Click photos to enlarge
We have lost 2 friends.
Bobby Young committed suicide. (Anybody have any photos of Bobby?)
Rasta man died in his sleep 12-26-06. (Wrote for High Times.)
Here are two links for more details on Rasta man:
Here is a link to the C-U News-Gazette guest book for Jim Wilson. www.legacy.com/news-gazette/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId
It includes tributes from many of his old friends and more pictures.
I just fell across your web site and it really kicks ass. The Champaign pages brought back a lot of good memories. My name is Mike Leahy and back in the day (late 60's) I played rhythm guitar with a Belleville, IL based group called Kalliope. While I'm not sure if we played the Red Lion (age? brain cell deterioration?), I do recall some excellent times at Chances R. We also had a lot of fun at Captain America's in Nokomis and the Benld Coliseum...anybody remember those?
Mike Murry, the lead player from Kalliope, and I are still together and have been playing with a group called Four Play for about the last 10 years. I've attached a recent pic of myself (as if anyone might be remotely interested.)
I noticed some comments on the site regarding The Guild, Jake Jones, Full Moon Consort, and Arrow Memphis.
Chuck Sabatino passed away in 1994 or 1995.
Last I heard, Phil Jost and Joey Marshall were working for St. Louis Music, which manufactures Ampeg and Crate amps. Both live in Belleville. Phil is composing music and plays with a group called Sibling Rivalry. Joey plays occasionally, but has developed Parkinson's Disease.
Joey Truttman, whom I've known since we were both about 16, is a chiropractor in Belleville. He and Joey Marshall play out once in a while as The Sloppy Joes.
Steve Strayhorn plays with a St. Louis group called Uncle Albert. They've got a weekly gig here and have also toured Europe.
Sticks Maxwell, from Arrow Memphis, still lives in Belleville as well, but doesn't play anymore as his health seems to be going south.
A short Guild story: back when we were all about 16 or 17, Mike Murry and I had our first group, The Kids Next Door (I was the bass player then.) We were the house band at a joint called Scotty's, at the main gate to Scott Air Force Base outside Belleville. Mike McDonald and the Guild had a weekly gig at the Collinsville Ballroom (anybody remember that place?) and used to come out to Scotty's when they were done to catch the tail end of our show, sit in, and just generally try to pick up WACS. The funny thing I remember, though, was that during this period, Mike McDonald was doing all the Guild arrangements, but they wouldn't let him sing on too many songs....his voice was too high. Go figure.
Anyroad, thanks for the memories. If anyone would like to comment, add, or just kick back and reminisce, my email is:
I came across your web site called Hollywood Hangover, looking for a friend of mine, Rick Raines. My name is Chris Nugent, your sister and I knew each other back in the early seventies and went to CA together.
I was wondering if you remember Rick Raines, he was in a few groups-played B3, but I only remember (some gray matter cells have died watery deaths) the name, Nickel Bag. Pat Hammond played bass, Roy Milbrant (sp?) sang, John Phillips drums, I forget the guitarist, although I can see his face.
I remember being at your house/apartment? playing the piano with Raines, he was working the left side and I was hammering the right (something I do now in my political leanings) because I had a useless left hand. Anyway, he went to NuOrleens, or Bilioux, and I wonder what had become of him.
Thanks, Chris Nugent firstname.lastname@example.org
Say, whatever happened to Jake Jones or Fullmoon Concert? They were great bands who used to play at the Red Lion. I think they were from the St. Louis area. Thanks Dave Piatt
Someone just turned me on to your site, and I have to say it was amazing.... Blytham Agency was our original booking agent, and we played many of those Champaign clubs.
The Mauds are back!!!! After breaking up in 1971, the band re-formed in 2000. Now recording again, and playing nice venues in and around the Chicago area. In the studio currently working on CD album #2 since our reunion. HOLD ON I'M COMING, SOUL DRIPPIN' and KNOCK ON WOOD were our big hits back in the late 60's.
My name is Jim Retzer and I graduated from the U of I in 1968 with a degree in Graphic Design. I was never in a band, but the band I heard the most was Lothar and the Handpeople. In fact, all those guys were fraternity brothers of mine, as was Bob Nutt, if my memory serves correctly. Bob actually recruited me to do 8 1/2 X 11 fliers for appearances for bands like The Finchley Boys, One-eyed Jacks and Seeds of Doubt.
