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Nancy Deedrick

Our 15th Year!




Champaign was buzzing with great bands and artists. My favorite
club besides the Whisky in Hollywood, was the Red Lion Inn, on
Green Street near the U of I campus. That was where REO
Speedwagon was born! I saw Chaka Khan and Rufus there, Dan
Fogelberg, Starcastle, The One-Eyed Jacks, Ginger, The All-Star Frogs, Dynaflo, The Finchley Boys, Skater, Head East, Pork and
the Havana Ducks...

Terry Murphy, vocals, piano
John Sauter, bass
Pat Carpenter, drums, congas, percussion
David Ohlsson, vocals, drums congas, percussion
Chris Berbaum, vocals, guitar
Curtis Hightman, guitar
Found Curtis, now known as Curtis "Cortez" Hightman
playing in the Tallahassee, Florida area for the last seven
years with a band called Big Daddy & Red Hot Java.

Recent photo of Hightman

Terry Murphy of Dynaflo and One-Eyed Jacks

Update from spring of 2015 - One of Terry's old friends and bandmates is trying to find him. If anyone knows where Terry is these days, please drop the webmaster an email. Thanks!!


Terry Luttrell
I went to high school with Terry. We dragged Green Street,
hung out at the Steak and Shake, drank malt liquor, and got high.


Starcastle in early seventies
Matt Stewart, Steve Hagler, Gary Strater
Herb Schildt, Steve Tassler, Terry Luttrell


Starcastle album covers including very recent on far right.

GARY STRATOR of Starcastle died Sunday night
September 19, 2004. 

Gary Strater


Gary, October, 2003

The following, written by Mark Rubel, of Pogo Records in Champaign, will be published this week in the Hub:

Gary Strater is a man of music, and a man of peace, at peace.  I use the
present tense because the music that Gary made, especially with the group
Starcastle, and the influence of his gentle and noble personality continue
to to touch and speak to people around the world.  This is evidenced in the
tributes that are flooding in, circulating the internet, and by the bass he
signed that is being raffled and re-donated, traveling the world to raise
money for research into cancer.

To see how his work transcended barriers of geography, language and time
illuminates the way in which
Gary has been able to ascend to a different
plane of existence with such grace, strength and his characteristic humor.

Gary 's humble and engaging nature, it might have been easily possible
to overlook the fact of his virtuosic and pure musicianship- and those can
be two very separate qualities. 
Gary was a bassist's icon. Starcastle
traveled widely through the
U.S. and abroad, made three records for CBS and
played with such well-known groups as Jethro Tull, Aerosmith, Rush, Journey,
Heart and many others. 
Gary also played with Greg Allman of the Allman
Brothers Band, Steve Perry of Journey and lent his talents to such regional
bands as ESP and the Mary Clark Revue.

As a recording engineer and producer, he taught and facilitated the
self-expression of others.  Having worked in music stores and as a bass
teacher part of his legacy is in the music he instilled in others.

When Gary died at home last Sunday, in the loving company of his wife
Sascha, family members, friends and his beloved animals, the music community
and all of the many who love and esteem him lost a great and admirable man.
This was felt so strongly at his benefit concert in April, where the
outpouring of love and support was overwhelming.  Although it was for
Gary ,
that event brought to those who were there a profound and life-changing
realization of the power of music and community.

He was too young; but in his time he lived deeply and much.  He left a
positive impact, not to mention a marvelous last Starcastle record that will
come out, and express the otherwise inexpressible for him and the rest of
the group.

All of the things that I have said here I would have, and probably have said
during our long friendship, brotherhood and association.  I was a fan before
I was a friend, and now I find myself having to admire
Gary at a distance
once again.  He has moved on, and we miss him terribly.  And yet, I feel his
presence as strongly as ever.  I can see him now.

-Mark Rubel

I find an old photograph...
I see your smile...
Oh, the memories that come to mind...
I think of how much I will cherish
That illustrious image of you now.
I feel honored to have been 'up close'...
To your sweetness, your humor, your kindness,

And to the music that radiated...
From that eternal soul of yours.
I think of how much I will miss you
And all that you were.
Godspeed, my friend...


Below are photos taken at Gary's benefit
concert in Champaign:

Matt Stewart, Dru and Unknown on left.
My daughters, Teri in center, and Ralph on right.
(Yep! Her name is Ralph.)

"Unknown on left" is Mark Spalding, soundman for the benefit.
Mark was the soundman for Appaloosa, Pork and the Havana Ducks, Clockwork Orange, Keith Hardin Band and he is currently working with Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets.
Mark and Gary engineered and produced the Joy Hammer album.


Connie (Sascha Strater) and Sharon on left.
Dru in center raffling off a guitar on stage, 
My sister, Dixie, and my ex-husband, Cooker on right. 

Gary Strater

Sascha-Connie Strator, Dru Vaughn, me, October, 2003.
We were at the Aisles in Buckley watching Gary's band 
play one of the last times together.

Head East's "Flat As A Pancake" album cover
It was in reference to the flat lands in central IL.

