Friday, March 27, 2020

Friendship Train and the Monorail, November 1977

It's time to rock out with the FRIENDSHIP TRAIN! FT seems to have been a bit different from the usual "four guys and a gal" lineup (like you might see HERE or HERE); this time you get three fabulous babes in robin's-egg blue jumpsuits. Maybe they're singing Abba's "Dancing Queen"? Or "Give a Little Bit" by Supertramp? Sorry, guy playing bass guitar, nobody's looking at you.

Also from November of '77 is this unusual angle looking at a Mark III Monorail. Bubble dome! I can't quite tell if this is Monorail Green or Monorail Blue. Don't you wish you could hop on board and take a ride?


Nanook said...

Is the "Friendship Train" anything like the Love Train-?? And that is an unusual angle of the Monorail. (As for that Monorail color, I'm voting for Monorail Puce-!)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

It's Monorail Green and it matches the kitchen appliances we had, when I was growing up....and our vacuum cleaner and shag carpeting!

It was nice of the turquoise PeopleMover to pass by in the background, just as that first pic was being taken! If the ladies were singing an ABBA song, I hope they had Agnetha and Frida's moves!

Melissa said...

I was just singing "Give a Little Bit" like, thirty seconds before I opened this post. Weird!

Girl on the far right brings back memories of the time my mother made me get a Dorothy Hamill haircut. *shudder*

I guess little kids have always tried to climb on railings at Disneyland. I'm always afraid they're going to fall on the concrete and break something.

stu29573 said...

Friendship Train couldn't have been rocking too hard since they don't have a lead guitar! Keyboard solo? No, thank you! Their name sounds like they drew random words out of a hat. Still, the music was probably "comfortable" and they are easy to watch, so they were probably a good fit! Rock on!

K. Martinez said...

Friendship Train. Hmmmm. I used to love the opening of "Soul Train" when the announcer says "Sooooouuuuuuul Train!"

Nice angle of the Tomorrowland Monorail Station. Thanks, Major.

Gnometrek said...

Supertrain premiered on TV 2short years later. With some Disney veteran actors including Edward Andrews and the incomparable Hans Conried

JC Shannon said...

I vote "Walk This Way", Aerosmith is always a crowd pleaser. Heck yea I want to hop aboard. Bob's design looks fast and futuristic even standing still. Aaalll Aboard. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

I can recall a time when I thought those jumpsuits were normal. I'm cringing a bit now. Still, a great snapshot in time.

Don't care what the color is - in my book, it's Monorail Awesome.

Melissa, don't worry. Little kids are tough, but not tough enough to break concrete.

Tom said...

The unending plight of the bass player: Nobody looks at us. He's trying, though, jumping out in front like that. Bold move.

There was so much more movement going on in Tomorrowland then! The pictures are still but you can still feel the activity.

Great shots today!

DrGoat said...

I think the Friendship train was Disney's take on the odious Up with People.
stu, you're right. They did have Ray Charles on keyboards hiding on the right hand side, trying to make up for the fact that Jimmy Page was booked up that week. I'm sure they are doing a Steppenwolf song or two.
Thanks for the nice pics Major. That is a nice perspective of the Mark 3. Looks like another wallpaper for my computer, if you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

Mono Green. With my years working there, Green just seemed to me to be the rarest working monorail of all. I'm sure all the trains ended up with the same mileage, but that's how I remember it. And as for the girls in the jumpsuits...hey...they looked pretty good to me in my 20s and still do today. Hubba hubba! KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! You took the words out of my mouth regarding the coordinating PeopleMover and the 3 gals. Our bass player obviously didn't get the memo, that morning. I think they're playing "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult. (Heard that on the radio the other day - it brought back some great memories of my teen year!)

We're always told NOT to wear horizontal stripes, but that audience CAN get away with it - as the 70's were still rather 'skinny' years. Boy do I miss those years!

