Friday, April 12, 2024

Merrell Fankhauser Bands: Merrell & The Exiles: The Early Years 1964-1967 + Fapardokly: Fapardokly 1967 + Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty: Things 1968




Merrell Wayne Fankhauser (born December 23, 1943, Louisville, Kentucky, United States) is an

American singer, songwriter and guitarist, who was most active in the 1960s and 1970s with bands including the Impacts, Merrell & the Exiles, HMS Bounty, Fankhauser-Cassidy Band, and Mu.
In addition, 12 songs recorded by Merrell & the Exiles were later released under the group name Fapardokly, even though that group never actually existed. After moving to San Luis Obispo, California in his teens, he began playing guitar, and got his first break playing in movie theaters and talent shows.

In 1960, after one of these shows, he joined a local band The Impacts as lead guitarist. Their Ventures-influenced sound developed a strong following at the start of the surfing scene. In 1962, the saxophone player from The Revels (Norman Knowles) met Merrell and his bandmates after a show at The Rose

Garden Ballroom, and convinced them to record a session with Tony Hilder at a backyard studio in the Hollywood area. As much as this seemed like a notable event for the band, it was more of a lure than a lucky break. After recording the songs "Wipe Out," "Fort Lauderdale," "Tears," "Revellion," "Blue Surf," "Impact," "Steel Pier," "Tandem," "Sea Horse," "Beep Beep," "Lisa," and "Church Key," the recordings were taken by Norman Knowles and Tony Hilder to Del-Fi Records, where owner Bob Keene signed the album for immediate release.



Formed in Lancaster, California, USA, in 1963, Merrell And The Exiles were formed by Merrell

Fankhauser (vocals/guitar), Mark Thompson (guitar), Larry Willey (bass) and Randy Wymer (drums). Their first two singles, ‘Send Me Your Love’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Girl’, echoed the folk rock style of the Searchers.

Jeff Cotton (guitar), John Day (organ) and John French (drums) took over from the rest of the band and

supported Fankhauser on ‘Sorry For Yourself’ (1965), which won the dance contest on Dick Clark’s television programme American Bandstand. ‘Can’t We Get Along’ (1966) was the Exiles’ last single. Fankhauser then recorded a handful of tracks with various musicians which, when compiled with several Exiles’ masters, were released without his consent as Fapardokly.

He then formed a new group, Merrell Fankhauser And HMS Bounty with another refugee from

the Impacts, Bill Dodd. Of the other former Exiles, both Wymer and Willey joined in Mu, while John French and Jeff Cotton achieved fame as members of Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band.


Label: Grapefruit Records – CRSEGBOX120
Format: 6 x CD, Compilation, Box Set
Country: Europe
Released: Oct 28, 2022
Genre: Rock
Style: Surf, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Garage Rock



01. Please Be Mine    2:49
02. Don't Call On Me    2:55
03. Send Me Your Love    2:29
04. Shake My Hand    2:29
05. Long, Long Time    1:47
06. Don't Let Go    2:44
07. Remember Me    1:56
08. Pain In My Heart    1:44
09. Let The Time Go By    2:43
10. Let Me Go    2:23
11. Can't We Get Along   2:29
Written-By – Colley, Mannering
12. She's Gone    2:14
13. Run Baby Run    2:24
14. Make It Back To Memphis    2:24
15. Love Only You    2:50
16. You've Been Untrue    1:57
17. Boys   2:30
Written-By – Dixon, Farrell
18. Rave On   2:00
Written-By – Tilghman, Petty, West
19. That's All I Want From You   2:39
Written-By – Rotter, Rotha



Backing Band, Guitar – Jeff Cotton
Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar – Larry Willey
Backing Vocals, Organ – John Day
Bass Guitar – Jim Furguson
Drums – Greg Hampton
Guitar, Keyboards – Mark Thompson
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Merrell Fankhauser
Producer – Merrell Fankhauser
Written-By – Merrell Fankhauser (tracks: 1 to 6, 8 to 18, 20)

Flac Size: 247 MB



Fankhauser left the band and moved to Lancaster, California. There he met Jeff Cotton (later of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band), and in 1964 they formed The Exiles. The band — which also included John "Drumbo" French — had some regional success with songs including "Can't We Get

Along", but then broke up. Fankhauser moved back to the coast, formed a new band, Merrell and the Xiles, and had a minor hit with "Tomorrow's Girl" in 1967. An album followed, which included old Exiles songs and newer psychedelic folk material. For the album the band was credited as Fapardokly, taking its name from the surnames of the original members — Fankhauser, Dan Parrish (bass), Bill Dodd (guitar) and Dick Lee of The Brymers(drums). The group name Fapardokly, even though that group never actually existed. Despite its later cult acclaim, the album was not a success.

