Randy Hall Morocco 45 Don't Stop Now

The Road Runners

Denver Cross of the Road Runners playing in Bakersfield in 1977.
Denver Cross playing in Bakersfield in 1977. Photo courtesy of Diane.

Updated 2014

The Road Runners were a great band from Fresno, California who released seven songs on four singles in a short period between August of 1965 and April of 1966.

Band members on the 45s were Denver Cross guitar, Dale Samuelian keyboards, Bob Trippell sax, Randy Hall lead vocals and bass, and Steve Heitkotter drums. Other members of the band at various times included Ozzie Georgener, Larry Karagozian, and Dave Mendoza and Bruce Conte on guitars.

Their first single is my favorite, “I’ll Make It Up to You” / “Take Me” on Miramar from August of 1965 (released nationally on Reprise in September).

Randy Hall’s original song “Goodbye” was released in Jan. 1966 with red labels on yellow vinyl with “Tell Her You Love Her” on the flip side. I’ve seen one copy with beautiful flaming yellow and red vinyl, also with red labels, and one with almost all red vinyl. Second pressings were on black vinyl.

“Pretty Me” was released twice in 1966, once with a not-so-great cover of “Baby Please Don’t Go”, and later as the b-side to another Randy Hall original, “Sleepy Friend”.

The Morocco label was located at 1415 W. Scott in Fresno, and judging by label numbers seems to have put out 20 or so records, but I don’t know of any other releases. Dig the different spelling of Morocco between the first release and the later!

Road Runners Morocco 45 Sleepy Friend“Pretty Me” was written by the band’s drummer, Steven Heitkotter, who a few years later recorded a free-form psychedelic jam LP that has been reissued first by Time-Lag and then by Now-Again. Steven was institutionalized by 1972 and remains so today. See Greg Youngman’s blog for the full story on Steve Heitkotter’s album.

There are also a few unreleased studio recordings, and a well-recorded live set. Randy Hall had a solo 45 on a purple Morocco Records label, his original song “Don’t Stop Now” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go” also from 1966. Judging from the release numbers (M-124/M-121), “Baby Please Don’t Go” is probably the same take as the Road Runners release. If anyone has clips of this release please let me know.


Randy Hall Morocco 45 Don't Stop NowMiramar 116 – “I’ll Make It Up to You” / “Take Me” (August 1965, also released on Reprise 0418 in September)

Morrocco 001/002 – “Goodbye” / “Tell Her You Love Her” (December 1965)

Morocco 120/121 – “Pretty Me” / “Baby Please Don’t Go” (1966, yellow labels)

Morocco 120/122 – “Pretty Me” / “Sleepy Friend” (April 1966, purple labels)

Morocco 121/124 – “Baby Please Don’t Go” / “Don’t Stop Now” (credited to Randy Hall, 1966, purple labels)

Randy Hall performing at the West Hills Music Club Variety Show in 1977
Xian (who left a long comment below) sent this photo of Randy Hall taken in 1977 when Randy performed at the West Hills Music Club Variety Show.

108 thoughts on “The Road Runners”

  1. Hey Larry,

    Good to hear from you, … what kinds of music were you playing before the Beatles came along? How long did you and Ozzie continue with the band? Did you stay in music?

    We’d like to hear anything you have to say about playing music at the time. Thanks!

  2. The Road Runners band was started in 1962 by Larry Karagozian and Ozzie Georgner at Fresno High. We just got together for a senior assembly for fun. The kids loved it so much, we decided to stay together. As the saying goes, the rest was history.

  3. Ozzie and I were with the Road Runners for a couple of years.We played 50’s and early 60’s rock and roll. We called ourselves a rock and roll twist band.I sang anything from Johnnie Mathis to Little Richard. We played in shows with Dick and Deedee,Dorsey Burnette,Bobby Boris Pickett and others. We opened for the Righteous Brothers and for the Rolling Stones in 65.Dave Mendoza still has a band in the Fresno area.Other members were in music for years. Bruce Conte played with Tower of Power for years.I sing for oldies type shows and parties with a DJ friend.Once it’s in your blood it’s hard to get rid of it.

    1. Do you have any photos of your time with the Road Runners? They were a great band and pictures of the group are hard to come by.

      1. I was not with the Road Runners. A Road Runner member Denver Cross, was in my band, The Velvet Touch,in the early 70’s. I hired Denver and Joe Lafraso in Concord Ca. John Fischer our drummer and vocalist Jan Pierce made up the Touch. We were a traveling show band and in 1972 we dissolved the group.
        Good luck in your search.
        Don Wilson

      2. I contributed a couple of pictures for the release of Steve’s album “Black Orckid”, released in May of 2014. I am the drummer on the album.

        1. Ross:
          I read your post on this site. I host a weekly classic rock radio show on which I feature bands from the valley. If interested, I would love to do a pre-recorded interview with you about your musical background and the bands you played with.

          Dick Lee

  4. I have been surfing for hours. So glad to find this. Steve Heitkotter and the Road Runners, all of them, inspired me to start my own Rock Band. Even played a few practice runs with Steve Perrys Band. He knows me. As do most in the Valley Rock world. I was the only girl. And me and my gfs. were the main groupies for the Road Runners. I also hung at the stage when you all played soon as i was 14 on up. Steve told me he wrote Pritty Me for me. I do not have it and would love to have a copie of all their songs. How do i pay for that CD and have it sent to my cousins in Hanford???? I’ll Make It Up To You was the first song I learned on the drums. I was at a Melco Reunion Dance, a Rememberance of Mel, (who was my across the street neighbor and friend as well) a yr.& half ago in Hanford. Over 300 people danced to the Chavells with most of the orrig. players. I was put on stage with Sue Weisenhaus, she was in my band, and 12 guies. Any one that ever played for a Melco was asked to come on stage and take about the experience and the man. It was so very cool and once again i rocked out to my fav. song by the R.R.’s. I was saddened to read about Steve. Is there any way i can get any more information about him? Where he is now??? I knew he was a deep guy and one hell of a drummer. The gloved drummer. He was good to me. He could of had this lil 15 yr. old that was so in love with him. But he did not. I have so many notes i wrote after going to one of their gigs from Fresno, to Hanford, to Visalia, to Pismo Beach. I showed up every where. I called it, from the words of a star struck girl with her fist love crush, My Life With Steve. I must have 10 or 20 of them. Any ways, i am going to send this on to Dennis Garcia of the Chavells, sp, they are playing again this Sept. i think at yet another Melco Reunion Dance in Hanford. On pins and drum sticks till i hear from you Dick. Peace, out Vickie Luick of the Mixture. ps, we kicked Steve Perrys band in the Sears parking lots battle of the bands. In 1966.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      in Fresno. Do you have any recollections of The Road Runners opening for the Grateful Dead on 5/12/67? There were early and late shows. I’m also searching for a photo of the Marigold Ballroom.

      1. HI no i never heard of them opening for The Dead. But in 67 i was in my own band and giging so hardly made it to see them. I think the last time i saw them all together was in San Louis and Pismo Beach. And that was around 66 or 67…

  5. My name is Dick Lee and I was in a 60’s rock band called “The de-Fenders” (Lemoore) and later changed by a record company to “The Brymers.” Myself and another band member Mike Wager were friends of Randy’s at a local community college. Our manager, Mel Simas, (MELCO INTERPRISES) frequently booked both our groups on the same bill. I have been trying to contact Randy to say hello and see how he is doing. Recently, I found some 60’s rock posters with our name “The de-Fenders and the Road Runners on them. They were in an attic of a friend. I would be happy to send copies to Randy if he would like them.

