Former rocker works on his art in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com
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Former rocker works on his art in Carson City

Karl Horeis

Floyd Sneed was pictured on the cover of the September 1972 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine with his band, Three Dog Night. On Friday, the former rock star worked on his art at home in Carson City.

“This is called ‘The Crossing of the Horse-o-raptasus Over the Natural Land Bridge, Circa 10,000 B.C.,'” he said.

The acrylic painting shows a creature with ostrich legs, horse body and dragon heads walking across yellow steps.

Sneed has focused on his artwork since he left the band in 1985. He moved to Carson City in 2002. As he painted Friday, he told stories about playing drums with Three Dog Night in the ’60s and ’70s.

Sneed had 22 Top 40 hits and four No. 1 hit singles with the band.

“On July 4, 1976, we played a concert in Washington, D.C., with Julio Iglesias, The Beach Boys and ZZ Top in front of, oh, I think it was 1,500,000 people,” he said.

“That evening, we got on a plane with the Beach Boys and ZZ and a few other bands and flew to Miami, where we played in front of another 500,000 that night.”

In 1977, the band headlined a pop festival at Pocono Race Track in Pennsylvania.

“There was a 75-mile traffic jam we flew over in our jet on the way there,” he said.

They were supposed to play at 4:30 that afternoon, but the scene got so out of hand they didn’t play until 7:30 the next morning.

“You could see campfires forever. It was one of those great love-in things, the last days of the pop festivals.”

Jimi Hendrix opened for the band three times. Sneed told him backstage he was interested in playing together. Hendrix said he had the perfect song for Three Dog Night to do, but he died before they got around to it.

Under the bed in his home near Mills Park, Sneed has boxes of memorabilia. His dark skin contrasts with a white vest on the cover of the 1973 album “Cyan.” Photos of the band backstage inside the “Around the World” album show him relaxing in a laced-up red tank top.

“That was one of the most expensive albums ever released at the time,” he said.

Sneed believes today’s music sends a negative message.

“It’s not really helping the youth with what they’re going to need as they grow up,” he said, applying orange paint to the leg of the horse-o-raptasus.

He’s planning to show a collection of his paintings soon, though he’s not sure where or when. He’s looking at opening a gallery where he could play music.

Why did he leave the band?

“Long story, man. Real stupid stuff. I left because the love left. I gotta have respect. If I can’t get respect I cannot hang.”

For now, the father of three grown children -all in Los Angeles – is happy to be living in Northern Nevada.

“Everybody I’ve met in Nevada has been really friendly, really gracious,” he said.

After being inexplicably healed from childhood polio at age 9, Sneed has an unshakable faith in Christ.

“I’m a believer in Jesus. You know, like ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ that’s me.”

Sneed still plays a few times a week. His band, Old Dogs-New Tricks, plays Wednesday through Saturday in the saloon of the Wild Horse Canyon Resort & Spa, near Patrick. To see Sneed’s artwork, go to http://www.floydsneed.com.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.