***Update: On November 21, 2022 Rick Derringer provided the answer fans had been waiting for. He was asked on his Facebook page for the name of the girl dancer in his “Hang On Sloopy” video. His answer was “Lisa somebody.” He didn’t know her, as had been previously reported here, other than he recalled her first name. This mystery was solved in 2021, but it is now official and verified by Rick. Lisa Leonard Dalton is 100% the dancer in that classic 1975 Sloopy Girl music video.
When The McCoys had a giant hit with “Hang On Sloopy” in 1965, nobody would have guessed that 56 years later some 40 million viewers would be arguing about the short music film shot by Rick Derringer in 1975. Rick, the former lead singer of The McCoys and a prominent guitarist, was re-releasing the Sloopy song adding steel drums and a marimba. The two covers of the same song, along with other versions performed by Rick over the years, have create confusion. For those detectives who wish to investigate this further, the sped-up reggae version of “Hang On Sloopy” came out on Rick Derringer’s 1975 album called Spring Fever and the Sloopy song track was released as a single at that time as well. The main attraction, more so than the cover of the classic song, was the mysterious and previously unidentified “Hang On Sloopy” dancing girl. (Click HERE to watch the video).
Many curious people know that QZVX has been involved in searching for the true “Hang on Sloopy” dancer for about a year. The results of that investigation were released here, and in a YouTube video, two weeks ago. As expected, the video revealing that Lisa Leonard Dalton is the “Sloopy Girl,” has gone viral. Views escalated to several thousand hits per day.
Fans have accepted that the “Hang On Sloopy“dancer is the one and only “Sloopy Girl,” Lisa Leonard Dalton. Music websites and YouTube channels are changing titles and labels to reflect that new information. Yet, there is another myth getting in the way of the truth. Unfortunately, many bloggers, as a result of lack of research, have created a rumor that Liz Brewer in the UK married Rick Derringer in 1969 (a marriage lasting 22 years) and that she was the noted rock and pop culture journalist identified as Rick Derringer’s wife. That is false. Inaccurate data has been spread online and in social media. Add to that, the wrong information has been circulating for ten years. And please, don’t read this article and suggest that Lisa Leonard Dalton was married to Rick. She was not!
Two Lizzes Confused With One Another
As far as Lizzes go, fact is it was another Liz, not Liz Brewer in the UK, who was married to Rick Derringer. Liz “Agriss” Derringer, an American from New York, married Rick in 1969. The marriage lasted about 22 years. If that story sounds familiar, that is because the general scenario has been told before…but with the wrong Liz as Rick’s wife. What a muddled mess.
The real life Liz Derringer was Rick first wife, and his ONLY wife with the name Liz. Let’s establish he has been married only three times. Fifteen years ago, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune interviewed Rick and they reported the following:
“Derringer and his “third and last wife,” Jenda, are born-again Christians who clearly would rather not dwell on past rock ‘n’ roll excesses and successes.” (June 24, 2006)
Below is documentation of the first marriage. Ricky Zehringer (birth name) married Liz “Agriss” Derringer in 1969. This Liz, not the Liz in the UK, is also a close friend of Bebe Buell (a famous groupie and the mother of Hollywood actress Liv Tyler).
If Rick Derringer had only three wives, who were the other two? This information comes from public records. The left photo below is Liz “Agriss” Derringer, in the early days and married to Rick (picture was on her Facebook page). Photos of the real Liz Derringer are often attributed to the wrong Liz. Next to that photo is a shot of Liz “Agriss” Derringer and Rick posing together about ten years ago. The center shot is the late Dyan Buckelew Derringer and Rick at their 1991 wedding. She was wife number two. And the right photo is Rick’s current wife, Jenda, whom he married in 2000. You will notice that the Brit, Liz Brewer, is absent from this list.
For anyone who might doubt that Rick was married to this American Liz, go to Facebook and search for Elizabeth Derringer. She has a public page with lots of information, photos of rock stars, pictures with Rick and rock and roll stories. She lives on the East Coast USA. Her current husband informed QZVX that his wife was the only Liz that Rick Derringer was ever married to and that she NEVER had Brewer as a last name. He also said his wife Liz told him she was NOT the “Hang On Sloopy” dancer. Liz said the dancer was a studio backlot girl and Rick did not know her. (That leads us back to Lisa Leonard Dalton in LA being the mystery dancer, as attested to by more than 20 witnesses.)
If you’re still doubting these facts, consider this: While Rick was married to Liz “Agriss” Derringer, over on the other side of the pond, Liz Brewer married John Rendall in 1978 (click HERE). She is now divorced, but the dates of the Derringer and Rendall marriages coincided with one another for several years. That precludes any possibility that Liz in the UK was one of the “Sloopy Wives.” And remember Rick was only married to one Liz and not two. Bloggers have had these two ladies mixed up for many years now. Factually sloppy bloggers (blogging is not news reporting) spew silliness and lazy bloggers repeat unverified fairy tales.
All of the photos below are Liz “Agriss” Derringer. Not even one picture is that of Liz Brewer in the UK. Unfortunately they have been misidentified in the past. Almost all websites have corrected that egregious error. Currently online “Random Musings” still displays incorrectly labeled photos that erroneously identify the real “Sloopy Wife,” American Liz “Agriss” Derringer, as the British Liz Brewer. The confusing and un-vetted website is so far off base that it is amusing the host has taken the liberty to christen himself as the so-called “film inspector.” That he is not!
