"The feeling
remains... 
Even after 
the glitter fades"

Stevie Nicks
 
 


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Strip People

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and Events

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They Now?

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Copyright© 2000
2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008
by The Great
Hollywood 
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All rights 
reserved.
Nancy Deedrick

Our 17th Year!

 


Part Five, Champaign

Last Update March 2017

The Red Lion 50th anniversary reunion took place at the City Center in Champaign on October 7th and 8th, 2016.

Red Lion Inn 50th Reunion Facebook Page

The University of Illinois alumni magazine published this article by Doug Peterson about the music scene in C-U in the late 60's and early 70's. There are some great stories and pictures.

U of I Alumni Magazine article "The School of Rock"

From the webmaster: I received the following email from Roger Breternitz, upon learning of Nancy's death:

I just got a FB message from a Mahomet (where Nancy was from) classmate that told me of Nancy's passing. It's always a shock to hear that type of thing about someone you knew. Nancy lived right across the road from me (definitely the "Girl next door") when we were 15 to 17 in Mahomet Illinois. Strangely, about a year before she moved in we were both at a church type party/hotdog roast down at the local river, and she told the other girls she wanted to meet me. I being a stupid, Duh type young kid was scared of "Girls" (what good would they be) resisted their attempts at matching us up. WOW, did I regret that later, but she accidentally hit me in the head with a shovel trying to move some dirt as we were attempting to clean up the area for the party. Then she had brown hair, she looks so different in the pictures. After all I haven't seen her since 1959, we were 15 then. Check the pic I lifted off the High School year book. In the Champaign pages I remember some of the people in photos and...REO Speedwagon and Terry Luttrell, we jammed together a few times. I have a band (The Other Band) that's been together for 38 years, the same 3 guys. It's on the link below. Well (don't know your name) thanks for creating and maintaining that blog, it was very interesting to see her pic and learn about her life since high school. Roger Breternitz

Here's another band that worked for Blythm Productions (Irv Azoff and Bob McNutt) out of Champaign,IL in 1970's. MOTHERFOX, opened for REO when Terry Luttrell was singing. One-Eyed Jacks with Michael Murphy opened for us. Played mostly originals in the mold of the band "Chicago". First band to ever play for Ted's Warehouse in Charleston. Played all over the tri-state area . Band members in photo are (front: Dave Mitchell, Trumpet, 2nd row left: Dennis Osterman, B3 Hammond Organ, right: Bruce Berry, Bass, 3rd. Row: left Steve Derry, Trumpet, right Clyde Sims, Guitar, Last row: left Steve Huston, singer (later...drummer for Head East, Middle, Ronnie Walker, Drummer, right seated, Tommy Snader, Trombone (deceased).

 

From: athan chilton
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2010 1:31 PM
Subject: Champaign-Urbana music in the 60s

What a chuckle to run across this site...completely by accident.

I was a member of a local band variously known as The Leather Shop Band, Cronkhite's Band, or Third Bardo, depending on what week it was and who you asked. The band started in the summer of 1967 and went on until sometime in 1969.

We were all people who hung out at Glenn Cronkhite's leather shop, on the university campus. Glenn, who had previously drummed for the Finchley Boys prior to J. Michael Powers' tenure, had started the shop and musicians just naturally gravitated there. Glenn was trained as a classical and jazz musician and was taking a vacation from jazz (his real musical passion) to experiment with rock & roll. So this weird band got started. We rehearsed down in the shop (then located in the basement of the Turk's Head building on Green St.) till the weather got too cold.

Glenn and Michael Reed were jazz influenced, Jim Siemens (first lead guitarist) was a blues player, David May (his replacement) also very much a blues artist; George Ames played rhythm guitar and sang lead, and I, Athan, by far the youngest member of the band, also played rhythm guitar and sang lead vocals. George and I wrote most of our music, and what wasn't original ranged from Jefferson Airplane to Cream tunes. We played at Channing-Murray foundation, frat parties, the Illini Union, and once, the Tiger's Den. (After many a rendition of "White Rabbit" I gradually rewrote the song words till they contained smart-ass remarks about my fellow band members. They couldn't really hear me very well, so they never knew what words I was singing half the time!)

