Friday, August 31, 2012

Alumni In Music

Alumni are the strength of this school and we have many that have taken paths to become educators, doctors, politicians, lawyers, construction workers, attendants, secretaries, and the likes.  Saxons are everywhere and we want to hear your story.

Each September ASB gears up for Homecoming and we have a long standing tradition that the teachers do a lip sync in the Gym for the students before the big game.  This has become quite a showstopper and we have acts that his every genre of music from Latin Rock to Rap.

As we look over Loara's rich History there are some really big musicians that have stamped their mark on the broader stage. This blog post is to them ... those that have rocked, keep rocking and will rock.  I apologize in advance if anyone is forgotten in this list, we will update as information is given.  Any additions please email to me here.

The Tim & Jeff Buckley Legacy

Jeff Buckley - Grace
Tim Buckley
One of our biggest names with the critics is  Jeff Buckley.  Although he died at a young age, he has left an indelible mark in music.  His version of Hallelujah has been praised for it's reworking, it was also featured in the movie Shrek which brought Jeff an whole new audience.  Rolling Stone magazine has had many features on Jeff as he is listed as #39 in Rolling Stones piece on "100 Greatest Singers of all Time", he is listed at #264 for "500 Greatest Song of all Time" (Hallelujah) and #304 for the"500 Greatest Album of all Time".

Jeff's father Tim Buckley made a name for himself in folk music and was also a Saxon for a short time.  In 1965 during French class at Loara High School, Buckley met Mary Guibert, one grade his junior and his soon to be wife. Other Saxons he collaborated with Larry Beckett and Jim Fielder.  Early on in all of their careers.

Jim Fielder

Jim Fielder had a role with several major 1960s Californian rock acts before settling into the one which brought him the most recognition, as the bass player for Blood, Sweat & Tears during their most popular years. In the mid-'60s, Fielder was bass player in the Bohemians, whose lead singer was Tim Buckley. As a result of Fielder meeting Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black, the Bohemians were introduced to Mothers' manager Herbie Cohen, who also took on the Bohemians. the Bohemians made demos that attracted the interest of Jac Holzman at Elektra Records, but Elektra wanted Buckley as a solo artist, not with the Bohemians. There were no hard feelings, and in fact, Fielder plays some of the bass on Buckley's first pair of Elektra LPs, Tim Buckley andGoodbye and Hello. (

Larry Beckett
Although he did not actually play on Tim Buckley's records, Larry Beckett was one of the cult singer/songwriter's most important creative colleagues, co-writing much of Buckley's best material. Buckley and Beckett started writing together in the mid-'60s, when both were teenagers in the Southern Californian group the Bohemians, in which Beckett played drums. the Bohemians also included bassist Jim Fielder (later to play on records by Buckley and Buffalo Springfield, and as a full member of Blood, Sweat & Tears), and got as far as making a demo that was instrumental in catching the attention of Elektra Records. Elektra, however, was interested in working with Tim Buckley as a solo artist, and not with the Bohemians as a band. Beckett, nonetheless, was closely involved with the making of Buckley's first couple of LPs, both as frequent songwriting collaborator and as an associate whose input into arrangements and recording was accepted in the studio. (

The Stefani's

No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
Gwen Stefani

When it comes to commercial success, No Doubt and Gwen Stefani take the title.

With the return of the punks in the mid-'90s came a resurgence of their slightly more commercial rivals, new wave bands. No Doubt found a niche as a new wave/ska band, on the strength of vocalist Gwen Stefani's persona -- alternately an embrace of little-girl-lost innocence and riot grrrl feminism -- exemplified on the band's breakout single, "Just a Girl."
Formed in early 1987 as a ska band inspired by Madness, the lineup of No Doubt initially comprised John Spence, Gwen Stefani, and her brother Eric. While playing the party-band circuit around Anaheim, the trio picked up bassist Tony Kanal, born in India but raised in Great Britain and the U.S. Hardened by the suicide of Spence in December 1987, No Doubt nevertheless continued; Gwen became the lone vocalist and the group added guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young (Katella Graduate). (

Eric Stefani
Their Tragic Kingdom album brought them off Mells Lane in Anaheim and landed them a career that has made them all household names.  When the band began  Gwen Stefani started off as the back up singer, and through it's History moved to center stance.   Eric Stefani with other original members began the band while attending Loara High School.

Following Tragic Kingdom, Eric pulled himself out of the band and moved on to other artistic endeavors, he has drawn for The Simpsons, written children books, plays his accordion and lives here in Southern California.  You can see his art at

Save Ferris & Starpool

Save Ferris
Save Ferris
Following in the footsteps of No Doubt they took a spin in the limelight. Save Ferris was originally formed as a ska-punk band named Los Pantelones. After the group broke up in 1995, guitarist Brian Mashburn and saxophone playerEric Zamora began writing songs, together with former bandmates Bill Uechi (bass) and José Castellaños (trumpeter). The quartet from Loara later recruited drummer Mark Harismendy, vocalist Monique Powell and trombone player T-Bone Willy.

Save Ferris's popularity dwindled when they turned from Ska and moved more mainstream.  They have once again resurrected themselves into the current ska band Starpool which combines former lead singer of No Doubt and the band of Save Ferris.

The Others

David Diggs
David Diggs (70) received distinction when "Billboard" rated him one of the top three New Jazz Artists in 1985. 

my superHero

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul - This is a very cool page. Could you put who the alumni is in each post and the year that they were at Loara? Thanks for doing this!

    Sue Battis (Connary)