March 27, 2004 by

Jan Berry


Categories: Musicians

William Jan Berry, one-half of the 1960s duo Jan & Dean, died on March 26. Cause of death was not released. He was 62.
Berry was attending University High School in West Los Angeles when he and his friends formed a doo-wop group called The Barons. Berry transformed his family’s garage into a practice area, complete with reel-to-reel tape machines and a piano, and hooked up with his friend Baron Arnie Ginsburg to record the song, “Jennie Lee.”
They went to a local recording studio to convert their tape into a record, and the catchy tune was overheard by producer Joe Lubin, vice president of Arwin Records. In June 1958, “Jennie Lee” by Jan & Arnie became a Top 10 hit. They appeared on the “Dick Clark Show” and played in front of nearly 12,000 fans at the first rock-n-roll show ever held at the Hollywood Bowl, but their follow-up singles didn’t sell as well. The duo broke up at the end of the year, and Arnie went to college to study architecture. The Barons also disbanded at graduation.
Berry and classmate Dean Torrence still wanted to make music, so they joined forces in college to form Jan & Dean. Inside Berry’s garage, they recorded the song, “Baby Talk,” which hit the Top 10 in 1959 and led to an appearance on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.” Jan & Dean became pioneers of the West Coast sound during the 1960s, chronicling the surf world of Southern California with a string of hits such as “Linda,” “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” and “Surf City.”
“Deadman’s Curve,” which was co-written with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, became a prophetic anthem for teens who risked their lives by driving too fast. In 1966, Berry’s own career was cut short when his speeding Corvette hit a parked landscaping truck. He suffered severe brain damage that left him partially paralyzed and unable to talk, and was forced to undergo years of recovery in order to resume singing and songwriting. In the mid-1980s, Southern California Rehabilitation Services launched the Jan Berry Center for the Brain Injured.

89 Responses to Jan Berry

  1. Linda Weston

    Jan Berry was one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen and a wonderful musician, too. I wish I could have known him because I feel oddly connected to him. Rest in Peace.

  2. G W Henley

    Jan Berry was a great artist, and he loved life
    up until his accident. But what was challenging was the bond and relationship with Dean Torrance. Rest in Peace my friend. SURF’S UP.


    The one recording artist who psyched up every muscle car enthusiest alike through his to the point lyric’s!Many like myself will miss his presence here on earth.

  4. Tony L

    Saw the movie when I was 8 and got hooked. Saw them at the mill Run
    Playhouse in 1980, and had a great time. It’s a shame he never got the credit he deserved as a producer. God bless.

  5. Nadine

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jan & Dean after a concert in Huntington Beach, CA in 1986. I was 15 and in love with Jan. My mother took a picture of Jan and I. I still treasure that picture today as much as the day it was taken, even so now since he is taken up residency in Rock & Roll Heaven. Surf’s Up!

  6. Robert Laughlin

    When I was nine years old, The movie “Deadman’s Curve” aired. I was hooked. At ten, much to the chagrin of my parents, I called information for Los Angeles and asked for the number for Jan Berry. It was not listed, but Dean Torrence was. I called the number and spoke with his mother for several minutes – she was a delightful woman and not at all perturbed by the fact that this pre-pubescent brat was calling.
    Dean was on tour with Jan (as I recall, they were in Lake Tahoe at the time) but his mother sent me information about the fan club along with a very nice handwritten letter which, unfortunately has long since disappeared.
    Over the summer I called two or three other times but was never able to speak with Dean. Each time his mother was very gracious as to this intrusion into her privacy and my numerous questions.
    Although I was never able to see the group perform and I never did speak with Dean (or Jan) I will always treasure these memories.

  7. Cecil

    I’ll never forget Jan & Dean. These guys should have been in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame years ago!! I got to meet them in 1993 in Eaton Ohio and they took time to talk to me and sign a picture and T shirt for me. You could’nt find nicer guys.Dean always helped Jan on stage and could’nt have been a better friend to Jan. God Bless Dean and Jan’s Family. Cecil in Dayton Ohio

  8. Alabama Dan

    I was fortunate enough to see Jan and Dean
    at a WVOK “Shower Of Stars” show, along with
    The Beach Boys, Jay Black & The Americans,
    Lou Chrisite, Roy Orbison, and Billy Joe
    Royal in late 64 or 65.
    Jan & Dean performed all their top hits of
    that time; and were magnificent. Sorry to
    learn of Jan’s death, and may he forever
    rest in peace!

