time
      as I vaguely remember… whew, those were the daze

  71. I remember William Penn, among other bands of the SF Bay Area, from the dances at Longshoremen’s Hall.

  72. Just looked at your rehearsal video on You tube. Best of Luck to you on your reunion gig! Keep you in my prayers. Trish

  73. hey theyve opened the fox theater again you can still use it for your reunion if not st james gate in belmont will hook you guy’s up on old county rd see ya charles.

  74. Hi My name is Nicole Daniels I am actually the 28 year old daughter of Butch Daniels. I was curious today and looked up his name online finding this wonderful sight. I would love if I could get a hold of any of the remaining band members to ask some questions and learn some more about my dads history. the music sounded awesome and it made me pretty emotional to see the pictures of my dad at such a young age, I look a lot like him. I live in California still and although I am aware that my father has passed on it would be cool to talk to some of his old pals, PLEASE CONTACT ME!
    tabascochick604@yahoo.com and comment back on this page if possible
    Peace and love, Nikki Daniels

      • Nicole,
        I am not a member of the band but I will tell you as a HUGE fan of the Knight riders, your Dad was something special and so was that group. I went to as many performances/dances that the Knight riders every played at. They could have been better than the Beatles if Drugs hadn’t gotten in the way . BUT it was the 60’s so what can I say . Some of us dabbled others got hooked. It was a crazy time but the Knightriders certainly were a band that entertained me and my group of friends for some time. Good luck connecting with Jay and Rod. I think they are the only two left.. Maybe John Dawson who played with them for awhile but I think that was after your Dad. tkae Care..
        Pegi Chesney

  75. Dear Jay,
    God alone knows how much I love this band since my childhood.
    What I would have given to meet you guys in person…..
    Unfortunately, this opportunity is lost in time forever.
    Sad to see that most of you are already gone from us.

    Thank you for the great music guys …..

    Miguel R

    • Update If anyone is interested the Jungle album we made in 1969 has been remastered and will be out in late June 2011 You can pre order it at the (Red Lounge Records) website. It has several never before seen photos and a full band story. Check it out if you like. Thanks so much, Jay Mierly

  76. That was the neighborhood Butch lived in. I think their house was on Marine View Way. You were right about the motorcycle club, or whoever it was. Mike had a Heroin habit that got him into many a bad situation between the cops and the gangsters. It finally caught up to him on June 8, 1976. He was shot in his apartment in San Francisco sometime around midnight by someone he knew, not the police.

  77. HI. i know maybe i shouldnt leave this. butt. im charles im aka as WD im butchs friend you may have read about me here. butch. wouldnt go out on stage to play toward the end. so much. he’s finger’s weren’t caloused enough. as well as it takes to play for a few hours. butch left behind his legacy for me to carry on with. mike schrieves. if you help with this reunion coming we need to meet. for more reason then one. i have the last songs butch ever wrote. there not for sale. unless you give the money to lionel and nicole. and the proceeds have the copyrights with there names on them as well. all licnesing to them first. your money’s would come from the playing them and getting payed for them if anyone wants to know. his picture sits on my four twelve cabinet with my marshall head. man. my finger’s are so caloused now. they hurt every few day’s and i half to put the guitar down. anyone else out there wants to know what is going on with the reunion get ahold of jay or john. i want to be a big part of it. from lugging equiptment to singing. of course. butch and i spent the last thirteen of seventeen years doing jam nights mostly we have a video of us at the american legion hall doing a benefit about eleven years ago. im working out the video to do the song coming home. a blues chicago type train song. he does. i want to roll that beatuifull bean footage. on stage while i sing to it. he’s here in mind.so why not. everybody else does it. why can i. im sorry he didnt survive his stroke. ill tell you all now if he had survived the stroke he would not have been able to play i saw the stroke in his face and i saw what it did to him. i lost my friend. my guitarist and my promenint future at the time from his passing. i play to his picture. no we were not gay partner’s. ok. get that straight now. he was my friend. we played a lot of songs alone to gether. our best one is being recorded at st james gate november seventeenth at st james gate. totally black. butch and i were cab driver’s when you got off work the code was black. butch is now. totally black. gone but not forgotten it’s taken me three years to gather the thoughts for my music.i have almost quit given the guitars away.and walked. but. something came to me playing guitar one night. yep you guessed. it. butch. i guess the stories are ture. i was his way of saying goodbye. my guitar playing isnt what it was before he had the stroke he told me ill be playing like a studio musician. wow. he’s right. my friends that have had the pleasure of playing with him miss him. and thanks to people like terry hyatt. who were kids when butch started. they live on in him. they keep him alive. my last recorded interview with butch for my radio station was lost with the last recording of his playing. im sorry believe me i wanted to use the songs. but. i have all the songs he wrote lyriclly. and there ready for being put to the musical test. so to speak. my name is WD. and this has been a moment for me i needed to get off my chest. i love you all for caring about my friend. john dawson jay mirely rod pearce mike schrieves and who ever. you guy’s call me when it happens. and whatever you want to do with the songs is ok with me. peace. rock and jesus bless you all for the reunion. right now im working on a song deal for a tour bus. well gotta have a pad to sleep in with the equiptment and roll on down the road. peace.

