And for What?
The story of Barkalounger starts in the early 1960's with two prominent bands of the era, "The Recliners," and "The Lazy Boys." The Recliners were a hip jazz quartet from San Francisco who often played on the same bill as their rock & roll contemporaries, The Jefferson Airplane and Blue Cheer. Members of the Airplane would often sit in with The Recliners for a change of musical style, and vice versa. Meanwhile, in Fort Proctor, Alabama, The Lazy Boys were covering blues standards by Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and Son House to a white audience unfamiliar with such tunes. Known more for their soul and attitude than their musical prowess, The Lazy Boys served as a revolving door for dozens of musicians, some of whom went on to form their own bands, such as Molly Hatchett and Little Feat. By 1971, The Recliners had evolved into a glam rock band, and were reaching a global audience. Ongoing legal actions in Britain, involving T. Rex, copyright infringement, glue sniffing, paternity suits, and a failed utopian "test" community involving geodesic domes and hundreds of "brother" goats led to the sad and inevitable demise of The Recliners as a working/playing band. It wasn't until 1982, during the US Festival '82, that two former Recliners got together and decided to try to reunite the band. Upon finding out that they were, in fact, the only surviving Recliners, they formed a duo and called themselves "Automen." Automen was best known for an appearance on TV's Facts of Life, where they performed their signature song, "Honey Nuts." By 1983, they had returned to their day jobs. Cut to Malibu, California, circa 1989, two former members of The Lazy Boys, M.F. McDowell (lead guitar/vocals) and David Iba (drums/vocals) met as camp counselors at the Cotton Tail Ranch and found that they still shared a passion for making music. Luckily for them, the night watchman at the center, Ray Flores (bass/vocals), coincidentally of Automen, had a recording studio, and the 3 of them ended up jamming for 37 straight hours. Ray then looked up his old Automen partner, Richard Atchley (guitar/vocals), who was then working in a cosmetics laboratory, to see if he wanted to come join them. Rich, tempted by several In-n-Out gift certificates, ultimately obliged. Together these wayward souls formed Barkalounger and ventured back into the world of rock and roll. Six months later, all four musicians walked out of the studio, and into instant obscurity - none of them has been heard from since.