The Snuggle Bunnies were a pre-Beat Farmers band featuring singer/drummer Dan McLain, aka Country Dick Montana, whose band with Puppies guitarist James Krieger, the Country Dicks, failed to take off. Puppies bassist Nino Del Pesco talked Montana into forming a new group, the Snuggle Bunnies, which originally featured Krieger, though he soon left the band.
“We all had ‘Dick’ names, too,” recalls Del Pesco Montana. “It was a real wild time, especially at the Spring Valley Inn on Sunday nights!”
Best known from the Beat Farmers, Montana’s wisecracking persona helped make their tune “Happy Boy” a Doctor Demento radio staple, until his onstage death from a heart attack on November 8, 1995.
“I’m the guy who pushed Dan into forming the Snuggle Bunnies after a failed attempt at a band called the Country Dicks,” recalls Del Pesco. Featuring several future Farmers, the Bunnies lineup at various times included Del Pesco and Dan/Country Dick, along with guitarist/mandolin player Skid Roper, Robin Jackson, Paul Kamanski, Joey Harris, and (briefly) James Krieger. “Jimmy left after a couple rehearsals, which ushered in Joey and Paul,” recalls Del Pesco. “Richard Banke was the last to join, long before his Mojo Nixon days.”
The band’s theme song “Bunny Call,” from their Adventures in Paradise album, began as a different number. According to Roper, “I came to rehearsal one day with ‘Cattle Call,’ a song I used to sing in a duo. Nobody liked it, but Country Dick loved it and announced in his deep voice, ‘I’m doin’ that song, and it’s now called ‘Bunny Call’... He also took another song I did, ‘Maverick,’ and turned it into ‘Country Dick.’”
Skid Roper here. Just a clarification: Richie Rooster was NEVER a member of this group. It was Nino del Pesco in the pancho who played bass and Robin Jackson to his left on vocals and acoustic guitar.