Book Reviews: April 2005

Review by Ronnie - Ear Candy Magazine


  "The GoldeBriars' Story-Whatever Happened to Jezebel?" (E-book)
By Dotti Holmberg

I've got to admit that I had never heard of the GoldeBriars before I got this e-book (Sure I had heard of Curt Boettcher), so I had no idea what to expect. Before I started reading I watched the film clip that is included of their 1964 performance on ABC Hootenanny Show to get an idea of their music. The first thing I thought after viewing it, "They sound just like The Mamas & The Papas! But wait - this was early 1964, before John Phillips trademark sound with The Mamas & The Papas!" So, I was intrigued and hooked. This book contains Dotti's story of the band, complete with diary entries from the time, scrapbook pictures and drawings, as well as "where are they know" info.

While the GoldeBriars only lasted between February 1963 and June 1965, they left a lasting influence on The Mamas & & The Papas, but also the "sunshine pop" bands that would follow. During their short tenure as a band, the core members included: Curt Boettcher, Ron Neilson, Dotti Holmberg & Sheri Holmberg. There would be many lineup changes as the band developed from the 'standard' folk lineup to eventually adding electric instruments and a drummer. At one time even Beatles' manager Brian Epstein expressed interest in bringing the group to play in the U.K. Not only did they come up with a unique sound, but they experimented with fashion styles - at one point all the guys were wearing earrings! This was waaaay before it was "trendy" to do so.

The GoldeBriars were the link between early '60s folk music and "Sunshine Pop", as evidenced by Cass Elliot's statement to Keith Olsen: "We (The Mamas & The Papas) stole the GoldeBriars's sound." The break-up of the band in June 1965 is a little hazy in the story - you feel that there is something that happened that isn't completely told. It must have been something big, with the impending release of their all-important 3rd album (and the one they were really trying to put some commercial hits on).

While this e-book is a very interesting read, you are left wanting more information! How did the band's sound evolve? What actually led to the breakup? It is a tantalizing tease to (hopefully) a full-blown, in depth biography of the band. If you want to reevaluate your knowledge of "Sunshine Pop" of the '60s, check out this book and stop thinking of The Mamas & The Papas as the group that kicked it off. Although the group lasted only a little more than two years and never had a major hit, The GoldeBriars influence was substantial.


Review by Ronnie