Verdugo Hills High School Alumni

Tujunga, California (CA)

Alumni Stories

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Class of 1961

Gary Walker
(Gary Leeds)
Gary was born in Glendale California on 09/03/42. He started to play the drums when he was 12 years old. One of his many talents was to become a pilot and he got his license while at Glendale College in 1962/63. He received a BA Degree in Aero Space Technology but was unable to pursue his career because of a knee injury. This led him into music instead. He first started playing at Verdugo Hills High School with his schoolmates, he was in the High School Band and Orchestra that was taught by Mr. Pope .He played the drums at all the Football matches, and was taken by Mr Jinks the boys Vice-Principal to represent Verdugo at other schools playing drum solos. He describes his time at Verdugo as the best time in his life and the most fun, and when he had a few problems Mrs Gertrud Smith the principle then, always took time to talk to him. Later formed The Biscaines with whom he had a record that was a minor hit in California called ‘Blue Skies’. He was then asked to join a group called The Standells in Hollywood where they played the club circuit for the twist craze that was happening in L.A. The Standells became very popular which lead to a recording contract. PJ Proby, along with a lot of performers, (Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, etc.) would come in to sing along with the group. PJ was asked by the Beatles to do a TV show in England and invited Gary to join him on the drums, which he did. After meeting and making connections with the right people in England, Gary returned to the USA and persuaded John Maus and Scott Engel to return to England with him, telling them they could be as successful as the Beatles. They agreed and the rest is history.


• The Walker Brothers were an American 1960s and 1970s pop group, comprising Scott Engel (eventually known professionally as Scott Walker), John Maus, and Gary Leeds (eventually known as Gary Walker). They had a number of top ten albums and singles in the mid-1960s, including number 1 chart hits "Make It Easy on Yourself" and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)". Album and CD & etc. 25 million
• The Standells The band was formed in 1962 by guitarist Tony Valentino and organist Larry Tamblyn. After the addition of vocalist and drummer Gary Leeds and bassist Gary Lane, later replaced by Dick Dodd after Gary went to England. The Standells' had their first hit single with "Dirty Water," which reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 11, 1966. Dirty Water" is still played after every home victory won by the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and Northeaster Huskies hockey games. It was also played to the wake the astronauts up while they were in space.
• One of the first singles Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore spent four weeks at number 1, one of the first groups to achieve that length of time in the charts.
• Playing drums for Elvis with PJ Proby who asks if I would sit in until his drummer, who was delayed on his flight arrived.
• Playing and meeting Prince Phillip, at the London Palladium.
• Playing for the Emperor of Japan.
• Having been requested to have their photographs of the group taken by Cecil Beaton. The Royal Photographer
• Brian Epstein and the Beatles invited Gary to sing and join in their live TV transmission of All You Need Is Love" is a song written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon/McCartney. It was first performed by The Beatles on Our World, the first live global television link. Watched by 400 million in 26 countries, the programme was broadcast via satellite on 25 June 1967. The BBC had commissioned the Beatles to write a song for the United Kingdom's contribution. For the broadcast, the Beatles were (except for Starr) seated on stools, accompanied by a small studio orchestra. They were surrounded by friends and acquaintances seated on the floor, many of whom were among the leading stars of the British pop scene, who sang with the refrain during the fade-out, including Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Gary Leeds and Hunter Davies.
• In 1967 he founded Gary Walker and The Rain, which consisted of Joey Molland (guitar and vocals) later to join Badfinger; Charles "Paul" Crane (lead vocals, guitar) of the Crying Shames; and John Lawson (bass guitar) who played for Gene Vincent.
• Gary Walker and the Rain No 1 Album, which was only released in Japan, reached No 3 in the Japanese charts. The album has become a cult collector’s item and a one in perfect condition commands £1500.
• Being ask to join Graham Nash of the Hollies a long with his wife Rose which he lived with in England, to go to USA to be in the extremely successful Crosby, Stills and Nash group. But due to Walker Brother commitments was unable to.
• Being successful with Standells, PJ Proby, Walker Brothers and Gary Walker and the Rain

Current projects
• Being involved with his son Michael locating undiscovered talent in the entertainment industry, Filming and recording DVD’s for groups that would be successful with a little help in the right direction.
• Making TV commercials and jingles for advertising.
• Finishing the book Walker Brothers Story out in September.
• Writing music to submit to the British Museum
• The release of Gary Walker & The Rain’s No.1 Album on Universal in July 2009.
• The exciting project with Dave Cash for the next biggest worldwide Internet radio site and associated innovative projects.
Gary has a wealth of experience and connections with in the entertainment industry, writes and performs music, directs and films promos, music festivals. He has been in the music business for over 45 years.

Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

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Happy Holidays!