Earth Quake recorded two albums for A&M Records in 1972 and 1973 and four more albums for the maverick independent label, Beserkley Records, the band helped found. Earth Quake not only recorded the label’s first single, “(Sitting In the Middle of) Madness,” and experienced some success with a subsequent 1976 cover of the Easybeats hit, “Friday On My Mind,” but anonymously backed singer Jonathan Richman on his song, “Roadrunner,” the label’s best known track.
Greg Kihn, the most successful Beserkley act, began his career in the West Coast by warming up crowds singing Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” with Earth Quake before Doukas took the stage. Every rock singer who played Berkeley’s Longbranch, where Doukas and Earth Quake ruled supreme during the ‘70s, took their measure from Doukas. Eddie Money modeled himself after Doukas. Sammy Hagar remembers him well.
Berkeley’s Rolling Stones, Earth Quake could have been one of the great rock bands of the day. Others on the same scene went further with less. The band was a long-running cornerstone of the East Bay rock scene, all the way back to its beginnings at Berkeley High School where the musicians played with such other future players as Lenny Pickett of Tower of Power. Guitarist Robbie Dunbar and bassist Stan Miller had already formed the nucleus of the band called Purple Earthquake in 1966 when Doukas joined.
Earth Quake sign to A & M Records
He came from Richmond, where he sang with high school bands called the Trees and Lincoln’s Promise. He went to high school with Norton Buffalo and once told me Norton’s real name, which is one of the secrets of the Western World. When they added drummer Steve Nelson, from rival Berkeley band Haymarket Riot, and graduated high school, they dropped the “Purple,” made their name two words, Earth Quake, and moved to Hollywood, where the band signed with A&M Records.
After two albums without much success (“Tickler” was a regional hit in San Jose), the band returned to the East Bay, added former Copperhead guitarist Gary Phillips, and bunkered down at a brown shingle rental in the Berkeley hills, immortalized as “Home Of the Hits” on the Beserkley Records labels.(Joel Selvin)
Here ist their debut-album from 1971 … a very solid album with a real hot blues-rock number called “Blurry Eyes”.
01. Tumbleweed (Miller/Dunbar) 3.59
02. Distance Between (Boykin/Dubar) 2.57
03. Summer Song (Dunbar) 3.11
04. Things (Boykin/Dubar) 9.20
05. Guarding You (Miller/Nelson) 4.06
06. Wind Keeps Blowing (Dunbar) 2.54
07. Look Out Your Window (Doukas) 3.02
08. Blurry Eyes (Doukas/Dunbar) 4.06
09. Tickler (Dunbar) 4.40
Gary Phillips died in 2007 at the age of 59. John Doukas died on March 19, 2011, in South Africa, at the age of 62.