Daryl Dragon
By Ronnie

In the ‘70s some people wrote off the Captain & Tennille with the same disdain reserved for Barry Manilow. Their lightweight pop just didn’t fit in with the current disco or punk rock that was popular at the time. But, you can’t argue with their success: five Gold albums, six Gold singles, a Platinum single , a Platinum album, in addition to winning one Grammy. They even branched out into television, with the successful Captain and Tennille Variety Show. In 1979, they released their last Number One hit, "Do That To me One More Time". These days, the Captain and Tennille seem to have disappeared completely, performing only on special occasions, preferring the quiet life at home in northern Nevada. However, they made a recent appearance in a hilarious Sprint Cellular commercial.

I talked to Daryl about his years as a touring member of the Beach Boys, the success of Captain & Tennille and his current projects.

E.C.: First, I want to ask you about your Beach Boys days. You got into the Beach Boys as a touring member in 1967 via Bruce Johnston correct? You and Ron Brown were the only outside musicians with the band at the time?

Daryl: Yes: Actually, my older brother ‘Doug’, was asked by Bruce Johnston if he were interested in touring with ‘the boys’, since Bruce and Doug were kinda ‘surf buddies’, and Doug was more outgoing than I was. Doug was up front with Bruce, and said that his ‘musical ear’ was probably not good enough to tackle the Brian Wilson crafted / penned tunes, but Doug DID offer me as an alternative. I spoke with Bruce about the possibility, and was informed that I would have to audition for Carl Wilson, the designated ‘leader’ of the Beach Boys. I studied some of the Beach Boys’ hit tunes that I thought Carl would be expecting me to have ‘under my belt’, but when I got into Brian’s home to audition, I was shocked to realize that many of the chords that ‘I thought’ I heard, were incorrect !! Not good for a (proud) music major in college to come to that realization!! Anyway, Carl saw that I had the potential to learn the tunes -with the right ‘feel’, and I ‘got the gig’, where I envisioned that I could (in the future..) teach my brother Doug the parts, and he could become the pianist for the group, while I could move on to ‘synth’ / organ parts, etc. ... which is exactly what transpired - down the road (so to speak). There was a time when myself, Doug, and my younger brother Dennis (drummer/ head man of ‘Surf Punks’ fame) ALL were touring with ‘the boyz’.

As for Ron Brown and myself: Yes, originally, Ron Brown (bassist) and myself were the only extra musicians who toured with the boys, but after a time - they found another dedicated bass / guitar player, as well as a ‘safety’ backup for Dennis Wilson on drums, my other brother on keyboards, and I ended up being musical director for the group (around ‘70), and (for instance) I put together a ‘brass section’ for the touring band, and tried to write down the horn arrangements as best I could - that (again), I ‘thought I heard’ on their many hit records. I did OK... but no cigar.

E.C.: When you were a touring member between 1967 and 1972, the Beach Boys were at their lowest point, commercial wise. Was it a little demoralizing to tour with the band at this time? What was it like to tour with the band at this time? And, what did you think of the songwriting in the band during this period?

Daryl: Yes, ‘they’ were at a very low point in the Beach Boys’ career. I remember the ‘feeling’ I got when working / rehearsing with them - that they were often bringing up the ‘Beatles’, and what the Beatles were innovating in the biz, and how maybe they could try ‘Beatle-like’ approaches in their writing / arrangements / hipness, etc.

You mentioned that - historically - the ‘low point’ in the ‘boys’ career was between ‘67 - ‘72. Yes, after I left the group and launched ‘Captain & Tennille’, I slowly came to the conclusion that - that period was INDEED their lower point. I immediately went into ‘musician-paranoia’ mode after this realization, and figured that it was all due to my being part of their ‘aura’, or being a backup musician for them that was responsible for their ‘low period’ at that time. I joke about it, but down deep, that question still lurks. Hmmmm. It IS a fact that - as soon as I departed, their career zoomed !! They became re-discovered. I DO remember a major career move that changed their direction though. I believe it was in New York, and they played on the same stage - with the GRATEFUL DEAD’, and the ‘Dead’ treated them as ‘hip’, they came out during the Beach Boys part of the concert and ‘sat in’ with them, etc., and ROLLING STONE magazine INSTANTLY changed their ‘tude’ in regards to them. Like magic, it was ‘instantly’ cool to be a Beach Boys fan!!

