Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 7:56 am | Fair 50º


Jeff Moehlis: Bob Cowsill Is Having the Time of His Life on The Cowsills’ Happy Together Tour

Paul, Susan and Bob Cowsill are part of the Happy Together Tour that stops at the Chumash Casino Resort on Thursday night.
Paul, Susan and Bob Cowsill are part of the Happy Together Tour that stops at the Chumash Casino Resort on Thursday night. (The Cowsills photo)

The Happy Together Tour will be making another regular stop at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez on Thursday night, and for the first time The Cowsills will be on the program, along with tour veterans The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, The Buckinghams, The Association, The Grass Roots, and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders.

If you need a reminder — if you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there, right? — The Cowsills were the family band who served as the real-life inspiration for The Partridge Family. Their hit songs included “The Rain, The Park & Other Things” (think “I love the flower girl”), “Indian Lake” and “Hair.”

Today’s Cowsills consist of siblings Bob, Paul and Susan.​ Bob talked to Noozhawk about the upcoming show and what it’s like to be on the Happy Together Tour. Click here to read the full interview.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: What can people look forward to at the upcoming concert?

Bob Cowsill: Here’s the deal. The Happy Together Tour — this is our first year on it — is about the songs. We’re all a part of a bigger whole with the Happy Together Tour. It’s us — The Cowsills — The Grass Roots, The Association, The Buckinghams, Mark Lindsay, The Turtles.

And everyone had four or five of the most amazing hit records, so that when you put that together for an evening, you walk out of there going, “I can’t believe what I just heard!” I mean, really, the audio of your teen years — I know I was a teenager back then.

Of course the audiences just tap right into that, we’re all just living these songs again. Because these songs bonded us. They bonded our generation. And that’s why they’re so powerful today.

I don’t know if that’ll happen for subsequent generations, but it’s happening big time for ours. It’s just a blast. It feels so good because, you know, these songs were amazing. All of them.

JM: Back in the day when these songs were first coming out, did you know any of the other artists that are now on the tour?

BC: What’s interesting is that back then, at the time when we had our hits, number one, we were all very busy touring, and were just missing each other out there all the time.

But, we were very young when we had our hits. I was 16, 17, 18. We were a family group, so we didn’t really get to jump out and go meet all the other acts out there with hit records, because we were kind of stuck in the family.

So that’s what makes it more special today. When we’re on the bus with The Association, we’re sharing stories. “How did you do your vocals?” “We did them this way. How did you do them?”

Now we get to meet everybody, and everybody’s so nice. Back then, if you think you’re uncool at the age of 16, it doesn’t matter if you have a hit record, you know what I mean?

You see Tommy James coming out of a limousine with gun belts criss-crossing his chest, and you’re in a purple tuxedo and you’re opening for him, he’s in a cooler band than you (laughs).

We didn’t really get to know any of the other acts back in the day, which makes it more special that we do today.

JM: I saw the documentary Family Band: The Cowsills Story (by Noozhawk contributing writer Louise Palanker) at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and that showed a lot of highs and lows. Was it tough to revisit the darker days of the history of the band?

BC: Because we only did that documentary once, it was very tough. We went into the project not knowing really much. We did know that documentaries had to tell the truth, and you’re going to dig deeper than any other time you have. And it did end up being that we even stopped for two years.

But it ended up being worth it, of course. Hard things are. And it ended up being a success. It ran for two years on Showtime, and sells very well at our shows.

People are very interested in the story, because it’s more acute than most of the stories of the day. But it’s not that different, it’s just a more acute version of what other families were going through at the time.

It’s kind of the way it was, with the strict dad. There’s nothing new there. The Beach Boys and Murry Wilson, Joe Jackson and Bud Cowsill.

They were all knuckleheads, but your history’s your history, and it’s very compelling what happened to our family because of it.

It’s an interesting story. Every family has one, and I think every family could make a documentary.

JM: Yeah, but yours had a better soundtrack than most family’s documentaries would have (laughs).

BC: Well, you know, we’re a little different, and that’s why it’s more compelling. But people see themselves through it. It’s an interesting thing we went through there.

JM: It seems like you’re a perfect fit for this tour. I’ve seen it a couple times — The Association with all their vocal harmonies, Flo & Eddie doing The Turtles ... (Click here for a 2011 review.)

BC: Tell everyone they’re just going to have a great time. They’re going to know every single song.

And being a smaller part of the bigger whole is very powerful right now, for all of these groups. It was easy in the old days — you had a hit, you do a tour. Now we need each other, and we’re there for each other.

It’s a very amazing community now. I love it.

                                                                        •        •

Click here to read the full interview with Bob Cowsill, who performs with his siblings — The Cowsills — on Thursday at the Chumash Casino Resort, 3400 Highway 246 in Santa Ynez. Click here to check on availability of tickets.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.