LIAR, LIAR: From Garage Band to Rockstars, The Story of Minnesota's Castaways in the 1960's
It was the summer of '65. Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, was also the Land of 1,000 Dances and a hotbed of musical talent. Teenagers were filling the local dance halls and ballrooms to hear their favorite bands, which included The Castaways. It was a time of guitars playing at full volume through Fender amplifiers, pounding drums, fast cars on the streets, and drive-ins. It was the Golden Age of Rock and Roll.
LIAR, LIAR explores the true story of The Castaways as they rise from a Minnesota garage band to chart-topping national rock stars in the 1960's. It's a story that could not, and would not, happen today.
The book is fully illustrated and includes quotes and stories from The Beach Boys, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Gentrys, The Beau Brummels, and other legendary bands who shared the big stage with The Castaways.
"We played the same dance halls and ballrooms with The Castaways and partied with them all the way to Vancouver, Canada-- we had a wonderful time together. I remember their song "Liar, Liar" was a big hit in 1965 and they were our opening act that year-- The Castaways were great!" — AL JARDINE, original founding member of THE BEACH BOYS
James J. Donna is the author of LIAR, LIAR. Back in 1965, James was the leader of The Castaways, keyboard player, and co-author of their national hit record "Liar, Liar." He feels honored to be inducted with The Castaways into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame, the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
James lives near Jordan, Minnesota, with his wife, Jane. They have two married sons and two grandchildren. He's still rocking today with The Castaways at concerts, festivals, and car shows around the Midwest! Visit www.TheCastawaysRock.com
Tom Tourville has always had a deep interest in the music of the '60s in Minnesota and the Midwest. He has written over twenty-eight books on record collecting, ballrooms, and rock history
"We met The Castaways in the fall of '65 in Minnesota. We drove up from Memphis to open two shows for The Beach Boys. The Castaways and The Strangeloves were also opening acts. All those artists were easy to work with. They were humble, generous, fun loving, and excited to be on the show with all of us. We all did our best and we all had that little bit of competition to shine for our part of the show. The Castaways rocked!" - Larry Raspberry -- original founding member of The Gentrys
"The Castaways found a musical gem in the writing and recording of 'Liar, Liar.' They made musical history—'Liar, Liar,' with its one-of-a-kind sound, topped the charts all over the world. It has stood the test of time—a rock 'n' roll masterpiece." - Tony Andreason -- original founding member of The Trashmen
I loved reading this book because it’s so my era! It brings back so many memories of the days we were lucky enough to travel to local ballrooms and listen to and dance to the music we heard on the radio. This book lets me relive that era and get a backstage look for what it was like to be the band! I love the song “Liar, Liar” performed by the Castaways and have been fortunate to hear it performed by Jim Donna and the Castaways at the wedding dances of his sons and at the Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota Rock and Roll Halls of Fame! Rock on Jim and the Castaways!!! -- Terry Carson
“LIAR, LIAR” THE SONG THAT CHANGED THINGS FROM THE GARAGE
It was May of 1965 and I was listening to WDGY on the radio. I can remember the D J Saying “here is a new smash hit by Minneapolis’s Castaways. My first thought this couldn’t be the same Castaways I had just seen at Fairmont, Minnesota’s Interlaken Ballroom, but it was! The song was the legendary “Liar, Liar.” The song, the lyrics, the heavy bass line.....the scream, it was pure garage music magic.
That was over 55 years ago. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from the Castaways keyboard player, James Donna and he said he was writing a book on the story of the Castaways and their famed “Liar, Liar.” You couldn’t get the smile off my face. A song I loved and a band that I always cared for and written about many times. I was so honored when James asked me to write the Foreword for his new book.
Well, the wait is over, being released this week is “Liar, Liar-The Story Minnesota’s Castaways In The 1960's-From Garage Band To Rockstars.” by James Donna.
I have had the good fortune to read a preview copy. It is one of the best and most fun ‘60s music time capsules I have ever read. You will ride along with the band as they form, as they write and put out “Liar, Liar,” to touring the nation, appearing with the Beach Boys, being seen on the big screen (It’s A Bikini World) and then back to Minnesota playing the ballrooms again. Goodbye limos, hello black hearse. The story is all here.
This book is the ‘60s rock and roll ride you’ve been waiting for! --Tom W. Tourville
When James Donna of The Castaways sat down and co-wrote “Liar, Liar,” he never thought it would change his life forever. It soon became a national hit record and is now a classic rock ‘n roll song known throughout the musical rock ‘n roll world.
LIAR, LIAR: From Garage Band to Rockstars, the Story of Minnesota’s Castaways in the 1960's by James Donna, leader of the group, details the rise in fame of their “one-hit wonder.” It was a dream come true for young, early rockers and this all happened with many hours of practice and gigs.
As a rock musician myself from the 60's, I found it interesting to read the many stories of travels, TV appearances, and meeting other famous rockers such as the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, Sonny and Cher, and the list goes on. It’s a great read that captures a sign of the times.
-- Nathan Davidson, leader of local classic rock band, The Lost Faculties
What a fun read! It is a perfect blend of stories about the Castaways, other rock bands in 1965, personal stories and lots of photos. I felt like I was sitting with the author, James Donna, as he was telling the story and reliving those exciting years. As a teenager myself in 1965, I was on the other end of the spectrum, being mesmerized by the bands of that time. So much was happening in the music world, especially in Southern California where I lived. The Beach and cars theme were really big in Inglewood, CA. The Beach Boys themselves were from Hawthorne, right next door, and our high school just knew that the music was especially created just for us! Listening to these great bands on the local radio stations was a big pastime and you could always hear students singing the lyrics during the day at school. “Liar, Liar” was such a fun song!
If you experienced the music of the wonderful 60s, then this is a must read! James’ book fills in all the hidden details pertaining to tours, concerts and making it big in the record industry. -- LAL
I couldn’t put this book down! It brought up so many memories of my teenage rock n roll years, The Castaways still rock today and we try to see them in the twin cities when we can. The book is a must read for anyone who enjoys the history of Minnesota’s 60’s rock n roll era. Loved knowing the depths of their touring with such famous legends like The Beach Boys and Sonny and Cher. The author told a great story, book was well illustrated with such great detail and I would highly recommend taking a look at this great book. -- Bill Widenbach
- Publisher : Castaway Publications (April 24, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 232 pages
- ISBN-10 : 057836400X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0578364001
- Item Weight : 1 pounds