TokyoMagic! "Monorail green" must've been a "California color" - as we could only get appliances and shag carpeting in Avocado Green, Harvest Gold, or Copper color, back in those days. (Remember when folks put shag carpeting on their walls, too?!)

Thanks, Major, for a great trip back in time!

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

My guess is that they've probably, at least once in their career, sung the song with the same title as their name. IDK, it would seem like a waste to name your band that WITHOUT singing that song.

Also, as always, love the monorail pics. There's no such thing as a bad monorail pic. And as much as I love the WDW versions, these monorails here have a real sleek design that exuberates retro nostalgia. Makes you wish they took off as a real source of transportation in the 1950s.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, The OJ’s have nothing to do with the Friendship Train! I don’t think I have another nearly straight-on view of the Monorail like that, which is cool.

TokyoMagic!, my mom and dad’s kitchen was harvest gold indoor-outdoor carpet and avocado-painted cupboards when they moved in. It was awesome. Can anybody really have Agnetha and Frida’s moves?

Melissa, didn’t they use that song in a commercial recently? Maybe it was longer ago that I think. The woman on the right doesn’t quite have that “bulletproof helmet” look of the classic Dorothy Hamill ‘do, but it’s pretty close. And yes, kids climb on railings, and they do fall; my nephew slipped and hit his head on the concrete, it sounded like a ripe watermelon. He didn’t cry because he was in a daze.

stu29573, I thought that maybe there was a guitarist out of frame to our right, but I found THIS PICTURE on the old Pickle Barrel blog, and there isn’t one at all.

K. Martinez, I used to watch Soul Train once in a while and felt so uncool. More so than usual, that is!

Gnometrek, I barely remember Supertrain, it didn’t run for long, did it? I hope Hans Conried dressed as a pirate.

Jonathan, no way would Disney allow “Walk This Way”, that is devil music! It is a great song though. Bob Gurr always said that other Monorails looked like loaves of bread, but what if Bob designed loaves of bread?!?!

Chuck, I only wore velour jumpsuits - the apex of comfort and practicality. And if I ever needed to leap from an airplane, I was ready.

Tom, I’ve always envied the people in a huge band (like the drummer in Aerosmith, if I saw him I’d have no idea) who make tons of dough and have amazing success, but could easily go incognito anywhere. That’s the life! Steven Tyler on the other hand, he has to deal with crazy fans if he wants to go to Home Depot or Bath and Body Works.

DrGoat, don’t forget, Disneyland already had The Kids of the Kingdom, they were definitely inspired by “Up With People”! Ray Charles, imagine seeing him at Disneyland. A friend of mine used to work art shows (the kind that set up in the local park for a weekend), and at one in Silicon Valley, James Brown performed. Amazing. Did Steppenwolf have any hits besides “Born To Be Wild”??

KS, I dunno, it does seem like the general consensus is that the Monorail Green was seen less than the others, but I suppose it could just be an urban legend by now. I agree, I think the ladies in “Friendship Train” look great!

Lou and Sue, maybe the bass player purposely contrasted with the three gals. Peach pants! That’s my rap name. I thought you weren’t supposed to wear vertical stripes? What do I know. Diagonal stripes turned you into a criminal. Didn’t you have burgundy carpeting, or Burnt Orange? That seemed to be a popular one for carpet. When I lived in Huntington Beach, some kids up the street had an older brother who owned a van, it was entirely lined in shag carpeting.

Dudebro, is there a song called “Friendship Train”? I don’t know it, but that’s not saying much. I’m sure I am completely biased, but there is just no beating the 1950’s/60’s Disneyland monorails, even though it is cool that the WDW versions are really used for transportation.

DrGoat said...

The only others I can remember, with no online research, were Magic Carpet Ride, The Pusher, and Hey Lawdy Mama, which was great in concert. Saw them twice here in Tucson. Those were the sometimes great old days.
In another vein, Cat Stevens had a hit with Peace Train.

Melissa said...