I've attached scans of some of the fliers. I was obviously influenced by the Bill Graham Fillmore posters of the era. I copied faces from album covers and turned them into high-contrast images.
My daughter, who's a junior at U of I right now thinks the fliers are "SO COOL, DAD", but you can be the judge.
Take care - great website, Jim email@example.com
Hi, An old musical buddy from those
Champaign days turned me on to your site. I played in a group called "The
Esquires" and we lived in Chambana and played the Lion, Chances R, 2nd
Chance and just about everywhere else. I look back on those days as some of the
best of my life. Oddly enough, I remember all or most of it and have lots of
stories to tell. How can I contribute to the site? I have some incredible
stories about those days and actually included many of them in a novelette I
wrote a few years back. There we all were: REO, One Eyed Jacks, All Star Frogs,
The Finchley Boys, Feather Train and the agents at Blytham Ltd. and on and on.
Have crossed paths with many over the years and the path continues. Still makin'
music in Illinois.
Thanks, Pat Glass-Guitars=Keys-Vocals Paterpull@cs.com
Red Lion Reunion Update--
The Red Lion Reunion at Fat City Saloon
in Champaign was
totally awesome! Bob Graham raised around $25,000 for
music in the schools.
Bob Graham in center. The other guys are familiar,
but don't know their names.
Diane Clow sent
in 19 photos shown below
Dru Vaughn sent in all the photos below:
Ron Light, our mystery man from San Francisco, wrote a
commentary on his first visit to Champaign.
Red Lion web site: http://www.redlioninn.info/
Need more photos! There were tons of people I don't
have photos of.
My email address: Hllywd4ever@comcast.net
Jesse Ross Band
Steve Powers sent along these shots of the band with
two drummers. I remember Bruce Hall, Jeff Kerr and Greg
Saegesser, but not sure of the names of the other two.
All those guys were soooo good looking. Well, all except for one.
Steve notes in his email that a band organized by Bill Fiorio
called Fat Water used to play at the Brown Jug and that
"Gary Richrath used to show up, sit in the front row, and watch
every move Fiorio made." Very interesting.
The Gaping Huggers were a rock band made up of 3 guys: Doug Livingston (guitar & keyboards), Tom Kelly (base & guitar), and J.C. Marshall (drums). Doug was a Physics major at the University of IL, went on to a career as a musician and now lives in Southern CA. Tom was a student at Purdue and also went on to a music career in Southern CA. I used to book the band into various gigs around Purdue in the late 60s - I was a student at Purdue then - Doug is my older brother. Both Doug and Tom also played for while with the One Eyed Jacks. I too have many good memories of those days - especially spending quality time at Chances R in Champaign. I think I have some of the old promotional pictures of these and some other local bands from the old Blytham Agencies.
Mike Pritchard writes:
Here's a scan (granted, not a really good one--grin) of a poster that features Rathskeller. This shot was taken in back of the Red Lion, shortly after they closed down. It's difficult to see in the photo, but we're standing & sitting in pile of chairs in back of the club. (you can just make out a chair leg sticking up in front of Gavin, front row-center)
I will keep looking for the original photo, which clearly shows the pile of furniture.
Pictured in the photo are (front row--left to right) Andy Burnett, Gavin Stolte and Brandon Stolte. Then (back row, left to right) Mike Pritchard and Jay Penn.
This was the version of the band that won the "WPGU/C.V. Lloyd/Studio One--Battle of the Bands" contest. At about the same time, we won Second Place in a contest sponsored by WLUP-FM, in Chicago. In addition, we won First Place in "Rockin' F Magazine's" (Japan) original band/music contest. That resulted in a trip to Japan for the band.
I can tell you what some of the guys are doing currently...
Right now, I'm working with Gavin (vocals) on a new project called "The Unpossible." It's a new band, and we're playing only our own original music. We're currently in the studio, working on the tracks of our upcoming CD. We have a publisher and a label! We're hoping for a fall/winter '06 release.
Brandon is in the Chicago area, putting his college degree to good use. He still dabbles in music, but I don't think it's anything serious.
Andy plays locally with a couple of groups, including his church band.
Jay keeps very busy with various real estate ventures. I haven't spoken to him for a couple of years, so I don't know if he's currently playing.
I know I'll be at the reunion, and I'll bet a couple of the other guys show up, too. It will be fun to see how many people might remember us after all these years. I'm betting someone will. Only a couple of months ago, I was backing out of a parking spot at the local grocery store...my window was down...and a woman walking by smiled and said "I remember you from Rathskeller."