  9. Jerry

    I saw Jan and Dean at a fair in the 90’s. Jan couldn’t quite hit the high notes the way he did before the accident, and he had to sit down occasionally, but he was great, nonetheless. I was overcome with the feeling that he had a great inner peace. The show was so nostalgic, and will remain in my memory forever. Rocknroll lost a great one.

  10. kevin

    I saw the movie Deadmans curve in 1978 and became inspired by jan and Dean and eventually got into music because of their influence.They will always be number 1 in my books….Rip kevin

  11. Richard

    I was lucky enough to see Jan and Dean in concert twice here in the Chicago area some years ago I had been a big fan since Baby Talk days and had every album they ever made Both performances were terrific I will always remember those occasions and Jan and Dean Rest in Peace Jan

  12. Dave Hutton

    Like many, I got into Jan & Dean after seeing Dead Man’s Curve on TV in 78. I saw them many times over the years, first at The Front Row Theater near Cleveland, Ohio. I even had the good fortune to meet Jan & Dean a couple of times and have a Drag City album cover autographed. Jan never received his props. These guys belong in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and I urge all music fans to write the Hall to correct this error. While Jan may be gone, it would at least be a fitting tribute to his memory for Jan & Dean to be inducted in 2005. They deserve it. God bless Jan and his family and may he rest in peace. Thanks for the music and the memories!
    Dave Hutton

  13. john

    I just heard of Jan’s passing – his funny lyrics and tongue-in-cheek music were a big part of my childhood. Hope he’s goofin’ around with Denny and Carl Wilson in that big recording studio in the sky!


    I saw Jan and Dean in the late 80`s in Ocean City,
    Maryland at the Fenwick Inn. This is small night
    club and resturant, they had people dancing on
    the tables. They were the greatest, They put on a hell of a show. I have followed them from thier
    begining. Between Jan and Dean and the Beach boys
    the California surf and hot rod music is legend. He will be missed. Joe Farace Jarrettsville Md.

  15. Vinny Carella

    Our group had only 1 opportunity to work with Jan & Dean and that was at the Murray The K Labor Day Brooklyn Fox show in 1963; 10 days and many shows a day. They were fun guys and the thing we all remember are both of them on skateboards going down Flatbush Avenue with scads of girls in hot pursuit. From a recording standpoint, many of their productions were brilliant; due in great part to Jan’s skills as a top notch producer. We were east coast but we paid very close attention to what Jan and Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys came in for a few days on the same show) were doing in the studio. We’re sorry we never got to work with them again, but we want Jan’s family and Dean to know how much we admired them musically then and to this day.
    The song has ended, but the melody lingers on….
    Randy & The Rainbows

  16. Ed Farrell

    As a journalist, my first ever assignment was to cover a Jan and Dean concert – it was one of the highlights of my life. I later met both Jan and Dean, another of life’s great moments. Ride On, Jan. You’re deeply missed !!

  17. Jennifer

    I Remember the first time I seen Jan & Dean when I was about 4 years old and ever since then I had went to many concerts growing up listening to them and admiring Jan thinking of them as part of my family.. I will miss you Jan and love you always.

  18. Billy Wolfe

    I will always remember you William Jan Berry, as first a close and dear friend, and second as one hellva great entertainer who loved people from the heart where it really counted!
    You maybe gone, but you’ll always be in our hearts in spirit always. It’s not so long or good-bye Jan, it is more like see you later dear friend up above!
    Thank you Jan for being a friend, as well a close associate who really cared about his friends and fans more than making any money at times!
    You’ll be missed,
    Billy Wolfe
    Carbondale, PA

  19. Les

    Like so many other fans over the years, I have been to several Jan & Dean shows and was just devastated over the news of Jan’s passing. Jan, you truly are a legend and will always be in our hearts. Rest in peace Jan.

