Vinyl Dynamite #17: The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden started out as The Blokes in 1964 to ride the wave of Beatlemania, and then morphed into a Byrds knock-off a year later. In 1967, they hooked up with legendary LA producers Charlie Greene and Brian Stone. The young hot shot record hustlers changed their name to The Rose Garden (just as they had convinced The Herd to change their name to Buffalo Springfield).  Greene & Stone also got the band to drop the Byrds imitation and sound more like the "sunflower pop" coming out of California - i.e. The Mamas and the Papas and Scott McKenzie.

The only real hit from the album is "Next Plane to London", a song about a frustrated singer ready to leave Los Angeles in search of greener pastures in England, even though it means leaving her boyfriend behind. It topped out on the Billboard charts at #17 in December, 1967.

Open or Download mp3 from Rapidshare. My record, from which this mp3 is ripped, is pretty scratchy. Otherwise, I'd share the whole LP.

Diana Di Rose was a vocalist and acoustic guitarist for the band.  Even after they had been converted from the British Invasion sound-a-likes The Blokes to the Californian sunshine pop The Rose Garden, she continued to pretend to be from Blackpool, England, when in fact she was from West Virginia.  On their appearance on American Bandstand, Dick Clarke actually pointed out how her British accent seemed to come and go!

image source

So, what happened to The Rose Garden? They broke up after the release of their LP in 1968. According to lead guitarist, John Noreen, it was because of Diana: "I felt that the band was watching out for the band, Diana was watching out for Diana, and that created some problems with the record company."  Also, James Groshong (guitar) and Bruce Boudin (drums) had been drafted and sent to Vietnam!

The only member to continue in the music business was Diana. She apparently became a member of the group, Rotondi (who I can't find any information on). She also worked as a session musician in Nashville.


  1. Hhhmm. This is a bit of an odd duck. For all her supposed diva behavior, the singer chick has a pretty lackluster voice. It would have been better if the airport announcer in the background had said "The white zone is for boarding and un-boarding only. There is no stopping in the white zone." Thanks, Gil.

  2. I freaked myself out by immediately singing along. (And thank you for those wonderful crackling pops of vinyl.)

  3. I actually remember the album cover but I do not remember the song. It's a pretty forgettable song so no wonder.

    They sort of look like Buffalo Springfield with the leather fringe jacket and the black hat but I supposed just about everybody looked like that in those days.

  4. That's actually an okay song. Definitely sounds like a Mamas and Papas knock off.

    I love how she pretended to be from Blackpool: you can hear she's clearly from the States when she sings.

    And I bet you her faux English accent didn't sound *anything* like a Blackpool accent! It's a really thick, northern accent. Hahahaha!

  5. Some beautiful songs on this record. I'm only second is one of my favs from that era.