I hit the brake and said "WOW!" "You have a good memory!"
She must not have attended any of our *legendary* parties....most of those friends don't remember much at all.
HA HA HA!
Regards to all!
Mike Pritchard (guitar--Rathskeller) firstname.lastname@example.org
I heard from Erik Krogh! He sent along some
great photos and writes:
I’m still living in the LA area (26 years now) and it’s been a blast to relive the memories from both Hollywood and Champaign. Great pictures and commentary from the survivors. So tragic to hear that so many wonderful friends have passed from this life: Ron Davies, Mary Shirley, Scottie Stephens, Carla, Gary,… We always thought we were immortal in those days.
Attached are a few scans of my collection of 70s memorabilia. The final scan is a recent shot of me now that I’m… over 40 ;-)
I will write a brief reminiscence of the good ole days in a couple of days. Looking forward to attending the Red Lion Reunion in August.
All The Best, Erik Krogh email@example.com
Erik with Frogs, 1971
Cooker and me in the trailer on north Neil I shared with Erik, 1973
Cooker and his producer, Dick Monda of Chick-a-Boom fame.
Dick was Daddy Dewdrop back then.
Postcard of Sunset Strip with Classic Cat in foreground.
Cooker in his Blytham promo photo
All Star Frogs promo photo
He's still one handsome devil. I wonder how he does that?
It's probably from years and years of being such a nice guy.
He was always such a beautiful person, inside and out.
I remember I used to sneak glances at him every chance I got,
but he was so gorgeous, and so sweet all at the same time.
Makes no sense.
The late 60s/early 70s was a great time to be in Champaign. C-U’s largest industry appeared to be bands. The supporting infrastructure was there: multiple booking agencies; music stores (e.g. Cracker and Albert’s “Great American Music Company”, C.V. Lloyds); the “Bandville” rehearsal studio in Bondville; clothing stores like “In Stitches”; and enthusiastic audiences that had not yet discovered video games or cable TV. It was a time when the center of social life was going to the bars to listen to music.
The first really memorable gig I played was with the former Seeds of Doubt at the C-U Rock Festival at Urbana High. The year must have been 1969. We were called either “Mud” or “Gold” then, and the lineup included Gerard Farrell, Scottie Stephens, Marty Alblinger, and me. Moby Grape was the headliner of the show, but only Jerry Miller was from the original group and it seemed like they just jammed.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play with Bill Fiorio and Johnny Phillips (drums) in version 2.0 of the U.S. Kids. The other band members were Kent Lecouris (Doc), James Klingelhoffer and Donnie Perrino (both from Bluesweed), and Aaron Woods. Bobby Bortz from St. Louis (the Blue) joined on drums later on. We started building momentum in Champaign and were on our way to play a week in Wisconsin when Irving Azoff, who was booking the band at that time, cancelled all of our gigs until we changed our name. Bill and Pat Hammond (the future Deepest LV) came up with the name “All Star Frogs” and wrote a funky little theme song to boot, which featured what one newspaper characterized as “a bizarre falsetto chorus” (la-la-la-la-la). We would play the “frog” riff for about twenty minutes while Doc led a conga line of participants from the audience in a one-two-three/jump-four dance. One night we wanted to see if we could derail the conga line so we would occasionally throw in a measure of 5/4 for fun.
Lonnie and the Lugnutz were hatched in the Blytham Ltd. Offices circa 1973. Ken Holden (“Big Tiny”) and David Wright (“Snake”) were booking agents; John McDowell (“Crusher”) was using the WATS line to locate car parts for the MG he was rebuilding, and I was looking for a band to join. Ken took a call from some high school that wanted to hire Dr. Bop and the Headliners but only had a budget of $500 (The Headliners went for triple that amount). Ken asked if any of us knew a 50s band who would agree to work for such low wages. We decided that, heck, we could put together a 50s band for one gig, pocket the cash, and get out of Dodge. We had a second $500 gig roll in before we’d ever rehearsed… We needed a name, and Lloyd Dees (Road Manager for the Frogs) suggested Lonnie and the Lugnuts. The name immediately resonated (i.e. we didn’t have any other ideas) and we went with it – with the mandate that we use a “z” to make sure that nobody thought that we were serious. I don’t think that I’ve ever laughed as much as I did with our little 50s group. We hadn’t finalized on a guitar player and needed a band picture, so we pressed some U of I student into service (you can see him inside the car on our first promo shot). We stabilized the lineup, added Lorraine Devon as a lead singer, and played a lot of one-nighters, many of which were in Wisconsin. One night at the Red Lion in about 1974, Irving Azoff asked us if some friends of his could play a couple of tunes. Naturally we obliged, and “the Pigeons” launched into “James Dean” and some of the other songs that they had just played at the Assembly Hall. They were, of course, the Eagles.
