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Plain and Fancy

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Parish Hall - Parish Hall (1970 us, excellent hard blues rock)

Parish Hall was a power trio from the California Bay Area. The band consisted of Gary Wagner (guitar, piano, vocals), John Haden (bass), and Steve Adams (drums). Specializing in a hard rock/blues rock sound, their album was originally released near the end of 1970 on a small local California record label.

Reminiscent of the sound of another popular trio of the day, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Parish Hall had begun to gain the recognition of some European collectors by the late 1990s, and originals have fetched high prices in collector's markets. All songs on this album are originals written by Wagner and hold up well when compared to other hard rock acts.
by Keith Pettipas

1 My Eyes Are Getting Heavy - 5:16
2 Dynaflow  3:06
3 Ain't Feelin' Too Bad - 2:50
4 Silver Ghost - 2:53
5 Skid Row Runner - 3:19
6 Lucanna - 2:32
7 We're Gonna Burn Together - 2:37
8 Somebody Got the Blues - 3:02
9 How Can You Win? - 2:53
10 Take Me with You When You Go - 2:55
All songs written by Gary Wagner

Parish Hall
*Gary Wagner -Vocals, Guitar, Piano
*Steve Adams - Drums
*John Haden - Bass

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Larry said...


John Haden (Bass Player)is a good friend of mine. He has lived down the street from me for about ten years and we had talked off and on about different things and then one day about four years ago we started talking about music and he said the he was in a band called Parish Hall in the 6o's. I said wow I love the band. He was blown away that I new of the band and that I had it on CD. I then proceeded to show him my record and CD collection.


Anonymous said...

ευχαριστώ πολύ Marios

john said...

NIce comment by LARRYD. I saw this album a couple of times in record stores but never bought it. You've wet my curiosity. I will listen to it today. Thank You.

adamus67 said...

I'm surprised, very good stuff. Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

pacAir said...

John Haden and I played in the band Right Hand Drive in the Portland Oregon area for about 5 years. John played guitar and I played bass.

John had great memories of Parish Hall and spoke of them frequently.

John Haden passed away on July 4, 2011. I am sure he would have appreciated if you would take a listen to the album in his honor.

Steve Kennedy
Aloha, OR

Marios said...

Thank you very much Steve Kennedy,
RIP John Haden.

pacAir said...

Here is a link to our rendition of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" which will be played at John's memorial service this weekend. John plays all the guitar parts, all lead vocals and he wrote a third verse for the song (the verse after the guitar solo). RIP John.

Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Right Hand Drive (John Haden)

KMoeller said...

Browsing and saw that John Haden has passed a few years ago. My niece is Gary Wagner's Daughter. Gary and my sister never married, but they were together for several decades. Gary is a wonderfully talented musician, along with the rest of the Parish Halls Members. I am happy that their music is finally catching on again! Gary also has only good things to say about his time with the group.


Unknown said...

If someone sees Gary Wagner or Steve Adams - wondering what they are doing now? - do let them know their music spread to the shores of Singapore (yes, that little dot country that is pretty oppressive)...although an reissue, I bought it off a psych music collector and love every minute of the album...RIP John Haden...


Marios said...


Unknown said...

I am fortunate to own this on vinyl. All three Parish Hall were great musicians. The album has a great live-in-the-studio feel.

The article says they recorded for a small local label. In fact it was Fantasy Records, which made millions off Creedence Clearwater Revival. However, I doubt that they invested much money in Parish Hall. The inner sleeve of my copy of the album has promotional pictures for all the CCR releases on one side and an image of CCR on the other. If I was in Parish Hall that would have pissed me off.

Ekrem Suljic said...

I wonna know what happen to them i know the drummer died but what about wagner and the guitarist,i have milions questionbs about them,why the dissapered was it they dint want to become famous ? i gotta know they my favorite band

Anonymous said...

i know gary wagner very well and i also know steve adams the drummer he is still alive it seems john is the only one that is gone as far as the "guital player" that is gary he played guitar and piano but he is bad ass on the Hammond. he lives in Lodi ca and steve "Gypsy" adams lives in stockton ca have had the privlage of playing with gary he taught me alot

Unknown said...

Great band and one of the albums I can listen all the time. Enybody knows who is on the album cover?

Anonymous said...

an update on steve "gypsey" adams and gary wagner steve passed away in late 2018 and gary just passed away two days ago on Jan 2 2019 my they rest in peace. gary gave me 1 of3 test press albums that is noterized as his signature on it i am going to sell it for him to raise some money how ever much that is for his daughter and grandson

Mark Schafer

Ekrem said...

Mark Schafer can i ask,why Parish Hall made just one album,did Gary Wagner tell you

Robert Elliott said...

I was a childhood friend of John's. I dreamt about him this morning and when I woke up I realised that today is his birthday. I did a search and found this webpage, which took me to Parish Hall, which I've just listened to for the first time and loved. I think that John's version of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" is a splendid musical epitaph. Thanks so much to all who have posted here! -Robert Elliott

Steve Goldfield said...

I managed Gary and his group “Love Street Train” back in the 60’s, although I obviously didn’t do such a great job!
We used to have 3 of us carry his Hammond B1 church organ to auditions. Really heavy.
We played several clubs in Hollywood and played with groups line Lovin Spoonful.
To this day, I would say that Gary is the most talented musician I’ve ever known. He was a master of most instruments.
Steve Goldfield

Unknown said...

I am his nephew. John was the most intelligent man I have ever known above myself even. I have original songs I’d you would like to hear them.

Nate Orf said...

Hey all, I’m 16 years old and I discovered parish hall about a year ago. Since then I have fallen in love with the band and their music, and I’m sad that they haven’t quite gotten the recognition they deserve. I have looked all over for the album but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. I haven’t found much information on them online and I am fascinated by all your stories. I’d love to hear more or just get in contact with any of you some way. Since I saw that some comments are very recent I thought I might be able to get a response if anyone wants to reach out you can email me at I’d love to hear anything you have to say.