Rockin Foo

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1:

- Lester Brown Jr. -- drums, vocals

- Wayne Erwin -- guitar, vocals

- Michael Racoon (aka Michael Clark) -- keyboards, vocals


  line up 2:

- Ron Becker -- bass

- Lester Brown Jr. -- drums, vocals

- Wayne Erwin -- guitar, vocals

- Michael Racoon (aka Michael Clark) -- keyboards, vocals




- none known





Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Rockin Foo

Company: Hobbit

Catalog: HB-5001

Year: 1969

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small drill hole through middle; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4824

Price: $20.00

Cost: $1.00


I'm guessing this late-1960s/early-1970s band were out of California.  They seem to have the right musical vibe for that time and place.  Unfortunately there isn't much bibliographical stuff to be found out there on them.  What little I know is pulled from the liner notes on their self-titled 1969 album.  I'm also guessing that guitarist Wayne Erwin is the same guy who played on The Monkees' debut album, though I have nothing to back that up.


The trio's line-up consisted of drummer Lester Brown Jr., guitarist Erwin and keyboard player Michael Racoon (aka Michael Clark).  Signed to the GRT Records affiliated Hobbit label, 1969's "Rockin Foo" is mildly interesting in a weird Dead-cum-hippie style.  Produced by drummer Brown Jr. and largely written by guitarist Erwin (there's one collaboration with an outside person), in spite of what some high priced dealers will tell you there isn't much psych here.  Similarly, there's not much in the way of killer melodies and as singers none of these guys are gonna' slay you.  So is there anything redeeming here?  Like I said, if the Deads' easy-going vibe is up your alley you may find tracks like 'Old Friends' and 'Familiar' (the latter sporting a bizarre lyric) to your liking.  The group also take a couple of stabs at a harder rock sound, though tracks like 'Kind Old Lady' and 'Down In Cleaton' aren't particularly original or impressive.  It's all kind of comfortable and familiar and is something some of you probably wouldn't mind hearing on a cold Sunday morning.  Oh, let me add the Phil Hartmann lithograph cover is kind of low-tech cool.   


The album also spun off at least one single: 1969's 'Rochester River' b/w 'Stranger In the Attic' (Hobbit catalog number HB-42001).  Wonder if the band knew there was a French picture sleeve release version of the single?


Stateside Records 

catalog number 2C006-91549


"Rockin Foot" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) New Friends   (Wayne Erwin) - 

2.) Old Friends   (Wayne Erwin - M. Clark) - 

3.) Familiar Faces   (Wayne Erwin) - 

4.) Gabby Hayes Waltz   (Wayne Erwin) - 

5.) Kind Old Lady   (Wayne Erwin) - 

6.) Stranger In the Attic   (Wayne Erwin) - 


(side 2)
1.) Down In Cleaton   (Wayne Erwin) - 

2.) Black Diamond Mine   (Wayne Erwin) - 

3.) Browder Ground   (Wayne Erwin) - 

4.) Boogaloo Jungle   (Wayne Erwin) - 

5.) Rochester River   (Wayne Erwin) - 





With the addition of fourth member bassist Ron Becker, the band subsequently released a 1971 album on Uni.  Unfortunately I've never heard the album so I can't comment on it.



So out of the blue this email showed up in my inbox:


I really enjoyed your well written notes on Rockin Foo.. I was part of the Rockin Foo family, at their mini-ranch in Encino [California] in 1970, and later in the Malibu colony band-pad.  Michael Clark, Les Brown Jr. singer Wayne Erwin, and bass player Ron Becker are all still alive and well. 


Ron Becker still plays the heck out of Electric Jazz Guitar, is still a hippy mountain man who lives with his wife in new Mexico and is off the grid.


Les Brown Jr, now runs his dads big band in LA


Michael Clark went on to become Sound Supervisor for Roger Corman's Concorde Studios in Venice CA, and is a respected keyboardist/music director [who has worked with]  many rock legends (Chuck Berry, Fats, Chubby, The Temptations, etc.). 


Wayne Erwin lives in Kentucky with his wife and is retired. 


It was a total blast hanging out with Phil and John Hartman, and the band (Phil was actually the roadie). and needless to say, we had a lot of wet-shorts-and-tears on the way to gigs, (I would sometimes roadie for the band). Michael a is dear friend who has been part my own recording career. Mike hired me to do design/consulting as well as sound design at Roger Corman's Concorde Pictures when the studio went digital in the early 1990s.  I also produce a group called Depresleys.  We just released an album called "Leaking Blue". 


Paul Carlsen 

April 2009