Monday, May 16, 2022

50+ Years of Music (with apologies to) November, 1971 and Loggins & Messina

By Doug McIntosh & Paul Hobbs

Paul and I were talking the other day on the phone and in our conversation he was wondering when Loggins & Messina were coming up in the 50 year blog series? He said something like, "Loggins & Messina were a pretty big deal for me in my senior year of high school."

That got me thinking too. Loggins & Messina's debut album, Sittin' In surely must have come out by the spring of 1972? 

I get 99% of my 'this month 50 years ago' from Wikipedia. Could they have screwed up and missed such an important album? So I went to the way back on Wikipedia, and low and behold I found the album sittin' in November, (1971 in Music). Yeah guess who screwed up!

With that news, the proof-reader gal over hearing the conversation on my iPhone in speaker mode, squealed my mistake to the new owner of Monday Monday Music™some guy named Musk. Anyway, Musk fancies MMM and is attempting a hostile takeover bid estimated to be around $44 and a song to be named later. 

So with the office mole's intel, the SOB fired me on the spot through one of his stupid tweets. He then cooled down and recanted, but hired Paul to be a staff writer and was told, "To watch Mr. McIntosh very carefully." 

Late breaking news on the MMM takeover... It appears Musk (wasn't that the worst cologne ever from the 1970's) is now saying he won't buy the blog to drive the price down further. Stay tuned loyal readers...

So I guess, Paul takes it over from here... Actually I've been mentoring Paul, which is kind of funny because he's older than me... Anyway, I got him up to speed in how things work around here– where you basically retell stories of your childhood and youth because your long-term memory is the last thing to go. Anyway, here's Paul.

I was working after school at the Tognazzini Box Co. my senior year in high school. We blasted a big radio, living room console type, that my parents had donated when they upgraded our household system. KSEE reverberated through the echoey warehouse. I remember a recurring advertisement for a concert featuring a band I was unfamiliar with, Loggins and Messina. They played parts of 3 selections from their newly released album and 2 of the 3 had me hooked, 'Danny’s Song' and 'Nobody But You.' I got myself a ticket and accompanied by Ron Zieman, Gary Hill, and Doug McIntosh went to see them play at Cal Poly in SLO. We were summarily impressed and in one combination or another, some including Paul Tognazzini, of Box Co. fame, proceeded to see them play four more times on the central coast within the next year.

left to right - Danny Walker, Sean Landers, and Paul Hobbs
circa 1976 @ The Feed Store in Santa Barbara
(Photo by D. McIntosh who subbed as driver and equipment guy with his green Chevy truck w/camper shell,
and let Gary sleep one off in the truck bed with the guitars and amps on the return trip to Santa Maria. )

I was introduced through Gary and one of his friends to a new musical partner, Danny Walker. We got together to play music exclusively. He was a couple of years older, from a different school, and a tad intimidating. We had one goal and that was to practice up a bunch of songs and start playing out. Friendship would come later. He had an older brother who played and brought a lot of music around that Danny learned and taught me without me ever hearing the recorded versions. It was very organic, shades of the early folk scene. I was, and still am, a Beatle nut, and a big JT fan so I knew a bunch of their stuff. We also each had some songs we’d written.

Loggins and Messina provided a brand new opportunity. We were hearing a band that neither one of us had heard before. It gave us some songs to learn, we did 5 from this album alone. And, they exhibited several qualities that we, humbly, counted among our strengths.

They were essentially a duo. Both were lead singers. There were usually two distinct guitar parts to choose from. Danny would play the more difficult one. They had a folkie quality and at the same time a country feel. We did a pared down version of their songs, of course, as they had a large band and a couple of spare singers when needed. However, with the addition of a singing bass player, Sean Landers, who came along in pretty short order, we could rock a bit more and do the bigger production numbers serviceably well. Their material was very popular with our audiences so they were quite the boon to our fledgling act.

Beautiful stuff from the cub reporter there... and I didn't realize until the proof-reader gal informed me that this Musk fellow is going to pay us by the letter. (Geez, I must have used 280 characters in this blog title alone. sweet!)

Anyway, Paul was talking about the Loggins & Messina concert in the Cal Poly Gym which was my first rock 'n' roll concert! It was a great show that happened sometime in the first half of 1972 (I'm guessing, 'Steel Trap' Hobbs can't even remember). 

L&M opened for The Youngbloods and blew the crowd away, we were so excited! Then, The Youngbloods come out who were on their last legs as a band. I didn't even know who Jesse Colin Young was at the time, and would become a big fan of his as my bay area SDSU roommate Mark Hunter would turn me on to him a few years later. So The Youngbloods come out very flat and definitely were not the youngblood band that night. People in the audience, including our gang of four mentioned above, left the concert in the middle of their set. I imagine Loggins & Messina weren't going to remain an opening act shortly after that.

"The album's first single release, the Caribbean-flavored Vahevala, found top 3 success on WCFL on May 18, 1972. Although the album went unnoticed by radio upon release, it eventually found success by fall 1972, particularly on college campuses where the pair toured heavily. Loggins and Messina's vocal harmonies meshed so well that what was begun as a one-off album became an entity in itself. Audiences regarded the pair as a genuine duo rather than as a solo act with a well-known producer. Instead of continuing to produce Loggins as a sole performer, they decided to record as a duo, Loggins & Messina." Wikipedia

This week I feature the entire Sittin' In album as the playlist this week. As stated, the first single from the album was the very catchy Vahevala and fifty years later it's come back to play in my KSEE radio head all week. I then added some concert videos of the same songs performed over the years including a couple songs from their 2005 performance at the wonderful Santa Barbara County Bowl. 

The central coast, not a bad place for a band like Loggins and Messina to get famous and launch another duo who would play there and eventually end up in my neck of the beach, in San Diego for a year in 1975-76. Paul and Danny, now called Southwind played at a couple of Pacific Beach and Mission Beach bars during their year there. I loved this because I would sometimes go see Paul at the beach after classes at SDSU, and then attend their evening gig. I remember waking up one morning on Paul's living room floor at his rented beach house in Mission Beach, not remembering the night before. Then it dawned on me, "Shouldn't I be in my Jazz Appreciation class right now?" 

Enjoy the playlist my friends.

Here is the YouTube Music app which is great for listening to this playlist on your phone. Click on the text link below.

1 comment:

  1. There was a Deputy Dog character called Muskie. Maybe Elon is a descendant.


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