    Dick Lee, The Brymers

  6. Hello:

    This is a brief addendum to my post about locating Randy Hall or any of the other Road Runner members. I spoke at length with Lennis (was in a 60’s group from Kingburg) last night on the telephone. Lennis – many many thanks for a wonderful conversation about some of the great 60’s valley rock bands. I shared with Lennis that I collected everything during that time period and recently found it in an attic. I found numerous 45’s from alot of valley bands during that time period. To date, I have about 130 tracks that I have placed on CD’s from records that I have digitized. Some of the tracks I have from The Road Runners include: (1)I’II Make it Up To You; (2)Take Me; (3)Goodbye; (4) Tell Her You Love Her; (5) Baby Please Don’t Go; (6) Pretty Me; (7) Sleepy Friends;and (8) Don’t Stop Now. Once again, I cannot say enough about The Road Runners. Thye were such a polished and professional act.

    Dick Lee

    P.S. A few individuals have inquired about some of the other valley band’s I happen to have. They include: The Road Runners; Jim Doval and the Gauchos, The Charades Band, The Donnybrooks, The Cinderman, The Buddhas, The Spats, The Deltas, Roger Bailey and the Soul Folk, The Brogues, The Brymers, The de-Fenders, Hayward Lee and the Mauraders, Hillard Street, Tom Johnston and the Implicits, The Stepping Stones, The Colts, The Rhythm Kings, Pat and Lolly Vegas, Glen Adams, Bevery Sanders, The Emeralds, Little Ray, Augie moreno, Don Hinson, Merced Blue Notes, and The Hal Diamond Trio. I am in the process of attempting to contact members of these groups and see if they are interested in putting out a compilation CD of “The Sounds of the San Joaquin” or “Nuggets from the San Joaquin 1962-1969” the compilation would contain a 16 pages liner notes with photos and a brief bio of each group. Do any of you think that 60’s lovers of rock-n-roll would be interested in this? I would appreciate any of your comments. (Send to dicklee@thebrymes.com)

  7. So nice to see a webpage devoted to “Fresno’s Own Road Runners.” They really deserved more than the local recognition they were afforded in the ’60s. Sleepy Friend was my favorite. I met Randy Hall’s father Frank back in 1979, and he told me Randy had written the hit. I also liked Tell Her You Love Her.

  8. Hello Lee, nice to hear about The Brymers…I found a song “Sacrifice” listed as by The Brimers on a Crypt records compilation. Was that a single? And if so, which other song/s were on it? What about label, years of issue and author of the songs?
    Sorry if I sound obsessive but I really dig that song.

  9. Steve Heitkotter’s circa 1971 solo LP has become a major legend among fans of rare underground LPs, after a copy of it was found many years ago. He pressed up only a dozen or so, some of which were sent to radio stations. The LP was recorded BEFORE he was committed to a mental institution, although I believe the timespan between these two events was not long. Heitkotter’s family has been contacted by record researchers on a couple of occasions, but they’ve been reluctant to have anything to do with his old recordings, due to the circumstances.

    At this point, I believe only 3 copies of the Heitkotter album are known to exist. There has been talk of a reissue, but I doubt it will happen. The music is intense and feverish basement jams, with an unsettling atmosphere, especially if one knows the background. It’s a major cult item in some circles.

    Read more about the Heitkotter album in our book, “The Acid Archives”:

    // Patrick

  10. I am so sadden to hear of Denver’s passing. I was very close to him when we attended Washington Jr. High. We had many classes together and spent most weekends messing around(dances, parties, shows etc). Unfortunately, I lost track of Denver after my marriage, however, I did attending his wedding. If memory serves, that was the last time I saw him. I pray that he had a good life: it was way too short.

  11. What a treat…to find a web page regarding the Road Runners from Fresno. I loved the band and had a huge crush on Denver. I can remember him driving through Bob’s Drive In flirting with all the girls including me! I never missed the band preforming at the Rainbow Ballroom. If I remember correctly the band even played at my high school as they did all over Fresno. I was truly a “groupie” when it came to the Road Runners. Any info on Denver? Would love to hear what happened to him. Again may I say it is so fun to find this web page…a flash from the past. I’ll keep my eye on your web page and hope to hear something.

  12. I am Randy Hall’s older cousin. Randy who was born in Taft on August 27, 1945, passed away January 25, 1995. He was buried with his parents at the West Side District Cemetery in Taft, CA on February 10, 1995.

  13. Dear Kathie:

    My name is Brian Cross, and I am Denver’s nephew. I recieved a phone call from the Kern County Sherriff’s Department yesterday telling me that my Uncle Denver had passed away. He has been in Bakersfield for the past several years, but unfortunately has been estranged to his family. If you have any questions or comments, anything at all, you can reach me on my cell at 559-360-3410.
    Thank you for remembering so fondly.

    1. Hi Bryan, Denver and I worker together in 1972 in a Show Band called the Velvet Touch. I was the band leader on Bass, Joe Lofresa on keyboards, John Fischer on drums and Jan Pierce our vocalist. We were only together a short time, on the road. Denver was the most talented guitar player I ever worked with in my fifteen years on the road. I am so very saddened to hear he passed. He was a great guy and well as a great entertainer. Many fond memories of our time together. Sorry for your loss as well.
      Don Wilson.

    2. Hi Brian, Denver and I worker together in 1972 in a Show Band called the Velvet Touch. I was the band leader on Bass, Joe Lofresa on keyboards, John Fischer on drums and Jan Pierce our vocalist. We were only together a short time, on the road. Denver was the most talented guitar player I ever worked with in my fifteen years on the road. I am so very saddened to hear he passed. He was a great guy and well as a great entertainer. Many fond memories of our time together. Sorry for your loss as well.
      Don Wilson.

      1. Don:
        I found your post about the Roadrunners (2016) and your band with Denver Cross. I currently host a weekly classic rock radio show that only features tracks by valley bands (Dick Lee and 60’s Garage Rock from the Valley). I would love to talk with you about playing some of “The Velvet Touch’s ” on the air.
        Dick Lee

        1. Hi Dick, thanks for the invite, however we were not together long enough
          To do any official recording. You may have found another group that had the same name. I Googled them and they were pretty good but not us. I only have cassette tapes of us playing live in clubs. I always wanted to run the tapes off on CDs but never got it done. Denver was an extremely talented guitarist and singer, more than that a good friend. I was shocked to learn of his passing. Thanks again.
          Don Wilson

    3. Happy Birthday my precious Denver. You would have been 71 today May 22, 1917. Your death has broken my heart forever and ever. I loved you from the bottom of my heart. I know I will see you again and we will pick up where we left off. Not one day goes by that I don’t remember what we shared. I still see your smile, hear your laughter and feel your touch. I know you are happy in Heaven playing your music and enjoying every second. From my heart to yours. Love is just a smile away. God Bless
      You. Forever Sandee

      1. Hi Brian – my name is Nita and I’m Denver’s cousin — he was a great guy – I used to go to all the Road Runners and Tourquers dances — in Fresno where I grew up .. Denver was about one year younger than I was and we liked each other , I’m sorry he’s gone … we always had fun together … I’m on Facebook under nita mathias in Fresno … you can friend request if you wish. nice to hear a lil about Denver 🌟🌟🌹be was my favorite cousin – his mom Virginia was my Dad’bbs sister ( his name is Denver too) he just died a year ago on March 30th …

      2. Sandee – I’m glad u loved him so much – he was definitely a good guy — we didn’t see each other often but when we did we had fun and we loved each other – I wish he was still with us – my Father whose name is Denver just past away one year ago .. my aunt Virginia asked my Dad if he would mind being named Denver after him..