  20. Suzanne

    When I heard the news of Jan’s passing, I was stunned. My heart goes out to his wife, family and friends, but especially his mother, Clara. She is a strong woman and he was a lot like her. I met Jan in 1970 and eventually moved in with him during the fairly beginning years of his grueling recuperation, and was so happy to be a part of his life when he made his first comeback appearance in 1973 at the Hollywood Palladium and when they were filming the movie, “Deadman’s Curve.” I was so lucky to have shared many happy :-)times with Jan and his beloved dog and her pup, Lady. The sheer joy that was on his face during these times. How his passing has affected so many different people, from every walk of life, is truly amazing! I have a few pictures and incidentals of that space in time, and although the memories were fading a bit as I am getting older, they will always be there, and since his passing, have been brought back to life once again for a while. Jan was like a comet, and his light will shine forever. What I realize today is we are all on a trip, following different road maps, but to the same destination. Be well, enjoy life and G-d bless!

  21. Elva

    I can’t tell you when or how I got hooked on Jan and Dean but I did. I remember being at their shows at Disneyland in late 70’s, early 80’s? They were such a big part of my life at the time. I had a dear friend and we lived, to be able to go to Disneyland and see these guys and listen to their music. I am so saddened to hear of his passing, as was my dear friend. I am still learning about Jan. An obituary said he had a very high IQ and had planned to attend medical school before his accident? If it is true then he truly was a gifted man in many areas. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  22. Jeanette

    I saw Jan & Dean in concert with my children in 2002. We were able to get a card signed by him and he told my 7 year old “God Bless You”. God Bless You, Jan, and thanks for the wonderful music and the memories.

  23. Aaron

    I was saddened to hear of Jan’s passing. His music has been a part of my life for many years. His music is music for people who love life, and who love to laugh. Jan and Dean can make even the coldest winter day seem like summertime. The humor that comes through his music is perhaps what touched me the most. I consider Jan a talented comedian – ever the straight man to Dean’s goofy persona. What a team. Their humor itself is something of a marvel; well meaning goofiness and puns, with just a hint of subversive irony. But above all, the music is fun!! Jan’s music will always live as long as folks keep living, laughing, and loving. He will be missed.

  24. Lesley-Marie

    “Jan” was such a babe……..such a hunk…..I was fortunate enough to appear several times with him…and Dean…legends in their own time,thanx to DC. I shall cherish the memories of our (still) un-released tv pilot, “Surf Scene”…….RIP, Jan……love’n’xxx’s yer “chick-a-dee’ (as you called me) Lesley-Marie

  25. Mark Bryant

    I just discovered on the Internet of Jan’s death and am stunned. The music of Jan and Dean brings back many great memories of growing up in the 60’s, their music touched on two of my favorite interests at the time, cars and surfing.
    I read as well that Jan possessed a genius IQ before the accident and was indeed planning to
    attend medical school which makes the accident all the more tragic, would have made a tremendous physician, he will be greatly missed,
    may he be resting in the arms of the Lord at this time. My prayers are for his family as well as for Dean and his family.

  26. Jan (really!)

    Jan Berry was the kind of man who touched my heart. We were close friends in the 1980’s in L.A. I used to keep track of his plane tickets and take him to the airport when he, Dean and the Bel-Air Bandits were touring. He had a practice tape with back-up vocals that he would sing to in order to remember the words to his songs, and he told me more than once that I had to sing Dean’s part so the harmonies would sound right. We had a ball! He was one of the most generous and trusting persons I have ever met. We were each very protective of the other. I loved him as only a dear friend can and know that although my wounded heart will heal, the scar will throb at times.

  27. Steve Fasano

    To a 10 year old boy first discovering the wonderful sound of music radio, nothing compared to hearing Surf City. I was hooked for life. It was one of those songs that gave you goose bumps, butterflies in your stomach and instilled an airiness that made you feel like you could be anything and do anything. Even fly! I never met or saw them in concert, but I bought the records and sang along. For a brief period they were my heroes, I was in the band singing harmony. But alas, we grow up and our musical taste changes yet in the recesses of my musical soul they always remained. Now at 50 years old, maybe its nostalgia or a lost yearning of soughts but I started to delve back and listen to the oldies and surf tunes. Oddly, last month I purchased a Jan and Dean Greaest Hit CD through mail order. Imagine my disappointment to find that Surf City was not listed on the recording. Then the news that Jan had died. I found myself silently crying for the past, the song, the feeling all of which have faded into memory.

  28. Chad Colomb

    I got into Jan & Dean after seeing their movie “Deadmans Curve” in the late 70’s. The next day I went to the record store & bought their greatest hits album. The first time I saw them in concert was in 1979 at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, CA. I was 12 then. Other shows included the Worlds Fair in Vancouver, B.C. 1986, Monterey County Fair, Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk two or three times. They always brought in good crowds that aged between young kids to adults in their 70’s. I’m sure going to miss them. Rest in peace Jan.

