THE JEFFREY FOSKETT ARTICLE
by Bradley Mason Hamlin
Last night we caught up with California music legend Jeffrey Foskett at the Kool April Nites classic car and music show in Redding, California.
Now, when we say California music legend, here’s why. Jeffrey Foskett is a member of The Beach Boys, The Brian Wilson Band, and Papa Doo Run Run in addition to having a solo career and having performed as a vocalist and musician with some of the top names in the recording business: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Roy Orbison, Chicago, Neil Diamond … You get the idea. Jeffrey’s got the goods.
So, yesterday morning when we were rattled awake by Billy Hinsche calling—telling us to call Jeffrey for some passes to the latest Papa Doo Run Run show … I quickly broke my rule of no phone calls before coffee. When I asked Jeffrey if Billy had woken him up as well, he said: “No, I woke him up. I’m up at six o’clock every morning …” Well, you’d have to be an early riser to accomplish half as much as Foskett.
Where the heck is Redding, California?
About 2 ½ hours north of the Capital. So we loaded the compact disc player with every Beach Boys single ever released and hit the road. I’m not kidding, every single from “Surfin’” to “Long Tall Texan” by Doug Supernaw and The Beach Boys, and around the time we hit “Bluebirds Over the Mountain” we arrived in Redding.
After helping to water one of the local trees I decided to take the tribe to dinner before the show. The logical choice of course would be In-N-Out, which we were lucky enough to find, but we wanted to sit down and feast so I pulled into the Red Lobster. We then contemplated, half of us being vegetarians, and opted for Olive Garden.
Note to self: Ban Olive Garden for life.
I won’t go in to how bad Olive Garden is, wouldn’t be appropriate here in an article that will, I promise, focus on Jeffrey Foskett. I can tell you, however, that we were smart enough to bail out of Olive Garden before actually ordering anything and finally made the right move and got in line behind some of the beautiful classic, American cars in the drive through lane to pick up burgers and fries at—you guessed it: In-N-Out.
In-N-Out will get its own article dedicated to its greatness, so more on that later.
Let’s talk about Papa Doo Run Run.
Someone asked me if they were a “tribute” band and after some consideration as to who’s actually in the band, having heard them, and understanding that they do write and perform original material, as well as retro material—the answer would have to lie somewhere between yes and no. Papa Doo Run Run is a band constructed of members of The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean’s band, Frankie Valli’s band, and Brian Wilson’s band.
They are: Don Zirilli (keyboards), Jim Rush (bass), Jeffrey Foskett (guitar), Bo Fox (drums), Bobby Gothar (guitar), and Adrian Baker (guitar).
So, yeah, they play Beach Boys music along with other hits from the classic rock & roll era, but they’re not a tribute band in the modern sense of just imitating one band. Even when Papa plays a Beach Boys song, imitation would be the wrong word. It’s virtually like you’re seeing The Beach Boys, because these guys were directly connected to the live performances (and in some cases the original recordings thereof).
Now, the critical question is, aside from all the musical justifications based on their résumés, are they any good? Would we recommend driving a couple hours or more to see Papa Doo Run Run?
They’re a great party band. Don’t look for the obscure hits. This band plays all the big guns. If you love the music of the 50s and 60s, you really can’t go wrong with this gang of experts. Just seeing and hearing Jeff sing the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” was worth the trip for me. One more American beer and I would have dropped to the dance floor and done the gator. People who have seen me do the worm at various B-52’s shows know what I mean.
Foskett’s personal set list is actually so large it cannot possibly fit into one band. When he came by and said hi and asked us if we wanted to hear anything in particular, I told him I had been listening to his version of “I Live For the Sun.” Remember the Sunrays? Anyway, he said he didn’t do that particular song with this band. So I was like: “How bout ‘Help Me Ronda,’?” (even though he had just excellently performed that song). Some things seem funnier when you say them on beer then when you think about them while not drinking beer. Damn you Budweiser!
Okay, Jeffrey Foskett gets an “A” from Mystery Island and we’ll try to catch up with him long enough next time to get a full interview out of him next time. Meanwhile, you can visit Foskett and learn more about his music at his official myspace page: myspace.com/jeffreyfoskett
Bradley Mason Hamlin, Saturday in Sacramento.
April 19, 2008.
"The Jeffrey Foskett Article" by Bradley Mason Hamlin. © 2008 by Mystery Island Publications.
Published: 04.19.08. All rights reserved.
All photos by Lucy Hell.
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