Thursday, June 25, 2015

Steve Grogan plays on a prison recorded album

While serving time at Vacaville Prison Steve Grogan played lead guitar, harmonica, slide guitar and sang on an album titled Fathers and Sons by Vern McKee and the Hard Time Band.  It was released in 1981 by Blue Denim Records.

Grogan also contributed to engineering and producing the album.  He has one song of his own on the LP.  It's titled Prison Blues.  The rest of it is country and Vern McKee is the lead singer.  The other members of the band were Steve Holland, Darryl Harris, Ricky Palapaz and Alphy Omega.  McKee was in prison for murdering a cab driver in central California in 1972.  He has since passed.






Side 1




Side 2

Thanks to Jon Aes-Nihil for converting this from the LP to a CD!





42 comments:

Terrapin said...

Cool stuff. If anyone is into blues music i recommend picking up the Mitch Woods live in Istanbul cd/dvd. Grogan plays lead guitar on that and he is very very good. That is.. if you can put aside all the unpleasantness of knowing he murdered a guy

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

But why Gerard Depardieu on the cover?

equinox12314 said...


@Michael

"But why Gerard Depardieu on the cover?"

I burst out laughing when I read that!!

I think we have to be grateful that Bobby B wasn't in Vacaville to add his highly dubious instrumental and vocal talents.

Inmates being allowed to do these kind of projects must be a further kick in the teeth to the victims' families, particularly when the work is publicly available.

Anyway, thanks to Jon Aes Nihil for converting the format.

equinox12314 said...


@terrapin

"...Grogan plays lead guitar on that and he is very very good. That is.. if you can put aside all the unpleasantness of knowing he murdered a guy"

Agreed. He was probably one of the more genuinely musically talented out of the lot of them. I was listening to Brian Davis' most recent interview with Nikolas Schreck over at Star City Radio, and Schreck recounts the story of approaching Grogan after his release to join his (Schreck's) band. But he also spoke of questioning Grogan about Charlie and another returning to Cielo in the early hours of the morning, and Clem started to obfuscate. Assuming it wasn't Clem, it's a pity he is not more forthcoming with information. It looks like he knows plenty, but he only gave sufficient to obtain his own release.

Panamint Patty said...

Not bad!

AustinAnn74 said...

Hey, they sound like the "Oak Ridge Boys!"

DebS said...

Terrapin, I love the blues and have that Mitch Woods CD/DVD set. It is very good. There is no doubt that Grogan has talent.

AustinAnn74 said...

Hahaha!!! Hilarious!!!

chatsworth charlie said...

"But why Gerard Depardieu on the cover?"

HA!!!!!!!

TEX Childers, Bass Harmony. (oo-ee-oo)
Re-Mixed and mastered by Bobby Sherman (you don't say?)

Cuntry Trash said...

I have had this LP for like 2 years now, but never listened to it. THANKS for posting!

Matt said...

Depardieu! LOL. Too good!

orwhut said...

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said... But why Gerard Depardieu on the cover?

I wonder if it had to do with somewhere Gerard might have whizzed.

chimpydork said...

go Scramblehead GO!!!!
=D

Robert Hendrickson said...

Damn, I think I'm losing it. When I saw that guy on the album cover I thought "He looks familiar."

Then I saw the Gerard comment and thought: "That's him."

I clicked back to the "cover" and thought: "OMG he was in prison too "

Then I thought: "Why did they hire an actor for the cover ?"

That's it - I'm sticking with something I know about - like Helter Skelter and the three bears.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

RH - wonderful stuff! I laughed aloud.

Are you hinting Pooh-bear may hold the key to unlocking the HS myth?

R K said...

I did a google search on Vern McKee and found a short piece titled "Vern McKee – A Prisoner’s Rules for Accountable Arts Engagement". Here's the link -http://williamjamesassociation.org/prison_arts/vernmckee/

Matt said...

Anybody know what McKee was in the slammer for?

equinox12314 said...


Michael SAID: "Are you hinting Pooh-bear may hold the key to unlocking the HS myth?"