In 1968 we moved to San Francisco, where Glenn returned to playing jazz, and began his musical instrument case building company, originally known as Reunion Blues, but later moved to Berkeley and renamed Cronkhite Custom Cases. He's still in business today, but is no longer actively performing music, though he listens constantly. None of the other band members, as far as I know, are still playing. I played for years in the Southwest (New Mexico & Colorado), returned to California in the mid-70s and fronted a San Francisco new wave band, Little Death, that got fairly well known on a local basis. I moved back to the Midwest in the early 1980s. My last stint as a local musician was several years ago when I did a duet for some months with local guitarist and singer Jimmy Rowland. I kinda miss playing out... old musicians never give up...they just change their tune!

Great site - glad to see somebody's keeping the old memories alive. Somewhere I've got a review the Daily Illini writer Marty Wald wrote about a gig we shared with The Finchley Boys, too. Have to see if I can locate it.

Keep on truckin'!
Athan
serenity.chilton@gmail.com

From: Mark Bohrer
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 1:52 PM
Subject: Blytham Ltd and Starcastle

Just found your site.

For U of I students, CU was a local music mecca. You could hear
up-and-coming talent in clubs around town for cheap.

I was an engineering student at the place between 1974-78, and played keyboards and sang in Horizon Brass Rock between '76 and '78. The usual routine was study my head off during the week, and go off and play rock star in places like Big Rapids, Michigan or Kankakee, Illinois or Iowa City, Iowa on the weekends.

We were managed by Blytham Limited, Irving Azoff's former agency. Blytham booked all the big acts of the day, like Head East, REO, Starcastle, Duke
Tomato, and probably Coal Kitchen.

Starcastle released several albums, and their live show was seamless - one
original tune followed another as they out-Yes'ed Yes onstage. I guess the marketing wasn't there for them, because when I graduated and went to work in the San Francisco Bay Area, I couldn't find their albums and didn't hear anything more about them. Sad to think that Terry Lutrell's vocal talent and all the great writing and playing by Steve Hagler and Herb Schildt came to nothing.

I had the thrill of playing on the same stage as those successful acts at Bub Barthelow's Chances-R, eventually closed down because of the wet T-shirt contests that got out of hand. One of my favorite memories of that place was seeing Chip Trick there for $2.50, with all the beer I could drink. It was in 1976 or 77, right around the time they released their first album. Rick Nielsen was pretty outrageous then (and still is). They did very well for a bunch of Rockford boys!

It's also amazing how many acts recorded first at Pekin, Illinois' Golden Voice Studios. Dan Fogelberg, REO, Starcastle all did their first vinyl there.

Thanks for sparking so many good memories.

--
Mark Bohrer
Active Light Photography
www.activelightphotography.com
Any Product. Any Location. Your Story.

From: Ernest Gavin
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:17 AM
Subject: Jesse Ross Band

The names of the two other members of the Jesse Ross Band were , Steve White ( gituar ) and Gary Olson (drums , congas )

From: Glenn See
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2010 5:04 AM
Subject: Memory Lane in Central Illinios!

Wow what a great site...and I thought we were all to high to take pictures! I just had to add my two cents...I was much younger than most in the mid 70's but my brother who some may remember as "Seedog" kept telling me to come check out this new band he was the road manager(fancy name for roadie) for called Jesse Ross.

I can still see his 65 ranchero loaded down with equipment with The Jesse Ross Band sprayed painted on the sides. I may be a little prejudice but they had to be one of the most talented bands that never made it. Jeff Kerr is one of the only guys that could play toy caldwell to the T! Seagesser and Olson blew away the sounds of grinder switch and allman brothers.

The best part was the people. The parties in Danville at Smitty's farm were the best not to mention the band tune ups at REO's pole barn. So a shout out to the people of Danville and C-U...ZT, Smitty, Dru and Scott Thomas, Matt mad hatter hannon, all of the crazies in monticello and of course all of us from Indiana that came over for the fun...Bear, ernie, mathew, rita, celina, mary, heavy dave, cool denny, bad timmy, the guys from the I&I and not to mention all of my Z1900 rider friends!