Regarding ‘demoralizing’ at the time... & regarding the ‘Boys’ being treated as kind of historical ‘has beens’ in the industry. It DID kinda upset me when I read so many reviews that really didn’t see the brilliance of what Brian Wilson / Beach Boys had accomplished / contributed to the evolution of music. Actually, when I joined the group as a backup musician, I too had that ‘attitude’ that the boyz were ‘not hip’, and were kinda almost parodying (what I believed to be..) true ‘rock and roll’. Only after I joined up with them, and was literally hired to write out Brian’s tunes for copyrighting, did I realize that I was writing down music that was as innovative - in it’s own way, as the famous German composer ‘Richard Wagner’, or other brilliant composers from the romantic era of music.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE that Brian Wilson will go down in history as THE MOST INNOVATIVE composer of the 1900’s (in the pop music genre). I attended college as a music major, and was extensively schooled in the area of ‘harmony’ as to what was ‘correct’, acceptable, and what was to be considered natural, meaningful, musical evolution. Brian Wilson BROKE MANY OF THOSE TRADITIONAL MUSICAL RULES - and CREATED HIS OWN !! Wagner did this. You can write down the composers on ONE HAND that also did this - and made it WORK. Yes, B. Wilson is one of them - definitely inspired by ‘the gods’ in my estimation. - ON THE OTHER HAND (so to speak..) - - You can write down a longer list of lesser composers that TRIED to break the rules, but you’ve (more than likely) never heard much more from them - or probably (likewise - have ) never heard much more of their ‘inspired’ compositions - either.

As for the Beach Boys songwriting during the ‘low period’. I think one of the problems that I (as a studio musician) noted: They were recording mainly in their own home (Brian’s home), and I think that very ‘lax’, homey atmosphere was both good and bad. I think the good part was, the music was almost a ‘home-grown’ feel, where, if you listened closely, you might even hear the family dog bark in the background, etc. You heard a relaxed musical feel as well.

On the negative side, however, one might notice that the more traditionally, almost expected ‘polished’ side of the (expected - pop music) hot, ‘radio-friendly’ productions was missing. One might notice that Brian’s old home-Hammond organ was overly used on many tunes, & was slightly out of tune, etc., as well as their home ‘thumpy’ piano not being the most attractive piano-sound on earth. Yes, I must admit that this was a valid trademark for ‘the sound’ they were choosing to create at the time, but I don’t believe that approach translated into ‘hot’ attractive ‘radio-effective’ hit productions.

Remember: the ‘boyz’ biggest (early) hits WERE recorded in Capitol Studios, in Hollywood. I don’t know the whole story regarding their recording contracts: Perhaps because they didn’t have the same recording contract, (with a bigger recording budget & label) or maybe because they were signed to their own label, “BROTHER RECORDS”, or whatever, I believe the musical productions suffered, and even if the tunes were terrific - decent production DOES have to be part of the equation - to get radio airplay - at least at that time.

Also, many of the tunes were not about ‘chicks’ or ‘cars’ or surf any more, they were about meditating, and other ‘hippie related’ (late-sixties) stuff. This was such a departure from their earlier surfer/chicks ‘image’, that it’s no wonder that ‘critics’ jumped on them. “GOOD VIBRATIONS” DID create a new dimension for them, but... hey, who knows?

E.C.: Your touring days with the Beach Boys were when they were at their most eclectic as a live band. You had the oldies, the Smile-Smiley Smile stuff and their new stuff. What did you think of the set list?

Daryl: It’s hard to reminisce this long after touring with ‘the boyz’. I DO remember the INSANE, FRANTIC fan reaction to their hits like ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’, ‘God Only Knows’, etc., but remember, I was hired as a professional backup musician - and my job was to do the BEST I could do - to (musically) capture (on my instrument) what they were writing / performing at the time. At all times I was aware of the continued unique writing talents of Brian, and even though Brian wasn’t touring, I was always imagining that HE just ‘might’ be out there in the audience in say, Peoria, ILL, and I was gonna show him that I was behind his music... whatever it was. To me, I was learning a heck of a lot (musically)... certainly much more (innovation wise) than in college. I was also learning about the life of a super star group (The Beach Boys), & seeing entire world - to boot, by literally being PAID to travel to Australia, Austria, Berlin, England, Yugoslavia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, France, & even - Boise Idaho, etc.

