Pat and Lolly Vegas

Band members                             Related acts

- Lolly Vegas (aka Vasquez) (RIP 2010) -- vocals, guitar

- Pat Vegas (aka Vasquez) -- vocals, bass


- The Avantis (Pat and Lolly Vegas)

- The Deuce Coupes (Pat and Lolly Vegas)

- The Mark-ets (Pat and Lolly Vegas)

- Redbone (Pat and Lolly Vegas)

- The Routers (Pat and Lolly Vegas)

- The Sharks

- Lolly Vegas (solo effort)

- Pat Vegas (solo efforts)






Genre: garage

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Pat & Lolly Vegas At the Haunted House

Company: Mercury

Catalog: MG 21059

Year: 1966

Country/State: Fresno, California

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: mono pressing; small DJ stamp on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4789

Price: $50.00


The Vegas brothers have been long time personnel favorites.  Although little recognized, they're true musical groundbreakers, largely responsible for tearing down some of the racial barriers that saw Hispanic acts segregated from the rock audience (the brothers were actually of mixed Yaqui/Shoshone and Mexican descent).  


Hailing from Fresno, California, brothers Lolly and Pat Vasquez started their professional musical careers backing 50s crooner Jimmy Clanton ('Just a Dream' and 'Venus In Blue Jeans').  Only 13 and 14 respectively when they started their professional careers, the brothers spent several years touring with Clanton, finally deciding to strike out on their own in 1961.  Relocating to Los Angeles they proved talented and versatile performers, capable of reading and writing music, who by the mid-60s'  were seasoned musical veterans, having recorded on their own, written several hits for other acts, carved a reputation as in-demand studio musicians and become an impressive live act.


In addition to a 1961 Lolly solo 45 for the small Audio International label, the brothers recorded in a number of outfits, including several 45s as the surf band The Avantis, at least one single credited to The Routers, a single credited to The Sharks, and a 1963 hot rod instrumental album under the guise of The Deuce Coupes ("Hot Rodder's Choice" Del-Fi catalog number DFST-1243).  The brothers also recorded at least two singles:

- 1963's 'Boom Boom Boom (Radda-Dadda-Da)' b/w 'Two Figures (On The Wedding Cake)' (Reprise catalog number R 20-199)

- 1964's 'Robot Walk/ b/w 'Don't You Remember' (Apogee catalog number A-101)


Their resume was rounded out by membership in The Shindigs (along with Delaney Bramlett and Leon Russell), who served as the house band for the similarly titled ABC youth music television program.  


The Vasquez also attracted considerable attention as writers, placing material with a slew of L.A.-based acts, including Dobie Gray, The Mark-ets (the brothers even briefly toured as The Mark-ets), and The Premiers.  They also picked up a mentor/manager in the form of producer Bumps Blackwell.  Best known for his work with acts such as Little Richard and Sam Cooke, Blackwell recommended a name change, leading to 'Pat and Lolly Vegas'.  He also helped the brothers become regulars on the Hollywood club scene, including helping them become the house band at L.A.'s The Haunted House. 


n 1966 Mercury decided to sign the duo and finance an LP.  Produced by Leon Russell and Snuff Garrett, 1966's "Pat & Lolly Vegas At the Haunted House" was reportedly a live set capturing the band's club set list.  Musically the album offered up a mix of originals and popular pop and soul covers.  As is so often the case, the up tempo covers were fine (Lolly turned in a nice guitar solo on James Brown's 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag'), but the true charmers were the six originals.  Co-written by the brothers,  tracks such as 'Walk On (Right Out of My Life)', 'Under You' (which sure sounded like something from the forthcoming Redbone catalog), and 'Keep Me Up Tight' were all first rate blue-eyed soul/pop that would have sounded great on top-40 radio. Shame on Mercury for not having promoted the LP.   One thing I've always wondered about was the "live" designation.  The LP had a slightly echoic sound, but to my ears it didn't sound like a live set - no audience noises and the performances were almost too good to be live takes ...  anyone know for sure?  The album did nothing commercially; Mercury quickly dropping them from its recording roster.  Luckily the brothers reappeared as members of Redbone.  For anyone interested, the cover photo was lifted from the 1965 film  It's a Bikini World and featured the brothers playing at L.A.'s famed “The Haunted House” - the club's bizarre stage shaped like the mouth of a giant fanged monster is clearly visible.  Directed by Stephanie Rothman and starring Tommy Kirk and Deborah Walley, the move was completed in 1965, but didn't see a release until 1967.


