googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Our first Drummer, The Clown

Our first Drummer, The Clown

I recently got a call from my old friend Randy Runyon. Randy was the drummer in the first band I had that had a drummer and for a kid he was a real good drummer. I can't recall just exactly what we called our band since we seemed to change our name every other week. We were at one time The Black Windows, The Invictas (named after a car) and for the performance for the sixth grade classes at the last day of grammar school someone's mom named us The Platt Ranch Playboys. That was NOT our name and we only used it for the one performance at Platt Ranch Elementary School in Woodland Hills, CA.

We were an instrumental band playing surf songs and instrumental versions of Beatles tunes ala the flip side of the Hard Days Night and Help! albums. I'm on lead guitar, my old blue St. George, neighbor Craig Relyea played the bass parts on a regular guitar and my cousin Monte played rhythm on his new Gibson. Soon after the picture below was taken I got a Gibson 330 which I have to this day and it's still in primo condition. My folks bought that guitar in 1968 for $375.00 and Guitar Center has one for sale now for $2,500.00. I can only imagine what my vintage St. George would be worth today!

The Platt Ranch Playboys Circa 1966

Randy went on to have a pretty interesting life. His father, Charles Runyon, had his own TV show as Chucko The Birthday Clown and when he retired Randy took over as Chucko. A juggler, unicycle rider and rock and roll drummer, Randy was a unique character even as a kid.

The original Chucko The Birthday Clown

As the psychedelic age approached the "Playboys" switched from surf and Beatles songs to more psychedelic music and we had some fun but the real reason for being in a band was to meet girls so as soon as I got a girl friend I lost interest in playing in the band. Ironically, once the girls who are attracted to you because you're in a band become your girlfriend, they immediately insist you quit playing music. I suppose there is a conflict as you can't take your girlfriend to the dance on Friday night and have your band play at the dance Friday night.  Randy and his family moved to Grant's Pass, Oregon, during our first year of high school and I saw him once since he's moved back in the 80s but I haven't seen him since then, until now. 

Randy as "Chucko The Clown" in Ratt's video Lay It Down from the 80s.


  1. Wow, What a flashback. It is amazing when 2 old geezers get together after 46 years some of those brain cells from the 60's are still there. In 1985 I was the clown for Ratt, "Lay it down" so from the humble beginnings of the P.R. Playboys I did make it to MTV on several music videos. By the way I cleaned up the garage and I am ready to Jam when you are. Thanks to Rock N' Roll rehab I was able to overcome "the shakes". Do you still remember those 3 chords? I also play Spoons, A Saw,and Cowbell. Drum circles still talk to me so lets Jam."Do you need me to hold your walker while you tune up?
    Love Ya, and Rock Forever,
    Randy "CHUCKO" Runyon

  2. Cool. I was referred here from the youtube video by ratt because I was wondering who the clown was. Like I said the beginning of that video is one of the best ever because of the clown and those little kids. For such a small clip it had a huge impact on me. Nice job randy.