It’s been more than three decades since David LaFlamme has been able to use the name of the band It’s A Beautiful Day, for which he was lead vocalist/violinist in the late 1960s.
Now the platinum-selling 1960s rock group It’s A Beautiful Day will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 4th, as part of the Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier, (ocean end of Colorado Avenue), Santa Monica. Also on the bill is Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute act. Admission is free.
It’s A Beautiful Day grew out of the Haight/Ashbury music scene in the 1960s in San Francisco and played a blend of rock, bluegrass and classical with the uncommon touch of an electric violin. The band broke through the pop charts with the hit song “White Bird” in 1969. The band also had a platinum selling self-titled album that was released at the end of 1968.
LaFlamme centered the band’s sound around his electric violin playing, an idea that was relatively unheard of and unexplored by rock bands at the time.
Problems arose in the early 1970s when the band became involved with a dispute with a former manager who had trademarked the name, says LaFlamme. LaFlamme had not used the name since 1973 and just this year began to again, he says.
LaFlamme had previously been performing as David LaFlamme and White Bird Band.
“While we have never stopped performing as the David LaFlamme Band, it took nearly a lifetime to set our music free,” says LaFlamme about the situation.
The current It’s A Beautiful Day lineup includes LaFlamme’s wife Linda on vocals, original member Val Fuentes on drums, Rob Espinosa on guitar and Toby Gray on bass.
“We have a few new arrangements in there, but the music is basically like it was,” says LaFlamme. “We’re almost like a tribute band to ourselves.”
LaFlamme’s career has included such highlights as performing at the wedding of Barbra Streisand and James Brolin in 1998, and having his music featured in films such as Contact, A Walk on the Moon and Comedian.
LaFlamme has performed shows with numerous rock ‘n’ roll notables including The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Santana and Billy Joel. He began playing violin at age four and was performing as first violinist for the Utah Symphony by age 18. He became recognized in the rock world from his gigs at the legendary San Francisco Fillmore East and West concert halls in the late 1960s. One of his early violins and clothing are part of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame exhibit on San Francisco music.
Information, (310) 458-8900.