Drummer Willie Kellogg was born in Houston and grew up in Ocean Beach. A graduate of Point Loma High, he played a huge role in the early development of San Diego indie bands in the 1960s. Among the many groups he played with were a latter day version of the Outcasts, a popular pop/R&B ensemble featuring future Union Gap frontman Gary Puckett which served as the house band at the Quad Room in Clairemont for around two years. His most celebrated group, Five Pound Grin (previously known as the Survivors), was a 1960s garage rock band known for playing teenage dances and schools before graduating to local rock clubs. They released two now-celebrated singles, including “Never Hurt Again,” which resurfaced on the compilation The Incredible Expanding Universe of Brain Shadows Volumes One & Two. The group later evolved into Pale Fire, which released two singles in 1968 on the Lyrics’ label Feather Records. He appears on three tracks of the just-released compilation Look Out! The San Diego Scene 1958-1973 (with Five Pound Grin, Steve & the Holidays, and Joel Scott Hill & the Invaders), plus he was the favored on-call drummer for the Invaders, the Strangers and Joel Semper’s Kingsmen.
Kellogg, who also played with Bob Mosely and Mosely’s group Moby Grape over his 60-year career, passed away September 30. A musical memorial will be held on March 13 at Harry Griffen Park amphitheatre in La Mesa. Willie’s brother Gale Kellogg will be setting up the sound with Willie’s grandson, local guitarist Jay Welch, and folks who attend are welcome to bring their own instruments or pick up something from the stage and play..