  14. I remember Randy and his first guitar. It was the summertime and Randy was about 11 years old. He came over to show us how well he could play. He was terrible. How things changed. By the way I went to Coalinga College in 1961 with Mel Simas.

  15. Also of Washington Jr. High and Webster Elementary as well. I’ve been trying to find Denver for several years. Visited his mother on Weldon once. She remembered me but was a bit vague about Denver I thought. Anyhow, I watched him learn his skills on the guitar as a grammar school student. Would go to his house across from the that playground (Romain?) Watched him play (well) for the 6th grade graduation (his class and mine). Watched him get better and better through junior high. Off to Roosevelt he went and me to McLane. Watched the Road Runners many times (a few times for dances at McLane). Great band and a great guitarist – Denver Cross. Damn this is upsetting.

  16. Hi Dick

    I have not gone back to this site sense i wrote on it. I just googled some things and here it came up. Lets mail to my address, tropicalvickie@yahoo.com Wow, lots of news and looks like only one of the RR’s is still working and living in Fresno. I have a contact for him if you want it. So lets talk if you like. I will be in SAn Diego June 12 – 22nd 09 and we can talk on the phone if you like. Thanks for this site. I will go more often. Vickie of the Mixture. ps, one of my band members Sue, is still in Hanford and is part of the organizers of the Melco Reunion Dances.

  17. Hay Patrick, you have made my day reading this info on Steve. I am listening to his music now. I can not begin to tell you about the years i spent going to the RR’s shows. And my personal time with Steve. No where can i find if he is still alive. Do you know?? Vickie ps looking forward to reading your book.

  18. Hadn’t been back to this site since my comment following the post made by Denver’s nephew. (I called him and we had a really good conversation. Darned if he didn’t sound very much like his uncle when he laughed!) Thanks to Diane, whoever she is, and to Chas Kit for getting the photo into cyberspace. Denver Cross, a Cub Scout, (I have a photo) a good guard for the Washington Junior High basketball team, and a great guitar. My memories of Denver are all positive and that is how I will remember him.

  19. Randy lived in Coalinga, CA for at least part of his life. He attended Coalinga College, or at least hung out at the student center there. My good friend and drummer for the Sentrys band, Paul Porter, also attended Coalinga College in 1965-67 as did I. One day in the student center Randy asked Paul to give him a ride to his house to show him something. When they got to his home, Randy picked up his guitar and began to play a song he was writing called “I’ll Make It Up to You.” He told Paul the song was about and for his girlfriend, or would-be girlfriend, Diane Sande. At one point in time, Randy and another colleague of his asked Paul and Mike Popejoy( two stellar members of the Sentrys) to start another band to work extra gigs on the West side of the valley. Mike and Paul declined the offer, thinking they weren’t good enough to play with Randy and his friend. The Road Runners played at least once at the Coalinga College basketball gym. They put on a terrific show, the highlight in my opinion was Randy’s vocal version of James Brown’s “Please.” On one occasion Randy forgot his bass(or it was broken) and he borrowed Rick Weekly’s (Sentrys) bass. Randy’s sister, Arliss Scrivner, Coalinga High class of ’67 or ’68, married to Randy Scrivner lives in Bakersfield. If anyone can clarify or add to these stories please do.

  20. Hey this a interesting site,any whos. My name is Glen T.Nimmo JR, I am the son of Carla Denise Prince-Nimmo. My mother was the step sister of Randy Srivner.His father is M.B. my grand mothers name was Beverly. My mother died in a automobile accident in June of ’73.I really need to make contact with Randy Scivner, its rather important. I live in Fresno,my number is 559 803 0692. You know it really is a small world,I also play music.I play bass and vocal have a couple a little bands. I kinda got one now i refer to it as What!?.well any whos any help would be greatly appreciated,and karma postive I’m sure.

  21. I first met Randy when we both worked for Coalinga Asbestos sometime in ’73-’74. By this time Randy was strung out on Valium and he rarely played his guitar. I hung out with Randy for several years, and in all that time I only heard him complete one song, and that was a beautiful rendition of TELL HER YOU LOVE HER. The last time I met up with him he had broken his neck in a diving accident, and I guess he went down hill from there. He was a great talent and would have went places if not for drugs.

  22. Hey Jerry, I remember seeing The Roadrunners at the Keenan Hall in Coalinga, and I think they might have also been at the Legion Hall too. Yes, I remember Randy doing “Please”, cape and all. I saw you guys all over Coalinga too. I’m in Atascadero, and I still play all the time. Give me a call at 466-1107. Does anyone know where Randy Hall is? Back in 1965 he was the real thing. He showed me the correct chords to a Byrds song Dennis Scroggins and I were trying to learn back then. It was F#m. He was a nice guy. John

  23. Hi, this is a great site! I’m looking forward to a lot of browsing 🙂 I’m wondering if anybody can pinpoint the location of the Marigold Ballroom in Fresno. The Road Runners opened for the Grateful Dead there back in May ’67 and I’m trying to find information about those shows (two in one night).

    The closest I’ve been able to find from another forum is “Marigold Ballroom on Hammond off of Blackstone & Abby think it somekind of tire place now”. Looking at GoogleEarth Blackstone and Abby don’t seem to cross anywhere. And Hammond Street doesnt’ seem to make sense. Could they have meant “in” Hammond?

    Thanks for any help!


  24. The Marigold was just east of Herb Bauer Sporting Goods when it was at the Blackstone/Abbey split. My band opened for Janice Ian at the Marigold. I realize that this is pretty much about the Roadrunners, but does anyone remember The Four-Fifths?

    Great reading!


    1. Hi Greg,
      I’m writing an Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues.
      I’m interested in any information you can provide of the Marigold Ballroom. Any chance you have a photo?

  25. I saw the Road Runners many times at local dances and shows in Fresno. I remember they opened for The Animals in Selland Arena. They were probably the most talented of the Fresno bands at that time. They were my favorites along with The Raiks Progress and The Lavender Hill Mob. I took a few organ lessons from Dale Samuelian. Good times!

