Doug Allen has fronted the Mar Dels since 1982, singing, playing keyboards, and has been known to perform on two saxophones at the same time. Also performing as a one-man-band, when he sits down to his sparkling white piano, he sings and accompanies himself via a left-handed bass guitar and some kick drums anchored onto the floor at angles under the keyboard.
The Mar Dels played the oldies for presidents Reagan, Bush (both), and former California governor Pete Wilson. They’ve played Radio City Music Hall, on aircraft carriers, in Macao, Hawaii, Bermuda, and Cabo San Lucas. “They flew us over to play Hong Kong four times.” says Allen. “We got hired by this group of European bankers.”
Allen also spent around five years hosting an open jam sessions two nights a week at the Kraken in Solana Beach, but the events were cancelled by the venue in late 2013. “The whole problem is that it was on Monday and Tuesday nights,” Allen says. “Even though the bar was full, there wasn’t a whole lot of drinking going on.”