We should not forget two more of our number who are no longer with us. David Wright passed away in 1998 at the age of 51. He was with Mackinaw Valley Boys before he became Snake of the Lugnutz. Doug Bauer, who took over Blytham Ltd. in the early 70s, suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 49. They are missed.
Thank you so much for building this phenomenal site! It’s been a blast reminiscing.
All the Best,
Erik Krogh firstname.lastname@example.org
More photos from Erik below:
Hi, I just found your website, and especially the stuff about the Red Lion in Champain Illinois. Man...I was there a LOT. It was an awsome time in C-U for music! There will never be another time like it, I'm sure.
That's too bad, too...
While my old band never "officially" played the Red Lion (Rathskeller) we were certainly well known at that time. (we were just becoming popular, when the Lion closed down...) We did play places like Panama Red's and Studio One. We were at Studio One almost weekly, it seemed!
We won the huge Battle of the Bands there, beating out some popular groups like The Elvis Brothers! Not too bad, eh?
We have a cool story, involving REO. One of the cover tunes we did was "Back on the Road Again." It was a hugely popular tune for us, and our singer (Gavin Stolte) told this long story, where I would interact with various sound effects made on my guitar.
Apparently, REO heard about it.
On the way to a gig at Panama Reds, I was listening to a live concert--REO. I think they were someplace on the west coast. Anyway, the singer (Kevin Cronin--sp?) starts introducing the next song, and starts talking about this "band from back home, who's apparently made quite a show out of this next song..." And, they go into Back On the Road...
I nearly wrecked my car!!
It quickly became obvious, that he was talking about Rathskeller. They didn't seem to mind, either! (whew) Not too shabby, huh?
I do have a photo I'll have to scan and send to you. One of Rathskeller's promo shots was taken in back of the Red Lion, just after it had closed, for good. What a sad day.
There was a pile of tables & chairs in back of the place...we all stood & sat on and around the pile. It turned out to be one of my favorite promo shots of the band!
Rathskeller reunited briefly in 1994, with our "reunion show" held at the Silver Bullet Bar (eh, before they had female dancers--grin). A lot of people must have remembered us, because we shattered the clubs all time attendance record!! People were waiting outside, for a chance to get in. Very cool, indeed.
Rathskeller is gone now...though we will sometimes joke around about another reunion....someday. I see some of the guys often and some, only occasionally. Another reunion may be a long shot, but hey....you never know. Right?
Currently, I'm working on a new project with the former lead singer from the band (Gavin Stolte). Writing with Gavin is almost like old times again. What a ton of fun!!
You bet we'll be at the big reunion! Wouldn't miss it!!
Regards to all,
Mike Pritchard (founding member/guitarist--Rathskeller)
I'm not sure who I am e-mailing, but I was enthralled by your web-site. My name is or was Jeanne Bauer, (now is Jeanne La Fayette).
I was married to Doug Bauer who owned Blytham in the 70's. I went to see so many of these bands because it was Doug's job. Not a bad gig, right! Talk about a walk down memory lane. I met so many of these guys and recognize almost all of the band names. I would definitely like to attend the Red Lion reunion.
The Red Lion in Champaign was my home away from home.
Doug and I spent many a night there. I remember the night we had a table roped off because it was Doug's birthday (5/18/51) and his graduation from the U of I. It was quite a celebration! Lots of Champagne in Champaign!
We lived in Champaign from 1972-1984. We had two sons born there. My oldest son Brett was kind of the Blytham mascot. He graduated from the U of I so my road has led back there quite often.
The sad news is Doug Bauer passed away on November 6th, 2000. He knew all of these guys and would enjoy reading about all of the old bands he booked.
Remember the Dance Marathons! We drove Harry Chapin to the airport. God rest his soul also.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading about all the bands that Doug and Blytham booked.
