RIP: Ned Torney

Ned Torney

Tonight, at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz, California, there will be a big celebration for Ned Torney (not Tourney). Ned was a multi-talented musician that played with a lot of bands in the San Francisco-San Jose region- the Chocolate Watchband, Syndicate of Sound, the Sundogs, Jerry Miller (of Moby Grape, Frantics), and various other bands. Ned died last year sometime in November, so tonight friends and family are gathering to pay tribute to the man that touched so many.

Keyboard magazine was a place where Ned worked for many years, starting off with the very first issue, writing articles, doing production work, and eventually becoming an assistant editor.

I met Ned at a series of shows at CD Land of Palo Alto (another extinct record store), and the Bay Pop music festival, as Ned was part of the reunions for both the Chocolate WatchBand and the Syndicate of Sound. I shot some band footage and some interviews for what I thought would be a great TV series on garage rock. Ned provided some great stories, talking about how the Chocolate WatchBand were formed at Foothill College, which is actually the same location where I first began this LOUIE LOUIE vision quest. For what it’s worth, Ned has played LOUIE LOUIE, and had some nice words about the song… but like many other tapes in the archives, I haven’t digitized ’em yet.

I realize it’s probably too late of a notice for folks reading this blog to make plans to attend this big thing tonight at Moe’s Alley, affectionately called the “Ned Fest,” but hopefully this may provide a good reminder for those that are already in the area.

My thanks to the official Chocolate WatchBand website for providing the photo of Ned.

3 comments to RIP: Ned Torney

  • Thanks for mentioning the memorial for Ned. There’s talk that it may be an annual event. Look for more information shortly at and yes, I have heard Ned play Louie, Louie 🙂

  • EP

    Very cool. That WAS a great event, and I’m so glad I attended it. I was especially amazed how tight the Chocolate Watchband was that night- they claimed no rehearsals, yet they played flawlessly. The stories about Ned were priceles!

  • Richard Martin

    I had known Ned for nearly 40 years. Wonderful sweet human being. No ego trips and a musician’s musician. He sure is missed. Rest in peace.

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