Head East
Dan Birney, Roger Boyd, John Schlitt,
Mike Somerville, and Steve Huston

A band called Ginger, that never became a household
word anywhere but in central Illinois, opened for Aerosmith,
Rush, Kiss, Argent, and REO. Gary Richrath, of REO, was a big
fan who had a hand co-producing and engineering some 
of Ginger's recording sessions.

Dru Vaughn, from Champaign, sent these photos taken  
of Ginger. Dru is in the right photo. Members of Ginger 
over the years include: 
Rob Thornburn, Chris Martin, Glenn Taylor, Steve Schmidt, 
Larry Fredrickson, and Terry Luttrell. Terry, at one time, was with REO.
Recent Ginger Press Release

Band members: Allen Gratzer, Neil Dougherty, Greg Philbin,
Gary Richrath, Kevin Kronin. Other members over the years have
included Terry Luttrell, Mike Murphy, Bill Fiario.

Finchley Boys early album cover
Band members: George Faber, Gary Oostdyk, 
Tabor, Tommy Garza

Duke Tomatoe (Bill Fiorio) and The All Star Frogs
were one of our favorite bands that played the Red Lion.
I can't find an old photo of the band, but Duke Tomatoe
is well known now on the blues circuit.

R. Wilson sent along an old photo of Duke and "Doc" Kent Lecouris.
Email: rolwilso314@gmail.com

Erik Krogh, bass player,  was also an All Star Frog.
Kent "Doctor Seuss" Lecouris played harmonica and sang.

Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets
Mark Rubel, second from right, owns Pogo Records,
Champaign's state of the art recording studio.

Some of the other bands of the area included:
The Seeds of Doubt, Sunday (with Harry Washburn)
Skater (with Mark Lundquist, Mo, Larry Fredrickson)
The Guild (with Mike McDonal) Arrow Memphis, The Blue,
The Ship, Rocksalt, Fat Daddy Five (with Bob Newpauer)
The Esquires, Coal Kitchen (with Carla Payton and Andrea Mozatti)
 Rathskeller, and the band called Champaign.

A girl named Debbie has written to me. She wants to know
more about Arrow Memphis and their whereabouts.
She remembers these band names--Gary Hudson, Charlie
Morris, Jack McDaniels, Greg Harris and Gary something.
Debbie's email:  debbiedoesart@juno.com

Here's a little Champaign trivia:

Bob Nutt and Irving Azoff booked the bands back then.

Bob Graham managed the Red Lion, Greg Zimmerman 
was the doorman, the Garcia Brothers started their 
"pizza-by-the-slice just inside the
front door, and Azoff had an office there.

My friend, Bobby Young, was a roadie for Kiss when
they played the Red Lion. He asked me  go to out on the road with 
the band as an "assistant roadie" but I turned him down.

Dan Fogelberg got booed off the stage one night at the Red Lion
because REO was coming up next, and everybody wanted to rock!

September, 2003, Jerry "Pork" Armstrong died at his
home in Harristown, Illinois. He was well known as the
leader of the Havana Ducks.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from those days:

Terry Murphy and my sister, Dixie.
Terry liked stripes, didn't he?

My sisters Debby and Dixie, then the three of us on far right.
Debby wasn't pregnant. She's the comedian of the family.

Sharon Thomas, at a radio station.
If she resembles my sisters and I, it's because we are cousins.

Dru Manley then. Dru Vaughn today.
Another one of our notorious gang members.
She looks harmless, doesn't she?

That's Debby (far left) then Gary Strator, Malcolm Barnes,
and Cooker shortly after he arrived in Illinois.
Does Malcolm look like a future attorney? Yep.
He represented Cooker in the mid-eighties.

Debby had a 427 maroon Vette.

Connie Bean, now Sascha (Connie) Strator

Dixie and Erik Krogh

Sharon Thomas and Randy, 2003.

Dixie's son, Zack, and a friend from Wisconsin, Little David--mid 70's.

Terry Murphy, my dad, Bud Schultz, and Cooker taken
at a farmhouse in Foosland, Il. Take note of the
photo of Jimi on the wall in the background.

Greg Saegesser, drummer, Jesse Ross Band
...not too happy on an early morning ride.

Greg got happy.

I also heard from Frank Hurtte who lived in the same house as Doc
from the All Star Frogs, and Doc's girlfriend, Debbie. He
would love to make contact with Doc again and wants to know
if anybody remembers Sparky from Sparky's Record Exchange?. 

Dru Vaughn writes on more Red Lion trivia:
- Station 211, 211 E. Green St., C. This was built in the 1920s as a Sinclair Gas Station and much later became the Red Lion Inn. Recently it was converted to Station 211 under the direction of architect John Holbert; Roland Realty was the contractor with Tom Gillespie and Associates as the developers. The interior of the building was totally gutted and rebuilt with concrete floors and new finishes. A new patio and enclosing wall were built, and the building was 
re-roofed and painted.

Say good-bye to an Era! Jimmy Fallon now owns the Red Lion Sign. Dru

Mike Murphy
Originally from Sterling , Illinois , Michael went to LA to write and record with Joe Walsh on the infamous "But Seriously Folks" record before playing and recording with Billy Vera and local favorite, Chuck E. Weiss. He also has spent time touring with classic artists Johnny Rivers and Seals and Crofts.

