Chameleon poster '74 or '75

1974 or 1975

Chameleon was a Santa Cruz area 'hybrid' fusion/rock/funk band (1974-75) with a strong latin influence. The members were Jim E Anderson (drums/vox), Todd 'The Doctor' Epstein (guitar/vox), Tom 'Groove' Groves (bass/harmony vox), Michael Spiro (congas, timbales & other percussion) and Ken Stover (keyboards). They played venues in and around Santa Cruz. The band was formed in Anderson's garage following a few 'unplugged' trio gigs (Anderson, Epstein & Groves) at the Crow's Nest. The band's name reflected the influence of the Herbie Hancock tune Chameleon, with other 'period' fusion groups (Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, etc) also contributing to the evolution of the band's style. A few months after recording a demo tape, Chameleon disbanded in mid-1975. Anderson eventually left the area to work with The Pointer Sisters, Maria Muldaur, Cockrell-Santos, Elvin Bishop and others. Spiro also moved on, becoming 1 of the most sought-after percussionists around. Groves and Stover remained in town briefly while pursuing local music interests; Groves with Larry Hosford & Friends, Todd Epstein Band, Tony Gilkyson Band and Jeff Blackburn Band, Stover with The Juice. Sadly, while in the midst of recording a brand new CD of his own compositions, Todd 'The Doctor' Epstein died suddenly in 1995. In addition to his own versions of Todd Epstein Band, he was also in The Juice and Airtight.

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