From 1983 to 1993 I was living in Venice, sharing a house on Rose Avenue east of Lincoln with my friends Gene and Davida, and eventually, their daughter Frazier. Gene is a musician and had a band named Big Fun. A large part of my entertainment at that time consisted of going out to Big Fun gigs. I was their biggest fan, and worked hard to bring others out to their shows.
One memorable show was in 1993 at the late, lamented Palomino club in North Hollywood. As I recall, Big Fun was up early enough that I was able to hang out for the next band. I was happy that I did! That band was an incredibly good funk/soul band named the Boxing Gandhis, and they instantly converted me into a major fan.
The Gandhis were the creation of and fronted by the Darlings. David (aka, Dave) Darling is a successful record producer who has worked with artists like Brian Setzer, the Stray Cats, Def Leppard, and other acts. He is also a talented musician and singer in his own right. Brie Howard Darling, his wife at that time, is a dynamic vocalist/percussionist who was a founding member of the all female rock band Fanny.
There was no shortage of vocal talent in the Boxing Gandhis! Ernie Perez and David Kitay provided additional lead and backup vocals, while Ernie also did yeoman duty on the saxophone. One of the distinguishing features of the Gandhis was a brass section, with Alfredo Ballesteros joining Ernie on flute and saxophone. Percussion was another strength for the band with both Davids (Darling and Kitay) and Brie adding rhythmic complexity to the drumming of Steve Samuel.
The Gandhis were a rather large band–I see eight members listed on their eponymous album Boxing Gandhis, but if my memory serves me well there may have been on the order of 10 players at times in their live gigs. I recall seeing them perform at Genghis Cohen one time, and it was quite a challenge to accommodate the full band on the tiny stage at that venue.
I was very happy several months ago when I saw that Brie has resurfaced and joined forces with sisters June Millington and Jane Millington Adamian, her former bandmates from the 60’s. Back in their teen years they were known as Fanny, and the mature version is going by Fanny Walked the Earth.
Even more exciting was the news that the Boxing Gandhi’s have reformed! They have not done any live gigs yet, but every day brings more news from the studio where they are working on a new album, titled “Old Band, New Music”. I am eagerly awaiting both the release of their new album and look forward to shaking my bones when they finally do start playing out!