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Thread: Daryl "Captain" Dragon (Captain & Tennille) - R.I.P.

  1. #1

    Daryl "Captain" Dragon (Captain & Tennille) - R.I.P.

    Daryl "Captain" Dragon passed away from complications of renal failure on January 2, 2019 in Prescott, Arizona.

    Dragon and Tennille remained close friends until his death. Tennille was at his side when he died.

    They made a lot of great music in the '70's. Granted, YMMV...but I sure liked them. Their cover of America's "Muskrat Love" was great.

    R.I.P. Captain
    "Frozen flaking fish raw nerve...In a cup of silver liquid fire" - Jethro Tull

  2. #2
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    RIP

    These two were a lot like The Carpenters. Merchants of pop sap at first glance, but once you dig under the surface and see who also played on those records, for example, folks like Hal Blaine from The Wrecking Crew, you see that everyone had to have an A game to bring and did.

    DD was an early inspiration for budding prog keys players, seeing him with all those vintage keys - Clav, Organ, Moog, Arp, etc made a lot of guys wanna play a few years before they saw the likes of Emerson, Wakeman and company. Their albums were chock full of great tones. And who else could make a Moog sound like muscrarts mating?

    And Toni... Stunning looking and sounding.

    Here's a deep cut that might just move you. Almost prog?

    Last edited by Sean; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:06 AM.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    And Toni... Stunning looking and sounding.
    Plus, of course, she's on Floyd's "The Wall."

    RIP Captain. That's sad. Rich Mueller, who wears the captain's hat at Progday, will be sad to hear this.

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Cool feather in her hat, but barely audible.

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    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    RIP!.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    RIP

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    I was a huge Captain and Tennille fan as a child, and their variety show was one of my favorite TV shows. RIP "Captain of the Keyboards," as Daryl quipped to Red Fox who responded, "Oh yeah? I'm the General of the Junkyard!"
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Rest in peace, Cap'n.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    These two were a lot like The Carpenters. Merchants of pop sap at first glance, but once you dig under the surface and see who also played on those records, for example, folks like Hal Blaine from The Wrecking Crew, you see that everyone had to have an A game to bring and did.
    Same record label. They emerged around the time that the Carpenters' hits started to have lower chart positions in the US, but this duo never really were that popular in the UK whereas the Carpenters still are.

    Dragon also had involvement with The Beach Boys, particularly Dennis Wilson. I remember him appearing in that Endless Harmony documentary.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Plus, of course, she's on Floyd's "The Wall."
    .
    I believe Pink Floyd recorded part of The Wall at the studio Daryl and Toni owned, that's probably how she got roped into performing on the record. Apparently, Roger Waters wanted The Beach Boys to also do backup vocals on certain songs, I wonder if exactly where that idea came from, if Roger had it mind to begin with, or they get to the studio, start talking to everyone, finds out Daryl had worked with the Beach Boys and says to himself, "THAT'S IT! I need to have the Beach Boys sing on this record!"

    In the end, though, Roger had to settle for one Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston. You can tell where he comes in, because the vocal harmonies sound like something you'd hear on a Beach Boys, e.g. Waiting For The Worms. I read in one of the Floyd books where Bruce talked about how The Beach Boys and Captain And Tennille were known for making "sugary" and "sacharine" pop music, yet there they were (meaning himself and Toni) singing these intense lyrics about worms.

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    Member progholio's Avatar
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    I hope they bury him in his captains's hat.

    RIP Daryl Dragon

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    At sea.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by progcd54 View Post
    Their cover of America's "Muskrat Love" was great.
    Trivia note: although America had the first semi-successful version of "Muskrat Love," they didn't write it. It was by a songwriter named Willis Alan Ramsey who has something of a cult following. I haven't heard his record yet.

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    This is true. I just discovered it yesterday. Schmaltzy tune regardless who covers it.

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    Trivia note: although America had the first semi-successful version of "Muskrat Love," they didn't write it. It was by a songwriter named Willis Alan Ramsey who has something of a cult following.
    Probably a Death Cult.
    "If you want to see the true nature of humanity, just look at the internet."

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  16. #16
    Thanks for the trivia. Here's the original...America's cover is very similar.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJeyGreQYEE
    "Frozen flaking fish raw nerve...In a cup of silver liquid fire" - Jethro Tull

  17. #17
    First familiar with his father, even as a kid, as a great conductor. America back in the day did love those two. Here's my fav. clip of his.
    https://youtu.be/8QR5bjcuzOM Also, at one point Ensoniq was going to give him 001 or 0001 of a new keyboard model, but ended up giving it to Stevie Wonder instead.

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    That is mind boggling because I was thinking about him and wether or not he was still alive very possibly on the very day. I have probably thought of him 5 times since 1980 other than when the song comes on. One of those things.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by progcd54 View Post
    Thanks for the trivia. Here's the original...America's cover is very similar.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJeyGreQYEE
    It is similar to their version although a bit less slick. I listened to some of the rest of the album and it is more in an austere Americana style.