Glenn See

glennsee@hotmail.com

From: "parhal" parhal@frontiernet.net
Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 11:55 PM
Subject: Houndog Moses, Afterbirth and Mosaic

Just wanted to share a little musical history that seems to be  missing here.  I'm a true blue townie, born and raised in C-U.  I  remember all the music and places talked about...the Tigers Den,  Chances R, Brown Jug, Caputos, Ruby Gulch...how about Chin's?  A  great place for jazz.  And the great jazz players around at the  time...Cecil Bridgewater and Don Smith? My first REAL boyfriend was  Billy McMullen, drummer for the Nickel Bag...

Anyway, someone asked about Houndog Moses.  They migrated to  Champaign from Freeport Illinois.  Johnse Holt, guitar...Loren  Brandenburg, guitar...Jim Cole (different from the Finchley Boys),  bass and Curt Roads on drums.  Loren didn't survive the times and  passed on about twenty years ago at least.  Jim Cole?  Johnse lives  in Chicago and still performs and writes music.  He is also the only  member who stayed around and played in Afterbirth and Mosaic which  lasted into the eighties.  Curt Roads moved to California and became a highly respected professor and composer of electronic music.  Afterbirth's music was mostly improvisational with sometimes two  drummers, three guitar players, two basses, clarinet, sax, flute,  keyboards...very wild.  Mosaic was much more defined...jazz-rock fusion.  Mosaic recorded an album and was relatively successful, lasting about six  years. I was the only woman in the group, singing and playing flute.
Thanks for being a resource for all these memories.  It's fun.

Catherine Hall-Parrish
Wisconsin

From: bojo2409@aol.com
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 12:27 PM
Subject: Lonnie Bowman

Hi,

I am trying to locate Lonnie Bowman;  he played with Nickle Bag in Champaign, in the late 60es.  Some of the others were, Leonard Leavell (Nardy), Tommy Gibson (lead singer)Bill Brackin.  I've been in contact with Bill but he hasn't heard from Lonnie in years. Lonnie had a son, Saul, with Patricia and his grandson, Alex, would like to conact him.  He has the musical talent of his grandfather....

Thanks

Joan DeGroot

From: Craig Kallmayer

Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 3:34 AM

Subject: Champaign updates

 

Wow - found the site a while ago - just now decided to send in an e-mail.  I grew up in Urbana and started enjoying the local music scene in the early 70's.  Hung out at the Red Lion and got to see a lot of the great bands that played there over the years.  Scarfed a lot of Ralph and Joe's Pizza there - and remember their first hole in the wall on Wright Street just north of University.  I remember seeing Starcastle, the One Eyed Jacks, Head East, Duke Tomatoe (more at Ruby Gulch) and a lot of others at the Lion and other venues.  Went to the Lion in Bloomington (I think) a few times too. Remember how low the second floor ceiling was? - I damn near killed myself in there.  Got hooked on Pork and Apaloosa and spent way too much time at Panama Reds where there was always a PBR and a Wild Turkey waiting for me on the bar when I got there.  I even had my Harley stolen out of the parking lot (a biker friend stole it back from two idiots in Paxton a couple of weeks later).  I bounced at Reds for a while - why not - I was always there anyway and they picked up the tab.  I remember the manager making me throw out an entire biker gang because they were stealing beers on nickel beer night (as if anyone cared).  I was there when REO showed up in Benz Limos during a Pork Gig  - the bands took turns playing backup on each others sets until well after closing.  When word got out, the line of people trying to get in was blocks long.  The cops heard what was happening and jsut directed traffic.  The last night when Appalossa closed it out I was blowing real sour notes on Garcia's sax during the encore.  I Moved away in '84 but make it to town every once in a while for a refresher - most recently for the Alley Cat Reunion at Fat City in October.  Keith Harden was fantastic and Frisbie did a great job on his comedy routine.  Let's face it  - those of us lucky enough to be in Urbana-Champaign during that time were spoiled rotten -  immersed in one of the best music scenes on the planet for a couple of decades.   I can't think of anywhere you could get that kind of experience then or now.  Hats off to all of the great talent that made it possible!

