(Ray Brandes’ exclusive account of a San Diego underground supergroup. Read the full version in Che Underground’s Related Bands section.)
Part impresario, part cheerleader and all entertainer, Beat Farmer, Penetrator and Crawdaddy Dan McLain had such an impact upon the San Diego music scene in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that it is difficult to imagine how it might have developed without him. Those who knew him well speak of him reverentially — as a forefather, a catalyst and revolutionary. But it was his personality that endeared him to everyone he met.
Joe Piper, guitarist for the Crawdaddys, Decagents and Bogtrotters, remembers McLain fondly: “Easygoing, friendly, funny and personable, he had charisma out the ass. Dan really was one of the most decent, good-natured guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. He was an old school kind of guy. He was a gentleman and a scholar, a man’s man. Possibly he’d heard that old saw that a true gentleman will engage in an occupation that risks his life. Would that explain those precarious traverses across beer-slick bar tables like so many ice floes?”