A La Carte is my all time favorite band. Sandy and I used to see them and Van Halen a bunch in the 70's - Van Halen had the better act, but A La Carte were (IMHO) the better band. Real professional, great songs, and they had quite a devout following for a local act. There were just three of them:
Kevin Kreis (AKA KK Martin) on guitar, chicken top haircut (his girlfriend at the time wore the same cut, they looked like twins walking into clubs :-), played a 50's Les Paul, and sang in low growl.
Brian (Tannehill) O’Brian on drums who played like a more level headed Keith Moon, and used to paint eyes on his eyelids for show so it’d look like his eyes were always open when he played. He was Sandy West of The Runaway’s drum teacher, and we thought it was cool when he was there setting up her kit for her when we played with them at The Whiskey.
Craig Miller on bass, rock solid, good singer too. Kind of looked like Frankie Marino of Mahogany Rush with the stache’ and long hair. I took guitar whiz Bob Faeser to see Kevin, and he mostly raved about how great Craig was :-)
A La Carte basically had the worst timing in history. Their peak was the mid to late 70’s, when their kind of blues-based (OK, 'Boogie...') rock was being ignored by the record labels, and labels were instead signing new wave acts like The Knack. By the time of ZZ Top’s comeback in the mid-80’s, A La Carte were about done. This would have been the perfect time for them, but as everyone knows, timing is everything. They still remain (to me anyway) the best big hall band of my teenage years.
Below's a mixture of early, mid, plus 2009 reunion stuff.
Leave The Backdoor Open
Crazy Little Girl
Can't Go Back : Poppy song (by A La Carte's standards), love Kevin's singing on it...