Caldirola ~ Keyboards
Bill Drew ~ Bass
Tom Knight ~ Guitar
Danny McFadden ~ Drums
Joe Villa ~ Guitar
Leon ? ~ Guitar, Theremin
Ron Sursely ~ Road
In Memory of
Dan McFadden, Bill Drew, Dennis Caldirola, Tom Knight
The Rum Runners were founded in the summer of '64 by drummer Dan McFadden (Magnolia; O'Dea HS) and bass-player Bill Drew (Queen Anne; Seattle Prep). That autumn, they invited organist and vocalist Dennis Caldirola (Magnolia; Seattle Prep) to join them and he brought the name of the group with him from a band founded by Greg Sharp that had hardly played anywhere. Those three members of the Rum Runners plus road mgr., Ron Sursely, stayed together for four years and through a succession of guitar players.
Originally known as a frat-party band, they gradually attained "B level" status, opening for bigger groups at Parker's Ballroom and Lake Hill Roller Rink. Outside of Seattle, they headlined dance halls in such places as Vashon Island, Port Angeles, Wenatchee and Omak.
Signed for a time with the manager of "The Happening" in Seattle, they played there often in the fall of '67, opening for such acts as The Grass Roots and The Sunshine Company. On July 30, 1967, they opened for Jimmy Page and the Yardbirds at Eagles Auditorium where they were stiffed by the promoter as was everyone else on the bill.
The Rum Runners broke up in September of 1968 when Dennis left to attend Gonzaga University in Florence, Italy.
Dennis Caldirola, December 2011