"Pat & Lolly Vegas At the Haunted House" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) In the Midnight Hour   (Wilson Pickett - Steve Cropper) - 2:46

It wasn't going to make you forget Wilson Pickett's classic version, but the brothers acquitted themselves well on this cover with Lolly turning in a nice little solo that would have made Steve Cropper happy.   To my ears the vocals actually sounded a bit like CCR doing a Stax cover.   Not a bad thing.   rating: *** stars

2.) Walk On (Right Out of My Life)   (Pat Vegas - Lolly Vegas) - 2:37

With a stellar melody and the brothers' wonderfully blended vocals you had to wonder how this one didn't become a major hit.   For anyone interested, YouTube has a dandy clip of the brothers playing an abbreviated version of the song in the 1967 flick It's a Bikini World:   rating: **** stars

3.) Papa's Got a Brand New Bag   (James Brown) - 2:25

Like the earlier Wilson Pickett cover, this one was quite energetic with another tasty Lolly guitar solo, but just couldn't match up to the James Brown original.  Still, a couple of beers and you'd be fine.   rating: *** stars

4.) Under You   (Pat Vegas - Lolly Vegas) - 1:56

Hum, the title was certainly risqué for 1967 ...

5.) Let's Get It On   (Pat Vegas - Lolly Vegas) - 2:34

Another original, 'Let's Get It On' had a bit of a Allen Toussaint New Orleans vibe to it and sounded a but dated compared to some of the other tunes.  That must be why I love this one so much.  Mercury tapped it as a promo single:

- 1967's 'Let's Get It On' b/w 'Walk On (Right Out Of My Life)' (Mercury catalog number 72509)   rating: **** stars

6.) Baby, I Need Your Loving   (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozer - Eddie Holland) - 2:49

Of the three side one covers, this was probably the least impressive since they seemed interested in turning it into a MOR-pop tune.  That said the brothers' blended voices were amazing and this time around Pat turned in some nice bass moves.   rating: *** stars


(side 1)

1.) Here I Go (Falling In Love Again)   (Pat Vegas - Lolly Vegas) - 1:45

Another tune that sounded a bit older than some of the other material.  Regardless, I liked the Righteous Brothers vibe on this one and the refrain was a killer.   rating: *** stars

2.) (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 3:18

A little before my time, but I'm guessing every band in the world included 'Satisfaction' in their repertoire.   Another tune that sounded a bit like John Fogerty trying out a Stones cover.   rating: *** stars

3.) Keep Me Up Tight   (Pat Vegas - Lolly Vegas) - 2:02

Another album highlight, 'Keep Me Up Tight' had a cool, garage-rock edge to it, making it one of the hardest things the Vegas ever recorded.   A jazzy version of the tune appeared on a 2013 reissue of Redbone's "Beaded Dreams Through Turquoise Eyes" LP.  rating: **** stars

4.) Good Lovin'   (Clark - Resnick) - 2:22

Time for another popular hit with similar results to the others - energetic, enthusiastic, and not as good as The Young Rascals original.   rating: ** stars

5.) Any Old Time   (Pat Vegas - Lolly Vegas) - 2:41

It opened up sounding like a Classics IV slice of MOR blue-eyed soul, but when the brothers started singing it went into a much more soulful direction - Pat's falsetto harmonies were hysterical.  It's one of those sneaky melodies that creeps into your head when you're least expecting it.   Great track.    rating: **** stars

6.) High Blood Pressure   (H. Smith - J. Vincent) - 2:30

'High Blood Pressure' was another tune with a '50s doo wop, Crescent City flavor.    This time around the sound was simply too old-fashioned to do much for me.   Admittedly the "I get high ever day ..." refrain was funny.   rating: *** stars