R&R Saturday – It’s A Beautiful Day

It's A Beautiful DayIt’s A Beautiful Day.

As a matter of fact, it is, but I was talking about the San Francisco band of the same name..

In 1967 David LaFlamme was the founding member of IABD. Born in Connecticut LaFlamme  moved to L.A. when he was very young. As a child he picked up the violin and showed remarkable talent with little instruction.

After a short stint in the Army, Laflamme ended up in Salt Lake City and became a virtuoso violinist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He moved to San Francisco in the early sixties and started working with some of the emerging rock and roll artists from the bay area, notably Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana.

It was there that LaFlamme met future manager Matthew Katz, who worked with Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape. It was a relationship that brought the band together and ultimately drove them apart. After signing with Katz, their new manager sent them to Seattle to play in a nightclub he controlled – The Encore Ballroom.

The band stayed in the attic of an old house Latz owned by Katz and wrote and rehearsed new songs in between club performances. Few customers saw the band play in Seattle during December 1967.

LaFlamme spoke of their time in Seattle where they wrote their signature song, White Bird.


“We were living in the attic of an old Victorian house in Seattle, and performing at the Encore Ballroom. It was a typical Seattle winter day, rainy and drizzly, and we were looking out from the attic window over the street in front of this old house. It was on Capitol Hill, the old section of town across from Volunteer Park. There was a statue of some famous general right across the street in the park.

“The song describes the picture Linda and I saw as we looked out this little window in this attic. We had a little Wurlitzer portable piano sitting right in the well of this window, and I’d sit and work on songs. When you hear lines like, ‘the leaves blow across the long black road to the darkened sky and its rage,’ it’s describing what I was seeing out the window.

“Where the ‘white bird’ thing came from … We were like caged birds in that attic. We had no money, no transportation, the weather was miserable. We were just barely getting by on a very small food allowance provided to us. It was quite an experience, but it was very creative in a way.”[/box]

Upon their return from Seattle IABD saw moderate success performing around San Francisco and the subsequent release of their debut album, It’s a Beautiful Day, produced by LaFlamme in a Los Angeles studio and released by Columbia Records in 1969.

It’s A Beautiful Day – Original lineup

David LaFlamme – Electric Violin
Linda LaFlamme – Keyboards
Mitchell Holman – Bass
Val Fuentes – Drums
Hal Wagonet – Guitar
Pattie Santos – Vocals

By the early 70s the band was starting to become unraveled. Matthew Katz had a death grip on the IABD name and when Laflamme left the group in 74, the band name stayed behind. It would be many years before he would again play under the name of the band he founded.

In 1989 founding member Pattie Santos was killed in a car crash.

IABD Today

It's A Beautiful Day - today

Although no dates are listed on the band’s 2012 touring calendar they remain active and mesmerize crowds whenever they gather on stage.

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