Rod Piazza was born on December 18, 1947. His musical career started at the very young age of 7 thanks to the records his older brothers brought home. His brothers were 10 and 12 years older than Rod. They brought home 45’s of all the r&b hits by artists such as Jimmy Reed, Joe Turner, Earl Bostic, & Gene and Eunice. Then, in 1957, Rod was admiring the guitars for sale on the lawn of a neighbor. He would see them on his walk home from school. After he couldn’t stand it anymore he brought his mom back to see them and begged for her to buy him one. The old lady that sold the guitars informed her that they were $4 and $5. His mother bought him a $4 guitar. He messed around with that guitar constantly for the next 3 or 4 years, doing more dancing with it than actual playing.

Then, around 1962, when Rod was 14 (he was born on December 18, 1947), some musician friends started showing him some things on the guitar. In 1963 a friend gave him his first harmonica and he started trying to play along with songs on the radio, like Slim Harpo, Buster Brown, and Jimmy Reed.

About 1965, some guys at school were starting a band and called Rod wanting to know if he would sing and play guitar. When he went to the rehearsal they had guys playing guitar better than Rod so they told him to just blow harp and sing. They - "The Mystics" - started playing parties and moved up to LA for a short while in 1966 to play on the local club scene.  There were clubs in LA that would have band audition nights, calling them Hootenanny Night. The band would play for free hoping that the manager would hear them and they would get an actual paying gig out of it. But most of the time the people working the club would say, "You guys were great! But the manager wasn’t here. We’ll tell him about you though." Bullshit. They never did get a gig there but the club owner got free music. It was quite a scam during the 60’s as there were so many young bands just wanting to play, not caring if they got paid or not.

Eventually, they came back to Riverside and played locally venturing out whenever a gig came up. One did come up that would change the entire course of Rod’s young life. His band got a job at a dive next to the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach. Rod remembers that James Cotton was playing the Golden Bear that same weekend. A writer named Eileen Kaufman, the wife of a famous poet, came to the show and wrote an article about them in the LA Free Press. Then she got in touch with Della Reese’s manager, who, after seeing one show, brought ABC Bluesway record execs to a club in Hollywood called Genesis 9 to see the band perform. This manager made a deal with ABC Bluesway to record them. They were calling themselves "The House of DBS", which stood for Dirty Blues Sound, but this manager/producer changed it to "The Dirty Blues Band". They did two LP’s for ABC Bluesway in 1967 & 1968. Unfortunately, due to a couple of the band members getting drafted into the Vietnam War, the band broke up after the 2nd LP.

history - part 2


Chapter 2 of Rod's history
is online now!!

(you'll find the link
at the bottom of
this page)