If anyone wants to e-mail me my home e-mail is: email@example.com I would love to hear from anyone that has a memory of Doug Bauer. He was the best and his children and I miss him everyday. We love hearing stories about him. I have some old promo in my basement from a lot of these bands. I will go look and see what I can come up with for your website. I also have tons of reel to reel tapes of these bands. I sold most of the band t-shirts at my garage sale for $.50 before moving from Champaign back to Schaumburg. What was I thinking!
Anyway, here's to the good ole Red Lion and Champaign days! I remember them well - what a special time it was.
Thanks for sharing. be well, Jeanne Bauer La Fayette
I was just curious if you knew Doug Bauer from Blythem
at all? He was my father and he passed away just over 5 yrs ago. Cracker shares
a few stories from those days, but that is about it. I would love to hear more.
If you didn't know him, don't sweat it. Maybe I will figure out a way to get a
hold of Irving Azhoff. :)
Thank you very much, Brett R. Bauer firstname.lastname@example.org
The web site is great. I was involved in the prehistory of most of this stuff, singing with the Seeds of Doubt, 1965-68. The Seeds were, I believe, Bob Nutt's second band, after the Finchley Boys. The Battle of the Bands advertised on the accompanying poster (must have been 1966) was kind of Blytham's coming out party -- and took the teen band scene (as opposed to the campus scene) to a new level. A great night. Packed house, the bands going back and forth trying to top each other. No official winner, but we're pretty sure we won. The original Seeds of Doubt (grown out of the Mystics) were Gerard Farrell (lead guitar), Jim Spencer (bass), Stevie Meyers (drums), Marty Alblinger (rhythm guitar and later drums), Scott Stephen (who died in 2001 -- guitar and co-lead singer -- I needed help), and me. Gary Butts and Dave Smith were the guys we called our roadies and as much as part of it as anybody. Finchley Boy Jim Cole played with us for a while. Great guys and great days.
Thanks a lot.
Guy Maynard Eugene, Oregon email@example.com
Seeds [1966: clockwise from far left: Gerard, Scott, Stevie, Spence, Me, Marty}
bandbattle003 [from left -- me, Marty, Stevie, Gerard, Spence, Mike Powers, Larry Tabling, Mark Warwick, George Faber, and Jim Cole]
The rest are probably late ¹67, early ¹68 heyjoe10:67 We did a good cover of Hey Joe
2lagrange12:67 Me, Cole, Spence
2rchs:11:67 Me & Scott
lagrange12:67 Cole & Scott
I am out of the L.A. scene of the mid to late seventies (Bluebeard). Barry Fasman (my partner) was in the One Eyed Jacks. He is still close with Azoff and Carr. Anyway, recent photo attached (we opend for Blue Oyster Cult a few weeks ago).
Polar Bear was the greatest. I remember when he played with Dynaflo at a small bar on Green and 4th - can't remember the name - and during the second (?) set he always did a solo. Everybody knew and the place would fill up to see him play. All of REO would be by whenever they were in the area Then there was Alan Hightman as well. I used to travel with Alan and John Sauter up to Chicago when they played with Eddie Taylor and Sam Lay.
Yes, EriK Krogh was Lonnie (Lonnie & the Lugnutz) - used to work on his MG Midget. John McDowell was the piano player, had hair down past his waist. His dad was (is) a music professor at the U of I. I believe the family is still in Champaign. John went back to college and studied music after Eric left town for LA.
And what about Cracker who owned Great American Music. REO used to practice in the back of the store. Fairchild was born of some local folks. Connie Fairchild was the singer, pianist, and harp player. David wrote the songs and played bass. Curtis played lead with them for a while. Then David and Connie played backup for Megan McDonough for a spell, moving back to St. Louis and playing as Fairchild for a while. They had a boy, Sam, probably 30 years ago.
Erin Isaac was a female singer/songwriter, friend of Thom Bishop, booked by Doug Bauer of Blytham. She had to go back to help with the family business outside of Chicago. She was one of the 'Rivettes' with Capt'n Rat in the early days back at Mabel's on Green Street.