  20. #20
    Was Dragon the keyboardist in the early 70s "Beach Boys In Concert" double album with Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fatar?
    There are some really great keyboard moments including a ripping extended Hammond solo in "Leaving This Town" .
    Last edited by the winter tree; 1 Week Ago at 10:34 PM.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by the winter tree View Post
    Was Dragon the keyboardist in the early 70s "Beach Boys In Concert" double album with Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fatar?
    There are some really great keyboard moments including a ripping extended Hammond solo in "Leaving This Town" .
    Wikipedia lists about lists seven different musicians as playing keyboards on that record, not counting Mike Love's "electro-Theremin" on Good Vibrations. Carl Wilson and backing guitarist Billy Hinsche (of Dino, Desi, and Billy fame) are both credited with electric piano. Dennis Wilson is credited with "vocals, electric piano and Moog synthesizer" (wait a minute, I thought he was the drummer!). Carli Muñoz is credited with "electric piano and organ". Mike Kowalski plays synth on one song, and both Daryl Dragon and Toni Tenille are credited with "keyboards" (and in Daryl's case, also vibes).

  22. #22
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Dragon also had involvement with The Beach Boys, particularly Dennis Wilson. I remember him appearing in that Endless Harmony documentary.
    Interesting - I wonder if that ties in with Toni's and The Beach Boys' involvement with "The Wall?"

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Interesting - I wonder if that ties in with Toni's and The Beach Boys' involvement with "The Wall?"
    I'm sure Bruce Johnston's presence on The Wall (Roger wanted all the Beach Boys, but had to settle for only one) came through Daryl and Toni. Part of The Wall was recorded at Daryl and Toni's recording studio. Whether Roger knew about Daryl's connection to The Beach Boys when he booked time in their studio, I don't know. I'm not sure exactly how Toni came to actually perform on the record herself, unless it was simply a matter of Roger and Bob saying "We need someone who can sing high harmony" and someone says, "Well, ya know Toni could probably do it".

    In my crazy mind, I'm imagining Roger relishing the thought of TONI TENNILLE singing on a Pink Floyd record. I mean, most people would never imagine a combination like that, like you'd think the music of Captain And Tennille and Pink Floyd would be so far apart from each other, but of course, that maybe in somebody's mind, someone was thinking "This is gonna mess with people's heads". But like I said, that's just me projecting my (admittedly) perception of such things on the matter, and may (or probably) have absolutely nothing to do with reality.

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    Tennille was asked about her participation in The Wall in this interview:

    You sang on Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

    TENNILLE: A tiny part, yes. Bruce Johnston from the Beach Boys, Carl Wilson, John Joyce and I – if one of our colleagues needed some background vocals and we were all in town, we’d usually get the call. We did some for Elton John, Art Garfunkel, people like that. Bruce called one day and said Pink Floyd needed some vocals. I have to be honest, at that time I only knew their name but I thought it would be interesting to see how a rock group does things in the studio. I have to say, it was one of the most no-nonsense, all-business sessions I had ever been a part of. I thought they were wonderful guys. Dave Gilmour invited me to the first concert in L.A. of The Wall. It was the most amazing live performance I’ve ever seen in my life.

    Where would I hear you on The Wall?

    TENNILLE: I get that question often and I’m really not sure. We just sang the parts, there were no song titles at the time. I can hear my voice on Elton’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” but on The Wall, I really can’t tell because my job on that session was to be right in the middle of the chord.

    Thought I heard you on “The Show Must Go On” and “Goodbye Blue Sky.”

    TENNILLE: Maybe so?



    She also talked about it in this video interview:


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Dragon also had involvement with The Beach Boys, particularly Dennis Wilson.
    It was while playing with the Beach Boys that Dragon got his famous nickname.

    Mike Love posted a remembrance:

    The passing of Captain Keyboard as I affectionately referred to him is particularly heartbreaking. It’s a sad way to start the New Year with the news about Daryl Dragon's passing . For all of us who knew him, loved him and actually had the opportunity to perform with him, it is especially sad. He was the ultimate keyboard player who as an incredible talent, blessed our stage for several years before becoming an enormous success with Toni Tennille as the Captain and Tennille. Daryl was an unassuming genius, unassuming but never aloof. The Beach Boys we’re blessed to have had the Captain in our band. Many precious moments were spent together on tour, in the studio and just hanging out. We will miss you Daryl and will always be grateful for the good times we enjoyed together.
    Rest in Peace my friend. ��
    Peace & Love,
    Mike Love


    Brian Wilson posted:

    So sad to hear about Daryl Dragon. Daryl was a great guy and a hell of a musician and keyboard player. I feel very bad about this. Love & Mercy to Daryl, his family and friends.


    Al Jardine's comments:

    Very saddened to hear of the passing of Daryl Dragon. Toni Tennille and Daryl joined The Beach Boys in the late 60's and met each other in our band. They then became The Captain & Tennille and love kept them together all these years. Darryl was a great musician and songwriter (he co-wrote Cuddle Up with Dennis Wilson) and a very special person but what I value most, he was always a true friend. Rest in peace Darryl" ��️❤️ --Al Jardine

    and Al Jardine's son posted this:

    When I was a kid, around 11 or so, my family drove up to Reno, Nevada to visit Daryl and Toni. We spent the day with them and later that night they watched my brother and I so my parents could go on a date. They took us to dinner and to a Boz Scaggs concert. I remember how kind and warm they were and Daryl making silly fish faces to entertain my younger brother.
    That is my first memory of Daryl Dragon.
    Years later I had the great honor to work with him in the studio and on stage. He was not only an amazing musician, literally a one man band, but a kind and generous soul and I will miss him. My heart goes out to Toni and his family.
    He will truly be missed.


    And a pretty cool video of Dragon talking about the work he did on the Carl and the Passions album:

    Last edited by Dan Roth; 1 Week Ago at 02:37 PM.

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