The Fairlanes Combo


The Fairlanes" was a very popular local band. Thanks to Steve Laffoon for this picture, taken in 1961 at the Rendezvous Ballroom on Balboa Island. These guys played at the Bruin Den, the Poly Hutch, Millikan Ramshack, the Cinnamon Cinder, Pacific Ocean Park, and even at Bobby Hatfield (Righteous Brother)'s senior prom! They were in demand for many Cal State fraternity parties too. Some of them went on to know or work with members of the Beach Boys, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, and other top talent of the day.

From left to right - John Cameron (Millikan '62), Steve Laffoon (Millikan and then Wilson '62), Bill Sher/Stearns (Wilson '62), Dennis Brenenstahl (Banning and Narbonne '60), and drummer Mike Smith (Wilson '64.) Steve went on to be a City of Long Beach Inspector. Bill Stearns, who rose to the rank of Chief of Police, Seal Beach, passed away several years ago. Mike Smith owned a jewelry store in Belmont Shore. John Cameron's brother R.A. owned "a rare 56 Chevy Nomad, the only one in Long Beach ... a very cool semi station wagon every kid on the planet wanted. Every car club was drooling" (I had to ask 'what's a 56 Nomad?)

I also put this on our '63 website ...a favorite memory was a pep assembly when the cheerleaders worked everyone up to a frenzy with "Let's Go", and then the curtain opened ...the band was hiding there - way cool.

It's fun to note that the surprise appearance at the pep assembly was a fond memory for Steve and Dennis too. They remember "the whole audience went nuts."


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