Formed from the remnants of Merrell and The Exiles in 1967, Fapardokly was formed, and is a both delightful and important documentation of musical growth of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Merrell Fankhauser. Their sole, s/t 1967 LP is given new life in Gear Fab Records’ 2017 reissue.

“The growth of an incredible musician”. Having exited the surf band, The Impacts, in 1963, Merrell Fankhauser relocated to Lancaster, CA, where he met future Captain Beffheart’s Magical Band guitarist, Jeff Cotton, and formed one of the first surfin’ psychedelic bands, Merrell and The Exiles, who recorded many wonderful tunes for Glenn Records. Some of these recordings were issued on singles, with many more left lying in the Glenn vaults.

Undoubtedly, most memorable of The Exiles’ recordings was the 1967 hit single “Tomorrow Girl.” This incredible example of West Coast psychedelic rock found release as a hit single, credited to

Fapardokly, as well as inclusion on the band’s album and the 2009 Rhino Records box set, “Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets: 1965-1968.” “Tomorrow Girl” showcases the gorgeously versatile vocals of Fankhauser, as well as his powerful, yet restrained lead guitar, capped off by his impressive solo. This song has found its way into the halls of classic rock stations and can be heard today, 50 years after its release, on these stations.
As a sidenote, Fapardokly was a combination of the surnames of the original members, FA from Fankhauser, PAR from a temporary bassist named Parrish, DO from guitarist/vocalist Bill Dodd and KLY from drummer, Dick Lee. I mention this because of frequent queries as to the source of the band’s name. Fapardokly itself is a 12 track, 30 minute album of recordings from 1965-1967, comprised of then new songs, as well as several leftovers from Merrell and The Exiles, as mentioned in regards to “Tomorrow Girl.” As a result, the musician credits to the album are by no means cohesive, while the music, on the other hand, is top flight from beginning to end. So, on to the contents of the album itself.

Fapardokly – Fapardokly
Label: Sundazed Music – SC 6059
Series: Yesterdazed Series
Format: CD, Album, Reissue 1995
Country: US
Released: 1967    
Genre: Rock
Style: Beat, Psychedelic Rock, Pop Rock



01. Lila (Written-By – D. Aldridge, M. Fankhauser)   3:23
02. The Music Scene (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:35
03. Sorry For Yourself (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:01
04. Glass Chandlier (Written-By – D. Aldridge, M. Fankhauser)   2:11
05. Tomorrow's Girl (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:28
06. Suzie Cryin' (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:23
07. Mr. Clock (Written-By – D. Aldridge, M. Fankhauser)   2:26
08. Gone To Pot (Written-By – D. Aldridge, M. Fankhauser)   2:02
09. No Retreat (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   1:56
10. Too Many Heartbreaks (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:28
11. When I Get Home (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:47
12. Super Market (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:12
13. The War (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:33
14. Yes I Love You (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:40
15. Run Baby Run (Written-By – M. Fankhauser)   2:20