  26. Thanks Greg for bringing to my attention the Heitkotter album. I too am very saddened to hear and see the demise of the Road Runner band members over the years. It seems that of the members I knew, Dale Samuelian(keyboards)is the only one to survive unscathed. He is a successful realtor here in Fresno.
    I had a close connection with three of the members that are physically and mentally gone. Randy Hall and I were in a band together in our early high school days called the Crests. Duane Scott from Raiks Progress was our keyboard player and I was the drummer. Denver Cross and I graduated in the same class at Roosevelt HS in Fresno. We never played in a band together, but our music brought us together as friends. Steve Heitkotter and I were best friends during our high school days and before I went into the military in 1966.
    The Road Runners were the absolute best band from Fresno in the mid 60’s to the first part of the 70’s. During my 4 years in the Air Force I lost contact with Steve and it appears that drugs played a big part of his life during this time. When I got out of the military and moved back to Fresno, Steve and I hooked up to do some jamming at his house on Kerkhoff. The first time I arrived at Steve’s house, I thought, wow, here is a guy that had a great musical career, a beautiful wife(Nancy Taylor), and a great house in old Fresno. But it didn’t take long to realize something was not right with Steve. He didn’t want to play drums anymore. He was experimenting with the guitar and thought he was going to be a great artist in music and on canvas.Neither one was he very good at.
    Steve was my idol on drums and I learned alot from him and fashioned my style from our sessions together during high school. So getting together and jamming with him was great and at first I looked past his deteriorating mind. My mind was a little fuzzy also from the pot we smoked at almost every getogether. I had just recently started using it, but Steve was an old veteran of that and other drugs by that time. Steve was working on five songs that he eventually wanted to record. He asked me if I knew of a bass player that could join us and I called Greg Youngman. Greg is the brother of the bass player of the band I played in(The Group) before I joined the military. So here we were, three guys, a 16 year old innocent kid(Greg), a rusty drummer who hadn’t played in almost 5 years(me) and a novice lead guitar and singer(Steve), jamming and trying to play five songs written by a man losing his mind. I don’t know about Greg, but I know that Steve and I were probably stoned the whole time.
    I knew that Steve was recording some of our sessions, and he showed me a copy of an album he had made a few years later(I think he gave me a copy), but little did Greg and know that the album, Stephen David Heitkotter, would resurface after almost 40 years and that he and I were two of the musicians on it. I knew that was me on the drums(stoned) because Steve wouldn’t sound that bad even stoned. We were just having fun and it felt good to play again even though we thought Steve’s songs were kind of strange.
    I haven’t seen or talked to Steve since the early 80’s when he bought my old drum set from me. He seemed to be fairly coherent but his mind was still lost back in the 60’s. I wish him well and hope that in whatever state of mind he is in, that it is a peaceful one.
    Ross Dwelle

  27. Went to Roosevelt High class of “66” Denver Cross was a senior I was a freshman. Wow did I have a crush on him. He gave me a ride home from school in his hot car. Spent 2 nights a week at Mag 7 for several years. Kept me out of trouble. Loved the Road Runners ! Great sight!!!!

  28. Rando,

    it was northeast of the Abby and Olive intersection, behind the old Herb Bauer’s Sporting goods store. East of Abby, which turns into Blackstone. One of the Roadrunners used to live 3 or 4 houses from my parents, near First and Ashlan. I used to stand on the sidewalk to listen to them. Years later I walked into Spinners records and saw an album by them that had been re-released ?

  29. In Sept. of 1966 I was drafted into the Army but beat it to the Air Force where I was subsequently stationed at Barksdale A.F.B. in Bossier City, Louisiana. It was there that we formed a rock band & played regularly in the Shreveport-Bossier City are for about 1 1/2 years before transfers to other stations broke up the band. One of the guys in the band was Randy Hall from Fresno. The Randy we played with had been a bass player but took up the lead guitar in our group. He was sent to Thailand & I lost touch. I have always wondered what ever happened to Randy. Got word sometime in 1970 that he had formed a group in Thailand but have no way to know. Do you know if this is the same Randy Hall that is the topic of this “Road Runner” site? I have had contact with the other guys; Dave Weise (bassist) of Bloomington, Mn. and Don Gianinni (rhythm guitar) in Virginia. I was the drummer from Indiana (least talented of the group, I might ad). The Randy Hall in our group would have been in the Air Force from early 1966 until early 1970. If these are one in the same, please advise. I would certainly appreciate the info. Contact me through the e-mail address listed as I do not frequent this site & only found it while sipping some Jamesons & looking for the needle in the hay stack. Thanx!!!

    dsr34@hughes. net

    1. What squadron were you in? I was there in Oct.’66-Oct’67 and knew Randy I was in 2nd ces
      and worked with him.I also hung around with Randy some.

      1. I, too, was in the 2nd ces, originally in “weeds and seeds” with Randy. We formed this band that played every Sunday P.M. at the Barksdale service club and did weekend gigs at the Old Gold Club, the Bistinau Club, the Orbit Lounge and the Pied Piper as well as numerous other places in the area. We were the “Lazy Daze”. Did some gigs over in East Texas including one, I remember in some bowling alley in Carthage, Tx (you seem to remember all the losers). When the band broke up, Dave Weise, the bass player was the first to go….went to Nam, Randy was sent to Thailand, and then I was “cross-trained” into munitions and ordinance and ended up at Luke field in Arizona. I never heard from or about Randy after all that and often wondered what happened to him. Was saddened to learn here of his early demise. Does not surprise me, however, as we did a lot of “stuff” back then and he seemed way too willing to get into various other “stuff” while the rest of the guys in the band pretty much stuck to booze and weed.
        Randy was far and away the most talented in the group and a real “showman” once the lights were on him. He was just a real experience to be around. We would “double date” once in a while and he was a hoot. I have had others whom I played music with back home who were talented as well, but none so much so as Randy. Several of my former band mates left this veil of tears early as well. Seems as the more talented they were, the more they were subject to substance abuse. I was never really too serious regarding the music and was more mercenary as it was solely a job to me. Others took it to heart and ended up with broken hearts. I am proud to have known them all and particularly remember and enjoyed the time spent with Randy. Thanks for letting me “vent” this and share a Randy story with those who knew and enjoyed him. Regards……

  30. I was 16 years old when I became the Roadrunners Road Manager,I was very close to Denver and Randy and could probably write a book on the adventures of those two alone….. If you need some stories let me know ……Scott Cohoe

    1. Hi Scott,
      I’m writing an Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues. I know the Road Runners opened for the Grateful Dead on May 12, 1967, two shows. I’m looking for eye witness accounts/memories of the night. Did Garcia sit in with them? Was there any conversation between the bands? Do you have any photos of the Marigold Ballroom?

      Any information you can provide would be helpful.

      1. Hi Harry
        May 12, 1967 was along time ago however, as a 14 year old, sticks in my mind like yesterday. Got to enter the Marigold an hour or so before the show started and somehow, ended up partying with the Dead off the side of the stage. Back then, it was a very casual atmosphere, with big sofas and chairs outlining the old wooden dance floor auditorium. As I wandered around and checked out who was there early, somehow I ended up near a group of musicians hanging near the stage off to the side. Even though the lights were very low, as it was the psychedelic era, it only took a minute to recognize Jerry and amazingly, I was welcomed into the little private party. Not sure who the woman was with Jerry, but when the opening band started, she wanted to dance. Jerry looked at me and said, “he’ll dance with you”..so I did. Road Runners definitely played that show and I remember thinking that, in spite of how good they were, the times were changing. Stylistically, the Road Runners were mainly top 40, 2 minute songs, but in that show, trying to stretch out and be more relative.

        1. Edward:

          I ran across your post recently. I host a weekly classic rock radio show and would love to talk with you about those great days in Fresno. My show is “Dick Lee and 60’s Garage Rock from California.”

          Dick Lee
          The Brymers

    2. Hi Scott, I remember you,. I would love to hear you memories of Steve’s last years. I bet if we talked you would remember me as well. Thanks, Vickie

    3. Scott I have soooo many stories too. I have lots of pictures. I think the older we get we start going down memory lane. Would love to talk with you. I live in Orange County now.

      1. Hello:
        I ran across your post about The Roadrunners. Currently, I host a weekly classic radio show where I feature only bands from the San Joaquin Valley. I frequently play the Roadrunner, The Gauchos, Jim Waller and the Deltas, The Cindermen, The Accents, Ray Camacho, Canterbury Fair, The Brymers, etc.. I also do 10 interviews with members of these valley bands. My main goal is to get recognition for these great valley bands from the 60’s. If available, I would love to do a brief pre-recorded interview with you about The Roadrunners. If interested, please feel free to contact me at any time . My show (Dick Lee and 60’s garage Rock from California) is be aired on over 45 stations world wide. You can hear the last two episodes by going to Google and type in “Dick Lee Podcast.”
        Dick Lee

  31. I was the drummer in the 5 O’Clock News Hour. I was from Sanger High and rest of the guys in the band were from Roosevelt High. We played At Rocky’s Mag at the Rainbow. Played at Wonderland when the Jefferson Airplane and Byrds played there. Also backed up Randy Hall at the Marigold when he was on leave back in about ’66 or ’67. I also use to live in Coalinga, Lemoore and Hanford. Now live tucked away in the Boise Mountains north of Boise, Idaho. Our first gig as a band was at a dance at the Hanford Auditorium back in ’65. It was the Roadrunners and the 5 O’Clock News Hour. Those were the days!

