Night Train Express was formed in the early to mid 1970's by brothers Tim and Wayne Williams, and a high school friend, Art Martinez. The truth is that they had been playing together since 1965; (they all lived in Seaside, California and were the only "Bedroom" band around, as that was where they practiced instead of the garage). Tim was already playing in small bars with his dad. Art was learning to play rhythm guitar and Tim played lead guitar and all they needed was a drummer, and that job fell to Wayne even though he didn't know how to play anything. He talked his sister into buying him a set of drums, which he still has today. They played instrumentals (as Tim had not yet learned to sing) and had a lot of local players coming to jam in that little bedroom. The Williams' family moved to Prunedale, California in the late 1960's.
The band name came about after an eight hour day of practicing and they were ready to seek out some places to play and had to think of a name. They went to get something to eat at Dave's Superette (a small local store) and saw three bottles of Night Train Express wine sitting on a shelf. They bought the wine and the band had found a name. They played out in public for the first time at a CB break where they knew the band that was playing (Art Walker and the Gold Coast Playboys). Art Walker got them their first booking. The core of the band stayed the same through the years as other players joined and went their separate ways. The other members of the band were Marty Robinson, Frank Garnese, Pat Cochran, Dave Frye, Mike Howell, Billy Ingram, Mike Brooks, and Dale Kirakowa. All of the members had played in either their own bands or with other local groups. The band played the local clubs, private parties, weddings and divorces and a lot of charity events.
Tim owned a music store so finding a place to practice was easy. Tim also built custom guitars and did custom painting for Select Snare and other companies. Most of the members still stay in touch. Art Martinez is still playing, so if you go to Las Vegas lookup Blonde Sided. Here are some pictures and songs from the band in all its incarnations.
Dallas, Wayne and Billy
Dave, Tim, Mike Howell, and Art with Wayne in the back
Frank Garnese with Wayne in Back
Big Hat BBQ Crowd
Casa de Fruta Contract