As for “The Set List’: I believe this was a slight problem for them as a touring group, trying to introduce new material to their audiences. Most of the audiences really didn’t want to hear ‘new material’. This is how it’s always been, unfortunately. If a tune hasn’t established itself as ‘a hit’, audiences get bored quick. I saw times when people would leave the auditorium until the ‘hits’ were played. Sad state of the rock-concert biz, but (continuing to be) true. I DID notice that when they toured ‘the college circuit’, that the ‘students’ seemed to be more open to their newer material.

I must bring this up, even though the question was not asked: The group ‘Buffalo Springfield’ (for instance..) ‘OPENED’ for the boyz a number of times on tour in the late sixties, and this is when I also witnessed the brilliance of Stephen Stills and Neil Young in their ‘young rebel years’, doing amazing / innovative musical things / making bold political statements. I’m sorry in a way that similar musical creations / innovations are not being exposed today - whomever the artist: Stifled Musical creations that have the potential to lift people’s spirits more, and greatly expand their horizons and faith in the creating of a better world.

E.C.: When was the first time you got to record with the Beach Boys in the studio? Was it the Sunflower album at Brian Wilson’s home studio? Did you play a part in any of their other albums, such as Surf’s Up?

Daryl: I believe I was hired to record for the first time on the SUNFLOWER album. I forgot how it transpired, but I think that ‘the boyz’ preferred to have musicians that they knew working with them in studio, rather than calling in ‘clock watching’, ‘studio musicians’. My recording rate was also a little cheaper, and I was a little more ‘open’ when it came to ‘wasting studio time’…while waiting to record at their home in Bel Air, CA.

I remember many times, whether recording or rehearsing for the boyz, that I’d end up sitting out by Brian Wilson’s pool, petting and playing with their dog, ‘Banana’ - waiting to record. It was still an honor to finally have the opportunity to play/ record on their recordings - no matter how long the waiting.

As for ‘Surf’s Up’: I played on that album as well. I don’t think I contributed as much to that album as I did to SUNFLOWER.

E.C.: The Sunflower album was considered one of the Beach Boys most creative (at least in England). What do you remember about the Sunflower album? What was it like working with Brian and how much input did you have on that album?

Daryl: I have no proof that I contributed much to that album, but I feel that I literally PRODUCED many of the cuts on that album. Dennis Wilson - sadly - is no longer with us, but I’m sure if you were able to contact him ‘on the other side’, he’d substantiate my production credit / arrangement input for SUNFLOWER.

E.C.: Being a trained musician, what did you think of the songwriting of Brian Wilson and Dennis? In 1970 you released a single with Dennis released a single on Stateside Records, “Sound of Free”/”Lady” - How did the collaboration with Dennis come about? Other than this, did you ever talk about doing a full album together?

Daryl: I spoke of Brian quite a bit in an earlier answer to your questions, but I did NOT speak of Dennis Wilson at all so far. When I first worked with ‘the boyz’, I looked at Dennis as the wild drummer - sex symbol, not unlike Keith Moon of ‘the who’, and I literally stayed fairly clear of him, since he was basically ‘a wild card’, in my early estimation of him. I later discovered and was amazed by the fact that he was even more ‘romantic’ than Brian . . in his music writing & inner emotions. Visit http://geocities.com/denniswilsondreamer/denny/dragon.html to read an interview I did - regarding my collaboration with Dennis Wilson.

Before a typical tour sound check, I saw Dennis sitting at the piano, playing some beautiful chords. I walked over to him, and asked him what composer that was: He answered.. ‘I wrote that’. I was stopped COLD !! He hummed a melody to these absolutely inspired chords, and I realized that Brian was not the only musical-innovator in the family. I theorized that because Dennis was really a very romantic writer, that - if he had perhaps been born during Wagner’s time, that his life / career may have been completely different. I realized that Dennis’ heart was NOT in Rock and Roll, as much as it was in romantically-based musical writing.

Unfortunately, ‘romantic musical writing’ wasn’t being played on the radio (that year...) so, another brilliant musician / writer sits undiscovered during the sixties - seventies - eighties - nineties - era. What a sad state of affairs for music-exposure-to-the-masses in general. How many talented folks (I thought) are literally passed by, because ‘their time’, their ‘lucky stars’, their ‘lack of contacts’, their shyness, has left them undiscovered. This is what inspired me to create a website portal for undiscovered talents that I call ‘SurferzRule.com’.

