The Boys of Summer bring some local musical history back with their Eagles Tribute/Clean Slate show

Bill Winkler leads the claps on 'Heartache Tonight', a real crowd pleaser from The Boys of Summer. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Bill Winkler leads the claps on ‘Heartache Tonight’, a real crowd pleaser from The Boys of Summer. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter, and if this little town, and the immortal hills around it, was not the only home he had on earth? He did not know. All that he knew was that the years flow by like water, and that one day men come home again.”

Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

In the early 1970’s, the Eagles were one of the hottest groups around. In the Sunland Tujunga area sandwiched between the San Fernando Valley and Angeles National Forest, Clean Slate was the hottest group in an area with many excellent groups and musicians. Time flew by and just like John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac and the Yardbirds, many different people played with Clean Slate before going on to other groups or retiring from music. The members of Clean Slate also played with many different types of groups, from various forms of the rock-based Clean Slate to jazz bands and Chicago/Chase/BST type groups. In the high school days, some of the members even played with the Verdugo Hills HS band, orchestra and even the Dons, VHHS’ marching band.

Darrel Monson and Craig T. Fall bring back the days of great rock guitar. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Darrel Monson and Craig T. Fall bring back the days of great rock guitar. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Fast forward to the present day and you’ll see that the Eagles had a big influence on the various members of Clean Slate. So much in fact, the several of the members formed “The Boys of Summer”, an Eagles tribute group. Acknowledged by many as the best of the Eagles tribute bands, the “Boys of Summer” keeps a heavy road schedule, traveling across the country to such places as Twin Falls, Idaho, The Carson Valley Casino in Minden, Nevada, Harrah’s Reno, Tulalip Casino in Washington, the Hilton Doubletree in Grand Junction, Colorado, Napa, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, Deadwood, North Dakota and the Artichoke Festival in Monterey are just a few of the places they have played.

Jimmy williamson showed that the days of great drum solos are still here. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Jimmy Williamson showed that the days of great drum solos are still here. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat

Saturday night, The Boys of Summer went home to Tujunga, playing at the American Legion Hall. The word had been sent out that this was not only a show, but all alumni who had ever played with the band members were invited to come enjoy the evening and even sit in on some songs. Thus resulted an incredibly interesting evening of some great music and great memories.

the crowd was up on their feet at The Boys of summer/Clean Slate show. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

The crowd was up on their feet at The Boys of Summer/Clean Slate show. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat

Two members of the group have been playing together since growing up in Sunland Tujunga. Jimmy Williamson, drums and Darrel Monson, guitar and lead vocals, are the two original members of Clean Slate that form the nucleus of “The Boys of Summer”. Craig T. Fall’s last gig was as guitarist on Glen Campbell’s farewell tour. Chris Turbis on keyboards and vocals along with Bill Winkler on bass and vocals round out “The Boys of Summer”.

Dean Knoght, part of the original Clean slate lineup, joins The Boys of summer on bass.Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Dean Knight, part of the original Clean Slate lineup, joins The Boys of Summer on bass. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

The first half of the show was “The Boys of Summer”. The boys proved why they are considered tops at what they do—–good harmonies, superb musicianship and the ability to get the crowd moving on songs like ‘Heartache Tonight’ show that they love what they are doing. ‘Hotel California’, Peaceful Easy Feeling’ and ‘Witchy Woman’ showed how adept they are are covering different stages of the Eagle’s history. Most of all, they played the tunes that people wanted to hear, showcasing the Eagles in a way that very few groups besides the Eagles themselves can do.

Procul Harum's 'Whiter Shade of Pale', with guest organist onan original Hammond B3 organ. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Procul Harum’s ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’, with guest organist Scott Luke on an original Hammond B3 organ. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

The second half of the show went into some other songs besides just the Eagles. Guitarist Mike Casey came up to do a few tunes with the band. The audience figured out what the Hammond B3 organ, the organ that created the classic 60’s sound for groups like the Allman Brothers and Procol Harum, when organist Scott Luke and the group launched into Procol Harum’s hit, ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’. Dean Knight, another alumni of the band, came on to play bass on ‘Outlaw Man’ and several other songs. ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ got the house jumping just as it has for since rock began.

Jimmy williamson's daughter shannon really like d the show. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Jimmy Williamson’s daughter Shannon really liked the show. Photo by Edward Simon for the Los Angeles Beat.

Not only was the music great, but it was a nice opportunity to see people I’d played with from my old musician days. And if Saturday night was any indication, “The Boys of Summer” are certainly in it for ‘The Long Run’.

The Boys of Summer Tribute Band website

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Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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2 Responses to The Boys of Summer bring some local musical history back with their Eagles Tribute/Clean Slate show

  1. Sandra says:

    Look like a bunch of old over weight people to me.lol

  2. Allan Jobbes says:

    In high school couldn’t wait for the weekend, and any house party were Clean Slate was playing. Sunland/Tujunga is a special place and Clean Slate is still a special band. As far as the comment before this one, Sandra you too shall be old and grey someday. It just goes to show,” Rock and Roll will never die”.

    “GREEN GRASS AND HIGH TIDES FOREVER”
    Thank you guys for all the good times
    Another, old over weight fan for over 45years
    Al

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