In Jan & Dean’s heyday, from the late 1950s to mid-1960s, Rock ‘n Roll artists did not have full control over their public imagery, as packaged by production companies or record labels. Yet while signed to Doré Records between 1959 and 1961—before Surf Music came to prominence—some of the duo’s earliest public imagery and press coverage tied them to Southern California’s beach culture.
The Perfect Crime
By October 1963, Barry Keenan was only 23 years old, but was down and feeling sorry for himself. The University High School graduate was from a broken home, already divorced, a failed salesman, and had dabbled in the stock market without sustained success. Keenan also had a criminal record, with previous arrests for burglary and petty theft. On top of everything else, he was abusing prescription medication, and saw himself as facing financial ruin. He began to feel desperate, allowing his drug-addled mind to hatch a wild scheme to kidnap the son and namesake of Hollywood royalty — Frank Sinatra Jr.