Michael,

Could Robert H be referring to the three bears of 'Goldilocks and The Three Bears' fame? It could make all the difference to the mystery that is Helter Skelter!

Matt said...

My bad. The answer was right there in the post. As a former cab driver I hope he never got out.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

No, equinox - as you know full well I'm referring to Valentine Michael Brunner-Manson No-Name Maddox III Jr, or whatever his official name is - aka 'Pooh Bear'.

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Matt, wherever he is now, he sure as hell won't be getting out.

equinox12314 said...


Michael,

Ah, I see - THAT Pooh Bear. He is well and truly alive, so give him a ring and he might unlock the mystery of HS for you.


(I thought with you being the proud dad of the lovely little person in your photograph, that your mind would be programmed to the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Goldilocks and the Three Bears).

Matt said...

I drove a taxi during my college summers. It was in a NY resort area on the night shift. Most fun I ever had on any job. I couldn't pay my bills doing that now, but the memories are forever.


DebS said...

McKee was charged with the murder of Vincon Jack David, 52, a cab driver who had driven McKee to Fresno from Madera. The murder occurred just after midnight December 30, 1971. David was shot three times in the head. David himself was an ex-con who had served time in San Quentin for rape in 1945. This, of course does not excuse McKee of murder.


According to a March 18, 1976 Oakland Tribune article about the prison arts program, McKee had previously done some prison time, though it does not say what McKee had been in prison for that time.


McKee died February 18, 1990 in Stanislaus County where the towns of Fresno and Madera are located. There is no state prison in Stanislaus County so I suppose it is possible that McKee was out of prison when he died. Prisoners are generally released to the county where the crime was committed upon parole.

equinox12314 said...



DebS,

Excellent research, as always.

Panamint Patty said...

Deb is a fokking rock star.

AustinAnn74 said...

I actually had to look up that word obfuscate. I guess you learn something new every day, huh?

Suze said...

Yeah AustinAnn, these Brits keep us on our toes don't they? I need a dictionary close by too!

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

Suze, I always thought only under-endowed men over-endow their vocabulary. So I try not to use nerd-words. Kinda like big-car-small-dick-syndrome.

equinox12314 said...


Michael said:

"Suze, I always thought only under-endowed men over-endow their vocabulary. So I try not to use nerd-words. Kinda like big-car-small-dick-syndrome."

Meow!!

Dilligaf said...

Deb,

Terrific find!

For clarification, Fresno is located in Fresno County, Madera is located in Madera County, just north of Fresno County. Stanislaus County is two counties north of Fresno, with Modesto being the county seat for Stanislaus.

The importance of the locations is, of course, leading to possible premeditation on the murderer's part, in that the distance between Madera & Fresno was covered in approximately 25 minutes time, sufficient to plan to rob and/or murder the taxi driver.

It is ironic that if one Google's Vern McKee, you will find numerous articles about the arts program he is credited with starting, but very little on the life he took. Art over life, a sad commentary....

Michael Hloušek-Nagle said...

equinox, I shall endeavour to refrain from expostulating my thoughts on your terse feline sarcasm.

If you want to call me a hissy little bitch, go ahead! ;)

equinox12314 said...


Dilligaf said:

"It is ironic that if one Google's Vern McKee, you will find numerous articles about the arts program he is credited with starting, but very little on the life he took. Art over life, a sad commentary...."


Well said!! It is the same situation with Bobby B marketing his so-called 'artwork' and 'music' through various social media. Gary Hinman was also a musician, but Bobby soon put paid to that. During his parole hearings he talks widely about his 'artistic' endeavours, but you hear little in the way of remorse for his victim.

equinox12314 said...


Michael said:

"If you want to call me a hissy little bitch, go ahead! ;)


Thanks Michael. I usually pay large sums of money for those kind of services;)

DebS said...

Thanks Dill, I have no idea what map I was looking at to have said both of those cities were in Stanislaus County. Hopefully I got the part about no prison being in Stanislaus County correct.

Dilligaf said...

