Garrett Harris 4:32 p.m., Oct. 15
the Roosters (1960s)
Sid Smith: Drums | Jack Pinney: Keyboards | Jerry Raney: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | Richard "Dick" Purchase: Bass guitar, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Keyboards, Trumpet | Joe Gonzalez: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Bobby Hijer: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric)
RIYL: Brain Police, the Gants, Iron Butterfly, the Jacks, Powerthud, the Beat Farmers, Jerry Raney & the Shames, Glory, the Palace Pages, Blues Messenger
Inception: San Diego, 1964
Influences: Cream, Robert Johnson, the Yardbirds, the Beatles, the Dave Clark 5
The Roosters' definitive lineup featured Richard Brubaker, aka "Dick" Purchase, and drummer Sid Smith (Brain Police, Roy Head), along with the dynamic duo of Jack Pinney (the Palace Pages, the Jacks) and Jerry Raney (Blues Messenger, the Perennials), who also played together in both Glory and, later, Jerry Raney & the Shames.
In the mid-1960s, the earliest version of the Roosters served as house band for the La Mesa branch of a teen nightclub chain called the Cinnamon Cinder, located in a former bowling alley near SDSU on El Cajon Boulevard. The no-liquor all-ages venue would eventually also host the Straitahead Sound nightclub and recording studio. That initial Cinder band was fronted by Purchase and included guitarists Joe Gonzalez and Bobby Hijer, as well as drummer Sid Smith. Aside from playing top 40 covers, the Roosters sometimes backed up touring acts like the Shirelles, the Drifters, and the Coasters, as well as opening for headliners like Buffalo Springfield.
A&M Records released their only single, "Shake a Tail Feather" b/w "Rooster Walk" (A&M 746), sung by drummer Smith. Though it was a moderately successful regional hit, Smith left the group to join the Brain Police and was replaced with Jack Pinney. Gonzalez and Hijer were next to quit, clearing the way for Thee Dark Ages guitarist Jerry Raney (a later member of Powerthud and the Beat Farmers) to join just long enough for the band's final days.
The Roosters eventually lost their record contract, their Cinnamon Cinder gig, and their drive to keep going. After splitting, members went on to play with Iron Butterfly, Brain Police, the Beat Farmers, the Shames, Glory, Powerthud, etc.