 

Craig (Hawk) Kallmayer  

From: Donna Crisp
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 8:42 PM
Subject: Chicago Bands

Found this web site and brought back great memories..Waitressed at Haymakers & Thirsty Whale and the Ivanhoe Theater (downtown) Saw Styx and Reo when they were just playing high school gyms..ok really not that old! Served drinks to Cheap Trick a regular at the Thirsty Whale…Looking for what happened to the “Nick Names” they also played at the Whale. Great era love any info on that period in timeJ

Donna

From: PMcAtee@sacheminc.com
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 5:37 PM
Subject: Perhaps you can help

Hi:

I am looking for mp3 or CD of Coal Kitchen Thirsty or Not Choose Your Flavor as well as The Ship's album from the Champaign-Urbana era of 70-78.

Thanks,

Pat McAtee

From: KEITHWAH@aol.com
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 7:48 AM
Subject: RIP Peter Bailey, Former Slink Rand Bassist

Nancy,

I've meant to send a note regarding the passing of former Champaign-Urbana bass great and buddy Pete Bailey for some time now. Pete passed back on January 3, 2009. I was alerted via former common band mate of mine Ed "Buzz" Eselby from MAXX (1983-86) who played with Pete, Ozzy and Andy Baylor in Clockwork Orange in the mid-later 80's.

Pete was an incredible talent, with a heart twice as big as that SVT stack he used to lug. Pete played with the Slink Rand Group at Slink's height of popularity, and I want to say he replaced Toby Meyers with Roadmaster after Toby took the Cougar/Mellencamp gig.

Pete left C-U in the 90's to find God, peace and family. He had a great life going and was hitting on all cylinders when he passed to a stroke. I first knew Pete as the kid in the wings digging the bad dad laying it down with Slink. He played the bass of a 16 year kid at a Slink show just because he knew it would be a thrill for me, the 16 year old kid. Pete always had time for everyone, truly one of the good guys in the music biz.

There are a few other pictures on his site and some MP3's of some of the Christian rock he had been writing and recording in Nashville. Pretty radical stuff for that market!

I will miss your playing, I will miss your kindness. The world was much cooler with Pete Bailey in it.

Keith Anderson
Milwaukee WI

Slink Rand Group 1977

From: Bill Brackin
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 8:06 AM
Subject: Champaign-Urbana Bands of the 60s and 70s

I enjoyed your website about Champaign-Urbana bands. I was the bass player and Manager of The Nickel Bag in 1968-70. We played the Red Lion a lot. In the summer of 1969 we toured with Steppenwolf and played with The Turtles, The Buckinghams, The Flock, The Fifth Dimension, The Shadows of Knight, and others. I also substituted as bass player for the Seeds of Doubt, another local C-U band a couple of times when their bass player was sick.

Prior to that I played in the Million Dollar War Babies. Remember us? After that I played in a Latin band, Los Cumbancheros. That was a lot of fun too. We played occasionally in the Student Union for huge Latin dances.

I'm no longer a musician, just an ardent fan. I love to go to music festivals like the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Waterfront Blues Fest, Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Fest, Salmon Army Roots & Blues Fest, and others.

Have fun!

Bill Brackin

Bbrackin1@comcast.net

From: Nancy
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 6:18 AM
To: bbrackin1@verizon.net
Subject: Re: Champaign-Urbana Bands of the 60s and 70s

Hey, Bill! Thanks for writing. Is it ok for me to post your email? if so, what about your e-address? ...and lastly, would you have an old photo or two that we could post?

I remember Nickel Bag. Great band. Used to look forward to your bookings.

From: Bill Brackin
To: 'Nancy'
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 9:03 AM
Subject: RE: Champaign-Urbana Bands of the 60s and 70s

Nancy,

It is fine with me if you post my emails and e-mail address. I sent you a picture of the Nickel Bag from 1969.

I miss those days. We had a lot of fun.

My Grandfather and I also had a blowout about me playing in a band with my black friends. He lived in Northeastern Mississippi and tried to kick me out of his town when he found out.

