Sons of Champlin, Crazy Horse, Crystal Syphon, R.G. Rhythm, Cloud

October 12, 1969

Merced had it’s own Woodstock.  A very psychedelic day.

Brought by Middle Earth (Rick Jackson).  It was followed by a show at the Legion Hall the next Friday.


17 thoughts on “Sons of Champlin, Crazy Horse, Crystal Syphon, R.G. Rhythm, Cloud

  1. I fondly remember this concert of Sons of Champlin at Applegate Park – It was our Woodstock moment! What a great Website – a trip down memory lane. I pulled out my old photo album and found about 12 posters by Norman Orr, Steven Walstead, Peter Maufray and Rob Gehres of these various concerts… A Tear and a Smile, Siddhartha, Country Weather, etc. Not only did we ROCK, but we had some dynamic graphic artist’s here too!

    1. Cheryl,
      Yes, there were so many spectacular artists and musicians in our little burg. I probably have another 10 or 12 Norman Orr posters I haven’t gotten around to posting yet.
      I love your work. I think I’ve seen it on the Paseo before. I live not too far from there.

    2. I am from Merced and I was partying to Sons of Chaplin Lots of great concerts. I would hitchhike to San Francisco to the Filmore West Monterey sometimes Sacramento but Los Angeles Fresno I love the music of the 60-70s

    3. Hi Cheryl,
      I’m looking for material on the Crystal Syphon (

  2. Brings back alot of memories. I still have some of hese old posters somewhere and actuually dated Mike of the RG Rythm Band for awhile. I love this site.

  3. Deacon and I did the Yellow poster…who did the blue one? Deacon maybe, Campi maybe? I really remember that day…hot as hell. That was the first time I ever saw paper acid. They had a picture of Mr Natural pointing to the heavens. It was quite overwhelming for a while, but diving into Bear Creek saved me. I emerged from the water to the sight of Dewey Laramie holding out an ice cold 16oz Budwieser…and we were off and running. At one point Bill Champlin fell off of the flatbed “stage”, piano stool and all. I was talking to him many years later and he remembered the event. As did Terry Haggerty…I think they were in about the same shape as the audience. I have another image of people using styrofoam coolers as drums. They didn’t last long. Everyone dancing like cavemen and all the cops standing by their cars over by the bell.

    1. Wasn’t deacons first name Richard or something? The blue one was not his style. He favoured the stylized look of bell bottoms, not windmills.

      1. Richard Swank? Or something like that. He had a girlfriend named Donna I think. He worked with me for awhile airbrushing tshirts for Dennis Reneiro at various car shows and drag races.

      2. I have a custom shirt Deacon did for me. He explained what car each component had come from, but ai think I remembered the details for maybe 30 seconds and that was about 40 years ago!!

    2. Hi Steven,
      I’m looking for material on the Crystal Syphon (

  4. A VERY trippy day in Applegate Park…and my introduction to the Sons of Champlin. Literally changed my life. The Sons’ early lyrics have driven my worldview over the years, and Bill is a personal inspiration to me. Add the attraction of Greg Elmore’s exodus to the Bay Area, and I knew I was destined to live in Marin. Been here 37 years now, and living down the street from where Bill and several of the band members went to high school…Tamalpais High. And, despite a number of other careers, I have NEVER stopped rocking, and never will, even though I’m now eligible for Social Security. Who knew true rock and roll roots would first be put down in Atwater/Merced?

  5. The Reniero Brothers provided two flatbed trailers parked tail to tail as a stage. There was a hole in the wooden planks that formed the bed and Bill Champlin accidentally stepped into it and hurt himself.

    I recall it being a very pleasant afternoon. RG Rhythm was David George on drums, Daryl Staley on bass, Tom Souza and his Hammond C3, Glenn Sherrill on guitar. I think we were strong that day. We had to be to lift that damn organ onto the stage!

    There was a second concert in the park that wasn’t quite as successful with Country Weather, Crystal Syphon, Crazy Horse and RG Rhythm. I have a clipping out of the Sun Star with a photo of Marv Greenley, my brother, John, and I holding a very crude hand lettered poster.

    1. I was at the Sons of Champlin Concert and remember two things;

      1. Bill Champlin falling on that hole on the trailer floor and how “unhappy” he looked – a look that said “that defective floor was stupid and unnecessary”.

      2. The Sons had a guitar player who was using a fat hollowbody Gibson guitar and whose playing and style was really impressive. Heck, just the fact that he could keep that hollow-body guitar from feeding back and howling was mega-impressive on its own.

      It was really a great band & performance.

  6. Hey Eddie,
    Are you the Eddie Rodigues that was a guitarist in the Brogues and then later in Living Water?
    Troy Burke

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