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Band Building on Individual Successes

Bryndle, created in 1970, has racked up a century of musical experience. Since reuniting, they've lined up 50 dates--and a loyal following.


Waiting 25 years for a first album to be released would tax even the most frugal starving artist, so it's a good thing all four members of the band Bryndle had decent day jobs during the lengthy waiting period.

In fact, they all had separate (and very successful) lives apart from the group, which will perform at noon Saturday at the 13th annual Strawberry Festival in Oxnard.

Bryndle, featuring four former L.A. schoolmates--Karla Bonoff, Wendy Waldman, Andrew Gold and Kenny Edwards--first formed in 1970. They recorded an album, which never got released, then went on to separate careers.

Bonoff is a singer-songwriter best known for "Personally" and "Standing Right Next to Me"; Waldman has a number of solo albums, plus, more than 70 of her tunes have been recorded by others; Edwards and Gold are both producers, performers and writers, having worked with Linda Ronstadt, among others.

Gold has had five Top 10 hits as a solo artist including "Lonely Boy" and "Never Let Her Slip Away." Together, the quartet has a century of experience in the music biz.

A few years ago, Gold invited the others over to watch some old home movies of Bryndle. Guess what? They're back. And their long-awaited debut album (all new songs) came out last year.

Their sound is compatible with the folk-rock sound from which sprang, among others, Jackson Browne and the Eagles. Likewise, Bryndle has happening harmonies, pop hooks and polished production values.

Gold, a major Byrds fan, named the band by misspelling "brindle." Fortunately, rock 'n' roll acts aren't graded on grammar and punctuation. In any case, three-fourths of the group--Gold was perhaps watching "The Sympsons"--got together for a recent phone interview.


How's the Bryndle biz?

Waldman: It's been going really well, and we'll be playing a lot of festivals this summer. We're working on a lot of new songs and we hope to have another album out in spring of '97.

You're all successful solo artists, so why Bryndle?

Bonoff: We started Bryndle so long ago; it really didn't succeed but the chemistry was there.

Waldman: We're older now, and we love and appreciate what we have, and it's really fun.

What was the L.A. scene like in 1970?

Waldman: There was an aspect of the L.A. music scene that was very experimental--things were not only possible, but probable. We were all inspired by the Beatles. This was all, of course, before [Fleetwood Mac's] "Rumours." The music business then was a lot friendlier to the listener as well as to the artist.

Bonoff: Everything has changed completely. We experimented with our music, which was singer-songwriter music with harmonies. There were not very many women singer-songwriters then.

I remember we used to play at this place by LAX called the Carolina Lanes. There were three different rooms, a bowling alley, a bar and a nude room. We played five sets a night for $100 a week. We'd play one of our songs, then "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

What do you think Bryndle music sounds like?

Edwards: It really is different than a lot of music today. It's a synthesis of a lot of styles and roots and the classic pop tradition. It goes back to the music we grew up with.

Is there a typical Bryndle fan?

Edwards: We have individual fans, especially the ladies, and some fans that go all the way back to the beginning.

Waldman: As much as we're all "established artists," and we're from "another generation," our approach to merchandising is the same as the young bands. We sell our own stuff at our shows. We're not with a huge agency, but sort of a street-smart agency. We're out there on the Web, and we've been getting tremendous response off that.

Most bands have no good singers; you have four--who's jealous?

Edwards: So many bands, plenty of them, don't want good singers. It's not hip right now to sing well. I think it's a generational thing. It's not hip for 19-year-olds to like music that sounds well-crafted, and thus, insincere.

What's the process for a Bryndle song to come to life?

Waldman: We all do it any way we can; we get it done. Songwriting is really hard--we all allegedly do this for a living. I get up every morning and write songs. We never wrote together before, and we're still getting to know each other.

Now we sit in a room and just get it done. Here's a fragment, then a couple of chords, and there's plenty of laughing. It's been an evolution and it's reached a point where one or two of us, and not necessarily all of us together, can write something.

Did any of the first Bryndle album songs survive?

Edwards: We let them rest. There were some good ideas, especially as writers. We always could sing well and play well.

What's the plan? How will you make Bryndle a household word?

Edwards: We don't have a lot of name recognition, but especially the ladies have a great following. When we play live, we feel we'll develop a loyal following. We have about 40 dates planned for the year.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

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