Lowrider will play at Winter Blast
Ryan Summerlin October 29, 2013
Drummer Harold Brown’s motto in life is "Go do it."
"Remember, a dream without action is just another hallucination," Brown told The Park Record during a phone call from his home in Southern California. "You got to get out there and start doing it for it to come true."
Brown should know. He’s the drummer of the Lowrider Band that will perform at the Egyptian’s annual First Winter Blast gala fundraiser that will be held at the Montage Deer Valley on Nov. 2.
The evening will consist of a multi-course dinner, a silent auction and dancing to the band. The money raised will benefit the Egyptian Theatre.
The core of the Lowrider Band is comprised of four musicians — guitarist Howard Scott, bassist B.B. Dickerson and harpist Lee Oskar, were original members of another band — but due to a lawsuit in 1990, Brown can’t mention that band’s name during interviews or in promotional ads.
The best way to solve this problem is to complete the following phrase: "All’s fair in love and ___."
"The problem is, if we do mention the name, we can possibly see any upcoming shows shut down," Brown explained. "But I’ve got ways to deal with that. I can call the band ‘the evil three-letter swear word’ or just refer to it as ‘three fingers and a smile."
Regardless, Brown and his compadres are allowed to play their former band’s hits including "The Cisco Kid," "Spill the Wine" and, of course, "Low Rider."
"We’re looking forward to playing in Park City," Brown said. "It will be great and a lot of fun."
When Brown was in elementary school, he knew he wanted to be famous.
"I was laying in bed thinking about what I wanted to do and realized that if I just laid there, nothing would happen," he said with a laugh. "So I got out of bed and began living my dream, all the time telling myself that a dream without action is just another hallucination."
Brown’s first instrument was the violin, and then one day a man came to his school to talk about musical instruments.
"When he got to the snare drum I raised my hand and he called me forward and gave me five minutes with the drum," Brown said. "He showed me how to hold the sticks and I learned a quarter note that changed my life forever."
Brown pawned his violin for a snare drum, stand and a pair of sticks.
"I would beat on that drum and imagined the metal radiator was my high hat," he said laughing. "People would come over and pay my father to stop me from practicing."
That’s how Brown’s career began.
In 1962, Brown met Scott, who was a bassist at the time, and the two formed a union that would last for more than 51 years.
Scott and Brown began playing together with other musicians in Los Angeles.
"I was still pretty young, about 15 or so, and I would wear my daddy’s shirt and tie and use my momma’s eyebrow pencil to fill in my beard so I would look older," Brown said. "I’d go in and play and then sneak up to the bar and order a rum and coke."
Around that time, bassist Dickerson came into the picture and they played local dives and soc hops.
Then one day, Brown was given a full-ride scholarship to attend college.
"I turned it down to play music," he said.
1969. the band, which was called Night Shift at the time, met Eric Burdon, who had just left the Animals.
After joining efforts, the band, which also featured harmonica player Lee Oskar, released the hit "Spill the Wine."
The other songs followed.
"Most of these came out of band jams," Brown said. "We’re one of the original jam bands and people like to hear the grooves still like what we do."
Throughout the years, the band underwent many changes and, after a drawn-out lawsuit, That’s why it’s known today as the Lowrider Band and features the "young guys" — saxophonist Lance Ellis, keyboardist Telvis Ward and percussionist Chuk Barber.
Ironically, Brown. Scott, Dickerson and Oskar were among those on the list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations in 2010 for their work with their former band.
Still, Brown doesn’t let things like that bother him, because he’s happy he can still play music.
"I look back and am thankful that I gave up that college scholarship," he said. "But I want everyone to know, again, that if you have a dream and aren’t lazy, don’t stop. You need to continue to pursue it, or it just becomes another hallucination.
The Egyptian Theatre’s First Winter Blast gala will be on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Montage Deer Valley, from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets range from $250 to $2,250 and are available at www.parkcityshows.com . For more information, visit www.lowriderband.com.