Backing Vocals – Bill Dodd  (tracks: 2, 13), Don Aldridge (tracks: 1), Gary Lotspeich (tracks: 1), Jeff Cotton (tracks: 3), John Oliver  (tracks: 2)
Backing Vocals, Bass – Larry Willey (tracks: 5, 11, 15)
Bass – Jim Furguson (tracks: 3, 6, 10), Jody Cobb (tracks: 1, 4, 7, 12, 14), John Oliver (tracks: 2, 8, 9, 13)
Drums – Dick Lee (tracks: 2, 8, 9, 13), Greg Hampton (tracks: 3, 6, 10, 15), John French (tracks: 1, 4, 7, 12, 14), Randy Wimer (tracks: 5, 11)
Guitar – Bill Dodd  (tracks: 2, 9, 13), Jeff Cotton (tracks: 3, 6, 10), Mark Thompson  (tracks: 5, 11), Merrell (tracks: 2 to 11, 13, 15)
Guitar [12 String Rickenbacher Guitar] – Bill Dodd (tracks: 8)
Guitar [12-String Guitar] – Merrell (tracks: 1, 12, 14)
Lead Vocals – Merrell (tracks: 1 to 15)
Organ – Mark Thompson (tracks: 5)
Organ [Farfisa Organ] – Mark Thompson (tracks: 7, 11, 14)
Organ [Hammond Organ] – John Day (tracks: 3, 6)
Trumpet – Bruce Ulch (tracks: 6, 12)
Vocals – Don Aldridge (tracks: 4, 7, 14), Gary Lotspeich (tracks: 4, 7)

Flac Size: 139 MB



Los Angeles based band, which previously was known as Fapardokly. Changed their name when

the secured a record contract. Fankhauser and Dodd then formed another, more overtly psychedelic, band with Jack Jordan (bass) and Larry Meyers (drums), naming it HMS Bounty.
They won a recording contract with Uni Records, and their self-titled album was released in 1968, followed by the single "Tampa Run". However, success was again thwarted, by personal and record company problems, and the band split up.

Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1968, HMS Bounty featured Merrell Fankhauser (guitar,

vocals) alongside Bill Dodd (lead guitar), Jack Jordan (bass) and Larry Meyers (drums). Dodd had previously worked with Fankhauser on several tracks released under the name Fapardokly. Things is a sumptuous example of west coast harmony rock, showing parallels with Spirit, Moby Grape and the Bobby Fuller Four.

Fankhauser’s gift for memorable hooklines is clear, his tenor voice is haunting and the occasional use of sitar and tablas adds depth to a set rich in melody and invention. Although the quartet supported Canned Heat and the Paul Butterfield Band, they were unable to find consistent live work. Meyers left the line-up in 1969 and, after one more gig, Fankhauser folded the band. He then formed Mu with ex-Captain Beefheart guitarist Jeff Cotton aka Antenae Jimmy Semmems.  

Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty – Things
Label: Sundazed Music – SC 6094
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Stereo 1997
Country: US
Released: 1968    
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Acid Rock, Pop Rock



01. Things (Goin' Round In My Mind)    2:29
02. Girl (I'm Waiting For You)    2:27
03. What Does She See In You    2:29
04. Lost In The City    2:04
05. Your Painted Lives    2:11
06. Drivin' Sideways (On A One Way Street)    2:09
07. In A Minute Not Too Soon    1:51
08. A Visit With Ashiya    3:20
09. The Big Gray Sky    2:12
10. Rich Man's Fable    2:18
11. Ice Cube Island    3:24
12. Madame Silky    2:37
13. I'm Flying Home    2:47
14. Tampa Run   2:48
Bass – Carol Kaye
Composed By – Fred Neil
Drums – Jim Gordon
Piano – Larry Knechtel
Rhythm Guitar – Al Casey
15. Everybody's Talkin'   2:48
Bass – Carol Kaye
Composed By – Fred Neil
Drums – Jim Gordon
Piano – Larry Knechtel
Rhythm Guitar – Al Casey



Merrell Fankhauser (guitar, vocals)
Bill Dodd (lead guitar),
Jack Jordan (bass) and
Larry Meyers (drums).


Tracks 13 to 15 are bonus tracks.
Fred Neil is mistakenly credited for track 15 instead of track 14.

Flac Size: 217 MB


  1. M. Fankhauser is already overdure for this great blog. I have everthing from here. Also one or later works, like Maui ( fantastic) or Return to Mu and a few others. I assume that you will bring the rest of the receipt in the box. I don't have the box, i have individual edition.
    The music cannot be vom compared to anything else. EXCELLENT !!!

  2. Great stuff, and the greatest Blog!!!
    Thank you. More Merrell please (If you can)

    1. I'll try to do my best. Many thanks for your comment.