I am pretty proud of The Nickel Bag. We seemed to be able to get everyone up and dancing. Larry Lujack, a disk jockey at WLS in Chicago, liked us and often talked about us on his radio show. I spent a lot of my free time going to see blues acts. They were, and still are, my favorite acts. I saw Willie Dixon and Hound Dog Taylor at the Student Union, Muddy Waters at Mother Blues and other clubs, Howlin' Wolf in Carbondale, JB Hutto at a number of clubs, and Luther Allison many times at Ruby Gulch. I also used to go to the black Elks Club in Champaign a lot to dance to great bands that I don't even know the names of. My dancing partner and girlfriend of the time was Laura Schultz from Aurora, IL. We even made the front page of the student newspaper one time dancing in the Student Union.

I eventually opened a mountain shop, Bushwhacker Backpacking Supply, in Urbana and then moved it to Champaign. Royal Robbins and I got to be whitewater kayaking buddies, and I sold Bushwhacker and moved to Modesto, CA in about 1974 and have lived in California, Arizona and Washington State ever since. I went through Champaign in 2002, and it has grown a bit. My old shop was no longer there, nor were some of the old sleazy houses that I lived in as a student and musician. The campus still looks similar, however.

Your website is great! Thanks for the memories.

Bill

I'm at upper right
1969
 Recent photo
 

From: Terry Walters
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:27 PM
Subject: Some Links For You

Dear Hollywood,

I used to play in a band with Dan Fogelberg; The Coachmen. We played mostly in 'Ria (Peoria). You know; opening act that nobody wanted to hear. We played occasionally at the Red Lion too.

Have fun, go fast.

Terry A. Walters

From: Todd E. Bradshaw
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 1:23 PM
Subject: Ship update!

After successfully re-forming after 33 years for a few days last spring to play a 90 minute set at the Red Herring reunion, the guys in The Ship are still working together (in a spread-out-all-over-the-country sort of fashion). In the process of putting the set together, we found boxes and boxes of old studio recordings, many of which had never been released. The Warner Music Group has recently re-released our original Elektra album "The Ship - A contemporary Folk Music Journey" as a digital download through all the popular download vendors and the CD hard copy is expected out within 2-3 months. It will be released through Warner's Wounded Bird Records label.

We have also remastered and re-released a CD of the 1976 "Tornado" album and two more CDs from the stash of unreleased recordings (I'm not sure whether that makes them new, old songs or old, new songs, but there are 30 of them between the two new CDs). One CD is very early, folky stuff, recorded at Rofran back in the four-track days. The other spans the entire history of the band and has a broad mixture of music styles on it and even a couple of live cuts. We're hoping to get together once or twice a year and play a gig somewhere, before we all get too old, forget who we are, start drooling, etc. Our website has a lot of information about the group, along with photos, sound clips from all the songs and other good stuff.

a
b

http://www.theshipmusic.com

Todd Bradshaw

From: coale@qnet.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:02 PM
Subject: beautiful site

Hi,

Stumbled onto your site when my old buddy Bob started playing gigs with a guy named Brian McClain (spelling?) in Santa Fe. NM. Apparently he was a member of the One Eyed Jacks and The Cryan Shames, back in the day. Got me thinking...

I loved growing up in Champaign and know many of the people mentioned on your site. I was a little younger than a lot of these guys but did play some of the same clubs with a band named Tom Terrific. We were me, Gary Strater, Tom Garza, Phil Randall, Matt Boston and later Brent Hahn (known as Ozzie). Ken Holden booked us until a few of us (myself included) left for Boston, MA in 1972. I came back to play in Champaign at Caputo's a couple of times in '75 with a great band from Chicago called "The New Earth Rhythm Band". The last time I was in Champaign was for Gary's benefit. RIP. Gary and I knew each other as kids when the favorite thing to do was make forts and throw rocks at each other!! By the way, I remember his parents as being some of the most mellow adults I knew....