    1. Hi Ron,
      I’m writing an Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues. I know they played the Marigold Ballroom on May 12, 1967. The Road Runners opened two shows that night. Do you have any memories of the Marigold Ballroom? Any photos?

    2. Wow, Ron. I bought your Rogers Red Sparkle drum set from you back in the late sixties. You were going off to become a airplane pilot, or something of that nature. Growing up in Sanger, I heard and admired your playing with the 5 O’Clock News Hour in Fresno and also with the Sanger High Band. Hawaiian Love Chant, in particular! I followed all the local bands in those days (while learning to play), even though I was just a kid. The Raiks Progress, Roadrunners, Vibrants, Cream Puff War (Natty Bumpo), The Cindermen and cover bands like the Eastgates, to name a few. I still have the Rogers set, and it was greatly expanded in the early seventies, during my time as a studio hack and club musician in Hollywood. Both my daughters play, and they’re trying to decide which one of them will inherit the set.

      1. Russ – Nice to read your comment. That was my first of three drum sets. I now keep a snare drum for the grandkids to play. My wall is now stocked with four different ukes that I play.

        1. Nice to hear back from you, Ron. I got into playing the Uke about eight years ago too. Both my daughters and one of my son-in-laws have really caught the fever. There’s a festival every year in San Marcos, CA, where my oldest daughter lives and they belong to a Ukulele society there as well. Currently one of the bands I’m in is comprised of Ukulele, Clarinet, Violin (fiddle) , bass and vocals. I’m playing the bass and singing a couple of tunes. Crowds love the Uke!

  32. I was with The Why 4 with was made up of great musicians in the Merced area. The Why 4 began in 1965. Prior the The Why 4 I was with The Pendletons, out of Los Banos, CA. We played Santa Cruz, Gilroy, Cabrillo College etc..Got a deal with Del Webb and worked Las Vegas for about a year. Was a lot of fun.
    Look forward to more info. What was some of the dance venues in Fresno during the early 60’s? I remember the Mag 7, Marigold, Cinnamon Cinder…..Jim Duvall played the Bachelor Club in Fresno. I saw the Road Runners and Vibrants at the CC…. http://www.myspace.com/TheWhy4

  33. I was married to Steve’s brother Bill for 15 years. When Steve recorded his album he gave my brother a copy and he still has it. It is in really good shape considering it’s age. If anyone is interested in it please let me know. The 60s were great times. It’s too bad that the Road Runners didn’t go further. They were one of the best.

    1. Hello, my name is Vickie. Steve and I had sort of a relationship. I was his favorite “groupie” I went to a few parties that the RR’s had. Steve was to teach me the drums. He also told me he wrote Pretty Me about me. All in all i went on to form my own band in sort of memory of Steve and my first love. Crush. It broke my heart of hear of his last years.. I would love love love a copy of his last work. contact me direct. 760 622-0869 Thank you so much. Vickie Luick Lani Hanford, CA. Garage band of the 60’s

  34. there were numerous talents that came n went during these years…..my favorite combination included Bruce and Mike Conte. I also seem to recall that Bruce did the bass work -not the guitar work (while it seemed remarkable even then for him not to), and as suggested in the site content. few believe the typical cover charge to see the famous groups that performed at the rainbow. we enjoyed for so little what all america was raving for; west coast bands. even the old marigold had a rebirth, while end-o-innocense played the bird’s n english rock gits downtown!

  35. i too was at roosevelt during these years -and so were oyher “key” performers that brought the group forward thru the Mag7 years….
    you and i , ron met long ago. i believe you missed a gig / op at sanger high to an “odd but talented” group w/ only a recording future in mind; no top 30 / nothing, “Canterbery Faire” a flower-power kinda thing w. female vocals / harmonies. the opening act did not even show, so we carried about 2 hours -having but a 1 hr show of orig stuff! we sucked as a result.
    enjoyed 5 o’clock. into raikes progress, a RR fan.

  36. ha, i’ve tried to remember the name of that place on n off for years. from memory off van ness, a few doors and a block or so south of Tulare(?)i think. the ballroom upstairs. probably a terrible fire-trap, but a nice ‘ol ballroom. more like the old fillmore than anything nearer!
    the house band is not ever mentioned, it seems, but a couple of talented brothers from roosevelt high or graduated; the “end of innocence”, were way down with the english invasion -Byrd’s, et al, and talented they were. great vocals….

  37. i knew Randy pretty well. after he left the RR’s and vefore he shipped off, he anf i worked -under 24/7 influebce, for a few weeks on material he envisioned / i scored (more like tablature actually. i still have the notes, incomplete lyrics, but the melody’s in a afe deposit, and that has a story, too.
    i grew up w/ mike n bruce conte. vruce and i shared an ubstructor, bobby roach of kames vrown fame. we all remain in touch, and alomg with ron drione.
    what ever happened to neil hopper? you two had to know each other pretty well. he did so many recordings -not all known about i don’t think….knew neil as well. i knew you on sight, but not sure that we were ever really introduced.
    neil may have a tape or three i performed on as a 16 yr old kid. i’d be interested in having copies.

    thanks, steve.

  38. the Road Runners, Fresno, CA.
    i worked on some of his nusic with him -never published, but i have the melody’s, scored -more like tablature n my notes, still. they are in a safe deposit box. l never thought of their significance w/ anyone else until i was linked to this site.

    i’m questioning my own memory here, but this was before he left for duty…it had to be 1970 or ’71. then i saw him by fate in 1978 or ’79 in a nught club. we talked awhile. drank a lot.

    does not align with your timeframe, but its so close, and its been so long. nonetheless, i was out of high school and we hooked up on the lawn at FCC where i sat one afternoon playing guitar…..so i believe i’m right.
    the only question in my mind is was he going to duty or just returned…..maybe returned but he played no solo guitar i ever heard! this reference surprised me.

  39. Neil is still around and runs a website about walking in L.A. He posts very cool photos of hos travels.

    I know Neil sold many/all of his recordings to Sundazed Music. They were the source for Sundazed’s Road Runners, Raik’s progress, King Verses, and other vinyl LP releases.


  40. Randy would have been in the USAF sometime around 1970, but according to Randy he received a medical discharge, so I know he didn’t finish his tour. I worked with him back in Coalinga, CA in 1973.

  41. I found this site just looking for Denver to reunite and say Hi! I was 17 when I met him. Fake (ID).Got into Maison’s bar in Bakersfield. Saw this gorgeous man singin and playing.Wow!! Crush yes.He looked so young.That was in 1997?.Him,yes older but we flirted for 8 yrs as he played in Bakersfield ,and I went with him to LA a few times.We grew apart (Age differences)but whenever we ran into each other ,sparks!! I though about him often with that beautiful smile and wonderful personality.What a laugh he had! Brick House was a song I remember him singing at me on stage in Bakersfield and other great songs he delivered! Talked to his nephew when I saw this site and cried my eyes out :((( .I wanted to talk to him so much . I am saddened and will always remember him ,not just as a wonderful musician/singer, but as a beautiful person and friend!!!! Rest in Peace Denver :). Never forget you! Joni B.