Bill, aka Great Uncle Bill, wrote to say that he was
stationed at Chanute AFB back in the early 70's and
remembers well the old Red Lion and seeing REO and
Pork and the Havana Ducks. He still has an old Ducks
album that he bought from them back in those days.
He's got a great website at Greatunclebill.com where
you can find photos of Chanute and of an outdoor 
concert in Bloomington, 1969.
Email Bill:  Bill@greatunclebill.com

Mike Rafferty writes: "What a great town Champaign was
to have grown up in during the 60's and 70's. Music was
everywhere--Ruby gulch, Dream Museum, Channing Murray,
Crystal Lake Park, West Side Park..." Mike remembers a 
band out of Chicago called Conquer Worm and he remembers
Slink Rand well, and Geyser who had an opera-trained
chic lead singer.  Mike's email: rafferty.2@nd.edu

 Mary, who also remembered 
Arrow Memphis, would love to know what happened to
them. She remembers Sticks, their drummer, who went on 
to dental school, Glenn, Denny and another guy she can't
remember. Anybody know anything at all about these guys? 
Mary's email: emmyci@consolidated.net

We all remember Greg Zimmerman from the Red Lion,
don't we? He sent some great photos below of him and
his Harley. Here's Greg's entire letter:

There were many "gatherings" in the basement of Red Lion for a "pick me up" during the late 60's and 70's. We would have some party after the joint closed and run the steam tunnels fried on acid. Oh, and don't forgot the two "Rock Festivals" that Azoff and the gang were involved in, one at Haywood, IL and other slated for Galena but moved to Iowa at the last minute. I worked security on the one in Iowa . Learned what a scam that whole scene was on the inside.

I managed the Red Lion after Bob Graham went to to open another one for Tyke. Things got weird as the cops closed in on the place trying their best to "turn" a few of our buds" so they could shut the place down for drugs. Tyke had an inside source that kept him informed and we always knew when the heat was coming. However, the locals got to one of our buds and Tyke tried to ban him and I quit because of the mess.

Irv and Tyke had interest in a huge place up by Lake Geneva where they brought in bigger acts for weekend mini rock fests. The law busted it for drugs and shut it down. Tyke died of a massive heart attack in his mid 40's which would have been in the late 70's I think.

About me:
I went into construction and have lived in many states managing projects. I now reside in
Kansas City as I came here to manage the construction of a Federal Courthouse. I am currently working on the renovation of the Kansas City Airport. Both of these projects required that I get security clearances from the Feds. <snicker> They must not have kept good records in the 70's. I have been married a few times and am soon to be single again. Now I live to ride when I am not at work. I experienced an "awakening" in 1989 and have found peace but still not very good at relationships however, my Harley accepts me as I am so I am happy. The last 15 years have been great and actually have brought me more freedoms than I thought I had in the 60's. The difference is, I can remember then clearly now. I am returning to the simpler life as we envisioned in the 60's and hope to soon be located in a warmer climate and spend the rest of my days riding, no more middle class values for me.

I have attached a recent pic of myself. I get back to often to see family and my sons and see some familiar faces when I venture out at night. They need a club like the Red Lion now. I spoke with Duke Tomato at a blues club here in KC a few years back other than that, I haven't seen much of the old gang unless I go to the Christmas jam in Champaign. How did Fallon get that sign? (Watch out Jimmie, I want that sign! LOL) 
Greg Zimmerman


Anybody remember the band Plush? They were booked 
through Blytham and spent time on the road with Guild.
Plush band members were: George Jacks, Tony Stough, 
Ron Kerst and Roger Prillaman.   rsongandpoem23@aol.com

Dan Nash especially remembers the Ship and the 
One Eyed Jacks, "But there were a few more bands floating around central Illinois worth noting. "Seven" featured Greg Guidry and his two sisters on vocals, and the Robinson brothers from Litchfield. The Robinsons went on to play with Frankie Valle for many years, and of course Greg had moderate success with his solo release "Over The Line". Then there was Slink Rand and IL MO Smokehouse hailing from Quincy. They really did kick butt. However, I think one of the best bands in the area during that period was a band of "Pork" Armstrong's called The Light Brigade. The keyboard player joined Rufus, I think, and the remainder became The Havannah Ducks. 

Take care - Jerry Brown   glbski@comcast.net

Terry Luttrell

I was the guitar player in Dynaflo after Curtis Hightman moved on to a band called "Frisky" with my housemate at the time, Dan Birney, later of Head East (bass)....I noticed in one of your pictures of the band, the bass player was still John (Polar Bear) Sauter, later replaced with Bob Nicol. What a great band, and we sure did have a lot of fun!...
...I've lost touch with Dan Birney, although  although I've heard that the band has been playing around some, ... (probably mostly new guys), so if you have a line on him, I'd truly appreciate it.