    • Well it seems its only me that you see as the last one to write. Its been four years since butch’s passing. As we were together two or three weeks before he passed from his stroke we were at the old belmont brewery. As it is was. Now called the st james gate. Tonight in memory of butch. His picture goes up on the wall. Leaving a memory of his KNIGHT RIDERS. Well the legacy lives on as one of the most up and coming bay area bands. Jay john rod mike as well as can be expected me I’m still just sittin in tonight at st james gate is a tribute for butches memory starts around nineish. Bring an instrument. Old county road belmont. Peace everyone rock on

  78. I am so bummed that I just found this site. I was a huge fan of the Knightriders and would have given anything to hear them play again. I met my first husband Ken Molinari at the Cinnamon Tree in 1965. He too was a drummer but was never really in a band that went anywhere. He knew Mike and also was friends with Lydia Pence before she was famous. I think he taught her a little about playing the drums at Sequoia if I remember right. Anyways, he also died tragically. He passed away 9 years ago and never got to meet his grandchildren which is a real shame. But back to the Knight Riders–we were huge fans and were at the Cinnamon tree and anywhere they played back in 65 and 66. I thought that band was every bit as good as the Beatles in harmonizing. We idolized them. Loved Rod’s canary yellow Chevy. Everyone knew whose car it was when you saw it around town. Oh I have some stories but won’t share them now. I hear they might play at our 45th H.S. reunion in August Jay, Rod and John. I really hope they do. It would be so much fun to hear and see them again. I hope someone reads this and responds as I know it is a very late post and I don’t see much activity here..Thanks for all the shares its been truly nostalgic reading them. RIP all you musicians who passed from this world so tragically.

  79. I was in the worst band in the world in 1964-65 known as the New Precisions– we battled The Tangents (all the teachers from the Redwood City Music store) at Mt. Carmel teen club were we played “I” by the Knight Riders– our redeeming quality was we were coached by the Mike Shrieve band known as “Us” with John Walsh n I think Doug Puccini of St. Francis High… My three things of interest to me anyway was the Knight R. doing “Nowhereman” at St. Mathias teen club n Butch playing solos behind his head. 2nd point, which is funny is I still can play “I” minus the solo & remember all the words– that stuff was felt so strongly at that age we were I guess we never will forget–3rdly I
    met Mike Lintos for the first time I thought it was around ’72-73′ talking to him at the Village Host Pizza parlor in Belmont—about some of the crazy trips we’d taken & how he had just talked to Butch about making music again– so sorry he passed that way…

  80. I’m looking for a good photo of “Butch” (Virgil) Daniels that I can use for Carlmont’s Class 1964 50th Reunion. I’m doing the Memories slideshow this week and lack a ‘Very Good’ picture of Butch.

  81. Sorry to hear about Butch passing. We had some great times doing band battles with the Knight Riders back when I was with William Penn. None of us ever thought the memories of the stuff we were doing would last beyond the following week, much less fifty years later. We were just playing music and having fun.

  82. AND Dave, so many of us ‘spectators’ were glad all the SF Bay Area garage bands were “playing music and having fun”. It was a great time and we were fortunate to have experienced it.

  83. An author, Harry Angus, five years ago began writing The Encyclopedia of Jerry Garcia Music Venues. Alphabetically by state, there are 1250 venues that include live performances, canceled shows, interview, rehearsal, and recording studios. It’s predominantly about the history of each venue which includes architects, builders, and owners. In addition, Jerry’s own history of each venue includes the bands he played with, opening acts and other information.

    I am seeking help or guidance as to the capacity of Big Al’s Gas House in Palo Alto when Jerry performed there with The Warlocks and opened for The Impressions in 1965.

    In fact, if anyone has information as to what the capacity was of The Poppycock and The Inn Room, I’d appreciate it!

    Interesting read regarding The Knight Riders – isn’t it great how music brings us all together!

    Thank you kindly….

  84. HEY. whats up. yep. today’s the day. eight years ago. well. I really started finding people to help record butch’s last thirteen songs. so. god bless. ill keep you posted. and may all of you have a beer today or. walk in a park for butch. were headed over tomorrow. to grab a redwood city sandwich a coke and play away. in memory. rec center off of valoth. I hope about noon. that’s where butch and I met. and started the redwood machine. prima deli. Roosevelt plaza. can I say. how do you say goodbye. WD

  85. Reading all of these posts brings me back to the 60s. I graduated from SC in 1968 also. I remember John Dawson performing at an assembly when he first came to SC high. I remember the Nightriders and other local bands. Dave Little, Paul Krause, and I formed our own band in High school for reasons I won’t explain, we called it Hot Roast Beef.
    In 69 I got drafted and Larry Castle took over for me. When I came back from the war I tried to resume from where we left off, but everyone was gone. Oh well.
    Music became a career for me, Doug Caraway and I are rebuilding the sound system and promoting some shows. I am a member of the Americal Legion in Redwood City, So Doug and I want to bring live music back to the peninsula at the hall. Good Luck to us

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