  42. I met Randy Hall in Coalinga during the summer of  1977.  I was 19 years old, he was 31.  
    We had both signed up for an advanced guitar class at West Hills College.  I don’t remember anyone else in the class, it may have been just the two of us.
    I wasn’t very talented; Randy did his best to help me along.  I told him that I didn’t have much to offer.  He said “Yes you do.  You have friendship”.  We remained close until I left for New York at the end of that year.
    Soon after we met, I joined him for a weekend ride to Fresno.  He drove an old hatchback that he called ‘The Blue Jet’.  He was going to Fresno get his guitar out of hock.  It was a late 50’s Martin with a beautiful sound.  When he tuned it, he would always finish by strumming an e minor chord with a flourish.  I picked up that habit and still do today.  
    We drove around to some of the spots he knew in Fresno.  We drove past a music shop where he bought guitars and equipment, and he told me about what it felt like to hear his record played on the radio for the first time.  He said that after it finished playing, the DJ said, “That’s a great record.  I’m gonna play it again”.  And he did.  Because of that, Randy thought the second time hearing his record on the radio was as exciting as the first.
    He drove to a house on a tree-lined street and stopped for awhile.  He told me that he had been married, but the marriage ended quickly.  He pointed to a house across from where we were parked.  “That’s where she went, she moved back in with her parents”.  He had this look of emptiness, staring off at the house.  I asked him if she still lived there.  He said he didn’t know.  I suggested he try to contact her, that time may have made a difference.  He said no, he didn’t want to do that.
    He talked about opening for the Stones.  He said that, at the time, people were just beginning to grow their hair out, and that it was common to ask someone how many months they’ve been growing their hair.  Randy asked Mick Jagger “Mick, how long have you been growing your hair?”.  Jagger answered dismissively, “All my life”. 
     I got the impression that Randy was baked by the end of the 60’s.  He told me he was once in a recording studio, whacked out on something, and just flopped from  his chair onto the floor.
    On the ride home from Fresno, he talked at length about his time in southeast Asia during the Vietnam war.  He never kept track of time and attributed it to his experience in the military.  Everything there, he said, is done by the clock, and time is a factor in every aspect of military life.  When he was through with the service, he removed his wristwatch and never wore another.
    He said that the Roadrunners had been poised to “go national, but Uncle Sam called, so I had to go”.  He said that he had lived off base with a local Thai woman, in a thatched hut that she kept  immaculate, scrubbing the wooden floors every day.  In the evening she would go out with a bamboo plate and bring it back full of Thai weed.  He said he ridiculed his fellow soldiers for living on the base instead of the village.  I asked him why he had left this woman behind when he returned to the states. He said that he didn’t think she would adjust to life in America.  He specifically mentioned supermarkets; he didn’t think she could make the transition from gathering her own food to shopping for it with a cart.
    I once asked him if he had killed anyone during the war.  He said he had been in a firefight that ended after he shot into a patch of bushes.  He said that he didn’t see any bodies, but from the blood splatter he knew that someone had been in there.
    We also stopped at a roadside restaurant on Interstate 5 outside of Coalinga.  I don’t remember the name of it; it was sort of like a Denny’s with a bar.  He said he had played some recent gigs there. He showed me his spot – a stool with an  overhead light off to the side of the bar, alongside a red velvet wall.  I don’t remember why he stopped playing there.  I think he may have been frustrated with the apathy of the crowd, or that he was tossed by the owner after being too inebriated to play.  Maybe both.  I just don’t remember.
    I lived in a church that had been converted into apartments at the corner of Lincoln and Van Ness in Coalinga.  Randy lived in a trailer park.  I would visit him, or he would come to my place, always with his guitar and we would jam and listen to records.  He kept a spray bottle of the sex aid ‘Mr. Prolong’ in his pocket and would use it on the back of his guitar neck to reduce the friction while making chord changes.
    I introduced him to Bruce Springsteen’s music and he was hooked.  His favorite was “She’s the One” from the ‘Born to Run’ album.  He would point out what riffs Bruce had lifted, and from which 50’s or 60’s bands.
    As my guitar playing improved and we jammed more, I became better at keeping up with him.  One time I remember following his lead, going where he was going, but the music in my head just didn’t make it through to my fingers quickly enough and I wiped out.  He laughed and said “this is the one you want”, and he strummed the exact chord I had wanted to play.
    Just as often, we would take our guitars outside and find a cool patch of grass around the campus and play.  I remember a Chinese guy, with whom I was acquainted,  joining us.  He strummed the song ‘Feelings’ without singing the words.  Randy encouraged him to sing it, but he declined, intimating that he was too shy.  Randy kept at him and finally did get the guy to sing.  He sung so softly, we had to strain to listen.  I think Randy was proud that he pulled the guy out of his shell.  Afterward he mentioned something about the way the guy positioned himsellf when he played. He doubted that his origin was China.  He said that only people from Thailand squat in the manner he did.
    Randy had once shared his trailer with his girlfriend, a pretty, thin blonde woman whose name I forget.   By the time I met him, she had already moved out.  “Not enough room”, he said.
    I only met her once.  At the time I was trying to work out some situation.  I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember her taking an interest and trying to help.  Afterward, Randy noted it and said that she was like that, always looking to engage people and help resolve their problems.  He was the same way.  I remember when the manager of the Quick Stop Market across from the campus was having car trouble.  Randy was on his back on the ground for an hour with screwdriver in his hand and small  flashlight between his teeth until the car was running again.
    Prior to the time I met Randy’s girlfriend, they must have been estranged.  Randy’s description of the previous night with her sounded like a round of make-up sex: teardrops wiped away with tender fingers, whispers of  undying love.
    I never saw her again.  When I asked about her, he said she used “too much teeth” in bed.  He also said she was a heroin addict.
    A few days later, I was at his trailer and he had become frantic.  He was tearing the place apart looking for his 45’s, accusing the blonde of stealing them.  Finally, he pulled out an old box that looked like it was designed to hold 45 rpm’s, like something you’d see at a 60’s grade-school pajama party.
    Inside were the prized Roadrunners records.  I was impressed, seeing his name in parenthesis, below the song title, identifying him as the songwriter.
    We listened to all the records in the box.  Only one of them still sticks in my mind – a song with a slow acoustic intro called ‘My Sleepy Friend’.  Randy said it was about LSD.  The beginning of the song was from the perspective of someone who had never tripped on acid, later in the song that person experienced LSD for the first time (I remember him pointing out the line ‘flowers blooming everywhere’ as signifying that first acid trip).  After all the A sides and B sides were played, he carefully put the 45’s back in their sleeves and into the box.
    Our guitar teacher at West Hills was Dean Perry, a saxophone player who loved jazz and dismissed rock and roll.  He remembered Randy’s caped rendition of ‘Please, Please, Please’ from years before and the two of them had a good laugh about it, but he always discouraged us from playing rock.  He said it was too simple.  He did say that Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ album was “not bad”.  Randy thought that was a huge compliment, telling me “he could have said it was shit”.  One day, when Randy wasn’t around, Dean told me not to be impressed by Randy’s Roadrunners fame.  He said there were “thousands of guys like that”.
    Randy showed me photos of himself snapped after he had taken a headfirst dive into an empty concrete swimming pool while he was stoned out of his mind.  In the photos, he looked drugged and miserable, his grimace surrounded by the protruding bars of a head brace.
    In October of 1977, the West Hills theater staged a performance of MASH. We both signed up.  Randy got one of the lead roles (Trapper John), and I had a bit part.  Randy’s sign-up form listed his experience as an actor in a handful of productions around the valley.  He later told me those credentials were all fake.
    Randy’s co-star in the production, the actor who played the role of Hawkeye, was stiff and had no talent.  Randy complained to the director that she should have cast me in the role of Hawkeye instead, because our real life friendship would have inspired a stage friendship.  She eventually admitted that he was right.
    We were walking on campus shortly after the last performance and ran into a couple of students from the college baseball team.  One of the players, a guy from Rhode Island, pointed at Randy in a joking manner and said “Hey, I saw your play last night.  I could tell you were high”.  Randy replied “I’m always high”
    I vaguely remember him making a move on the director, an energetic blonde roughly the same age, but I don’t think it went anywhere.  He also dated a very sexy Latina who was into martial arts and was a student at the college, but they broke up over an argument that had something to do with her not wanting to go to a party. I heard both versions – he thought she was being a bitch, she thought he was being nutty.
    I was amazed by his apparent success with women.  I was young and fairly good looking, but I struck out all the time.  He was an overweight alcoholic, hooked on pain killers, approaching middle age, but was able to attract women easily.  I think it was his confidence, drive, heartfelt interest in those around him, love of life and good times.  Sometimes I’d look at his nose and his teeth and he’d remind me of a rabbit.  It’s funny that seemed to fit the bill, with him screwing like a bunny.  To this day, whenever I see people with that same rabbit look, I assume they’re generally on the prowl for tail.
    He was gifted with the sort of charm that attracts people.  He said he could not always remember people on sight, even if they approached him as an old friend.  It made him uncomfortable, and his defense was to ask the question “Are you still living in the same place?”.  Based on their answer, he would then  use the clue to figure out their identity.  I thought it was a good trick and have used it myself a couple of times.
    In December, he played solo at the West Hills Music Club Variety show.  He looked good, wearing a flowered -and-striped dress shirt and light brown vest, singing the Al Stewart song “Year of the Cat”.  I thought it was funny that Denver Cross also wore a dress shirt/vest combo in his photo posted above from the same year.  The crowd reaction to Randy’s performance was odd.  From the beginning, there was this low, constant murmur, sort of like their gossip took precedence over listening to the song.  Towards the middle of the number, Randy really hit his stride and the voices stopped, all was silent except Randy’s voice and the strings of his Martin, until the last verse of the song when the crowd’s murmuring began again.
    Also, during that show, there was a solo performance, a soliloquy from a classical Greek tragedy performed by a beautiful young student who had also been in MASH.  There was a small group of bitches in the audience who began to laugh at her performance.  Soon the mocking laughter spread throughout the auditorium.  Coalinga isn’t a hotspot for classical Greek tragedy.  The poor girl was so upset at curtain call that she didn’t want to go back onstage with the others for a bow.  Randy hugged her, took her hand and led her onstage with him.  I’ve always admired him for that.
    By the end of the year, I had grown restless and wanted to get back to the east coast.  I was going to New York to pursue an acting career.  Around that time, I remember getting the feeling that Randy may have wanted to come along.  He would say earnestly how important theater had become for him.  At one point, he said it was more important than music.  If he did want to come along, I don’t remember him asking directly, and I was at a point where I wanted to ease up on beer drinking and getting high, so I never suggested it.  The only reason it comes to mind is that our parting was troublesome.  It was actually the only time he was angry with me.  I’m hazy on it, but I remember selling some of my things to him – he was especially interested in the Springsteen records.  There was some kind of disagreement over money in the exchange, and he blew up in a way that seemed disproportionate to the situation.  He stormed out and I remember watching the Blue Jet tearing and weaving down the dirt road connecting Van Ness to 2nd St. with a spray of dust and pebbles behind it.  I remember standing there wondering what had just happened.  My neighbor, who had also witnessed it, told me that Randy had come back from the war with a violent temper and, if not medicated, would inevitably lash out.  Coalinga was a smaller town then, before the state prison was built, and apparently everyone  was into everyone’s business.
    That was my last encounter with Randy. Hall  I never saw or heard from him again.
    I left for New York the next day.  My apartment was rented to Randy’s ex-girlfriend, the one who didn’t want to go to the party.
    Rest in peace, my brother.  I’ll see you on the other side one day.