Highest Regards,
Chris Berbaum    chrisberbaum@yahoo.com

Daniel Wayne Birney, 52, Head East bassist from 1974 until 1980, died of cardiovascular disease on 9 August 2003 in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Dan Birney

This is me...Ron Kerst Drummer (72)


This is a picture of Plush as they appeared  @ Freddies in Westville Illinois, George Jacks, Tony Stough, Ron Kerst, Roger Prillaman.
Ron Kerst email:


Ron Kerst sent along this poem he wrote for Tony Stough
along with Tony's recent obit.

We got an email from Ron Kerst in the spring of 2015 when we requested confirmation of the email address. Here is what he had to say:

Dear Nancy , yes my email is still the same. I played with the band Plush back in the 70's. Unfortunately, George Jacks who played Bass and lead vocals..has since passed away. I still play some myself. .but am more focused on my songwriting. I have a song called, I Believe In Angels, which came in 2nd place in the Eurovision song contest in Iceland. you may hear it at, www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=741322 Ronald Kerst

Ron Kerst sent along this picture

Saw your page on Champaign and the music scene...brought back a lot of memories....I worked at the Red Lion from late 77 until it's close...also worked on and off for Starcastle...sorry to hear about Gary's condition....was on the road with them when they asked Terry Lutrell to leave, so saw his last show with them at Coe College in Iowa...also saw a reference to Screams...I spent several months on the road with them (opening for Aerosmith, Van Halen and a few others) after their first (and only album; produced by Terry)...the original band members were Dave, John, Steve, and Brad...no Tom Marshall, so not sure where that reference was coming from....but he wasn't a part of the Terry Lutrell produced album...
Also remember a few other bands...like Eargasm and the Boyzz for Illinois that played there in the late 70s...others too numerous to mention or too bad to remember....
Take care - Jerry Brown   mailto:glbski@comcast.net

Everybody remembers the Finchley Boys and what a great band 
they were. Jim Cole emailed the web site with these great 
old photos below. Jim's email: jcolemeridian@gmail.com 

The first one is from 1966 or 67 at Chances R.
Band members are: L-R Jim Cole, Glenn Cronkite (rear) 
Larry Tabeling, Mark Warwick, Steve Dyson, George Faber.
Middle photo is George Faber and far right is Jimmy Cole

Mark Warwick then, and in April, 2003.

Michael Powers, Larry Tabeling in center.
Mark Warwick and Tabeling on far right.

Thanks, Jimmy. Great photos of a great band!

Hi ,I don't know ya but a guy I saw last night at a blues gig at Central Park in Decatur IL (believe that?? free Blues in Decatur!??)any way he sent me to your site. I used to play drums with Curtis Hightman (Dynaflo) I'm not in any photos ...didn't play with them that long but also  a good friend of John Sautter (also in prev band with) .I went all through high school with Curtis and was told he was in Florida. Love to talk to him. I now own a motorcycle shop here for 30 yrs and am still where Curtis and I used to hang out or close by. Got any idea how to reach him through the band he is now with? mentioned at your site) Gotta tell ya,sure brought back LOTS of memories seein all that stuff at your website. I knew a lot of people from there though the music..".Pork" was one of them ..from the Ducks. Appreciate any help from you and thanks for great memories too by the way! Thanks.Terry..   http://www.terry-zone.com/

I thought you might like to see the band I'm playing with now's web site.  We're called the "Tons 'O Fun Band" and feature Pauli Carmen, former lead singer with Champaign and also with the Slink Rand Band and Coal Kitchen.  Also long time Champaign scene musicians included Scott Karlstrom who was the original bass player in Ginger along with myself on drums and who also played bass in the Water Brothers band.  Pauli and I were in the first Champagne band together, the predecessor to Champaign.

Larry Fredrickson LFREDRCKSN

I was Champaign based road guy in the 70's,
initially moving there from Wisconsin to work for Slink Rand, I also
worked for Starcastle, Freewheelin, Appaloosa, Faith Band, Roadmaster, Screams, did a house gig at Mabels, and the Lion. Pretty much mixed every band in town from 76 to 82 when I went home for rehab and an attitude adjustment.
Back on the road in 84 I did the Monkee's reunion tour, Dirty Dancing
Concert tour and an extensive stint with Bill Graham Mgmt. Eddie Money, George Benson,etcetc.
Just thought I'd drop ya'll a line--Dru, you still look like a million bucks! Anyway remembering thru the fog, there were some great humans in the community, (you know who you are) and I felt compelled to say hey---I'm still breathing and vertical and would love 
to hear from old friends.
Best Wishes, Jeff Waluch   

Photo of Jeff circa 2000 on the Winger tour.
"I have since lost 105 lbs on the Atkins Diet 
and have ceased shaving my head."

David Adams, the former lead singer of Screams writes, 
"We're the ones who were on Infinity Records and toured 
with Van Halen...we're mentioned on your site, and I have 
many friends who are a part of the wonderful nostalgia 
which you have assembled there." He sent along a recent 
photo of Jeff Ross, who was the manager for Screams.
David now has a business called Adams Custom Slide Shows

"PS:  I saw Bob Nutt a few months back playin' the ponies at the local 
off-track betting facility, if anyone's interested."