Ah, you take me way back
Mike Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
What a terrific web site! What an amazing musical history out of Champaign! I was there for a tiny part of it. In the summer of 1965, my college band was playing at a club in Merritt Island, Florida, and Bill Fiorio took over for my drummer, who had to report to the military. Bill played his butt off for us. Bill was interested in learning the guitar, and during the day I taught him some licks. I think I started him out on "Honky-Tonk." Little did I know then what he would be doing with a guitar in just a couple of years. In 1967, out of grad school at the U. of I., I was recruited into a band called The Rising Sons by Kip Smith, who ran the guitar department at Lloyd's Music. The band played mostly out-of-town gigs and private occasions, and I remember a few gigs at the Chevron Club at Chanute AFB. The members were Bill Bales on bass, Greg Bambick on drums, Eddie Price, vocals; Kip Smith, rhythm guitar and trumpet; Mike McKenzie, keyboards and trumpet, Dave Lewis on keyboards and sax, and me on lead guitar. It was a pretty strong band, but other than a night or two in The Red Lion, we never played the clubs in town. Maybe that is why I became disenchanted with it.
In the summer of 1967 I departed The Rising Sons and formed The Ice-Blue Secret (credit both the name and the drum head art work to Jack Davis.) This band was much stronger, with Terry Luttrell as our lead singer, Jack Davis on bass, Steve Brakebill on drums, Mike McKenzie on keyboards and trumpet, Dave Lewis on keyboards and sax, and me on guitar. This band also played out-of-town gigs, but we played a dozen or so gigs in Chances R and The Red Lion. I was about to enter the USAF, so my time with this very enjoyable band was limited. My replacement was Bill Fiorio, who had surpassed me as a guitar player in just two short years. The band changed its name to The W.C. Fields. And so it goes.
A highlight for me in the summer of 1967 was a week-long appearance by friends of mine…the legendary Chicago band, The Exceptions, at Chances R. The band was Peter Cetera ("Chicago") James Vincent ("Aorta," "Rotary Connection," "Lovecraft," "Santana," "Azteca,") Jimmy Nyeholt ("Aorta," "Rotary Connection") and Billy Herman ("Aorta," "New Colony Six"). And, they brought a 3-piece horn section with them. I am still in touch with all of them except for Peter Cetera, and I collaborated with James Vincent on his autobiography. (visit www.jamesvincent.net) Anyone interested in this group can feel free to email me at email@example.com. Again… a great web site, and thanks for allowing me to add my two cents. On a final "note"… I'm still playing.
Attached are photos of The Rising Sons and The Ice-Blue Secret (at Chances R)
The Rising Sons: L to R: Bill Bales, Mac Macoy, Kip Smith, Mike McKenzie, Dave Lewis, Eddie Price (not pictured - Greg Bambick)
The Ice-Blue Secret: L to R: Jack Davis, Mac Macoy, Terry Lutrell, Steve Brakebill, Mike McKenzie, Dave Lewis
Photo Left to Right: James Klingelhoffer, Dave Lariviere, Perry Hamilton, Tom Thady, Donnie Perrino
In 1969, Bluesweed was created by veteran rockers Tom Thady, Dave Lariviere, Donnie Perrino and Perry Hamilton, with James Klingelhoffer as vocalist. The band lived together in a then-isolated house on South First Street, commonly referred to as "The Farm". They spent the summer creating what was to become a powerful blend of reworked standard blues, rock and original songs. Their mixes created a unique sound, with longer solos by Thady (guitar) and Perrino (keyboards), accented by the sometimes-haunting voice of Klingelhoffer. The "bottom" provided by the rythmn section carried the band into areas undiscovered before Bluesweed, including a cappella solos amid the driving force of improvised blues/rock, with Hamilton and Lariviere providing the basic glue.
Also involved with Bluesweed and a well-known local figure was "Bone" (Jim Sanantonio), artistic, a bit moody, a little bit scary and one of the C-U goodguys.
The music scene in C-U from 1967-1972 was fueled by a number of venues available for rock
Dave Lariviere/Perry Hamilton
What a joy to discover your website and remember the Champaign-Urbana music scene. I was a high school student in Champaign, graduated from Centennial in 1973. I went to high school at Centennial with Bruce Hall, Glen Taylor and Tom Garza. Randy Sadewater, Bill Humphrey and John Biehl played a lot of guitar around the high school also.
During my junior high years in the late sixties I remember REO playing in the park district for free with Gary Richrath, Bluesweed, the All Star Frogs, Head East, Feather Train and others. Bruce Hall was in a band called Purple Haze in those years with Dick Harney on rhythm guitar and Bruce Cunningham on lead. It was an astonishing time culturally because there was literally a band practicing in someone's garage on every other block. The First United Methodist Church in downtown Champaign hosted a lot of gigs for teenagers in their gym, usually totally dark except for several black lights. A variety of other venues for teenagers who couldn't go to the bars came and went in downtown Champaign, including the Open Arms Inn. I saw the Finchley Boys at another when they returned from LA.