Sue, we had a dishwasher that came with extra front panels so you could change the color to go with your kitchen. The panels were - you guessed it - avocado green, harvest gold, and coppertone. I think we used all three at different times. (The top was a faux butcher block.) And Maj, yes, we had lots of burnt orange carpet! It always made me think of iodine.

Chuck said...

Dr Goat, Peace Train is such an amazing song, one of my all-time favorites. I make a point of not listening to it too often because I don't want to lessen the impact when I do hear it. Is that weird?

And yes, it's been on "play" off and on in my head since this morning when I read the phrase "Friendship Train." I don't mind.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major and Melissa - I forgot about the burnt orange shag carpet! It was popular then!

Melissa, your dishwasher was super-modern! What would you do with the other appliances, when you changed the DW color panel?

A friend of mine put dark brown shag carpeting on her two-story wall by their living room stair case (back in the late 70's). On that shaggy wall - her family had hung homemade letters that spelled out their latest vacation spot - San Francisco. The letters were each about 2 feet tall by 1 foot wide - with maybe a couple hundred decoupaged trip pictures on them. They put a lot of work into that project. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they misspelled San Francisco ("San Fransisco"). There was just too much wrong with that wall to even bother.

When my husband and I bought our first house (early 80's), it had outdated-everything - including multi-colored shag carpeting - in black, white, tan, brown, olive green and mustard. The best thing about that carpet is that it hid everything. Even my two cats blended in when they weren't moving.


Great view of MONORAIL GREEN! MONORAIL GREEN was the first of the MARK III monorails you be converted to the MARK 5 . Monorail Green became MONORAIL PURPLE.

The group FRIENDSHIP TRAIN was no Disney concocted group. It was created by Phil Volk ( “Fang”) of PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS. In fact some of Friendship Train’s other members over the years were other former Paul Revere and the Raiders performers .... included Phil’s wife Tina Mason. Friendship Train first began performing at Disneyland in 1972.

Regarding my Knott’s “saloon girls” Picture Parlour photo - I’ve found it ... but I need to clear it with everyone in the shot to post it- I doubt anyone will have a problem since a version of it was displayed inside Knott’s for almost two years .

Nanook said...

@ Sue-
For the love of a camera to capture all that "1970's wall 'goodness' " - complete with the misspelling of the City By the Bay-! (Evidently, you can't make this stuff up-!!) Priceless. Now you know why any time I hear the "so-called Taste Makers" refer to something as "on trend", I gag. Most of them [the trends, that is] are destined to become sources of great derision in 10-20 years-! Bring it on-!

Melissa said...

Sue, we took the dishwasher with us to three different houses.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, I can't wait to see that picture!

Nanook, I couldn't agree more regarding trends. When my parents built their little ranch house in the suburbs in 1968, my stylish mom had all stainless steel appliances and stainless steel kitchen sink put in - along with a wall of stainless steel tiles in front of the sink. It was very modern for those times. My parents NEVER changed the stainless steel kitchen stuff - but kept everything in good shape, over all the years. When I was selling that house two years ago, I had people walk through and comment that they liked that I had updated the kitchen to stainless steel. (Ha ha! That style came and went, and came and went, a couple times over those 50 years!)

Melissa, that was back in the good-old days when appliances were made to last!! Couldn't do that now. Most everything's plastic and junk, now.

Anonymous said...

Very much enjoying this post and the comments.

We loved Monorail green, since at that time, we had two cars that same color. Also an avocado green kitchen with gold carpet, also green and gold appliances. Never had a dishwasher as a kid, so my first one was in white in the 80's.

@Sue, a friend has a house with two kitchens, one for the family, another "Party Kitchen", both have unusual stainless steel tops, complete with built-in sinks and electric cooktops, maybe 50 years old. The look is a little dated, but it has a kind of James Bond feel, especially in the Party Room with the stone floor, fireplace, waterfall and koi pond. It's a great house and great parties.