“A Lovin’ Spoonful Of The Dairy Queen”


This is a true story that I have been itching to recount since 1966. Better late than never.

April 1st, 1966, found my friends and fellow bandmates Jarry Boy Davis and Warren Whitworth lollygagging around White Rock Creek, just off Parker Road in lovely Plano, Texas. Exciting it wasn’t.

Plano was the epitome of small-town Texas; one red light, a Dairy Queen, two police officers, and one high school with a state championship football team. We could have been fodder for a Larry McMurtry novel.

Our not-yet-famous rock band, The Blue Dolphins, at the time was in transition. A few weeks back, our drummer, Ron Miller, had been dragged by his parents kicking and clawing back to San Diego, so we were now a three-piece act in need of a percussionist.

Bored with wading in the creek, we sat on Jarry’s 1965 Mustang coup trunk that was parked on the gravel road. A great little pony car, yellow as a ripe banana with 160 horses under the hood. It was great being 16 and cool. Actually, we were bored and decided we would go to the Beach Boys concert in Dallas that night.

Next to our favorite creek spot, there was a party ranch or a dude ranch here in Texas. People rented it out for parties, horseback riding, and BBQs.

As we were getting into Jarry’s car to leave, we spotted a line of horses plodding down the gravel road from the direction of the ranch. We decided to stick around for a few and say howdy to the visitors and horses.

As the group of riders got closer, we couldn’t believe our young, healthy eyes. Warren yelped, “holy crap, that’s the Beach Boys.” Indeed it was, riding single file on a horse. Behind them came Chad and Jeremy, two British singers, and batting cleanup was The Lovin’ Spoonful at the end. We were almost wetting ourselves.

The Beach Boys rode by, we said howdy and got the stink eye from Mr. Pleasant, Mike Love. Chad and Jeremy looked scared to death being on a horse and were extremely sunburned. One of the Lovin Spoonful stopped, dismounted, and started a conversation with us. How cool is that? He introduced himself as John and wanted to know about Plano and what we did in a one-horse town. I figured he was milking us for a song idea about hicks in the sticks. We gave him the rundown and were flabbergasted when he asked us to show him the town. You betcha we would.

The social hub of Plano was, of course, The Dairy Queen, so we figured John would like an ice cream cone. Lining up in the drive-thru, no one knew who he was, just some long-haired hippie guy in Jarry’s car. We kept mum, not wanting to create a scene by being uncool. John got his cone, shared a few music and band stories, said he liked small-town Texas, and we took him back to the dude ranch. He asked us if we would be attending the show that night, and we said yep, see ya there.

The three of us were reluctant to tell of this encounter for fear of being labeled liars and lunatics, so we kept it quiet for all these years. No camera, no cell phone, just our recount.

32 Replies to ““A Lovin’ Spoonful Of The Dairy Queen””

  1. That’s great- too bad Mike Love didn’t fall off the horse and break a leg or something- the biggest jerk in rock and roll– not to be critical or anything. .. Yes in the days before cell phones and cameras- my guess is people would think you were pulling their leg if you went back and told the story to people. Great to hear John was a cool guy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We felt the same way about his social skills. John Sebastian was genuine and a nice fellow. He said he had never had a Dairy Queen cone since he grew up in New York City, and was a city boy. He thought small town Texas was a hoot and we agreed. That scenerio could never happen today. People were a bit more trusting back then. Yep, we knew the entire encounter sounded like a load of it, that’s why we never told anyone but our closest friends. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh I agree that would never occur in 2020– Brian wasn’t with the Beach Boys at that time was he? I think he had quit touring before then….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I forget when he quit touring and just working in the studio I am guessing 1965. I can’t see Brian on a horse..

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  2. Wow. Talk about surprising encounters. Horses, a Dairy Queen, Plano, The Beach Boys, The Lovin’ Spoonful, British singers…amazing. Not to make you feel old but, I wasn’t even born, yet (I would show up in late August).