Jeff Ross 

This is one of two British singles we released. On the cover are listed the various dates we played on the Loud In The UK tour. We broke off from the Van Halen 
tour to go it alone in England. We did almost the entire 'Runnin' With The Devil 
Tour with them...48 sold out shows across the US and Canada. We also played 
with Joan Jett, David JoHanssen, The Ramones, Devo, Iggy Pop, plus more 
that I can't remember without thinking too hard.

David Adams, lead singer of Screams, chatting backstage to an unknown MCA/INFINITY Records exec in Leeds, England.

"This is an announcement flyer telling of an upcoming date at Max's Kansas City in New York. We played there with Devo, and Bowie showed up late in the evening wearing jeans and hiking boots."

David Adams leaning against a wall somewhere in Champaign circa 1977.

'This is our guitarist, Johnnie Siegle at a show we did with Iggy Pop at the Agora Theatre."

Great Photos, David!
David's email:  davidadams@mchsi.com

I recall being at couple of parties back in the day (in Champaign ) and meeting you.  Which is amazing considering that I'm not known for my memory.  I'm from a little town southwest of Champaign called Atwood, don't know if you are aware of it.  I hung out at the Lion and Chances R.  Your site is a big hypodermic of nostalgia for me.  I saw the picture of Quint from the Prunes on your site.  Oddly enough, a few years ago I was managing a software company here in Santa Barbara , and I needed to hire a network IT person.  I hired a guy named Ken Williams who was (and still is) the lead guitarist for the Electric Prunes and lives here is Santa Barbara as well.

  Thank you for the site, it is nice to find out what happened to the folks from the Green Street days.  I worked at York Electronics in Decatur for a while when I was in high school, and sold many of the musicians (Including Pork and Slink Rand) their equipment. 
Anyway, thanks again and best wishes to you.

Sincerely, Scott L. Ellis

Davis logos, Jack Davis, Lothar and the Handpeople

Bob Graham sent this link to me and really enjoyed seeing your
site-the old Red Lion band stuff in particular. I used to to play
bass with some of the early Lion bands including "Lothar and the
Handpeople," "The W.C. Fields," and "Uncle Otto's General Store" from 1965 thru about 1968. Also played with Terry Lutttrell 
summer of '66 in a pick-up band called "The Ice Blue Secret," 
and worked the back bar (the hard-liquor bar) at the Lion during 
the summer of '69.

I used to do a lot of Nutty Bob and Irving's fliers for band gigs, as
well as some band logos and logos for some of the businesses in town
at the time. I have lived and worked in Champaign since those days,
working as a freelance graphic designer. I saw Greg Zimmerman's
riding a Harley now. Me too, Greg, how's it going?

Included are a couple of images, one of "Lothar" at an Illini Union
gig in the fall of '65 (left to right: Jack Davis, bass; Frank Eiter,
drums; Steve Kniss, rythym guitar; Lee Neher, vocals; and Bill Fiorio
(yes, Duke Tomato!), lead guitar. The mug shot is a current photo of
yours truly. Also included are some of the early logos.

Jack Davis
Jack W. Davis / Graphic Designer

Would like to add a band to your pages...from Decatur IL.....
Bethlehem Steal from 1975 - 1979

L to R:
Tom Roseman (Clinton IL drums), Tim Clifton (Deland IL guitar). Gary Tull (vocals and guitar from Decatur IL now of Roswell GA), David Piatt (Clinton, IL lead guitar), Thomas J. Ehrmantraut (Decatur, IL now from Warrensburg, IL. Bass)

Greetings from Lincolnwood, IL:

In the late 60's I was a member of For Days and a Night and The Soul Machine from Chicago. But we would play everywhere from Ted's Warehouse (Charleston) to the Red Lion, Chances "R" and the UI All-Nighters at the IMPE Bldg. in Champaign. Along the way played at a club in Quincy called Positively Front Street that still had hitching posts in front of it (right on the Mississippi River). I remember playing the same circuit that all the bands you mentioned played, plus doing Rush St. and Lincoln Ave. clubs in Chicago as well. But as the years went by I took Jim Schwall's place with Corky Siegel, led a band for Doctor John and did the college and concert circuit along with some more of the people you had in the article. It brought back many great memories.   ...and more from Bobby Diamond below...

It's funny.
Your site was sent to me by Ron Kaplan, who played drums for:
Cryan' Shames
New Colony Six
Corky Siegel
Redwood Landing
All of a sudden so many of the clubs, schools, schools, colleges & festivals came to mind. I do remember that the club in Quincy/Peoria that was on the banks of the Mississippi was called Positively Front Street. But that was amongst many of the dates I played over the years. Feel free to put my letter & address on the site. I'm still active in the Chicago area, but play regionally when it's feasible. I even did session work at MCA's Universal City studios when Dick Eastman was on staff there too.
Bobby Diamond
Lincolnwood, IL   email:  Guitardr@aol.com

Jack Davis has sent a ton of great photos of the old bands.
They are shown below.   Jack@JackDavis.com

All Star Frogs--wow!

Conqueror Worm,  Enoch Smoky,  Esquires

Gadzooks,  Guild,  Lothar and the Hand People
(with Frank Eiter, Jack Davis, himself, 
Stephen Kastner, Bill Fiorio.