  29. Jess S Reames

    To one of the originals. I met you in ’76 when I was with Tony Minichiello’s neice at the Circle Star in Redwood City. Tony always spoke so well of you even after he had his brain aneurism and was confined to a bed. He always told me he wrote “Surf City” for you and Dean and I never heard anyone dispute it so… Your genius and strength will be missed as will your gentle nature that endured your accident. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and will remain so always.

  30. Myron Schroener

    Being a car guy in the seventies along with a bunch of other gear heads, the music of Jan & Dean was on anytime we were wrenching on a garage project. I saw them play several times and like everyone who tapped a foot or sang along to any of the tunes they echoed, I’ll miss Jan. Rock on Surf dude!!!!

  31. Ginger

    I just learned of Jan’s passing and was deeply saddened. My teeenage years were filled with the blaring of Jan & Dean’s recordings on my hi-fi. What a tremendous duo filled with talent. Jan, you’ll never be forgotten and we shall meet some day!

  32. Wayne

    I got into Jan & Dean after seeing DeadMan’s Curve when I was in 6th grade. I was very into skatebording so, naturally, I became a and collector of Jan & Dean Records. I saw them live at the Lisner auditorim in DC…Great Show.
    I just recentlyStarting listening to J&D records and I can appreciate them on a differnt level. Mr. Berry was a tremendous record producer…Taught Brian Wilson a thing or two I am sure. Rest in Peace Jan.

  33. Jan

    I, too, feel the connectedness. Never got to see you two in concert, but have enjoyed your music through the years. “Little Old Lady From Pasadena” has always been my favorite. Jan, you were/are incredible! Had I gone through what you did, I know my own attitude wouldn’t have even begun to measure up to yours! What an inspiration. And what a soul! Love ya!

  34. Ken

    My first ever album as a 13 year old was “Dead Man’s Curve” and was hooked ever since. Had the pleasure to see Jan perform at his comeback performance at the Palace Theater in Greensburg, Pa in the late 70’s. Also saw him perform a few years ago in Carnegie, PA. I will miss him dearly.

  35. mn

    I first learned of Jan and Dean while listening to my older brother’s 1974 album “Gotta Take That One Last Ride” in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in 1975. I was 9 years old at the time and learned every word to every song on the album. Jan and Dean’s music inspired me much as it had my older brother who had first listened to them in the ’60s when he was about the same age. When “Dead Man’s Curve” the tv movie came out in ’78 I was a Jan and Dean veteran. A childhood friend and I would listen to the album when most of our peers where listening to KISS. Reading these post now, I realize that we were not the only Jan and Dean fans from our generation. Their music crossed generations and they deserve every ounce of credit they recieve for creating a sound that fed a culture of surfing, hotrods, muscle cars and the innocence of youth. They were truly pioneers. Their music influenced my life long love of muscle cars and continues to be some of my most cherished childhood memories.

  36. Shirley C

    I saw the movie “Dean Man’s Curve” when it first came out and taped it. I saw them in person at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair in 2000 and have their CD and autographed photo. I just found out today that Jan had passed away the day before my birthday. I will always enjoy their music and believe that Jan is still making beautiful music somewhere without any affliction. Jan Berry, may you rest in peace.

  37. Allen Bomar

    I grew up listening to the likes of Jan and Dean , the Beach Boys , the ” surf bands ” of the time , and the ” british invasion ” bands as well , even though I was only eight years old (1964) , My wife and I were lucky to see Jan and Dean at the Kern County Fair in the late 80’s , they opened for the “Beach Boys” and both put on an exellent show , They did stir the hearts of every car enthusiast and surfer out there , I still listen to their music today , and as far as I am concerned , being that nobody writes the lyrics that they wrote and created the melodies that all of those bands created , it might as well be the end of the world ! > Allen Bomar Bakersfield California >Oct . 27 ’04

  38. helenwheeldon


  39. nikki garcia

    Im sorry 2 here about Jans death i heard him and Deans music i really loved it im only 14 yrs and ive always wanted 2 see the movie Dead Mans Curve but never could find it my mom has the cd i alway s listen 2 it rest in peace Jan

  40. Mark (aka Scooby)

    I have been a massive Jan & Dean fan for many many years. It was a sad day when Jan Berry died. It was like an old friend had gone, and to this day I still remember reading on the internet about Jans death.
    We will all remember you Jan. You finally took that one last ride. Gone is a real genious.