E.C.: You decided to work as a duo with Toni (For a brief period she was, and has remained, the one and only “BEACH GIRL”), rather than become a full member of the Beach Boys. Was that a hard decision to make? Or did you simply see more potential with Toni?

Daryl: After I told the boyz that I was thinking of working in clubs with an unknown singer named Toni Tennille, instead of continuing as a backup musician for ‘the boyz’, they asked me (in Europe) to be a full-fledged member of the Beach Boys group. I thought about it for a time, but I felt that - first off, I did NOT sing. I was an instrumentalist / arranger. I thought, how could a ‘full fledged member ‘ of the boyz NOT SING? I wasn’t really that great at picking out vocal-harmony parts, or creating innovative vocal harmonies. SO: I decided to ‘cash it in’, and work for $25.00 a night (if I was lucky..) with Toni in local clubs in L.A. The reason was very simple. I felt I always had ‘a gift’ for recognizing talent, and when I heard Toni on a poorly recorded cassette - singing live in an onstage production of a musical she wrote called ‘MOTHER EARTH’, I was convinced that she was a potential star / singer / performer / songwriter.

My ‘gut feel’ was correct, fortunately, as it turned out. It wasn’t over night that our career took off, but the ‘gift’ that Toni possessed / possesses was just too great to be overlooked. Besides, I could continue to carry on my ‘backup musician’ position in the Captain & Tennille, and have the bonus of being ‘on my own’ . . by being THE CAPTAIN, and calling the shots, rather than continuing to the feeding/petting of Brian Wilson’s dog - near his pool for the rest of my life. IT IS interesting that some of the guys that I worked with as ‘backup musicians’ for the boyz, are STILL working with the boyz as backup musicians. One terrific drummer/musician, named Mike Kowalski (who began with the boyz back in the late sixties) is still banging out the drum parts for ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’, etc. Hey, now that’s a STEADY JOB !!

Right: The Captain & Tennille as the hits began

E.C.: What made you and Toni finally decide to end (at least full time) the Captain and Tennille? Did you figure that you had reached your pinnacle of success with the duo?

Daryl: ’The luck of the draw’, or just the nature of the music business can make or break a career in what seems to happen within a few ‘minutes’.

We were doing quite well in the recording field (basically, almost a continual stream of hits from our first ‘smash’ back in ‘75 entitled, “LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER”, up until our last hit in the early eighties, entitled ‘Do That To Me One More Time’). We also had to be fairly good business men/women to ‘change’ or adjust career/biz-modes when the right times presented themselves.

One invaluable change / alteration / choice was to depart our affiliation with A&M Records, when the attitude at the label to C&T became similar to that Beach Boys ‘declined years’ era that they finally got through. Most record companies figure that most artists’ careers are expected to last around five years (at least that was the ‘tude’ back then). SO: We saw that ‘writing on the wall’, (attitude) at A&M Records, and chose to move on to Casablanca Records - where ‘Cher’, The Village People, and other disco acts were breaking.

Neil Bogart was the president of Casablanca, and definitely recognized our musical worth. He also was a brilliant (what they call...) ‘A & R Man’ in the biz, and he could tell from Toni singing (live at our home) alone... on an electric piano, that the tune she wrote entitled ‘Do That To Me One More Time’ was a SMASH. He was right. It was a nmbr one single in ‘80. He renewed our career. Neil wanted his record company to represent more than just ‘disco’. The hit for us on his label altered that ‘strictly disco’ image. Unfortunately, Neil Bogart died of cancer just a year or so after we signed with Casablanca. When he died, his company went with him, and was ‘absorbed’ into Polygram Records. The rest of our recording career - from that point on has been ‘nil’. Visit our website at: www.captainandtennille.net to read the ‘discography’ or recording history of what we accomplished, plus other releases - released after ‘81.