These photos kick ass!

Mackinaw Valley Boys, and One Eyed Jacks

It's the original REO! Wow!

What a kick! A big thank-you to Jack Davis for 
the magnificent old photos--great memories!

CHAMPAIGN- Mary Genevra Shirley, 54, of Champaign died Saturday (Jan. 8, 2000) at Ramrod Key Fla.
Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at University Place Christian Church, 403 S. Wright, C. The Rev. Deborah Owen will officiate.

The following letter is from Eric Madis

I came across your site on the bands around Champaign in
the golden era.  Great site!

I came to Champaign in 1972, when I transferred to U of I.
from Illinois Wesleyan U. in Bloomington.  I was around
Champaign for the next 6-7 years, off and on.

I played regularly at both the Red Herring Coffeehouse and
Channing-Murray Foundation as a solo, and also played in
groups (mostly blues and country) around the area. 

I led a little blues group in the mid seventies called Gutbucket,
with Mike Wyatt on piano, Harlan Smalling on bass and various
drummers.  Later that group became the Madis/Johnson Band,
with Robert Johnson on harmonica.  During some of this time,
I worked as a bartender and doorman at Ruby Gulch.  I was
there when it became Caputo's also, although after graduating
from U of I, I didn't work there past the end of the summer.

I also played with Rich Molina and Harlan Smalling (and others)
in a backup group behind a number of Chicago
Blues artists that would come to town (Sunnyland Slim, Walter
Horton, Carey Bell, Homesick James, etc.).

While I was still a student at U of I, in 1974, Jeff Kerr asked me
to join his newly-forming group the Jesse Ross Band , but I was
a student at the time and couldn't.  However, he and I remained
friends.  I have not heard from him in a few years.  I worked
in Champaign as a luthier (instrument builder and repairman)
and as a guitar instructor (blues and jazz) at Rosewood Guitar Shop
(on Green St. in Campustown) until 1978.  I actually
apprenticed for this with Roy Davis, who was a
bluegrass musician (banjo player) and played in a number of
groups, including Pat Burton and Appaloosa.  In fact, I also played
occasionally with Pat Burton, as well as with an old fiddler
in the area (a U of I professor) named Halbert Thornberry.

I remember all of the groups that you mentioned in your site,
and have wonderful memories of those days in Champaign.
I also remember many other bands, including Fool Killer, Appaloosa,
the Dixie Diesels, Mad John Fever (before they were Starcastle),
Memphis Underground, Coal Kitchen, and many, many more. 
Yes, the One Eyed Jacks were a cool band, as was Dynaflow. 
I wish I could remember some more names right now, but suffice it to
say, it was a fertile and fun period of time for music, not only
variations of rock, but all of the ethnic styles that influenced those hybrids.
Best regards,
Eric Madis    emadis@juno.com

(if you check out this website, make sure you go to my expanded
bio, which mentions Champaign, IL)

We heard from Eric in spring of 2015 when I contacted him to confirm the email address. Here is what he had to say:

Hi Nancy, Well, I have posters and maybe some photos of myself from that period, when I was playing in bands and doing a solo act. Unlike most of those musicians, I (at 61 years of age) am still making my living from music, still writing, performing, teaching and making records. But I do not want to use your site to promote myself. I really wish that I had some photos of some of those many bands from those days in Champaign-Urbana. But I was essentially a freak, a hippy, I did not own a camera and was not focused on preserving those times for posterity, for myself, much less for everyone else. I know that was common back in that day. And of course, there were no cellular phones or portable digital cameras to capturing and preserving those thousands of hours of creativity. But I actually have very sharp and vivid memories of that time. I not only was a musician in those days, but after I graduated from UI, I also worked as a doorman and bartender at Ruby Gulch and for a short time after it became Caputo's. I knew Tony Caputo and her original partner (can't remember her name now) personally. I knew Bob Miller, who not only managed Ruby Gulch, but who booked music in the early 70s for Channing-Murray Foundation and its downstairs coffeehouse The Red Herring, at which I played countless times. He later booked and promoted music for the Alley Cat and Panama Red's, the big club that was later built on Green St. about a mile north of Campus Town. People talk about the Red Lion Inn, and while the Red Lion had some good bands back in its early days, by about 1974, the Red Lion was more of a hangout for fraternity and sorority members. The hip club was Ruby Gulch. I know that some people were afraid to go in there, but it was a great place with great music. It was the only venue that was hip enough to book not only local country, bluegrass, blues, rock, country-rock, jazz and fusion bands, but they also brought in big names in all of those fields. I mean, did the Red Lion ever bring in Flatt & Scrugg or Charles Mingus? No way. Ruby Gulch was THE music spot for the time that it was Ruby Gulch. Tony (Caputo) tried her best, but Ruby Gulch was an iconic symbol of that short era of enlightenment. I also taught guitar and repaired instruments for Rosewood Guitar Shop, which was the all-acoustic, Campus Town branch of Champaign's biggest music store, CV Lloyd Music. Pat Burton also worked there as an instructor and Pat's ties with the bluegrass world were instrumental in establishing Rosewood as a hangout for the region's strong bluegrass scene and a stop-over for large national touring bluegrass acts when they were in the area. I was in the area from February 1973 until August 1978. - Eric Madis