  41. Pete, London England

    It’s 18th December and Christmas is approaching. Somehow I missed the news of Jan’s death so it’s very sad that I had to hear about it now.
    Always underrated and now mostly forgotten in the UK. Never had the fan base that The Beach Boys had. Very sad. He will be missed.

  42. Eric

    I first found about Jan & Dean with the movie in 1978. I felt a connection with Jan & Dean from that day on, but more so with Jan. I was born the day of his accident, April 12, 1966. In fact it was almost at the same time of the day. (within the hour)I just was reading a list of famous people that have died in 2004 and was shocked to see Jan’s name. I have seen “Deadmans Curve” three times this year and had no idea that he had passed. Without a doubt, Jan & Dean should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not only for their music, but their influence on future generations of rockers. Brian Wilson, Phil Spector and the Beatles get the attention as mucical geniuses, but if not for the accident Jan Berry would have been have been seen in the same light. Everything happens for a reason and Jan’s triumph over his injuries is a great legacy for all to marvel. He came back from Deadmans Curve! Jan you will be missed, but never forgotten. Your music lives on for all to enjoy.

  43. J . Gallmon

    Only heard today, 1/2/05. I was looking forward to my youngest daughter catching the show sometime in in the near future. A real loss for the world. A true survivor and sensational talent such as Jan Berry will be truly missed. It is a shame that only a few know how talented he really was. I was fortunate enough to meet Jan & Dean and see a couple of shows. What a thrill! Almost like seeing Elvis. May Gods peace be with you and your family. Dalton, Ga

  44. mike

    Loved Jan and Dean, were my heros as a child growing up and still to this day. Was deployed overseas and just found out about this yesterday and i’m sorry, may he rest in peace. Hearts go out to not only the Berry Family but also to Deans family. Dean you were a great, true friend to him, and you can’t say that about people these days. But i was glad to see you guys preform one hell of a show in 1991 at Bland Park, Located in Tipton, Pa. I have the pictures and i recorded the show, and i will always treasure that day. may god bless you all.

  45. shaniko

    Remembering when Jan & Dean records first hit the airwaves in the early ’60s…I dug them more than I did The Beach Boys..So sorry Jan Berry is gone now-We will always be kids in the western surf and sun thanks to those guys.

  46. DR Caviness

    I basically lived around Jan and Deans music even to this day. I was in California when he had his wreck following the California dream. I dropped out of high school cause the force was so strong. I later saw Jan at the Extra Point Club in OKC. And a few years ago he came to Midland Texas and sang at a car show. I wouldn’t have missed that for anything.Jan put his marker in his mouth and undid the velcroe on his shoe and Jan and Dean signed a picture. I had my grandson over new years they saw the picture and asked about it. I simply replied thats is the California Legend Jan and Dean the best duo ever.

  47. Teri

    I too was a 70’s generation Jan & Dean fan. Friends who had never heard of them eventually knew all of their songs due to my relentless record playing. In the early 80’s I was able to see them perform twice. Jan was very tired but still took time out to take pictures and sign autographs. It was a great day for me as a 14 yr old when The Bel-Air Bandits let me and a friend on stage and I finally got to dance and sing (I cant sing at all, but at least I knew the words) with my favorite group of all time! He will be missed!

  48. Bob Hennessey

    Have been a Jan and Arnie fan and later Jan and Dean fan ever since the fifties . I still have my original 45 on Arwin of Jennie Lee. A great performer who will be missed by so many fans of all ages.
    Bopper Bob Hennessey

  49. guy mullins

    There is alot i could say about Jan and Dean. Their special brand of entertainment that helped myself and alot of people cope I am only sorry I never got to see them perform. THEY were in my opinion champions . Thank you Jan. Thank both of you Jan and Dean.

  50. Don

    Been a Jan and Dean fan for a long time, had a chance to see them in 1978 in Santa Cruz,Ca it was a great show! Jan you will be missed.

