How Producing Mark & Brian Made Dishwalla One My Favorite Bands
Until the day our programming director, Rita Wilde told me that Dishwalla was going to come on the Mark and Brian Show to perform songs from their new album, Opaline, in the Amphitheater, I will be honest and confess I had no idea who they were. This was the Spring of 2000 and they were not exactly a household name like many of my favorites including Bruce, The Who or U-2.
However, that morning as I listened to the band perform a number of songs including their hit, Counting Blue Cars, Dishwalla earned a place on my list of bands I will go out of my way to listen to. It was also the start of a great friendship we had with both the band and their manager Leo Rossi.
Over the next few years they performed at the KLOS studios as well as a variety of Mark and Brian events. One of them was a screening of the classic film Jaws in 2005 on the Santa Monica Pier. Mark and Brian thought it would be great to get a band to perform while the sun was setting and the crowd was waiting for the movie to start.
Usually you need a couple of months to get this together and the clock was ticking. Knowing that Dishwalla band members lived in Santa Barbara, I called Leo to find out if they might be available. He loved idea of rocking the pier and made it happen. The bonus for the band was they had a new album coming out so the timing was perfect.
Later that year they were part of the lineup for our annual Christmas Variety Show at the Wiltern and playing a couple of their original hits and a great cover of Led Zeppelin’s All of My Love. Peter Frampton hit the stage after they were done and I noticed lead singer JR Richard and Leo standing on the side. I asked them why they were still hanging out and the reply was, “We’re not going to miss Frampton!”
There would be other performances both in the studio and at the Mark and Brian Amphitheater. While we booked them because they were such great performers and the audience loved them, I always got a kick out of watching women swoon, over the band’s lead singer JR Richard who has an incredible voice and is as many of the women I worked with described him, hot.
I always thought they should have been bigger than they got. Unfortunately after their big hit Counting Blue Cars, their record company folded. Without the help of industry promotion that really stunted their growth. They disbanded in 2006. JR started a successful solo career and recently Dishwalla got back together without him. I do miss the original band, because they rocked!
Click here Dishwalla Christmas Show