Al York writes:

Wow, I got this site from a friend I barely know thru another, bud, but it's starting to sound familiar? small WORLD, I guess longevity does pay off, or "getting old is hell, but it sure beats the alternatives." I grew up around Cham-bana played with Sunsinger, Memphis Underground, & around 76-77 with Capt. Rat & The Blind Rivets (First incarnation it seems & True Capt. Rat). I've enclosed a couple of photos. I have many more along with many twisted tales of rock 'n' roll, the road, and an era like no other. Sex, drugs, & r. n r. doesn't really tell it all. Sex didn't kill you then remember, and your friends didn't ditch you when you overstepped the limits. The music, well, let's just call it the catalyst behind it all. Now, I wasn't in the first go around of these heavy heroes (REO, Esquires, Finchleys, but they did inspire myself, and comrades to keep trying. Plus so many groups were actually making it out of Champaign.

    We always said "Another one for the Book," but in reality after all these years it should be more like a screen play. Kind of a cross between Wayne's World, The Blues Brothers, The Rutles, Spinal Tap, and maybe Blows Against The Empire (Kantner/Slick) thrown in for special effects. Maybe use living members of all concerned throughout. Cameo it out like a big Mel Brooks production. Hey, it could give "Irv Limited", (the Danville Don) one last chance to honor Cham-bana musicians, and this time give 'em the decency of a reach around. Ah, but that's another story, not necessarily an Excellent Adventure?

     There are a few Illinois transplants here, and we're still carrying the torch for music. There was quite a spiritual movement of souls to Austin in the late 70's, and once again music helped to bring it all together. Head producer at Austin City Limits (A UT communications class) Terry Lacona is a U of I boy. See Austin City Limits Music Festival in the fall, check www.aclfestival.com The South by Southwest Music Festival (big schmooze) is March 16-20 this year (an annual event), check at www.sxsw.com . And of course we still have and love every farmers friend Willie!

    Sadly, I'd like to mention the passing of my friend, and lover of music Mary "Genevra" Shirley (Finchley Boys). I only saw the obit. on The News Gazette web page, but apparently she left us in Florida in 2002. I still see her in the beginning of The Monterey Pop Festival movie. She speaks of being from Champaign (Decatur), and gaining 
admission by wiping down seats. It makes me smile, Shine on Mary.
, Al York      Photos below.



Picture Info: Sunsinger (l-r) Tim Vear (Head Band/ Capt. Rat), me, Al York (Memphis Underground, Capt. Rat), Randy Scott (Head Band/Rats Back), Greg Saegesser (One Eyed Jacks/ Jesse Ross Band), John "Soy Bean Slim" Sauter (Dynaflo / Legendary Cactus Band/ Ted Nugent)  Taken after 11-4AM roadhouse gig at "The Roadrunner" in Carbondale, IL. 1974. This was really a good heavy rockin' band, but for some reason we were branded unmanageable (too big for our britches). Oh, well! We held killer jams at our Tolono Road farm house with the likes of Slink Rand, Paulie Carmen, and anyone who could wield a six-pack, & an AX. It was once heard said by a lady friend "There's never any food in your fridge, but you always seem to have two cases of beer to rehearse?" Yea, and your point? Since, I've learned beer is food, but food isn't beer. Ouch!

    Smokehouse- No longer The ILMO Smokehouse with back to front- John Sauter, Dennis Teiken, and Micki Free, circa 1974

    Dixie Diesels bumper sticker. These guys had already moved here a little over a year before me. All have now gone there separate ways or on to the Happy Hunting Grounds. Shawn Colvin remains, & still performs. The times they are a changing.

On the really weird side, the picture of Debbie & Dixie I have looks a lot like the ones on the Champaign page. I think this was a One-eyed Jacks summer in the park show. I once took their sister Nancy to a McKendree Spring/ Fleetwood Mac concert in Peoria. The 
good old Mac (Future Games/ Bare Trees) days. She must have thought I was just a dweeb kid. I was only about 18. Debbie & I danced away a few Red Lion nights of our youth. The road & time took care of the rest. I guess just reading and seeing your pages inspired me to respond in some way? It was cool, and reminded me of a time that will never be repeated, and only occasionally replicated by new or up coming acts.  34 years and people are still trying to top Jimi Hendrix. I love Warren Haynes, Joe Satriani, Sonny Landreth, and more, but they're still in The Jimi Hendrix (Jimmy Page) Era.

Al sent along more photos:


Subterraneans- Craig Neitfeld, Ted Hall, Al York, Pat Carpenter, Austin , TX . 1993

Capt. Rat & the Blind Rivets circa '77 George Dion Chris Patterson, Tim Vear, & Fred (Capt. Rat) Wisniewski. Tim left about a month after my arrival to play with his girl Kristen Lems.

