Desert Star Band

  • Who Was Desert Star?
  • How It All Started
  • Going Out On Their Own
  • Seagrams 7 Int'l Battle Of The Bands
  • After the Battle
  • Where Are They Now?

Who was Desert Star?

The Desert Star Band was a country band in the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1980's. The members were:

Caryn Sinkler - Vocals

Donna Preston - Harmony Vocals

Dave Preston - Bass Guitar and Vocals

Rick Brocchini - Drums and Vocals

Charlie Wayne - Guitar and Vocals

Richard Sinkler - Pedal Steel Guitar and Keyboards

How it all started.

The band morphed out of another band that Caryn was a member of, The Ray Cooper Band. Her steel guitar player passed away and she asked if Richard would join the band in his place. After a while, the bass player had to leave the band, and Dave was asked to take his place. As Dave and Donna were married, this brought Donna into the band also. When the drummer had to leave, Rick was added to take his place. During this same period, Caryn, Richard, Dave, Donna, Rick and Charlie were forming Desert Star and rehearsing as a band. Finally Charlie was added to the Ray Cooper Band. The band finally got to the point where they had to break away and go out on their own. The rest is History.

Going out on their own

After the band left Ray Cooper's Band, they proceeded to play at such venues as The Aldon Club, Cal's Depot, Coyote Ranch, The Santa Clara County Fair, The Saddle Rack (the good one that was in San Jose, not the new one in Fremont), Sam's Club, Cowtown, numerous smaller clubs that we forget the names of, numerous casuals, and ended with an extended engagement at the Redi Room in San Jose. After winning the Seagrams 7 Battle of the Bands, Desert Star was invited to play a state function at Sutter's Fort in Sacramento for (then) Governor George Deukmejian.

The Seagrams 7 International Battle of the Bands

In 1983, the Seagram's 7 International Battle of the Bands was held at local clubs around the country. The country was divided into 7 regions, and if memory serves me correctly, each region had 7 sub-regions with a sponsoring club in each area. Then, there was a local contest at each club, one night a week for 7 weeks. Each night, 7 bands competed fror a $200 gift certificate for a local western wear store. We wanted to follow in the footsteps of the old country bands, and dress alike, and we entered the contest soley to win the certificate, and had no real further expectations. Our sponsoring club was the old Cowtown in San Jose. At the end of the 7 weeks of preliminary competitions, the 7 winners competed at Sam's Club in San Jose with the winner to go to Las Vegas to compete in the West coast semi-finals. We won the west coast semi-finals and won the right to compete in Nashville against the winners of the other 6 regions. We got to spend a week in Nashville, but most of the time was spent rehearshing for the "show", the finals at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. One day, we got to record a 45rpm record (remember those?) in a studio in Nashville and recieve a bunch of copies (hundreds). The requirements for this stage of the finals was, 14 minutes of original, unpublished and un-recorded material. I don't remember what the range of time was before they started deducting points for being too short or too long. One song had to be a song about Seagrams 7, and there was a contest for the best Seagrams 7 song. We competed against the other 6 bands from around the country and came in first place. That night, Desert Star became the Seagrams 7 International Battle of the Bands, Band of the Year for 1983 -1984

After the Battle of the Bands

Upon returning from Nashville, we resumed our Friday and Saturday night jobs at the Redi Room. We added a 7th member to the band, the late Doug Thorpe, on rhythm Guitar, keyboards, and vocals. We played many other gigs for the local radio station, KEEN, as one of their "go to" bands, playing such venues as "Tapestry and Talent". We recorded another single locally. I am not sure how long after the return until the band broke up.

Where are they now?

Richard continues to play in various country bands around the Bay Area. Caryn has her own band and also plays in other bands around the Bay Area. Charlie is currently playing with a rock band in Vegas. Rick continues to play occasionally in the Central Valley of California. Dave is living in Bakersfield and has retired from playing music. Donna is MIA. I had heard that Donna re-married and moved to Connecticut. No real solid information on her whereabouts.