Jan Berry, Lou Adler and Dean Torrence in United studio B. This picture was from the time of the
great heist - when Jan and Dean kidnapped their own masters and wouldn't return them unless Liberty Records gave them what they wanted on some important contract or budget issue. This was Jan at his zenith, his manic best - a whiz in college, the Jan of Jan and Dean, the great creator in the studios, the orchestra conductor, the master scammer who Corvetted to studio 3 at Western no more than 30 minutes after the end of the very first episode of the Batman TV show; where he met musicians, Dean, the engineer, and me, and cranked out the Jan and Dean version of the "Theme From Batman" in a mad race to grab the airplay and the public ear ASAP - like tonight. I rode with Dean in a late evening race to KRLA radio in Pasadena to get a freshly cut acetate dub played on the air. It played, and it was a truly victorious feeling hearing it come out of the radio of Dean's Vette on the way back to the studio. Before the week was over, it was clear that the TV show theme itself had become the hit, but it was the guys' style to have given it a try.
Jan was the ultimate southern California rat fucker - the brightest of the blondest - handsome, with a pal like Dean Torrance who was more fine-arts, and more laid back. They were the homecoming guys - the Golden Californians, the fable in flesh. For Jan, there were precious few months left of all this. And when his world blew apart on that curve of highway, it was a cruel, gruesome task that followed as many, many weeks later we watched Jan trudge back into the studios, dragging his leg, slurring his raging, fractured commands, mocking every picture we had of him. Everything about him was adjusting to something that didn't belong here anymore. His friends, including Lou Adler, Hal Blaine and many others, gave of their best to give him some time in United's studio B as soon as possible after the tragedy, to record again - to be there. And it was an awful grind of an affair - an uncomfortable, but natural result of Jan's personal gravity. He wanted back in; yet he was a tangled wreck of a man. Bent like a turn. Wrong as Jan, right only in some new form off in another place, away from us; away from all this rejecting light.