Monday, November 05, 2018

Buddy Rich at the Carnation Gardens, June 1972

Mr. X, that seemingly endless font of wonderful photos, has shared dozens and dozens of slides - photos that he personally took back in the early 70's when so many famous Big Bands performed at the Carnation Plaza Gardens. X was (and is) an avid fan of these bands, and is also very knowledgeable regarding the great musicians he was lucky enough to see and hear. Any information regarding musicians is courtesy of Mr. X - I only know the members of the Bay City Rollers.

Today I have a selection of pictures featuring Buddy Rich and his orchestra, from June 1972. That's Joel Di Bartolo on bass guitar - X says that Di Bartolo later joined the Tonight Show Orchestra when he was finished touring with Buddy. 

Buddy is going nuts.

Go, Buddy, go!

Mr. X wanted to especially call out "the great Pat LaBarbera on soprano sax/tenor sax, as well as Lin Biviano on lead trumpet".

Here's a very nice overall look at the Plaza Gardens stage. Man, they really had to cram all of those musicians into a small space.

I love this wide shot of the entire orchestra, as well as the rapt crowds near the stage.

Mr. X says that the soloing trombonist is Rick Culver.

Buddy surely got a good workout at every performance - he looks like he just ran a marathon here. Love the ankh hanging from a chain - groovy! Mr. X recalls, I remember the giant crowds for Buddy's week-long engagement -- it was a great experience to hear this band live. I'll bet!

Thanks so much to Mr. X for sharing his personal photos and memories! Stay tuned for more big bands, coming up.


walterworld said...

Buddy Rich was a monster drummer back in the days before Rock and Roll made it cool. What a great set of pictures! I think we all wish we could have been there with Mr. X to see this one. Thanks!

Nanook said...


Just imagine what great music that must have been-! From a time when the world was able to 'accommodate' a bit more than merely the "current trend", as determined by those positioned to profit from that lack of diversity. And Disneyland was just such a place to showcase it all - when entertainment, all kinds - was king.

Thanks Major - and of course - Mr. X.

DrGoat said...

Being an ex-drummer from the 60s myself, that is really too much for words to express. Buddy Rich was and still remains one of the best drummers ever to exist. That show must have been heaven on earth.
Again, thanks Major and Mr. X.

JC Shannon said...

Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, and Keith Moon. The best ever. The Big Bands were and are still are great. My mom used to tell me stories of seeing Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller and Count Basie when she lived in Chicago. Disneyland really did get some big names back in the day. I wonder what music they performed that night. Thanks to Major and Mr. X.

Chuck said...

Jonathan, I can't believe you left Mick Shrimpton off that list.

JC Shannon said...

Sorry Chuck, I don't know what I was thinking!

Anonymous said...

This is great stuff.

Thanks Major and Mr. X.

I wish I had paid more attention to the Carnation Gardens as a kid.


K. Martinez said...

This is the kind of entertainment I sorely miss at Disneyland. The Big Bands! I used to love going to Carnation Plaza Gardens back in the day. During the afternoon, I'd have a hamburger, fries and milkshake at the Carnation Gardens and leisurely watch the local schools and SoCal clubs talent being presented. During the evening I'd drop by to listen to the big bands. Hearing that music made Disneyland extra magical. I miss when Disneyland was like that. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, Mr. X took lots of photos of big bands over the course of a few years, and he is generously going to allow me to share them here!

Nanook, I gather that Walt was a fan of Dixieland jazz, but I wonder if he would have enjoyed the more modern drumming of Buddy Rich?

DrGoat, there is no such thing as an ex-drummer. Once a drummer, always a drummer! I’ll have to go through Mr. X’s binder, I think there is one more set from a different concert with Buddy Rich.

Jonathan, I’m afraid that I am more familiar with rock drummers than the earlier guys from the big bands. Keith Moon for sure. I was friends with an older couple in L.A., they used to tell me all about their days in the 50’s, when Eddie (the husband) would get off of work, and then he and his wife would go all over L.A. to see the great bands playing. Eddie was a real scholar, including R. Crumb as a pal (he had a drawing by Crumb that is super cool).

Chuck, my ignorance is showing, as I’ve never even heard of Mick Shrimpton. Hello, Wikipedia!

Jonathan, you can’t name them all! It’s too hard to even try, because someone will always be left off.

JG, I know, I would have been completely uninterested in the bands playing at the Carnation Gardens in those days. My dad loved big bands, you’d think some of his appreciation would have rubbed off, but no such luck.

K. Martinez, I thought that they still had big bands and swing dancing at the Fantasy Faire area? At least that’s what I’ve read, though I don’t know how often it actually happens. Your description of enjoying a burger, fries and a milkshake at the old Plaza Gardens while listening to local musical talent sounds wonderful to me now!

K. Martinez said...

Major, Maybe they still do have the big band and swing bands going on at the Fantasy Faire pavilion. I thought they moved that to Downtown Disney for some reason. I just down remember seeing any big band or swing bands playing on my last trip. Glad to hear it's still going on, but the setting is not the same that's for sure.

DrGoat said...

Major, there are lot of things I'm an ex at, but you're right. Drums never leave you.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, that's good to know; I remember reading about the people who loved to show up and dance at the Plaza Gardens, and always thought it sounded like such a nice way to spend an evening with your significant other. I agree though, the "Fantasy Faire" setting is odd, at least in my opinion.

DrGoat, I am just glad that you didn't meet the fate of all of Spinal Tap's drummers!

DrGoat said...

I only slightly exploded.

Anonymous said...

I was there. I bought a brand new Doc Severinson Getzen Eterna trumpet. It was the summer between my sophomore and Junior year of high school I was 16. I watch the entire set. They had two rest periods and I talked to the second trumpet player during the break. Fantastic band. The guy was a professional trumpet player with one of the best Jazz big bands in the world but he talked to me like and equal. It gives credence to the talk about Buddy taking a sincere interest in young people just learning about Jazz. The year previous my first band instructor who later became the Instructor at Collge of the Redwoods Jazz band had arranged for Don Ellis band to play in Eureka, California and I met Don Ellis in person. Great experiences