    Did you keep in touch with Ron Miller and, what happened to The Blue Dolphins?

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    1. Thanks for jumping in. No, we lost track of Ron after his move to San Diego. The Blue Dolphins became the Orphans in 1967-69 and continued as one of the top rock bands in Texas. We had a good run but disbanded in late 69. Our keyboard player moved to CA to live in a commune and of course higher education called a few of us, so it was a disjointed demise, as most bands are. That day was surreal. Who would have thunk it.

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      1. We did show up for a while under The Orphans and then when we changed our name to The ATNT over a copy right dispute. Search Flower Fair 1968 Dallas Texas. We played there with a big lineup of rock bands under the name of ATNT. There are two interviews on my blog about those days, one from Garage Bands.com and one from Big D 60s by Gene Fowler. Both give a lot of history for those times. We are also in a rock documentary called “Teen A Go Go” on Netflix and Amazon, and was produced by Mark Nobles. Three guys sitting on a stage being interviewed. I am the one in the middle, the greay haird guy with a blue print shirt. DFW was a huge rock scene in the 60s, second only to LA, but most people don’t know that.

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    1. We hardly knew about the Lovin Spoonful at that time. Do You Believe In Magic was their big hit on top 40 AM, and of course the Beach Boys had been dominating the box for years. Sebastian was not only cool, but excited to see a small Texas town. He was facinated by the entire hour he spent with us. He did remark that the Dairy Queen cone was the best ice cream ever because they didn’t have them in New York. I look back on the encounter and realize that it was a risky thing for him to do, driving away with 3 guys in a rural area. I can only imagine what his bandmates thought, would they bring him back? It was all innocent. Sort of like the 60s up until Charlie Manson ruined the party for everyone. I did become a fan and our band even learned a few of their songs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You grew up in a great time Phil.Back then John probably saw that you and your band were fans and like you said Manson hadn’t happened yet. That would be a great book story.

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  3. Great story. Got me to thinking of other musicians it would have been cool to see riding horses like that. Charlie Parker? Louis Armstrong? Favorite part of story was your buddy Don getting dragged “kicking and clawing” back to San Diego. I could feel his pain.

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    1. Yep, it was a shock to see our Rock n Roll Idols on horseback in no-where Plano Texas. It was a bit surreal for the first few minuets, then we put it all together, the concert in Dallas that night etc. Our drummer was originally from San Diego and his father relocated the family to Plano when he took a job as an engineer at Texas Instruments. I guess they had enough of Texas and abruptly headed back west with five people in a Corvair Monza convertabile. Must have been a tough trip. Ron, of course didn’t want to leave since he was now in high school. The entire family was a little California wierd. John Sebastian had to have been out of his mind to ride off into the sunset with total strangers, but hey, it was the mid sixties and everybody was love love and gentle people. Right? He loved the Dairy Queen soft ice cream and the Mustang. The dude didn’t have a drivers license and had never heard of Dairy Queen. We were hoping we would at least get a backstage pass to the show that night, but nope; had to sit in the balcony. It was a good show though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I came home from summer holidays and my parents moved. It was a Rodney Dangerfield joke coming to life. I went ape shit. I camped out with friends until I had to catch up with them. I got over it. I think.

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      2. I had a similar experience when I was around 9. We lived in your typical Leave It To Beaver neighborhood and it was awsome. My father got into real estate and bought a four plex apartment house in a questionable part of town on the other side of the tracks bordering the ghetto and the Barrio. It was right out of a Cheech and Chong movie. I didn’t care for the neighborhood, the kids or the house. Kids have feelings too, but parents often ignore that. I went through an uppity period about 10 years ago, then reality set in.

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      3. I limit my intake to the cones and Blizzards these days. There is magic in those greasy burgers. I ate one in front of a vegan friend of mine, and he passed out cold. I held a stick of celery under his nose to bring him around. I also like to cook with Lard.

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