  43. I went back and listened to My Sleepy Friend for the first time in 34 years. I had thought the intro was acoustic, but it wasn’t. I must have been thinking unaccompanied, but it came out as acoustic because that’s what Randy was playing in ’77.

  44. Xian,
    You must have come on the scene just as I was leaving. I left Coalinga in the summer of 1977 and moved to Nassau, Bahamas. I was there at the trailer park the day Randy broke his neck, he didn’t dive into an empty pool, but he did dive in the shallow end, and with his weight he hit his head on the bottom hard. His girlfriend’s name was Sharon, and Randy and I parted because I told him that she was no good for him (she had been cheating on him), but I guess Randy didn’t like to hear the truth. He gave me a copy of a 45 rpm of Tell Her You Love Her. I felt sorry for Randy, when we worked together at Coalinga Asbestos his nickname was burnout. He was a great talent and a good friend, but I couldn’t handle seeing him disintegrate before my eyes.

  45. Hello, Faith, I was Randy’s best friend in high school (Roosevelt). We played in a band together, I was the drummer then (HS), but he moved on. I spent a lot of time at his parent’s house in Fresno, although they had a Coalinga house too.
    I had been looking for him for some time, and am sorry what I found out. I had met his cousin? Lea, from Nothridge, but am saddened for your loss, and mine. He wrote a very nice comment in my yearbook. Hope you get this, as it has been a long time sense your post. He will never be forgotten…Brent

  46. I remember ads for the group on KYNO, often at the Crimson Castle. I bought a copy of Sleepy Friend when it came out on the purple Morocco label. I transfered it to CD along with some other hard to find songs. Went to #2 on the KYNO Boss 30 in 1966.

    You were in radio, right? K-fig?

  47. I.n 1966 i was in a band called the Chandells.. we played at MAG7 dances at the rainbow ballroom.. Randy HALL got drafted and i was a singing bass player at that time .. i also played guitar.. my brother michael conte played sax we both joined the band and for a few months we had 2 saxes mike and bob triple.. later the band became a 4 piece Denver Cross on guitar me on bass .Steve heitcotter drums and dale samuelian on organ.. we played almost every fri and sat .. we got to open for the Animals at selland arena.. randy hall got aleave and came back to fresno for a bit . he had some new songs sleepy friend was one of them.. we went to LA and recorded about 4-5 tunes at ABC studios on sunset.. next to us in the other studios were the stones and the monkeys .. we never saw them but heard some of the music from outside the studio door.. in about 1968 denver went in the national guard and eddie gallegos played guitar for awhile. dale bought a key bass and some gigs we played as a trio and i played guitar .. sleepy friend hit # 1 or 2 on kyno am . the band broke up in 1968 during the summer.. i went on to play with bob rains for a short while in reno and d aly city .. then hung around san francisco summer of love hate ashbury scene.. i came back to fresno and in about 1969 Randy and me and my cousin victor conte on bass and a great fresno drummer named frank davis from the group cold blood started a band we played some gigs at aras apartments a local club on clinton and weber. we also opened for paul butterfield at the exibit hall.. steve hietcotter played with me a few times on drums but he was married to nancy and living by roosevet high and only wanted to play guitar and sing.. i used to see him at christmas time every year for awhile he would come over to my parents house.. he was living with his mom and taking prolixin a anti pyscotic drug .. he had paint all over his clothes because he was trying to become an artist in oil painting.. he wasnt doing to well .. i never saw him after that and heard he was put into an institution.. i saw dale he was working at juvinal hall then.. i lost track of randy and then he came to a gig i had in about 1981 and he had a cassette of the soungs we recorded.. i never saw him after that.. i was playing in a band called El Chicano in about 1989 and played in bakersfield.. someone told me denver was playing in a club there .. i went to see him and he was still the same great guy i had known from before .. i never saw him again after that.. i went on before this to play with bay area bands the Loading Zone and Tower of Power 1972 -78.. i worked in vegas for alot of years with my own band and moved to LA in 1988. i live there till 2006 i rejoined TOWER of power in 2006-7 and then left and movd to cebu philippines. where i still live and play music.. i have 5 solo cds out and a web-site bruceconte.com… my time with the Road Runners was great experiance for me .. this site has helped me find out about Randy and Denver.. i am sad they are gone but i have great memories from my time with them.. thanks for making this site.. BRUCE CONTE

