One night several months ago, the Sundowners played a Hollywood club and Mike Nesmith, sitting in the audience, flipped out. “Hey! I can hear something happening and I like it! Would you be interested in coming on tour with the Monkees?”
Of course they were interested, it was one of the best things that had happened since they became a group. They’d wanted to be a group with a whole new bag—versatility—and Mike’s interest was an indication that their approach was the right one for them. According to Bobby Dick, the bass player and the Sundowner who does most of the talking on stage, “A limited sound divides the audience into categories. We don’t like to do that. We enjoy playing to all audiences.”
Their versatility as a group comes in a large part from the many different backgrounds of their members. They each have different tastes in music and in living and they use these differences as springboards for their exciting stage act.
Bobby uses different hand motions, Donnie uses strange facial expressions and Eddie goes to sleep on stage. It’s all different, wacky and wonderful.
The group forms
They met during a vacation period when they were all playing Lake George, New York, in different rock groups. They decided to form their own group with a new approach to music. The other groups they knew were trying so hard to find a sound that was original that they only did that one thing and the Sundowners wanted to do everything. They didn’t want to ignore any of the exciting sides of today’s music because they wanted to be musically complete.
The most visible Sundowner is bass player Bobby Dick who wears a cowboy hat at all times, symbolic of his love for all things connected with the West. His favorite entertainer is Elvis Presley and he works very hard trying to improve himself in order to be as professional as Elvis.
Eddie Brick, the group’s lead singer, prefers ballads but is as interested in versatility as the rest of the group. He loves dating, parties and girls and, (according to the rest of the group), he’s the group playboy.
Kim Capli, on drums, is a comedian. Whatever the occasion he’s usually making a joke. His parents are both entertainers so he’s been in show business almost all his life. He writes a lot of the Sundowners’ original material and wants to be an arranger and producer eventually. Kim has the most unusual background of all the Sundowners since he was born in Turkey.
Donnie De Mieri, the lead guitarist, is another songwriter. He loves all kinds of music and moves easily from one type to another. He loves to create and makes up a lot of comedy routines as well as doing lots of things musically in the recording studio. Like Kim, he wants to be a producer eventually.
Eddie Placidi is the quiet Sundowner. He’s a little shy and gets very embarrassed when girls in the audience stare at him when he’s on stage. He plays rhythm guitar.
All the Sundowners are happy about making it in show business but they have different reasons than the usual ones of fame and fortune. According to Kim, “Show business people are just like members of one big family. Even if they’ve just met you, it’s come on over and join the party, just because you’re all in the same business. And everybody works real hard, but it’s not like work because it’s something that you enjoy.”
There are other things, too. Like the humor that comes from the impossible situations that show business people always seem to find themselves in. The Sundowners got a bass caught in the subway once, and they’re always finding themselves caught with lots of people and lots of equipment and only a small midget-sized car to carry it all in.
Whatever the reason for their being in show business, the Sundowners are good. They’re doing what they like to do and they’ll be around for a long, long time because they move with the future and that spells success.