I once played on stage with the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn, and have been a part of the Austin Godfather of Soul's W. C. Clark Blues Revue for a couple lengths of time. Also played with a nine-thirteen piece pre-"Weird Al" parody band called The Uranium Savages. Not to mention heading The Subterraneans (last incarnate enclosed) with good local success. Carp currently is in a group called Blue Midnight. Rich Harney (pianist) has a good jazz following, and may still be around. Al's email address is al.york8@twc.com.  

From Jeff Waluch--Just heard from Mark Spalding, who dug up this photo 
taken at Panama Reds circa 1980, when I was mixing Appaloosa.

Mark is on the left, I'm on right.
Also a Slink Rand update! We spoke last weekend, and his 
new band, "Dr. X" is moxing their debut record, and by all 
accounts, it ROCKS!... and will be available for Central Illinois 
consumption soon. Peace!!! Jeff   email: jeff.waluch@gmail.com

From Steve Purdy---

What a great site! You've documented so many of the great places & people who inhabited my 2 favorite places from the late 60's.....
Champaign & Hollywood .

  I was a singer in a band from downstate Illinois (The Otis Lamb Blues Band) in the late 60's and we used to play in Champaign every once in a while on the same bill with some of the great local bands...The Finchleys, One Eyed Jacks & Head East to mention some of the better know ones. I've included a scan here of a hand drawn flyer somebody made for a benefit we played there in the late 60's with Head East & Hound Dog Moses. We got to know so many of the characters & musicians from Green Street area & the clubs that I wondered if you or your readers remembered any of these people, places, etc.....

  Walter Buss....he was a student entrepeneur / rock promoter who was close with the Finchleys , particularly Tabe & George Faber's brother, Paul. He promoted some rock concerts in town (Humble Pie) & was rumored to be part owner  of at least one of the rock clubs in the Green Street area.

  Rick Blackwell & Earthworks......Rick & "Murph" (Terry Murphy's cousin or brother, don't know which) had the great store, Earthworks, that made custom leather clothes & accessories. I still have a fantastic pair of leather pants they made for me in '67 or '68 that cost me a huge $85 back then!

  How about a couple of the more obscure (but no less great) bands from Champaign.....a 3 piece power trio named "Mud" that played Hendrix-like stuff. I first heard the at The Brown Jug...they were HOT! Also, anybody remember a blues band called "The Gaping Huggers"? They were a band made up of "older guys"...probably in their late 20's !! One of the guitarists was rumored to be a professor.

  In Stitches......remember this hippie clothing store that was run by Tabe's (Larry Tabeling) girlfriend. It was farther west on Green Street , close to the underpass ???

  Those were some of the places & people I remember most from those days in Champaign & then I headed to Hollywood to "make it". I got there in the late 60's & proceeded to party way too much, pretty much forgetting about the music business. Lots of good times at The Whisky, Gazzarris & running in to people like Sky Saxon & Kim Fowley all over town not to mention a drunken Dennis Wilson at the old army surplus in Santa Monica . We used to get loaded & go out to The Apple Pan on West Pico & ran into Dennis several more times. More often than not, he was wasted but always nice to be around for a guy who was considered a huge star.

  I also remember a cool biker named Dana who used to cruise The Strip on his fantastic looking zebra-striped chopper all the time. Remember sitting right on the curb with him on Sunset, right in front of a store that made leather clothes for musicians, a rolling & smoking a fat one! Woudn't do that now!...

  I ended up marrying a beach babe from Santa Monica who used to frequent ALL the clubs . I pretty much lost 2 or 3 years (minimum) productivity after marrying her, considering all the time we spent getting totally wasted & fighting!!..

  Finally wised up, sobered up & dumped the beach babe & went back to Illinois . Stayed there a few years & headed for a warmer climate ( Arizona )...have been here 17 years now and still love remembering all the great times, characters & bands in those 2 fun towns. My youngest son is in a garage band (The Okmoniks) that travels & plays L.A. frequently. His band plays frequently with Sky Saxon & The Seeds & he ran in to Kim Fowley just a few months ago in Hollywood when Kim came to hear The Okminiks plays....guess SOME things never change.

  Here's an attachment with a small poster & I will send more if I can find them...........

LOVE YOUR SITE....KEEP IT GOING...... Tucson , Arizona     


More goodies from Steve Purdy.

I stumbled across your site a couple of years ago and always enjoy returning to it to see the changes. I was in C-U for about 20 years starting when I came from Vietnam in the Fall of 69.  I was part of 
a loose knit tribe of folks that centered around the Record Service.  Mike DeLise from Appaloosa is a close friend now living in Knoxville. Mark "Buzzard" Farlow, Finchley Boys roadie and Leather Shop co-owner is in Tucson.

I was sad to read that Mary Shirley had passed away and thought 
I'd send along a couple of shots from her Monterey Pop.
Mark Johnson, Athens, GA   mailto:markann@hotmail.com


Mark Lundquist sent the Skater/Bullets above.
Skater was formed when Jeff Hall amd Don "Moe"
Mosele, from Slink Rand, joined Larry Wigand and 
Mark Lundquist from Bullets.
Mark's email:  mwlinc@sbcglobal.net

More on the way...
Hey you Flatlanders! Send photos.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4!

Part 5