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  Click photo for more information                                photo:Steve Cahill

                Chris Darrow is a thirty-year veteran of the music business. His band, the KALEIDOSCOPE, heralded by Jimmy Page, as his "favorite band of all time" was one of the seminal bands of the sixties. With David Lindley, Solomon Feldhouse and Max Buda, their blend of Middle Eastern, country, folk, blues and psychedelic music anticipated the World Beat movement by decades. During this period Chris played on the first Leonard Cohen album.

                In late 1967, Chris Joined the NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND as a fiddle player and singer. After two albums for Liberty Records and singing a song in the Clint Eastwood/Lee Marvin film Paint Your Wagon, he and Jeff Hanna formed the CORVETTES. This band recorded two singles for Dot Records, which were produced by former Monkee, Mike Nesmith. The CORVETTES soon became Linda Ronstadt's back-up band. She had heard about them through Nesmith, who had written Linda's hit Different Drum. When Jeff decided to reform the DIRT BAND, future EAGLE, Bernie Leadon joined the band. This aggregation stayed with Linda until Bernie was asked to join the FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS and John Ware and John London, the rhythm section, teamed up with Nesmith in his FIRST NATIONAL BAND. Chris continued to play with her off and on for a number of years.

                During this period Chris was asked to record and tour with both John Stewart and Hoyt Axton. Touring with Linda, John and Hoyt gave Chris a high visibility that led him eventually to his own solo deal on Fantasy Records in 1971 and a chance to play on sessions for the likes James Taylor, Sonny and Cher, Gene Vincent, Helen Reddy and John Fahey, to name just a few. He became a very sought after multi-instrumentalist for recording projects. After moving to United Artist's Records, Chris recorded two solo projects for them, Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise. The song Whipping Boy, from Chris Darrow has recently been covered by a new singer and slide guitarist, Ben Harper, for Virgin Records. It has also been remixed by the Dust Bros. and appears on an Island Record compilation which also features Portis Head, Massive Attack and the Beastie Boys.

                Chris joined back up with Mike Nesmith as an artist and producer for his California based label, Pacific Arts Records. He produced a new KALEIDOSCOPE record, When Scopes Collide, a solo album, Fretless, and the Grammy nominated Rank Strangers for Mike's independent label. He also produced, with his pal Denny Bruce, Tan Punks on Boards by legendary surfer Corky Carroll for Pacific Arts. This cut was recently included in a history of surf music box set for Rhino Records called Cowabunga. He also produced the seminal LA punk band the DECADENTS and the SUPER HEROINES, whose members included Jill Emery, late of HOLE and MAZZY STAR and Chris's son Steven, who later on was in HOLLYWOOD ROSE with Axyl Rose and early GUNS AND ROSES. Chris also played fiddle on records by post-punk artists THE DIVINE HORSEMEN and Courtney Love's inspiration, Marty Nation and CROWBAR SALVATION. A long standing relationship with the infamous Kim Fowley led to recording with VENUS AND THE RAZORBLADES, THE INDUSTRIALS, DYAN DIAMOND, ANGELA BOWIE, JO JO CLARKE, STEVEN T, THE RUBBERTOWN FREAKS, HELEN REDDY and Kim himself.

                When his friend Denny Bruce became head of Takoma Records, he asked Chris and his partner from KALEIDOSCOPE, Max Buda, to record an album of all instrumental music. It was surf music with an edge called Eye of the Storm. High Times called the album " dub Rolling Stones " and compared Chris's guitar playing to Keith Richards. The cover of the album was done by the legendary Rick Griffin, an old friend of Chris's.

                After moving to the beach in San Clemente in 1975, the ocean and surfing became a moving force in his life. He became the bandleader of the HULA BUCKAROOS who played for the annual Surfer Magazine awards and formed a group with guitarist Paul Johnson and drummer John Russell called the PACKARDS. Paul had been with EDDIE AND THE SHOWMEN and had written the surf masterpiece Mister Moto. The band recorded the classic album Pray for Surf which helped to start the "new wave" of surf music and the renewed interest in the older stuff. The use of this genre in Pulp Fiction only amplifies the current interest. Chris and Corky Carroll have just collaborated on an album for German release on Gee Dee Records called Surfdogs on the Range.

                The surf culture led Chris to write for a number of surf and action films. Yuri Farant's Crystal Eyes featured songs from Eye of the Storm and original music was featured in High Cost of a Free Ride and Obsession. Recently Chris contributed music for surf film pioneer Bud Brown's Surfing the Fifties and Gun Ho, and a PBS documentary on Pacific Ocean Park. He and Max Buda worked with SURF PUNKS Dennis Dragon on an album and film score for a ski film entitled Winter Equinox.

                For the past few years Chris has been recording for the TAXIM label of Germany. Last year the label released a two CD set called Coyote / Straight from the Heart. It includes a 40-minute instrumental suite and 20 original songs. TAXIM has also released Fretless on CD, Los Chumps with Max Buda, and Mojave, a Darrow produced album featuring members of the EMMY LOU HARRIS band, LONE JUSTICE, and the BYRDS. All the KALEIDOSCOPE early records are now available on CD on Demon Records in England and Sony/Legacy in the US. Chris's fabulous slide guitar playing is featured on a compilation album called Everybody Slides vol. II. The album features cuts by such slide greats as Lowell George, John Hammond, David Lindley and Rory Block. It is on Sky Ranch Records in France with Virgin distribution. It has recently been released on Rykodisc in the United States.

                The LA Times recently did a feature article on Chris and his home studio, Studio Nadine. European Rolling Stone did a whole feature on him in their History of Rock section. Chris has recently been quoted in two books on the history of the LA music scene, Waiting for the Sun by Barney Hoskyns, and Moonlight Drive by Chuck Crisafulli. He recently appeared on an album of LA poets called Internal Journal vol. II, produced by spoken word pioneer Harvey Kubernik.

Chris and Max Buda have just finished a new album called Harem Girl. It is a 45 minute instrumental suite based on an original scenario. Harem Girl has just been released on Taxim Records.


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