Also, you asked why we pretty much ‘shut down’ the Captain & Tennille a few years back now. Basically we were touring only, and performing almost exclusively ‘the old hits’. Ask the Beach Boys if this is musically fulfilling -to continue playing just the old hits. It’s terrific to see the reaction of the crowd to our old hits, but it’s difficult to gear up to play the ‘same old thing’ tour after tour, gig after gig, with no inspiration or incentive to perform / create / promote ‘new stuff’. Also, Toni finished an extensive national tour recently (lasting almost a year) of a musical called ‘Victor / Victor’. and that pretty much closed the door on any more forced-ingesting of ‘on-the-road food’, dealing with over-heated hotel rooms, late/missed / cancelled airline flights, vocal problems due to colds, allergies, etc. Thus.....

E.C.: Bruce Johnston helped you get into the Beach Boys, one of his songs was the b-side of your first Captain and Tennille 45rpm ("Disney Girls") and you’ve recorded many of his tunes on your albums. Have you stayed in touch with Bruce?

Daryl: As I mentioned earlier, Bruce and my older brother Doug were fairly ‘tight’ as far as, one might say, ‘socially active’ in the Santa Monica, CA area. In the early sixties, they often attended local parties, night clubs as ‘the band’, plus lively (wild) beach events, surfing events, etc. Although I was the first person to actually ‘discover’ Bruce - who was playing piano & singing (brilliantly) at a local ‘Venice Beach’ coffee house, when I spoke of Bruce’s obvious talent to Doug, Doug contacted him and created quite an almost instantaneous repoire (sp) with him - and brought me in to the mix, when we all played our instruments as ‘a local band’ - at various club-gigs and mainly at wild parties - as I remember.

Anyway, when I decided to depart the ‘boyz’, around ‘70-’71, Bruce asked me to please stay in contact, and since Toni had played as a backup musician / ‘beach girl’ with the boyz, she too recognized Bruce’s obvious gift for pop-music writing, since he was performing ‘Disney Girls’ on stage with the Boyz during that period, and also singing some other beautiful songs he wrote.

So, we decided, since we both agreed that Bruce’s writing was so terrific, to record ‘Disney Girls’ as a ‘demo’ - along with about seven other tunes. Toni’s song entitled, ‘The Way I Want To Touch You’, was also one of those seven ‘demo’ cuts that we were pitching to record companies in L.A. But it was ‘Disney Girls’ that actually was responsible for us getting a record deal, in a way - via a ‘back door’ approach. Without Disney Girls, a couple of local radio-DJ’s who often attended our night club performances (five nights a week) wouldn’t have stated: “Hey guys, if you put that great tune, ‘Disney Girls’ on a 45 record, we’ll play it on our station here in the SF Valley, called KVFM.. and report back to you what our listening audience thinks of it”.

Well: That sounded like a gift from heaven. We knew that most established record companies had trouble getting ‘airplay’ on local L.A. radio stations, let alone US, WITHOUT a record deal, and being an unknown band as well.

A couple of weeks passed, and the DJ’s came back with ‘the report’, regarding their listening audience’s feedback about ‘Disney Girls’. They reported to us that we HAD A HIT RECORD !! We were shell-shocked !! We said, ‘You mean, ‘Disney Girls’ is a HIT? They said..., “NO. The other side of the recording is THE HIT !! It’s your song entitled, ‘The Way I Want To Touch You’. We got TONS of calls to play the tune again. As many calls - if not more than our top, ‘heavy rotation’, Billboard charted recordings!!“

Yes, these guys played BOTH sides of the single on their radio station, and we just happened to choose to ‘throw’ the demo of ‘The Way I Want To Touch You’ on the other side of the 45, and voila, ... the DJ’s, fortunately, played BOTH sides, and got a terrific call-in reaction from their listeners from the ‘Touch You’ song.

The word quickly spread that a local group was getting airplay. Other major stations in L.A. were excited about a local, ‘home grown’ ‘club’ group getting airplay. Thus, other (even larger) radio stations added the recording to their playlists. We pressed up about 500 45’s and placed them in a local record store. They were nmbr 7 in pop-45 record sales. SO: before long, seven of the top record company’s A&R reps ‘stopped by’ to our local club to ‘check us out’. There were six offers from just about all the major record companies for us to sign a recording contract, and we were able to choose ‘A&M Records’, because they were locally (L.A.) based, were headed up by a musician (Herb Alpert) rather than a ‘typical suit’, and they also said that they would allow us to PRODUCE our own first album, rather than assigning us a ‘staff producer’. The ball was rolling. The rest is C&T, HITZ HISTORY !!

