"There was an article in [the Reader] about a guy living in a trailer who was supposed to have been the drummer for Strawberry Alarm Clock," says Randy Seol, the band's drummer in the heyday of their 1967 hit "Incense and Peppermints." "I live in a motor home in a boatyard right now, so I guess it's not too far off, but that wasn't me."
Seol played at various times with the group. Gene Gunnels drummed on "Incense," but Seol sang backup on the single and replaced Gunnels as drummer on the album of the same name (the song's 16-year-old lead singer was a stand-in who never joined the group).
"I've been living in San Diego most of the time since then, or I keep coming back," says Seol. "My family's from here. Right now, I'm a shipwright; I work on boats doing electronic and lighting systems, fiberglassing, and I'm developing some solar-power projects."
Seol denies culpability for a late-'60s melee at downtown's Community Concourse where the band was booked but never appeared, resulting in the venue getting smashed up.
"Our manager double booked us. We didn't even know; we were on tour with the Beach Boys at the time. The promoter got sued and then came after us for the money.... I ended up remodeling the promoter's house, doing the woodwork and painting to pay it off."
Seol drums locally with Cool Fever, which appears Saturday, August 26, at the Metaphor Café in Escondido.