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Hal Wagenet is a native of Willits. He was trained as a classical pianist. At the age of sixteen, he discovered the electric guitar. Within six months, his band, “The Moondogs”, was hired for a high school dance.
In the late 1960’s, Wagenet moved to the Bay Area. He rose to prominence as the searing lead guitarist in the “Indian Head Band”, then joined the fledgling group “It’s A Beautiful Day” in 1968. IABD combined classical music with rock n'roll creating their own special "classical rock" sound. The band signed with CBS and the self-titled first album became a rock hit and quickly went Gold. "White Bird" became synomous with IABD and became a single Gold Record.
This wild, orchestrated psychedelic group became one of the most popular San Francisco bands. It kept a low profile, but played at the Fillmore 124 times – twice as much as any other group. Wagenet’s tour companions include just about everybody in the classic rock genre. IABD toured worldwide and was a draw in many festivals. They have the distinction of performing at the Royal Albert Hall along with Santana.
When Disco came along, Wagenet moved his home base back to Willits and settled in. He continued to tour intermittently with IABD until 2000, then became interested in local politics.
Hal Wagenet was elected Mendocino County Supervisor in 2003 and served a term with distinction.
Today Wagenet continues to perform, record and play music for folks who live in the area and come to visit for their nuptials. His wife, Rosie Wagenet, provides graphic arts for these various events, and son, Wheeler, works the shows with his dad.
Top photo: Hal at Fillmore for induction of Big Brother
into Hall of Fame.
2nd photo: Magnolia Fest in Florida
3rd photo: Outdoor festival in Santa Cruz
Bottom photo: with current band, Psychedelic Saints
And what has Hal been up to lately? Well, he has become ugly "Ugly Knights" that is. Sample this:"MENDOCINO"
Just released June 2, 2009 - Legendary rock impresario Bill Graham closed the Fillmore West in early summer 1971 with five nights of all-star concerts, the last curtain going down on July 4. The storied San Francisco venue had become an institution, an integral part of the West Coast music scene of the '60s and, now, an essential element of the mythology of rock 'n' roll. Always the showman, Graham made sure the Fillmore West was sent off in a blaze of glory, spotlighting bands - including the Grateful Dead, It's A Beautiful Day and Santana-that rose to fame at the hall. The madness leading up to the shows and the concerts themselves were filmed for FILLMORE: THE LAST DAYS, a gritty, behind-the-scenes look at a fascinating moment in rock history and a showcase for great performances by iconic artists who epitomized 'the San Francisco Sound.' Originally released in 1972 and long out-of-print, the documentary film makes its DVD debut with Rhino's landmark reissue. available at: AMAZON.com