One night in October in Bob Copeland’s backyard in Highland, the patio was stacked with instruments and musicians and their friends and family gathered on the lawn waiting for the show to begin.
About 70 people attended Geezer Stock 2022. This is a reunion of sorts by a group of local musicians who have known each other for the last 50 years.
It all started in February 1964. When The Beatles aired, 72 million Americans watched The Ed Sullivan Show, and about 30 million of them were prepubescent teenage boys,” said Bob Copeland and David Holsinger. Mike Taylor, who co-founded Gieser Stock in 2006, began to speak.
“From Fontana,” cried Copeland. “Within a month of that happening, he had a tsunami of guitars and drums in the pawn shop and everyone playing in the garage,” he says Taelour.
About 20 boys met at Fontana High School in the 1960s through music and their musical dreams.
“It was like Liverpool in Southern California. A lot of great bands came out of there, a lot of stars came out of Fontana,” said Taylor.
They mentioned Sammy Hagar and Jimmy Fields.
Nearly 50 years later, a group of 20 musicians at Fontana High School are largely intact.
In the 1980s, the group went to summer parties in Rialto.
“We needed music. We needed crazy fun people, food and alcohol,” said Taylor. Nothing has changed since then. A normal job and family life took over, but the thread of playing music continued for decades.
“Hi everyone! Welcome to Geezer Stock 2022,” said Taelour. “It’s like a COVID super-spreader event, right?” added Copeland with a laugh. ‘We must keep the tradition alive’
Holsinger, Copeland and Taylor started the evening with a song by John Prine.
“Throw my brain into a hurricane. “Bah,” sang Holsinger.
In 2006 Holsinger hosted the first Geezer Stock at his home in Redlands. Since then, his sister has hosted events in Calimesa, most recently at Copeland’s home in the Highlands. This year was our first return since 2019 due to the pandemic.
At Geezer Stock, several musicians took turns on stage, followed by Redlands’ Taelour’s band ‘The Neverlys’. They performed “Cypress Avenue”, a self-written song inspired by The Beach His Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Redlands.
Then “The Marvels” by Redlands’ Ray and Peggy Zeigler took the stage, adding a younger member to the group. They played Van Morrison, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and more.
“We drove up to Phoenix this week for a gig,” Ray said, explaining what musicians try to do to pursue their passions. “And at least gasoline was cheap,” he joked.
The final people on stage were Mike Taylor’s brother Richard Taylor and son Ted. They were coming to Geezer Stock from Bend, Oregon. “It’s so much fun to be here. How nice this is,” said Richard.
They played old rock and blues songs.
“Richard Taylor and Chet Smith have signed a recording deal with Clive Davis. [with] Arista Records,” said Holsinger. They were there that night.
In the Fontana group, musicians tried to make it big. Holsinger himself took seven years off work to focus on his band, The Toe Jam Band. “They were very eclectic [music]Great musicians, interesting material,” added Mike Taylor. “We opened for Stephen Stills, John Sebastian and The Motels,” said Holsinger. “They did very well,” said Copeland.
“Kansas City baby, here we come,” sang Richard Taylor, ending the evening with a medley of songs that flowed together like beads on a string. Well, it wasn’t for the musicians. How long will Geezer Stock last? Until they’re underground, said Copeland. “As long as our friends show up,” added Holsinger.