Bob Gonzalez was born on February 14, 1947, in San Jose, CA. Having studied the alto sax in school, he was asked to join his first rock band called the Pharaohs in 1961, followed by the rhythm and blues band the Nightmen in 1963. Bob’s interest then turned to bass and joined a surf band for a time until he and high school buddy Don Baskin formed another group called Syndicate of Sound in 1964. The band recorded its first single in 1965 as the result of winning the Vox Bay Area Battle of the Bands. The record, "Prepare for Love," went largely unnoticed, but they followed up with another, which was a collaborative effort written by Gonzalez and Baskin called "Little Girl." The song immediately caught on with the San Jose DJs and quickly spread through the airwaves around the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. Bell Records out of New York got wind of this and purchased the record from Hush Records and offered Syndicate a recording contract. Bell got behind the band promotionally by putting them out on tour with hit acts like, the Young Rascals, the Yardbirds, Jefferson Airplane, and many other greats. "Little Girl" started climbing the charts and eventually peaked at number eight in Billboard Magazine in May of 1966.
The Syndicate of Sound’s efforts paid off enormously and made them nationally acclaimed rock stars, but without a follow-up single of the same caliber as "Little Girl," the national appeal would soon die down. In an attempt to sustain their success, the band released three more singles, but none would be charted. The unit finally disbanded in 1970. For the next two decades, Gonzalez took leave from performing steadily, and instead focused on various business ventures.
Over the years, other artists have covered "Little Girl" such as England's the Banned, who made it a Top Ten hit again. the Divinyls made a video changing the gender to "Little Boy" which was played heavily on MTV, and Dwight Yoakum featured the song on his La Crox D'Amour album. Classic rock began to catch on, kicking the dust off the hits of the 1960s. "Little Girl," naturally, was among those getting significant airplay spurring on renewed interest in Syndicate. In June 2007, Little Girl reached the milestone of having over 1,000,000 major market plays, spurring on renewed interest in the Syndicate of Sound.“Little Girl” was picked up by Touchstone in the spring of 2002 to featured in it’s movie; “Sorority Boy’s”. And Dick Clark featured “Little Girl” during a few episodes of his NBC series “American Dreams”.
In 1990, Gonzalez and Baskin, put the band back together and have been doing occasional concerts ever since. The constant resurgence and ongoing popularity of their hit “Little Girl”; and their cult status as one of the greatest “Garage Bands” ever; will give the Syndicate of Sound their place in Rock and Roll history.
In addition to his duties as the Syndicate’s bass player. Bob plays with a number of blues and rock bands in the Bay Area and fronts his own band; the Bob Gonzalez Band. Bob’s music foundation is the blues and early R&B. So it is only natural that has gone back to his roots for his first solo album. The album features some of his favorite songs and players, and a Texas shuffle re-write of Little Girl.
Bob donates his time to local causes furthering live music, Since 2015 he has served as the President of the Fountain Blues Foundation. This group carries on the vision of Ted Gehrke the Founder of the Fountain Blues Festival first held on the campus of San Jose State University. The group devotes its resources and time to opening up viable performance opportunities for local musicians.The Festival is now held in downtown San Jose at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park where every year in June 3,000 or so fans get an opportunity see and hear all varieties of Blues from some International as well as Local Artists.