Dancing Girl’s Age
Lisa Leonard Dalton’s age, 19 at the time of the 1975 Sloopy dance, is easy to document. Born in 1955, Dalton turned 20 in late fall of 1975. She was eight years younger than musician Rick Derringer. He turned 28 in the summer of 1975.
Liz Brewer’s age is more elusive. Her Facebook page has her birthday as June 6th. As is typical, the year of birth is not listed. Genealogy sites lacked further details. Online resources are all over the map. One prominent search engine puts her age at 48 today and it seems she is stuck there — her age has not changed in more than a year. That is clearly wrong: Liz is not that young, and a current age of 48 would negate confirmed facts about her life, e.g., that she moved to Portugal as a teen and, by the mid-1960s, she was back in the UK and part of London’s club scene.
An archival search eventually provided an answer. But first, let me digress: In her video titled In London & Jimi Hendrix Liz reminisced that she was “about 26,” and operating a London club when Jimi Hendrix released his first British hit, Hey Joe. According to The Book of British Hit Singles that record debuted on the British chart in late December 1966, peaking in January ’67 at No. 6. It remained on the chart for a total of eight weeks.
From Liz’s recollection that she was “about 26” at the time of Jimi’s hit, we’d assume she was turning 26 on her June 6th, 1967 birthday. Following the logical sequence, eight years later in 1975, at the time of the Sloopy dance, Liz would have been 34 years old. But hold on, additional information indicates that Liz Brewer was actually younger in the mid-1960s than she thought she was.
QZVX searched deep into British newspaper archives. Many vintage articles mention Liz Brewer’s activities through the years. Most of the content was informative, but not specific as to her age. Then, in a nearly 60-year-old Daily Mirror, I located a photo and an article about the former Brit debutante Elizabeth Brewer. She was photographed in a swimsuit in the Algarve, Portugal (where she ended up running a club). The paper was dated August 17, 1964, (so published about 2 months after her June 6 birthday) and she was listed as being 21 years of age. Crunching the numbers, her year of birth would be 1943. On June 6, 2023, she turns 80 years old. A copy of that newspaper clipping is below. To make it easier to read, I re-pasted a magnified version of the caption in the red circle at the top.
That birth year is believable and it makes sense. Liz’s physical appearance in 1964 fit that of a 21 year old girl. Also, several other articles were in agreement with this timeline. That birth date works with the general details of her teenage journey to Portugal and her return to London approximately seven years later. Remember that the 1964 newspaper photo of 21-year-old Liz predates the Sloopy dance by 11 years. She would have been older, turning 32 in 1975. Comparatively, Rick Derringer turned 28 in 1975 and Lisa Leonard Dalton turned 20 in autumn of that year.
That’s a 12-year age difference or “generation gap” between Liz Brewer and Lisa Leonard Dalton. Brewer was born near the tail end of what is referred to as The Silent Generation. Dalton was born smack dab in the middle of The Baby Boom Generation. Not surprisingly, most viewers refer to the youthful Sloopy Girl dancer as the “dancing girl.” The dancer looks more like a 19 year old girl than a 30-something woman. This revelation further weakens any supposition that Liz Brewer was the dancing girl. That is not unexpected. Remember that historically other verifiably false rumors had been spread by unreliable sources and trolls; for example, that Liz Brewer was a Rick Derringer groupie, that she was tight with Andy Warhol, that she was a pop culture journalist, that she was married to Rick, and/or that she was the dancer. Any parts of that scenario that are correct applied to the other Liz, the real Sloopy Wife, American Liz “Agriss” Derringer. Extensive research has never found any link between Liz Brewer and Rick Derringer. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Liz in the UK had any role in the 1975 “Hang On Sloopy” dance film.
Many people, who’ve been following this case of mistaken identity, have asked what Liz Brewer in the UK has been doing with her life and career from the 1960s on. Some of those answers can be found in the British Newspaper Archives. QZVX has collected a number of articles, several of them with vintage photos of Liz Brewer (Click HERE to view those files).
The Real Liz Derringer is NOT British
In the early days of the saga, I can see how people misidentified the two ladies named Liz. That was especially true if they weren’t paying much attention and just bought the online fiction. Now the two women are obviously not the same person. To clarify the facts, the real Liz Derringer also does not have a British accent — it is an East Coast USA sound. Earlier this year she was interviewed, along with her famous friend Bebe Buell. They told personal stories and spoke of their lives. I have the full interview, however the channel that originally posted it has since made the segment private…so I will not re-post what I have. That would go against their wishes. In the full interview, Liz stated she was married to Rick Derringer from 1969 for about 22 years. And she told of their rock and roll adventures. Fortunately, a segment of the interview remains online. Anyone viewing this segment will have to admit this is not Liz in the UK. To be clear, I don’t have an issue with the British Liz. It is just that the internet has so distorted the story of the dancing girl and Rick’s wives that this big reality check was in order.
Here is a short segment of Liz Derringer, the rock journalist and the lady who was actually married to Rick for 22 years. She was interviewed on the “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll” channel. This story is not G-rated. It does, however, bring home the point that the real Liz Derringer is absolutely NOT Liz Brewer in the UK.