  51. Bobby

    What more can be said about Jan Berry that hasn’t already been said. His was an undeniable talent, a brillant mind, and a fun and engaging spirit that let us all know what it was like to race out to Deadman’s Curve and Ride the Wild Surf. Jan and Dean’s music touched the soul of all who listened in a most profound way!
    And as Jan once sang: It takes a lot of skill and courage unknown to catch the last wave and ride it in alone.

  52. jeanette andersen

    Jan Berry is one of the most unique people ever
    born in his time. He was kind, sensitive, rivetingly handsome, great sense of humor, fun,
    predictably unpredictable, totally brilliant and light years ahead of the pack! You could not help but love the man, and once that happened, it was forever. Nobody ever met Jan that didn’t like him and remember him.
    See Jan’s “entire” family, including his son, at
    One of the fortunate,
    Jeanette Andersen

  53. Chuck B.

    I just found out about Jan’s death while listening to an oldies show on a local station back here in Rhode Island. I never made it to Surf City yet but when I close my eyes while listening to that song it takes me back to 1963
    being twelve years old and dreaming of going to California, shootin’ the curl and checkin’ out the parties for a surfer girl. I hope that heaven for Jan is a lot like Surf City. Thanks for all the great music which will live on forever.

  54. Duke B.

    My teenage years were spent cruising up and down PCH(Pacific Coast Hwy) and listining to all the surf music. I’m now in my fifties and living in Okla. But thanks to people like Jan Berry all I have to do is crank up the music, close my eyes, and I can once again smell the salty air and feel the cool ocean breeze. Thanks for the music and the memories Jan (and Dean)

  55. Medora

    Jan & Dean ,
    my band the Rnegades later the Sunrays
    performed back up for them. Later we were on the same TV shows performing our records.
    He was too young, but left a legacy of a great
    sounding duo in the world. He will be missed.
    Jan is in Rock & Roll heaven. Jammin with the best of them, getting better royalty checks than he did here. see
    He rode the Wild Surf.
    Thanks for the memories
    And the Beat goes on!
    Eddy Medora

  56. mike b

    jan berry was the most influential recording artist of our time , always the innovator ,never the sellout .without jan the face of rock n roll would be quite different !!!
    jan forever

  57. reenie

    Since I heard Surf City, I knew I was hooked on the music that would stay with me the rest of my life. I was 12 years old when I heard that song and when I listen to it now, it brings back those long forgotten days of summer, sand, and of course, surfing. Jan , rest in peace. Ride the wild one for me.

  58. KJB

    I’ve always been a Jan&Dean fan. I loved your music when I was young and then got my children hooked on it as they grew. After watching “Dead Mans Curve”, I went looking for all the Jan and Dean music I could find. Your anthology album was out and what a great album that is. The cover was designed by Dean!!!It was so fun to to be able to go back and see when each song was recorded what car each of you was driving at the time and who your girlfriend of the day was( all the really important details).
    I can’t believe that I had not heard that Jan had died until today. The radio said ” the late Jan Berry” I couldn’t believe it. The rock and roll community is far better off having had Jan and Dean help usher in the era. Long live rock and roll. Jan you are great! Your physical challenges are now over. Peace and contentment surround you. Thank you Dean for everyting you did in the last years to make it possible for you guys to get back out there.

  59. mark

    my dad bought two jan and dean american import lp’s in the early 80’s when i was at school. as soon as i heard them i was hooked on the surf sound of the sixties. i like the beach boys too but jan and dean had something more.i persuaded my dad to part with the lp’s and i now have them in my collection.when i heard about jans death i phoned my dad and told him and he was shocked and saddened as i am. r.i.p jan berry. hertfordshire, england.

  60. Randy Cornwell

    I graduated from Uni Hi several years after Jan
    did. While in real estate, I helped Jan and his father Bill get a rental house in W.L.A. Even with difficulty speaking, I recognized being in the presence of a very special human being.
    Very gracious and accomadating. To this day, I still hum “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena”.
    I will look him up when my time comes.

  61. r.a. nelson

    I was at a concert in Ontario, Calif one day in the 60’s where several groups including The Byrds and Jan & Dean were to perform. When it came time for Jan & Dean, Jan didn’t show but Dean and the back-up singers went on and kept everyone happy. It turned out that was the day Jan had his crash. I saw them many times before and after the accident and always loved them.

  62. Dena

    May God bless the soul of William Jan Berry. You are loved and missed still.
    Looking forward to seeing you in the next life.
    I onced kissed a stranger because he resembled you! Figured Jan would get a kick out of that.

