Sanpaku was a Sacramento based band that formed from a group called The Working Class. The Working Class featured guitarist Mark Pearson, and were considered one of the best bands in the Sacramento area. In the Summer of 1968, The Working Class became the house band at a venue called Kings Beach Bowl on the North Shore of the Lake. Lake Tahoe. During the Summer the band began playing original material, changed all but two members, renamed itself Sanpaku and opened for The Grateful Dead in July of 68 with the following lineup: 
    •    Mark Pearson-guitar, vocals
    •    Gary Larkey-saxophone, flute
    •    Stan Bagdazian-saxophone
    •    Bob Powell-organ
    •    Bill “Kootch” Trochim-bass
    •    Duane “Motor” Temme-drums

They were a accomplished rock band with a R&B-type horn section that played mostly original material – a unique combination. Sanpaku finished out the Summer of 68 at Kings Beach Bowl, playing every weekend at the club, as well as occasional gigs around Northern California before moving back to Sacramento where there were more venues including almost weekly appearances at The Sound Factory. In late 1968, the group landed a Tuesday night audition show at the Fillmore West and their performance was impressive enough that Bill Graham, upon discovering that they had no manager, immediately volunteered his organization’s booking and management services. Sanpaku had gone from being a struggling Sacramento band to hooking up with the West Coast’s biggest rock promoter.
Unfortunately, success eluded the talented ensemble – they started, but didn’t finish a studio album, even the known live recordings have vanished and the group broke up at the close of 1969. A more detail history of Sanpaku can be found at the link below, where comments and memories are welcome.



  1. Stan bagdazian was my father and I never knew he was in such a cool band I would love to know if there is stinl any of their music floating around!

    • Stan was a great guy and fantastic musician Stephanie… I also got to know him and play with him a little… you should have seen his band play in front of 80,000 people at the Oakland Colosseum.. they tore the roof off that place… standing ovation playing in front of people who had never heard of them mostly.. opening for one of Eric Clapton’s early bands Blind Faith… who were so popular they sold out the Oakland Colosseum… the other bands had to take a breath before they went on after his band… are you musical I hope so…

  2. Really can’t find much on Sanpaku and now I’m more curious then ever! If you find anything out just shoot my an email if you know how to get a hold of Hewitt jackson

  3. Very accurate bio of a great great band…. good work Michael.. I watched them open for Blind Faith with the Sons of Champlin.. at the Oakland Colosseum.. where they received a standing ovation well earned… and have been to every gig I could.. big big fan… John Myers/Redwing bassist

  4. Hi Michael and Thanks for your early postings of Sanpaku history from several years ago. You have really kept the central Valley psychedelic band stories alive. There is renewed interest in the band and the players, complete with blogs and Face Book pages.
    A TV series script treatment, based on the band has been written and is being shopped around Hollywood. Let’s hope we have film at 11. Thanks Mucho!

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