One of the most remarkable psychedelic garage ensembles to emerge from California in the mid-’50s and fizzle out at the end of the decade only to return to the stage at the end of the millennium and and stay on, THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND might be most remembered for their covers of contemporary rock classics – such as “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” – although their own numbers – like “Don’t Need Your Lovin’ Anymore” and “No Way Out” – penned by singer David Aguilar were almost just as good. The veterans’ energy fueled each of their records, including the last one, "This Is My Voice" from 2019, yet nothing’s eternal under the moon, and in less than three weeks the current incarnation of the group will bow out for good.
The sad news came from the collective’s frontman.
“I am officially the last man standing,” says David Aguilar. “On January 11th representing THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND, I will perform our last concert ever at “The Whisky-A-Go-Go” in Hollywood. Silently standing next to me will be Mark Loomis, Sean Tolby, Billy Flo Flores and “Killer” aka Gary “The Kid” Andrijasevich. Together we will play the tunes that appeared on our albums for all the world to hear and enjoy one last time. Over the years I have come to realize just how talented and original you all were… such amazing musicians for being so young. I am convinced that if the Finger of Fate had not shuttled us off to Uptown Records because, due to our name, someone thought we were a black rhythm-and-blues band; if Ed Cobb, our producer, had taken a bit more time to understand who we really were; if our manager Ron Roupe had managed us better and not just hung out with the guys, we would be remembered today more for our hits and not our eclectic psychedelic niche. But kids – that’s life! So here we go one last time! I’m so glad you’ll be standing there next to me up there on that stage. Turn your amps to eleven one last time and let’s crank it up!”
If you can, do just that.