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Local musicians reunite at Geezer Stock 2022 | Arts & Entertainment

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The Neverlys on stage at Geezer Stock 2022, from left, Larry Parnash, Mark Ansah, Michael Taelour, Jim Booth and Pat Maxzulli.

The Neverlys on stage at Geezer Stock 2022, from left, Larry Parnash, Mark Ansah, Michael Taelour, Jim Booth and Pat Maxzulli.

One night in October in Bob Copeland’s backyard in Highland, instruments piled up on the patio, musicians and their friends and families mingled on the lawn waiting for the show to begin.

About 70 people had shown up for Geezer Stock 2022, a reunion of sorts by a group of local musicians who have known each other for the past 50 years.

“It all began in February 1964. Seriously. 72 million Americans tuned in to watch the Ed Sullivan Show when The Beatles were broadcast and about 30 of those millions were young pre-pubescent teenage boys,” began Mike Taelour, who with Bob Copeland and David Holsinger started Geezer Stock back in 2006.

“From Fontana,” chimed Copeland, “and everywhere.” “And within a month of that happening, it was a tsunami of pawn shop guitars and drums, and everyone was in their garage playing,” said Taelour.

And that was exactly how a group of about 20 boys met each other at Fontana High School in the1960s, through music and dreams about music.

“It was like the Liverpool of Southern California. And a lot of great bands came out of it and a lot of stars came from Fontana,” said Taelour.

They mentioned Sammy Hagar and Jimmy Fields.

Almost 50 years later, the group of 20 musicians from Fontana High School is mostly intact.

In the 1980s the group hung out in Rialto at summer parties.

“You had to have music. You had to have crazy fun people, food and alcohol,” said Taelour. Nothing much has changed since then. Even though regular jobs and family life took over, the thread of playing music continued throughout the decades.

“Hello everybody! Welcome to Geezer Stock 2022,” said Taelour. “It’s kind of like a COVID super spreader event, isn’t it?” added Copeland with a laugh. “You have to keep the traditions alive.”

Holsinger, Copeland and Taelour began the night with a John Prine song.

“Throw my brain in a hurricane. And the blind can have my eyes. And the deaf can take both of my ears. If they don’t mind the size,” sang Holsinger.

Back in 2006, Holsinger hosted the first Geezer Stock at his house in Redlands. Since then, his sister has hosted the event in Calimesa, and recently they have gathered at Copeland’s house in Highland. This year was the first time back since 2019 because of the pandemic.

At Geezer Stock several musicians took their turn on stage, then Taelour’s band “The Neverlys” of Redlands followed. They played Beach Boys, Beatles and Rolling Stones, and one of their own songs, “Cypress Avenue,” inspired by Redlands.

Afterward, “The Marvels,” by Ray and Peggy Zeigler of Redlands, took the stage, a younger addition to the group. They played Van Morrison, Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and more.

“We drove to Phoenix for one gig this week,” Ray said, describing what musicians are willing to do to follow their passion. “And at least the gas was cheap,” he joked.

The last people on stage were Mike Taelour’s brother Richard Taelor and his son Ted. They had come from Bend, Oregon to be at Geezer Stock. “It’s so fun to be here. How awesome is this,” said Richard.

They played old rock and blues songs.

“Richard Taelour and Chet Smith were signed by Clive Davis for a recording contract [with] Arista Records,” said Holsinger. Both were there that night.

In the Fontana group, musicians have tried to make it big. Holsinger himself took off work for seven years once to concentrate on his band, “The Toe Jam Band.” “They did very eclectic [music]. Great musicians, funny material,” added Mike Taelour. “We opened up for Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, The Motels,” said Holsinger. “They had a hell of a good run,” said Copeland.

“Kansas City Baby, here I come,” sang Richard Taelour, ending the night with a medley of songs that flowed together like beads on a string. The thread of music might have ended for the night but not for the musicians. How long will Geezer Stock keep happening? Until they are underground, said Copeland. “As long as our friends show up,” added Holsinger.