JAN BERRY — A SELECTED TIMELINE
By Mark A. Moore
Author of Dead Man’s Curve: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Jan Berry
The Final Tours with Papa Doo Run Run
• January-May 1980 — Jan & Dean’s third tour with Papa Doo Run Run
• March-June 1980 — Jan worked on the master for “Hot Lookin’ Lady.”
• April 1980 — The duo established Jan & Dean Enterprises for the production and sale of live and recorded music.
The Hollywood Knights
• May 1980 — Jan & Dean’s 1963 #1 smash “Surf City” was included in the soundtrack for the cult film The Hollywood Knights, starring Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffer.
• July-December 1980 — Jan & Dean’s fourth and final tour with Papa Doo Run Run.
The Break from Papa Doo Run Run
• December 1980 — Tensions between Jan and Papa Doo Run Run increased as Jan’s use of cocaine escalated, and the band went its separate way.
• February 1981 — Jan & Dean broke ties with Magna Artists Corporation, with whom they had signed in January 1979.
• March 1981 — Jan & Dean signed with International Creative Management.
The Bel Air Bandits
• May-October 1981 — Jan & Dean toured the country with their new band, the Bel Air Bandits (named for the touch football team sponsored by the duo before Jan’s car accident, and the name used for Jan’s first post-accident band in 1967-1968). When Jan & Dean and Papa Doo Run Run parted ways, Dean Torrence convinced two of Papa’s members—Jim Armstrong (lead guitar) and Mark Ward (guitar)—to stay behind and join the next incarnation of the Jan & Dean band. New musicians who joined the fold included Gary Griffin (keyboards), Chris Farmer (bass), and Danny DeHart (drums).
• July 1981 — In between performing, Jan began working on sessions for “Ocean Park Angel,” a song written by Jimmy Lott in 1980. The track was produced by Alan Miles and executive produced by Robert Morgan, who came into the fold through Jan’s brother Billy Berry.
• October 1981 — The ‘81 tour wrapped in New York at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, Long Island. The show was recorded for a live album and filmed for potential broadcast. It had been a rough summer. Tensions were high, exacerbated by Jan’s drug use. Jan summarily fired the band shortly after this performance, and the duo was officially disbanded. Just as they had begun to command top dollar for certain shows, all touring momentum was lost.
Jan Returns to the Studio
• November-December 1981 — Jan returned to the studio almost immediately after the breakup.
• January-February 1982 — Dean Torrence continued working with the Bel Air Bandits, keeping Winston Simone as their manager.
Mike & Dean
• March 1982 — Dean Torrence developed a new partnership with Mike Love, who at that time was embracing projects outside of the Beach Boys. In March they performed in Texas as the Endless Summer Beach Band and in Florida as Mike & Dean. Over the next two years, the pair would also collaborate on various recording and video projects.
• April 1982 — After a Bel Air Bandits gig at the National Orange Show in California, Dean officially informed the public of Jan & Dean’s breakup.
• May 1982 — Mike & Dean performed in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jan & the Aloha Band
• May 1982 — Jan and his father William L. Berry formed WJB, Inc. to handle Jan’s music business affairs. Jan signed with Spotlight Entertainment Company in New York and assembled another incarnation of his Aloha Band (which dated back to 1977). Over the next four years the band would have a few different lineups. The core group was David Loe (lead guitar and musical director), Jeff Todd (bass), Jim Hall (guitar), Marv Allin (keyboards), and Jim Ebert (drums). Other members at various times included Bruce Swanson (guitar), Frank Jansen (keyboards), and David Hodgen (drums and band leader). Dave Fiumano served as road manager.
• June-December 1982 — Jan toured the country with the Aloha Band, from West Coast to East Coast, performing the Music of Jan & Dean. Veteran promoter Don Podolor booked a number of gigs for the group. The band’s manager for this leg of touring was Leon McNabb.
• August 1982 — Jan & the Aloha Band performed at the Hollywood Palladium.
One Summer Night / Live
• November 1982 — Rhino Records released Jan & Dean’s One Summer Night / Live LP, which had been recorded at My Father’s Place in New York in October 1981.
Jan & the Aloha Band
• January-February 1983 — Jan & the Aloha Band toured in the West and Midwest, performing in California, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas—and Jan began kicking his drug habit.
Mike & Dean
• March 1983 — Mike & Dean held a Spring Break concert at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, sponsored by Budweiser.