  63. Dena

    To Jeanette Andersen- Please email me at I am very interested in hearing your recollections of Jan and especially of Stevie Berry. I was so surprised to see your name posted here. I recently read To Deadman’s Curve and Back by Mark Thomas Passmore.
    Should you ever see this posting please email me. Best regards, Dena
    PS- Jeanette get your hair done. 🙂

  64. mark heelas

    jan and dean i am 42 years old with 3 children aged 18,10,8 all of love the music jan and deans music will NEVER die it was a great loss when jan passed away,he will never be forgotten as new generations hear there music long live JAN & DEAN I live in AUSTRALIA and many Australians still remember the boys

  65. Errol Munro

    I was never fortunate enough to meet Jan & Dean, through out the eighties I was so obsessed with them and I practically used up my time to find their records. For me living in australia, I envy every person in the States who would have met these fine great guys who began to revolutionised surf music and of course they were the one’s who started to put the “Bomp”…I only just found out that Jan had passed away, my God…it was two years ago and I’m so un-happy of this..The movie Dead man;s curve did it to me as a 12 yr old boy,and it ate me up…Rest in Peace Jan and all the fan sout there, I wish I was you who may had the oppurtunity to meet Jan & Dean.
    That’s Baby Talk for ya

  66. Karla

    I met Jan and Dean several times at Disneyland when they performed with Papa Do Run Run. I also met them after a show at the Greek Theatre. I received several letters and post cards from Mrs. T. which I will always treasure. I hope Jan is riding the wild surf in rock and roll heaven. I also would like to know more about Stevie. Stevie went to several concerts by Jan and Dean at Disneyland and the girls would always comment on how cute he was and how much he looked like Jan. The thing that disturbs me the most is that his so called “Loving-Devoted” wife Gerti is doing everything possible to cash in on Jan’s name and legacy. Even having Jan cremated as to forget he ever existed. That is so sad and then we as Jan’s friends and fans have not even a grave to go to to pray or take flowers or the beach balls Jan loved to play with in concert. Jan’s true friends never will cash in on his name or exploit him unlike Gerti and Mark are doing. Dean was not as “good” to Jan as he would like you to believe. He basically abandond Jan after the accident. He too was only after what stardom and money he could get off Jan’s name. Rest in Peace Jan. We still love and miss you more than you will ever know.

  67. Greg

    I am 40 and a longtime fan. I have two small children and sing “Baby Talk” to them on my guitar every chance I get. The music will live on!!

  68. Rhett

    I grew up with the sounds of Jan and Dean along with the Beach Boys and The 4 Seasons. I love the harmony and fun sound of their music. I was so sorry when I heard of Jan’s passing a few years ago. My favorite song by Jan and Dean is “Sidewalk Surfing”. God Bless you Jan Berry for all the happiness and music you brought to this world!

  69. steve rinaldi

    jan amd i broke into samohigh
    (santa monica high school), either grad nite or prom nite party in the late 50’s or early 60’s. i was a beach bum surfer dawning on a career as an actor in hollywood and he was already famed. i ripped my trousers on the fence as we climbed over all the way up to my groin and was the topic of a lot of giggles. if i remember correctly we were both pretty ripped on some particular substance. i only have good thoughts about him. it was just a blirp on the belly of time. we were young and happy.

  70. Rodney

    Don’t know how I missed it but I just learned
    that Jan is no longer with us. My older brother
    bought Baby Talk and I’ve been a fan of Jan and
    Dean ever since. So sad to see such a nice guy
    go. Rest in peace.

  71. Dale Carter

    Just watching a Jan and Dean concert on TV Jan is just now singing Dead man’s Curve and I can’t believe how easily I have been hurdled back to my youth. Best American group of their generation with music as fresh now as it was then.
    In the mid 70’s I suffered a serious brain injury and Jan was my inspiration for recovery.
    Keep rockin’ Jan…your music will never die.
    Dale Carter

  72. David Cook

    Jan and Dean and their music will live on forever. I am fairly young myself, but I remember going to a concert of theirs with my mom, and they have been etched in my mind ever sense then. They were the best, surpasing all in their era and more!
    Dean, thank you for standing by your friend for so many years. He was great and deserved it!
    Jan, I thank you for making music what it is today!