I remember going to see the One Eyed Jacks at Urbana High School. Their opening act was the Gutter Blues Band, whose members were all thirteen years old. The lead guitarist, Matt Stewart, was sick that night so the group played as a trio, with the bass player on guitar. This was the first time I heard Jack Bruce's "Theme For An Imaginary Western" and they were just great. Matt Stewart went on to be involved in a lot of great bands.
In the late sixties there was a great rock festival put on with lots of local and national acts. Moby Grape was there. It took place, I think, in the Urbana High School gym, shifting between two stages, Friday and Saturday.
One of the best bands played around in 1972, doing a lot of Zeppelin covers and original blues material; they were called "Stud Mouse." Four musicians, lead singer also played the flute, with guitar, bass and drums. The guitarist was incredible. I can't find information on them anywhere but they were very, very good.
Another great band that played a lot on campus - I've forgotten the name - that did a Sly and the Family Stone blend of jazz, blues and funky soul with beautiful long improvisational jams. Two guitars, bass, drums, three white men and a black guitarist who actually played through a Leslie organ cabinet, which gave his guitar a soaring chorus effect similar to a Hammond organ. At that time this was the only way you could get that effect; now it's a standard, little box.
There was a division in those days between electric and acoustic guitar players. Dan Fogelberg is probably the best known of a number of acoustic guitar players that congregated around the Red Herring coffeehouse at Channing-Murray. Some incredible acoustic musicians were a part of that. A lot of them bought their guitars from Skip at Axe-in-Hand on campus for years, right next to the old Thunderbird Restaurant. The other place to shop was CV Lloyde's in Champaign.
I went to college out of town in 1973 and lost touch after that. Thanks for the memories!
David Kueker firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been enthralled with your
website. I was a small part of that scene just years later. LOL In the late 80's
I took my turn with Pork and The Havana Ducks. Those were the days...Donnie
Markum on EVERYTHING..Wild Child Stockard (Rufus, Ike Turner) on keys and
Winstons..Myself on Drums (year one) Myself on Bass (year two). and of course
Pork,...or Pork lite we used to call him when he lost all of his weight. Playing
in Decatur and in Bloomington and god only knows where else. That is when I got
to meet Krobar for the first time. I now live in Indy and spent the last 5 years
as Musical Director for Henry Lee Summer and various session work. I get to see
Bill (Duke) every once in a while. Again thank you for REAL nostalgic trip back
to when music actuall lived and breathed. Keep it up. Larry May Keyboardist,
Guitarist, Engineer email@example.com
Larry Jacobs, original drummer for the Mackinaw Valley Boys passed away on February 19, 2006 of kidney failure. He was 56. He had also played for such bands as the Cobblestones, Shattertones, Appaloosa, Gold, the Jacobs Brothers Band, Fleet Street and J.J. and the Jets.
Jim Jacobs firstname.lastname@example.org
I was recently turned on to your web site and must say that I am absolutely enthralled by what you have done. Being a native Illinois Boy (from Granite City) and living in Danville for quite a while this brings back so many memories. I am wondering if you could help me though. One of my very best high school friends became a professional musician. This I only recently found out and regrettably lost touch with him since college. His name is Denny Henson and I know he was in The Guild. I know this because I once saw them perform. Denny went on to be the main front man of a group called Fools Gold, the live band for Dan Fogelberg. This group also recorded several albums of their own and Denny went on to become a successful session man in Nashville and at one time a member of The Remingtons with the late Jimmy Griffin and Richard Manegria.
Here is my interest. Do you know the names of the band members of The Guild? Do you know how it came to pass that Denny became known by Dan Fogelberg to be in his band? Was any of the following guys musicians on the Illinois scene. These guys were the other members of Fools Gold. Tom Kelly, Doug Livingston, & Ron Grinell.
Ever since discovering that my friend rose to a fairly prominent place in the music world I have been driven to find out as much as I can and haven't been able to get much details. I know this may be a stretch to ask you but it means a great deal to me.
Thanks for any help, Dan Shipp Danspics@msn.com
Your website is great! What a great medium for bringing
friends and musicians together after so many years! Attached is a 70's photo of
Tamarak at the Champaign Red Lion (note the giant kegs in the background!). Lead
singer, John Kellogg of Tamarak and Combo Audio fame, is an executive for Dolby
Labs. Bill Porter (lead Guitar) has produced several solo CD's, still performs
blues/rock, and competed in the 2005 International Blues Competition in Memphis.