Seeds of a Jan & Dean Reunion
• May 1983 — Agent Bill Hollingshead booked a gig at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino to test the waters for a Jan & Dean reunion. There were changes to the Bel Air Bandits lineup, with Randell Kirsch replacing Mark Ward on guitar and John Cowsill replacing Danny DeHart on drums. The National Orange Show crowd, nearly 4,000 strong, was just as enthusiastic for Jan & Dean as audiences had been between ’79 and ’81. The film Deadman’s Curve was playing in reruns, assuring that the duo was never out of the public eye for long during this era.
Jan & the Aloha Band In Las Vegas
• May 1983 — Immediately following the National Orange Show, Jan & the Aloha Band played a four-week residency at the Marina Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
• July 1983 — As in 1978, Dean Torrence did not want to perform with Jan’s Aloha Band, costing them a high paying gig in Canada. Instead, Bill Hollingshead booked a Jan & Dean show at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in Escondido (an establishment tied to Dean’s father). The audience of 6,500 gave them a rousing reception. Once again, however, Dean stated publicly that he wanted to keep the Jan & Dean shows to a minimum and limit his contact with Jan. As a result, the duo made only a few more appearances together before the end of 1983.
• July 1983 — Jan & the Aloha Band toured on the West Coast in Oregon and Washington.
Jan & the Aloha Band Tour Hawaii
• August 1983 — Jan & the Aloha Band toured Hawaii. They performed at the Marine Air Station on Oahu, the Enlisted Men’s Club at Pearl Harbor, the Coconut Grove, the Kauai Surf resort, the Blue Max and Lahania Amphitheatre on Maui, the Kona Lagoon, and Hilo.
• September-December 1983 — Back on the mainland, Jan & the Aloha Band did a one-week tour in Northern California, another three weeks at the Marina Hotel in Las Vegas, and a five-week tour across the country.
• In 1984 Jan & the Aloha Band issued a cassette single on JB Records titled “Rock City” / “It’s Gotta Be True.” The A-Side was written by Jan, Roger Christian, and David Loe. Jan also co-wrote the B-Side, which later became “The National Enquirer.”
Jan & Dean Hit the Road Again
• Over the past two years both Jan and Dean had proven that they could perform successfully with their respective acts (and in Jan’s case tour extensively), but the handwriting was on the wall. In order to earn the bigger paydays, they had to perform together. That was the bottom line. That’s what the public wanted to see—the original two guys up onstage, overcoming the odds and delivering. Starting slowly, Jan & Dean returned to touring in 1984 and never looked back. They played everything from stadiums (the Rose Bowl) to clubs, resorts, amusement parks, fairs, and cruise ships.
• When not performing with Dean, Jan took time for two Aloha Band tours in 1984, including two weeks in the Southwest and another two weeks in the Northwest. Jan would continue to perform on and off with Aloha through 1986. Audio and video from the era reveal that the Aloha Band was on par with anything Jan & Dean did with Papa Doo Run Run or the Bel Air Bandits. (Facebook Video: Jan & the Aloha Band).
Port to Paradise
June 1986 — Engineer Chuck Britz mixed and assembled Jan & Dean’s album Port to Paradise, released on cassette on J&D Records. The album featured a mix of new original material and some of Jan’s solo recordings from the 1970s.
Jan Berry Center for the Brain Injured
• October 1986 — Jan gave back to the rehabilitation community when the Jan Berry Center for the Brain Injured was dedicated in Downey, California. Administered by Southern California Rehabilitation Services, the facility was designed as a day activity center for patients with traumatic brain injury. The program offered an unstructured fine-arts approach to help patients regain cognitive abilities and independent living skills.
Surf’s Up In Communist China
December 1986 — In an effort spearheaded by Jan’s old friend and collaborator Don Altfeld, Jan & Dean became the first American Rock ‘n Roll act to tour China. The event was organized as part of a cultural exchange program. The band for the China performances— billed as the West End Boys—included Randell Kirsch (lead guitar), Mark Ward (guitar), Robby Scharf (bass), Gary Griffin (keyboards), and John Cowsill (drums).
The Heyday of Jan & Dean’s “Phase II” Touring Operation
• In the late ‘80s Jan & Dean enjoyed the heyday of their nostalgia run, playing more shows and making more money than ever before. Band member changes during this era included the addition of Phil Bardowell in 1986. David Logeman, who had played with Frank Zappa’s band, replaced John Cowsill on drums in 1988.
Jan Begins Recording New Music
• December 1988 — Jan began holding recording sessions for his newest original compositions. Jan had begun writing songs with a young musician named Rob Kuropatwa, who had just finished working with controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy and Brian Wilson.
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