    1. Hi Bruce, i remember you well. I was the groupie that hung around the dummers. I was at all the gigs from 1964 65 66 and 67… Mostly The RR’s. Steve H. and i became good friends. But i was a teeny bopper so you all kept a safe distance. (: Nice to go down memory lane with you. Those were the best years. I kept a diary. I am now writing about my Band i put together and it will be in a book. Rock on. Vickie of The Mixture. Two girls and Two guy’s.

    2. Bob Tripel l was a friend for over 35 years. I remember Rocky Morelli as being the manager of the Roadrunners. Denver Cross was the band leader.
      I know we met at sometime.
      Do you remember Admiral Strange?
      I don’t remember Randy being the leader.

  48. Searching for those Hanford Rock Bands of the 60″s and what a suprise.
    Remember well all the Melco dance events. Couldn’t wait for Saturday nite!
    Love to all.

    James Lindsey
    Class of “68”

  49. Mag7 at the Rainbow Ballroom or if it was upstairs it was the at the “underground” and illegal lounge at the White Theater, which operated for many months. I know, I worked there for 90 cents an hour and all the popcorn I could eat.

  50. The Morocco label was Rocky Morelli’s. He lived across the street from my aunt and uncle and cousins on Scott. I remember all of those old gigs and even did some light shows with Don Yost at the Rainbow Ballroom. I also recall a weekend long concert with the Grateful Dead Jefferson Airplane and I don’t recall who else but it was at the Marigold ballroom… Who else remembers that?

    1. Hi Jeff,
      I’m writing The Encyclopedia Of Jerry Garcia Music Venues. I’m interested in any memories you have of the Grateful Dead night at the Marigold on May 12, 1967. On the same night there was a Country Music Spectacular at the Convention Center Theater, Fresno. The bill featured Slim Whitman, Charlie Pride, Roy Clark, Connie Smith, & Ray Price.
      Please email me at slipnut01@gmail.com.

      Thank you

  51. I went to Coalinga High School in 1964 and knew Randy’s sister Arliss – then moved to Fresno and spend many Saturday nights at the Rainbow Ballroom on Broadway listening to the Roadrunners. Also knew a group that Charlie Magarian was in, he was the brother of my best friend. I think Coleman Head was in the mix too. Really sad about Randy’s life and Steve’s too. We lost a lot of great talent and friends during those times. I saw Jerry Oliver posted here. He failed to mention that he was in a group called the Sentry’s out of Coalinga and they were really great back then. I hope he’s still playing…I know he sold insurance for a long time. He always reminded me of one of the Everly Brothers and sounded a lot like them too. Hope you are well Jerry.

  52. I have not been able to find anything about “Band of America” a local Fresno,Ca.band from the early 70s.Opened for Eric Burden andWar,Frank Zappa,Ike and Tina Turner Revue,played local venues.Desert anybody remember them?

  53. hi its bruce conte a former roadrunner..admiral strange was a group that i played guitar and sang in..it also included the late steve olson on drums and nick van marth on guitar organ and vocals also my cousin victor conte on bass.. i am trying to find nick van marth the last time i saw him was in LA in 1993 he was thinking about moving there but instead he was looking to become a minister and play in his church..if anybody knows about nick or steve heitkotter please contact me at bruceconte @ymail.com

    1. Yeah I do. The band had a house just north of the old Mars drive-in on belmont. I’d just gotten out of the service. Met these really cool musicians and just hung out with them (and the girls). The routine was 4PM, everybody gather at the TV, get high, and watch Star Trek. They had a recording set-up in the basement. I remember an all night session with Boz Skaggs.

      Boz and Denver trying to one up each other. I know it was recorded on an akai reel to reel. Anybody got a copy? I traveled with the band to Santa Cruz (the Catalyst). On the way home, riding with the bass player, we ran into a large crowd of UFW protesters in Watsonville. They attempted to turn the car over. Yeah, we were all trippin. Can’t remember his name. But he was a talented and gracious gentleman. He died shortly after that gig.
      Just another short bit. Years earlier, Just kids, Danny O’neal and I signed up for the KYNO “Battle of the Bands”at the Memorial Auditorium. So So Green. Maybe 14. But no fear. Went on stage and I couldn’t get my guitar in tune! To my amazement, no one laughed. Then, Denver, without a word, came on stage, tuned it for me and just smiled. The terror I felt subsided and we went on to play a really bad set. But I’ll always remember Denver’s gracious generosity. And just now, I realize , I never told him I was “that kid”. I went on to play with many other bands throughout the sixties. The Marigold with Soggy and “Keepers of the Light”, “The Falls” at Bass Lake, “Lakeshore” at Huntington, and of course “Sin City”. I still try to encourage aspiring musicians when I can and each time I think of Denver.

  54. Band of America was another great local band led by Denver Cross. They were the House band at Ara’s Apartments for some time in the early 70’s. Great band, great bar, fun times!!
    (RIP Denver)

    1. For a very short time Randy Hall lived two doors down from me in Avenal, just 17 miles south of Coalinga. I distinctly remember going to his house, sitting on his front door concrete steps and being mesmerized as he played his guitar for me and sang. I was just a kid and Randy was about 6 or 7 years older than me. He was really nice to me and I looked up to him.
      I’d like to think that I subliminally channeled my time with Randy into helping form a garage band out of Avenal called The Backstreets in 1967. We played at several battle of the bands in Coalinga and got our asses kicked by much more accomplished bands. We did however land a residency at Bass Lake for one summer.
      To this day, Randy still probably influences me as I live on the central coast and play occasional solo acoustic gigs at various wineries in the area.
      Man, those early years growing up so innocently on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley were the best! Thanks for the influence Randy and for bringing us all together via this social media link. You are not forgotten. Rock on my brother!!

      Michael Elliott

  55. Randy Hall lived two houses down from me for a very short time in Avenal when I was a kid. I distinctly remember going to his house, sitting on his front door concrete steps with him and being mesmerized by his guitar playing and singing. He was very kind and treated me as a friend.
    I’d like to think that I subliminally channeled those few meetings with Randy into helping form a band out of Avenal in 1967 called The Backstreets. We played numerous battle of the bands gigs in Coalinga, mostly getting our asses kicked by more accomplished bands!! To this day I still am involved with music, living on the central coast and occasionally playing classic rock songs as a solo acoustic guitarist/singer at various wineries in the area.
    Reading all of your posts has been a walk down memory lane! And thanks for bringing us all together Randy. Rock on my brother!!

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