|It's a Beautiful Day|
Years: 1967 – 1974; 2000 – present
Styles: Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Folk Rock, Funk Rock, Jazz Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Linda LaFlamme - Backing vocals, Celesta, Electric piano, Hammond organ, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Tambourine (in band: 1967 - 1970)
Pattie Santos - Backing vocals, Bells, Maracas, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals (in band: 1967 - 1974)
David LaFlamme - Acoustic guitar , Flute, Guitar, Lead vocals, Rhythm guitar, Violin, Vocals (in band: 1967 – 1973; 2000 – present)
Mitchell Holman - Backing vocals, Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Jew's harp (in band: 1967 - 1971)
Val Fuentes - Backing vocals, Drums, Lead vocals, Vocals (in band: 1967 – 1974; 2000 – present)
Hal Wagenet - Acoustic guitar , Guitar (in band: 1968 - 1971)
Fred Webb - Backing vocals, French Horn , Harp, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1970 - 1974)
Tom Fowler - Bass Guitar (in band: 1971 - 1973)
Bill Gregory - Acoustic guitar , Guitar (in band: 1971 - 1974)
Bud Cockrell - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1973)
Ralph Benkus - Drums (in band: 1973 - 1974)
Greg Bloch - Mandolin, Violin (in band: 1974)
Rob Espinosa - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 2000 - 2014)
Linda Baker LaFlamme - Vocals (in band: 2000 - present)
Toby Gray - Bass Guitar (in band: 2000 - present)
Gary Thomas - Keyboards (in band: 2000 - present)
Rob Cunningham - Guitar (in band: 2014 - present)
David LaFlamme, who as a youth had formerly once performed as a soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, had previously been in the group Orkustra playing five-string violin. The other members of It's a Beautiful Day in its early years were Hal Wagenet (guitar), Mitchell Holman (bass) and Val Fuentes (drums). The band created a unique blend of rock, jazz, folk, classical, and world-beat styles during the initial seven years it was officially together.
The band's debut album, It's a Beautiful Day, was produced by David LaFlamme in Los Angeles, California, and released by Columbia Records in 1969. It features tracks such as "White Bird", "Hot Summer Day", and "Time Is". The theme from the song "Bombay Calling" was later used, at a slower tempo, by Deep Purple as the intro to "Child in Time" on its Deep Purple in Rock album. The vocals and violin playing of David LaFlamme plus Santos's singing attracted FM radio play attention, and nationally, "White Bird" bubbled under Billboard's Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 118.
The band was almost invited to play at Woodstock. When Michael Lang was negotiating with Bill Graham to get the Grateful Dead to appear, Graham insisted Lang put one of two other acts that he also managed on the bill. Lang then listened to a tape of both It's a Beautiful Day and the other band and liked them both so much that he couldn't decide, so he flipped a coin and It's a Beautiful Day lost. The band that won was Santana, who became stars overnight.
Later that year, the original lineup of the band changed; the LaFlammes had split and Linda left the band, replaced by Fred Webb. The following album, Marrying Maiden, recorded at Pacific High Recording Studio in San Francisco, released in 1970, was their most successful in the charts. In that year, the band also performed at the Holland Pop Festival at the Kralingse Bos in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. Tom Fowler (later bassist for Frank Zappa) and Bill Gregory joined in March 1971, with their first performance broadcast live on San Francisco's KSAN FM radio, with host Tom Donahue introducing them as the band's two new members.
In July 1971, the band was one of the last acts to appear at Fillmore West in San Francisco. Its performance of "White Bird" appeared as part of the musical documentary film Fillmore (1972).
The band continued to record Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime in 1971, the live album Live at Carnegie Hall in 1972 and It's A Beautiful Day...Today in 1973, touring until 1974 when it split up after violinist Gregory Bloch left to join the Italian progressive rock group Premiata Forneria Marconi and later the Saturday Night Live Band. In 1976, LaFlamme's solo version of "White Bird" finally cracked the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 89. Patti Santos, who together with her husband, former group bassist Bud Cockrell (also original bassist with Pablo Cruise), had formed Cockrell & Santos in 1977, was killed in a car crash near Geyserville in Sonoma County, California on December 14, 1989.
Since 2000, the band features founder David LaFlamme and original drummer Fuentes. Other band members are LaFlamme's current wife, whom he met in 1974, Linda Baker LaFlamme (vocals), Toby Gray (basses and producer), Gary Thomas (keyboards and producer), Rob Espinosa (guitars) and Michael Prichard (percussion). They continue performing today, with LaFlamme contributing to Jefferson Starship's 2008 release, Jefferson's Tree of Liberty. This line-up was the longest continual group that has ever performed the band's material. In 2014, Rob Cunningham replaced Espinosa on lead guitar.
© Boar 2011 - 2019