As for ‘Staying in Touch With Bruce’: Yes, now and again we run across one another. Toni and Bruce’s wife, Harriet (sp) are good friends, but the fact of the matter is: We live in N. Nevada, and they live in S. Calif., so we don’t really see each other that often.

Some Trivia: C&T recorded Bruce’s big hit composition entitled: ‘I Write The Songs’ BEFORE Barry Manilow ever got into the studio with it. Barry (supposedly) heard another demo of the tune, and much later..our version of the tune, and then recorded it. Supposedly, Bruce told us... Barry ‘passed’ on the tune, ‘I WRITE THE SONGS’ a year or so before he committed to recording it. Hmmm....

E.C.: You’ve worn many hats musically over the years (no pun intended). You’ve been an arranger, producer of rock/pop as well as big band music, album artist, touring musician, film score composer as well as running a recording studio. Which musical achievement are you most proud of?

Daryl: It’s funny: I don’t really become ‘proud’ of any ‘one’ musical achievement. I think the most ‘proud’ I was of a musical achievement was (actually) writing a ‘fugue’ in college for my professor. It was an assignment, and I felt that (maybe) J.S. Bach visited this poor struggling music student for a second to help him out with this assignment. (The struggling student of course, being ME..). - ‘Proud’, cont: When I listen to old recordings off our albums in the seventies, I feel a kind of ‘pride’ in regards to certain ‘licks’ or inspirations / arrangements that came to me back then, but I actually am MOST PROUD or THANKFUL of sincere feedback from people who have bought the albums, and sincerely tell us (via fan mail, etc.,) that our music has helped them spiritually, or whatever, in dealing with life, or inspiring them in some beneficial way. I think that’s what music has been ‘put here’ for.

E.C.: The Captain and Tennille seemed to have disappeared completely, then seemingly out of the blue, you are in the hilarious Sprint Cellular commercial. That commercial cracks me up every time! How did that come about? Did any of your friends/associates not get the joke?

Daryl: Yup, even though we had hired a manager in the mid-nineties who had a access to a NY-based, fantastic press agent that got us on just about ALL the varied day-time AND night-time talk shows on TV back then, plus countless radio interviews and press interviews - reminding folks that we ‘were still around’, NOTHING today is as strong (obviously) as a nationally-broadcast, entertaining commercial. The commercial coming from a company as large as SPRINT - just about covers / blitzes ALL the television channels in the TV domain: Including, FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, and most cable channels.

When we had our Variety TV Show broadcast nationally, in the mid seventies, there were THREE TV Networks, and smaller, local tv channels. That was it !! There was no CNN, no ‘Showtime’ no, ‘Disney Channel’, no ‘MSNBC’, etc. Because of the limited amount of stations, when people turned on their TV at night, they would tune into one of three stations. CBS, ABC, or NBC. We were on ABC with a nationally broadcast, HIT Variety Show called ‘The Captain & Tennille Show’. Thirty to Fifty Million viewers were GUARANTEED to be watching the show. Even though the show was on for only a brief period (at our request... - hey, that’s a whole other story) people could track more accurately, & sustain a celebrity’s career back in the seventies, rather than today’s Hunt & Peck approach . . which is: hunting down an isolated interview or appearance from their favorite celebrity... on one of 100 -or-so cable channels.

You also asked: ‘How Did The Sprint Commercial Come About?’: Well, I’m the official ‘WebMeister’ for our Website at www.captainandtennille.net Since we have no personal management or agent at the present time, and haven’t had representation for a couple of years now, the WEBSITE was the way that SPRINT got to us. Somebody, obviously at SPRINT, or the AD AGENCY they affiliate with, probably brought up our name to executives at SPRINT, and they all figured that enough people ‘remembered’ the ‘hat’, or the ‘hit tune’, ‘DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME’ or whatever, to create an effective commercial spot, featuring us. So, they got to our website, looked for & clicked on: ‘contact info’, and voila, we’re back on TV ! We DID insist upon seeing the ‘script’ or approach for the commercial before blindly ‘taking the gig’. We have this ‘thing’ about not being made fun of. At least when we have the legal option of OKAYING or DENYING the releasing of the parody of our group, or whatever.

