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The Evolution of a Dad Band
updated: Mar 29, 2014, 11:00 AM

By David Powdrell

The Evolution of a Dad Band - It Beats the Heck out of Poker Night

So here's the deal…..the year is 1998. My wife and I are invited to a dinner party. All the attendees have children that go to the same elementary school. If true to form, the ladies, who know each other well, will sip fine wines, cackle wildly and chit-chat at a breakneck speed in the kitchen.

The guys, less well-acquainted, will shuffle off to the back porch sipping a cold beer and struggle a bit to find a common man-topic. Conversations of surfing at interesting places will carry us through the evening. Man-talk, from my experience, doesn't include a lot of words. I think that's genetics.

Here's the magic: On this night in 1998, in this Goleta tract home, sits an idle drum set, an upright piano, and an itty bitty amplifier. After a long lull, one of the guys tosses out "Let's try playing some music".

This is where it gets a little fuzzy. Either Richard or David take the drums, Steve finds a tambourine, another David is given a microphone and I ease up to the yet unclaimed piano. Tom comes to life with "Hey, I've got my guitar in the trunk of my car!!"

I'm not going to sugar coat this. The first song we attempt, a Beatles classic, doesn't go well. Things go further south from there.

Two weeks later, in true Blues Brothers fashion, "Let's get the band back together" and give it a second try. Over the next several months we pick up some additional musicians and vocalists, find a perfect practice site and things start to gel.

Vowing that we'll never quit our day jobs and under the guise that "As long as we're having fun, the audience is having fun", we play for Sarah's 40th birthday party at Sandpiper Golf Course, get a stint on KTYD radio, make an appearance on the Condor Express, play the Santa Barbara Marathon finish line and play a myriad of other fun community events and private parties.

Don Julio Blanco (yes, we'd sipped some tequila and liked the name) still plays together on occasion, but those early days were the magical ones. Some of us have moved on to other bands, some play in multiple bands, but I'll always treasure my friendships and the gut-busting good laughs with my Don Julio Blanco amigos.

If there's one "take-away" from this story, it's this: If you happen to own a musical instrument or two, have them in plain sight in your living room. You never know what'll happen.


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