Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall Tales and Ripping Yarns from The Great State Of Texas

“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.

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21 thoughts on ““A Lovin’ Spoonful Of The Dairy Queen”

  1. hanspostcard on said:

    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

    • 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

  2. Enjoyed this. Serendipity. I had similar experience with The Ventures. Will have to write about it someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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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    • 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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      • I wonder if your band will show up in searches on the web. Did you maintain a website?

        Still talk to any of the previous members (except Ron)?

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      • 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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  4. badfinger20 (Max) on said:

    Great story Phil! That just reinforces what I think about Mike Love. So cool that John was that open.

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    • 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

  5. Great story, but what does lollygagging mean?

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