  73. Cyndi

    I don’t know why I didn’t know about Jan’s death before today. But it is such a tragedy to lose such a great musician. I am 42 years old and have listened to Jan and Dean since I was a little girl. My mom played their music and The Beach Boys. I have always and always will love Jan and Deans music. My son and daughter both know thier music and like it. I just know that Jan is playing his music up in heaven for Jesus. Rest in Peace Jan. I will miss you always.

  74. Ron Morrison

    The year was 1965, i went to the movie TNT, i think that was the name of it, they came on stage with skate boards,,Next day i had one!!.
    And i became pretty good at it to, now im 61, what good memorys,,you will be missed by us all Jan, But we have the songs to remember you by,,,

  75. todd starken

    jan berry was a genius.he created a sound,a look,an act,and a lasting image that will always carry on forever.if jan and dean dont belong in the rock and roll hall of fame,nobody does!long live the clown princes of rock and roll!

  76. Debra K.

    I remember going to two Jan and Dean concerts when I was 12 and again at 13 years old. We had front row seats at the Westbury Music Fair back in 1980. In 1981, my 2 friends and I were invited to go back stage and to meet Jan and Dean. They signed autographs for us and were very sweet and kind.
    This was one memory I will always treasure and never forget.

  77. Bill McKeever

    I just was listening to a dvd of Dick Clarks. In 1962/63 I lived in a small town in Ohio(Springboro). I was fortunate to hear and dance to the songs of Jan/Dean at a small amusment park North of Hamilton, Ohio, called la’swordsville lake. They came there on a promotional gig from a radio station in Cinncinnati, Ohio. I’ll never forget it,,,,it was a one-night stand type of thing with a tour they were doing.
    I was 17 at the time,,,,,my how time flys,,,LOL.
    Bill Mckeever
    New Port Richey, fl

  78. jenny cratchley

    i missed the news of jan,s death, i cant believe there was so little profiled about it, how sad, jan and dean were, my surf sound heroes, and shoul have had, far more respect for their work, rest in peace jan,

  79. Andy

    What a guy Jan was. The music he could write and sing will be with us forever. But, alas he’s now gone from us but his legacy will forever be here with the music that he and Dean gave to us when we were young. You can feel the ocean’s spray when you listen to “Surf City”. We loved you Jan.
    And we miss you.

  80. page48

    I just got the new Cd, Encomium, In Memoriam, Vol1, Jan Berry of Jan and Dean. It’s fantastic. I urge all J&D fans to get it. I saw Jan and Dean play when I was young. I never got a chance to see them after Jan’s accident, though. Didn’t know of Jan’s death until several years after. Oh, well. Surf’s up, Jan. RIP.

  81. steve

    The one thing about Jan and his recordings was that he had a kind of vitality in his voice….
    it cut through… I love it when he dips down and sings Yeah…. I love..luh luh luh luh la luh luh la Linda…
    or the outrageougness of his voice on Jennie Lee
    at the end!
    Very cool voice Jan had….

  82. sumner christie

    My wife (Edie) and I knew Jan (and his brother,Steven)when we owned Natures Health Cove in Westwood Village. I drove him home when the campus cops (UCLA) deemed that he should not drive. Jan invented the peanut butter/banana health shake. He gave Edie a test pressing of Little Queenie that he and his group, Aloha recorded in 1974 on A & M. We still have it…. We were saddened by his death…

  83. Rachel Guy

    Just read ‘Remember Me When I’m Gone’…by Jan Berry and it moved me to tears, I confess.
    Being learning disabled myself I guess I identified with Jan to a certain extent. Being ‘trapped’ inside your own mind by your disability – your IQ and ability to think freely and intelligently overshadowed by an inability to articulate yourself is hard to deal with, but I was born with this developmental delay and apart from being able to sketch reasonably well and having a degree of aptitude for writing, I have no great or discernible talent for anything, so can only try to imagine what it must have been like for Jan Berry to have the whole world in his hands one day, only to have it suddenly and cruelly snatched away from him the next.
    Utterly soul destroying – but through spirit and determination he bravely fought back, striving to free the creative mind trapped within him post accident. And he succeeded, going on to enjoy, deservedly, phase 2 of his incredible journey in music, and inspiring people like me along the way. Bless you, Jan. Your contribution to music will never be forgotten. RIP brother.

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