It’s interesting to me that more appealing ‘entertainment’ today has been in the form of commercial spots, and that the commercials have become more reliable as ‘true & consistent entertainment’ than what many so-called ‘entertainment-oriented’ shows are failing to do. - - & that is, truly ‘entertain’ & hold a viewer’s interest. Hey, that weird entertainment-related fact calls for another official... ‘Hmmmmm- (?)’

E.C.: In this day and age, all the ‘70s stuff is hip again. Have there been offers to you both to do any sort of ‘reunion’ tours or TV shows?

Daryl: We’ve had a number of offers to ‘hit the road’, as well as a few more commercials, but as I reported earlier, Toni is REAL TIRED of ‘missing a flight’, getting up a 4:00 in the morning & try to catch THE ONLY flight to Omaha, sleeping in noisy, stuffy hotels, trying to find ‘healthy’ eating establishments, etc. HEY: Thanks but, ‘no thanks’.

As far as commercials and / or ‘TV show guest appearances’ & C&T, we filter thru them, and weigh if the exposure would really be beneficial to our career, or for anybody - for that matter. Without a record deal (as we have presently been living ‘without’ now for a few decades), there is really no reason to ‘get out there’ and promote, since, usually, what one promotes is a new recording, or a new book, or whatever. Even if we HAD a record deal, the radio industry is in such turmoil that there is no radio station format that is geared for newly created/released ‘seventies sounding’ music. Even when Frank Sinatra was active and dealing with the ‘mood of radio’ back in his later recording career, there were stations that had formats that would play his latest ‘fifties-sounding, big band’ recordings, and Frank would sell a ton of product. Today, Hey... it’s another story.

If one (now) gets an inkling that ‘the captain’ may be into ‘sour grapes’ mode, because he’s no longer on the radio with C&T latest recordings, I invite the ‘inkler’ to visit ‘www.rumborecorders.com’ , where I’ve had a first hand opportunity to monitor the ‘pulse’ of this crazy radio/music business since the late seventies, and have watched the various genres of music come and go, and have also been watching the BUDGETS of major record labels dwindle, now due to the real threat of (active) massive-music-piracy via music/file sharing between music lovers. AGAIN: This Captain isn’t going down with the ship & throwing in the towel - like many ‘ex recording artists’ are doing - as well as gifted young, frustrated artists. I have an alternative / fix for this problem called ‘SurferzRule.com’. But.. this captain can’t do it alone, he needs a dedicated crew !! (also, FUNDING !! )

Right: Daryl and Toni today

E.C.: You and Toni celebrated your 25th wedding anniversary in November 2000. That is one of those rarities in showbiz, especially music. The only other long-term together couple that pops to mind is Paul & Linda McCartney. What is your secret?

Daryl: That’s the ‘most asked’ question when we do interviews: Usually, Toni is more succinct with her answer to that query. I believe that the ‘music’ was the first bond between Toni and I. As I mentioned earlier, I heard her music / singing on a rough ‘demo’ cassette, where she was singing, accompanying herself, and playing her OWN musical compositions in a musical play she had co-written. I just KNEW in my gut... that I could initially ‘get along’ with a woman that wrote brilliant / ‘gods-inspired’ music - - not unlike ELTON JOHN’s !! (INSERT: Very few folks are aware of Toni’s tremendous musical gift..)

Anyway, I met Toni, we DID have an instant ‘bonding’ (hard to explain...), and I believe the long-term secret to our marriage is because we have never really ‘competed’ in the musical domain, because I was always completely satisfied being more ‘in the background’ ... doing the producing, navigating, etc., while Toni is a natural performer. Hey, just get me out there (solo) on TV singing ‘Shop Around’, and just WATCH THE RATINGS PLUMMET in real time !! I’m a realist - if nothing else !!

The other ‘secret’ to our longevity is, I believe, that we respect each other, and ‘allow’ each other to have the freedom to ‘do their thing’, and thus, to have the freedom to evolve naturally, rather than putting a straight jacket on each other’s evolutionary growth pattern, so to speak. i.e,
a) Toni loves golf, I have no use for it. SO: Toni plays golf, and I sit at the computer.
b) Toni loves ‘high mountain hiking’ and I won’t go above 10,000 ft., because I believe one loses ‘brain cells’ at higher elevations, SO: Toni takes a week off, hikes to 16,000 ft., and I sit at the computer.

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