Deb,

In Stanislaus County, there is only the county detention facility, but because of Prop. 47, many county jails are now housing long term inmates that would have traditionally gone to a county facility. The closest prisons to Stanislaus County are in San Joaquin County, the next county over. It hosts both Juvenile Correction Facilities (2), a medical detention center, and the Deuel Vocational Prison in Tracy, which of course, Grogan and Beausoleil called home.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Here's one to ponder: LSD came out in the early 1960's and it didn't take the CIA long to realize it's potential in connection with the use of mind "control."

In fact, because over 50% of us soldiers in WWII shot over the tops of enemy heads, some sort of mental stimulant was NEEDED to lower that percentage.

It has been well documented (re: CBS 60 minutes, etc.) that the CIA was experimenting with LSD and other drugs to develop a method for mind control.

So then in 1969, along comes this guy called Charlie Manson, who according to the smartest Prosecutor in the land, succeeded in developing the EXACT scientific method for "mind control" (brainwashing others to KILL for you) using "LSD")that the most powerful government agency in the world could NOT accomplish.

Seems to ME that IF the CIA had NOT reached the level of success, regarding LSD research that some dirty old ex-con actually completed in 1969 with a 100% success rate, the CIA would have, at least, contacted MANSON or Bugliosi regarding this matter.

BUT hey, we're talking about the same "government" that has spent over ten years conquering the Middle East only to GIVE it back to the NEW and IMPROVED Islamic State (the original Black Muslims born out of ancient Egypt.)

So what am I missing here? Did the CIA ever talk to MANSON or did they just keep on mentally masterbating while fleecing hard-working Americans out of a government pay $$ check ?

Cause IF it was the later, you only have to look at Greece to see where a once GREAT civilization can end up.

equinox12314 said...


Mr H,

A very thought provoking comment there!! I didn't realise you were also a WWII veteran - I knew you had done our time out in Vietnam.

I have read elsewhere that the LSD distributed by Charlie was the same variety as used by the CIA. Were the CIA distributing LSD on the streets to try to discredit the hippy movement?

Pat Krenwinckel did say during the Diane Sawyer interview that when CM was handing out the LSD, she can't remember him taking any.

I've always thought that Manson would be very useful to the FBI due to the circles he moved in, both counterculture and celebrity. He was certainly given plenty of latitude during 67-69 for someone who was out on federal parole

Bugliosi must have taken a lot of previously undisclosed information with him to the grave. Our only hope is that he perhaps revealed some to Linda Alvarez, and for a nice publishing deal, she just might reveal it.

chatsworth charlie said...

I'm pretty sure when RH typed "us soldiers" he meant U.S. Soldiers.

Robert Hendrickson said...

WOW, good catch EQ and CC. AND what a difference us verses U.S. makes.

So what is the difference between "black people" (re: Bugliosi HS) verses "Black Muslims" (re: Watkins HS) ?

PS: In 1966 ( U.S. Army) I bunked with a very smart guy in HQ 2nd Armored Division - Ft Hood Texas.

He alawys had some kind of scam going. So one say HE tells ME he's going to San Antoneio Army base for weeks of testing. He said it will be a vacation - just take some pills and have fun out on the town - every day and night.

I kind'a warned him, but back then hardly anyone knew about "drug" testing (re: LSD) in the Army.

I know most folks STILL think our sacred CIA and Military would NEVER use soldiers as guina PIGS, BUT remember the EVIL communists were going to take over the world and make LBJ go back to shoveling cow shit out of barn stalls.

It was WAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND apparently, the CIA was too stupid to consult with the ONLY known existing successful "mind control" MASTER. So maybe that's why WE lost the Vietnam WAR.

More to come, but I'm waiting first to see Bugliosi rises from the DEAD.

equinox12314 said...


@chatsworth charlie said...
I'm pretty sure when RH typed "us soldiers" he meant U.S. Soldiers.

LMAO. RH is usually so careful with his capitalisation!! It's sort of the hallmark of his posts. It had crossed my mind that he wouldn't be old enough for WWII action.

DUSTY HICKS said...

For shooting a gay cab driver in a bar for rubbing Vern's leg. RIP uncle Vern u r missed and loved excellentalbum