A couple memories :

1. At 15 my Dad was worried about this music thing and since he had worked for Bub Barthelow at his real estate business he had me go to Bub's office above Chances R so that Bub could give me a "pep talk" Ha! Bub told me about going to after hours jam sessions in Chicago where the greats of jazz and blues would meet after their paying gigs. Then he said "the only reason to play music is for the love of it, if it's for money? Forget it.... and I tell my girls, that the lead singer may look good but he has a wife or girlfriend at home eating a cold can of beans". Ouch! I think he was talking about Terry Luttrell! Ha!.... sorry man. Some how all of this sounded good to me!

2. Dragging Tom Garza away from some 35 year old floozy behind the Road Runner in So. IL. He was 15!

3. Drinking beer with the Deputy Sherrif on a Saturday afternoon at the Road Runner.... Gary was the oldest guy at 19. There was a big guy with the Deputy telling us about the best swimming holes.... we mentioned one and he said "uhuh, you'll dive in and come up with a turd in your mouth and a rubber on each ear"

We didn't go swimming at all after that!

4. I had rehearsals at a church in Monticello with a singer song writer, whose name I do not remember, and the town elders were so upset at these long haired, probably drugged and a threat to harmony, musicians that we were forced to stop, by order of the sheriff, and get out of town! As far as I can tell Monticello is still just as screwed up as ever. Love Allerton, but I wish the people of Monticello could admit.... HE WAS GAY!

5. Jim Cole and I think George Faber delivering a mattress to my house when I was 14. I believe Jim's parents owned a mattress factory.

That's all.... I live in the Eastern Sierra Nevada on 40 acres with my nearest neighbor 6 miles away. I play better than ever and I follow Bub's advice about music!

Coale Johnson
Lone Pine, CA

Hi, greetings from Botswana, Africa!

Please, please help me with information as to how on earth I can get Coal Kitchen’s “ thirsty or not… choose your flavor..” album, as a download, or to buy as a vinyl record or tape.

I have tried for several weeks to get this music, without success. Please help!!!

Much love and respect!

Carlo Adams
adamscarlo@hotmail.com

Hey, great stories on the Champaign bands. My band (Pontiac Jones) was from Carbondale, but I've got great memories of playing Ruby Gulch and Red Lion.

Just for the record, the Road Runner wasn't quite in Carbondale, I believe it was in DeSoto, which was near C'Dale.

Also, I'm not sure where all the Dixie Diesels are, but I still have contact with Mike Potter who was the lead guitarist (also my guitarist in Pontiac Jones).

Meanwhile, can you tell me if Conqueror Worm was based in Champaign or were they a Chicago band?

Thanks,

Dean Milano
deanguy@ameritech.net
http://www.toys-n-cars.com/my_music.htm

Finchley Boys
GeorgeFaber.com
George Faber MySpace

George Faber was the Lead Singer of the Finchley Boys and a big local star.


Old Railroad Depot

 

I'm sure a majority of you all will remember the old Moose Dances. That was my first real taste of a rock and roll night life. There has been little mention of musicians from those days who were really iconic to us kids back then. Tommy McCormick, Mike Brewer, Terry Cook, Arlen Neville... Where are they now?

On October 24, 2008, I received the following email:

I thought seeing as how I'm credited with turning you on to Ro-bo,I should touch in,its only been 40 odd years. I'm still in Arizona and still doing music full time, although its a bit different...I play washtub Bass in my own cowboy bluegrass band The Hey Boyz. I have written and recorded 6 Cds of my own songs and have been around the world 9 times.......yes Nancy, its me, Tommy McCormick..I completely freaked when I found the Champaign site.. Then got into your story and it hit me.....we have to stay in touch...It's 5 A.M. here now and I cant sleep I'm so stoked.......WOW......just.........WOW

In another email:

Of course you can put up whatever you like... I Did have a heart attack last October, but after installing 4 stents, I feel like I'm 18 and just confirmed a 2 month tour of Holland (My 8th year there) the first of 2009.I would love to find Byrd, the e-mail you posted is defunct. I left Champaign in 1960 and never looked back...I still have a sister there; she runs the Urbana Sportsmans Club in Mohomet. I have been writing alot about "the days"lately and I will search out some old photos....it's really strange to say I knew a world without Rock and Roll or television.I  have also discovered I can remember an astonishing number of those days in great detail.I would really dig finding some of the old gang, I was back there last summer and it's so different....I sat by the little lake at the Sportsmans Club, just me and a bottle of Jack...the fireflies were out and I held out my hand... One of them landed on my hand and lit up. I cried like a baby for 20 minutes.... More to follow my friend. Attached is a photo of me in Geneva, Switzerland last May.... I'm so stoked to know someone is keeping those magical times alive....... PEACE,

Tom McCormick


Yep, that's Tommy!

He continues in another email:

Well, for me the good times are still rollin...I married way too much money.  Had 2 daughters and wound up with my gun in my mouth behind a bar in Scottsdale...moved to Santa Barbara and joined Alexanders Timeless Bloozeband, then Steve Miller Band. ...Was asked to play for a Phoenix band with a funny name and passed on 3 Dog Night; came back to Arizona to be near my kids,,, dealt coke and drove loads for a few years, then wound up in Apacheland Movie Ranch as a street gunfighter. Met a cute little red head and we have been together ever since (29 years) Through it all I was writing songs on guitar. In 1979 I formed The Worlds Greatest Cowboy Band ...9 fine players and strung out like a big dog. Cut it all loose and hid in the Superstitions for several years. Bluegrass has been really good to me and that stupid wash tub hastaken me around the world in style for the past 8 or 9 years. (I can still sit down behind a drumset and cook you til your done,baby)  I'm a crazy ol fuck of the first order and I'm stayin that way til the rims rust off....I gotta stop for now, you got me on a roll. More perhaps in the morning. You realize this could turn into a Hemmingway book don't you?

From my secret files:

Tommy & the Byrd
Me and the Byrd on the road in Kansas City, He was headed west,I  was headed east,,, zsnappy hat eh? I didn't now Byrd stuck his hand in his pants til I got the film back...what a guy!
Tommy
Shot taken by a chick I was dating named Linda Brown; took her to Phoenix with me and we wound up hating each other.
First Band
The first band we formed, my sister handmade the jackets and we played at Franklin Jr High. Notice 2 bass players, John Melchi was a cousin, died when his backhoe hit a high power line. At the time there were only 3 bands in Champaign playing rock and roll.

There you have it kiddo... ANYTHING more I can do for you,  just holler This past few days have been a real trip. Now I'm gonna load a bowl and write some tunes.... Peace and Love to you and yours........Tommy

My Comment?  PRICELESS!
Tom also sent the photo below of
himself and his grandchildren.

Tom had mentioned that he was looking for Mike Brewer, but many of us thought Brewer was dead. Ironically I had been emailing "Roger" about the old Moose dances during that same time period when I first heard from Tommy. Now that's is strange! The day after Tommy's mention of Brewer, I get the following email:

I saw Steve Brewer last wed. and told him I wrote to you. Mike lives in the mountains in New Mexico, in a very remote area. I think he does some gardening up there!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike stops through Champaign maybe once a year and stays with Steve for a day or two. Terry Cook has a pest control company in Champaign. He got rid of my ant problem last year for me. I went to the REO concert last night at assembly hall, and now I'm sitting in a motel in Arkansas on my way to Dallas. Thanks for the info...

Roger

 

What ever happened to Greg Williams, guitarist of the Buster Browns and before that, I spent my teen years in central illinois and really enjoyed finding this web page. So many great live bands each with their own sound. it wasn't clear to me who does this site but I hope this finds you in good times. Be well, Robin Miller in Virginia Beach Virginia.

This email came in from Douglas Gilpin: I came across your web site, and have been enjoying the postings. In addition to the 'regular' bands that you and others recollect, there are two band that I saw, and can't recall their names. The first was a band I initially saw in the fall of 1970, and they had a very young female singer that had a very convincing Grace Slick repertoire. The second band appeared at The Red Lion, typically on Friday nights. I think the years were 1972-1973, and they played a lot of Emerson Lake & Palmer...I recall the keyboardist was a very talented Emerson stand-in on several Tarkus songs...they also did a terrific Seals & Crofts 'Hummingbird' with Moog synthesizers.

 

 

 












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