Thanks for keeping the Red Lion Circuit alive! It was a wonderful scene and I
feel fortunate to have been a part of it! Bill Porter bporter@BluesBlowtorch.com
In another email Bill writes:
I'm a Red Lion (Champaign, Bloomington, DeKalb Red Lion, Panama Red's and Ted's Warehouse) survivor. Thanks to the good Lord, I'm still jammin' after all these years! Photo is attached. Tamarak ran into all the Blythm bands on the road and it was a great time to be alive. We all shared a common goal, which was to make music that we believed in! I thought the San Francisco music scene was cool because the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane united to raise money for a good cause with a charity softball game. That spirit of a cool music community in Central Illinois would later manifest itself when I lamented the loss of my guitar tool kit (spare strings, hardware, etc). It was lost after a hectic stage changeover at Mother's in Chicago with Tamarak, Angel, and Off Broadway. A few nights later, as we were setting up our Marshall amps and drums at a gig at the Champaign Red Lion, Howard "Mo" Moselle, the excellent guitarist from Skater, appeared with my forgotten guitar toolbox. Skater had played at Mother's the following night and Mo was gracious enough to retrieve my toolbox. How cool! That exemplifies what the music scene was like in Central Illinois. We all pitched in to help each other. What a great time to be alive and makin music!
A brief listing of bands on the Blythm circuit is:
Jesse Ross, Free Wheelin, Slink Rand, Bullets (Silver Bullet), Tamarak, Screams,
Water Brothers, Coal Kitchen, Head East, All Star Frogs, Ginger, the Guild,
Conqueror Worm, and many more. Stay in touch brothers and sisters!
Bill Porter bporter@BluesBlowtorch.com
Hey, What a web-site!!!!!!!!!!!!! My name is Roger Bogan, I Played in a group called " THE CHANG'IN TYMES" back in '67'. We did small gigs, and worked with Bob Nutt a little. I think the biggest gig we did was the 4th of July celebration at the stadium. About 5000 people. Not bad. I grew-up with Bruce Hall. Our familys used to live in a du-plex in Champaign. I was able to spend some time with Bruce last summer(2005) in Nebraska and Iowa. He introduced me to Dave Amato. (great guy). Dave took me back-stage to check all his guitars. I see you know a little about " THE WHISKY" in L.A." Did you ever hear of a band called "BLUEBEARD" they played there several times. My cousin, DAN BOGAN, was and still is the drummer for BLUEBEARD. Dan is from Champaign. You can check there site at www.bluebeardmusiccom. They also have a link for another co. they own that is doing very well. Back to "THE CHANG"IN TYMES" a bit. We played at chances R, the lions den, warmed-up the "JACKS" at st. pats, Matoon beach, the "CATATONIA" (decatur) Our big one was warming-up the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE at Indiana beach in 1968. I still have a copy of the contract. Also on your site you mention the "CRYAN' SHAMES" from Chicago. Those guys were good friends of mine. Once again, Thanks for a great "CHAMPAIGN" web-site....................ROGER BOGAN email@example.com
I wuz there! Kane Williams, formerly of Gibson City, ILL Those days were the greatest! Garcia's Pizza Rules! Rancho Punko Pi Zappa Crappa What parties! I was too young to get into the bars back when REO and Slink were playing out but my brothers went pretty often. I used to see the bands at the outdoor shows, crash campus parties, go to the Assembly Hall shows, and stumble down the pavement at the street parties. Lotsa fun. My friends in college used to flip over the Domino's pizza cars and steal pies. Nuts.
wow. love this site. I lived about a 100 miles or so south of Champaign in a little town called Olney. we put together a pretty good music scene (for the area) during that time. I did most of the bookings. people knew me as squeak. the Finchley boys and the esquires and the one eyed jacks were really big down there. also took note of the letter from Steve Purdy of the Otis lamb blues band. his sister was my age and we went to school together. I remember in the first grade being invited to our teachers house. just her and me. their lead guitarist was also from Olney and was fantastic. I was googling the Finchley boys a few months ago and the rock festival near there. George Faber is living in Minneapolis now and still doing music. we said hello by email a couple of times. I also saw him a couple of times when I was living in Carbondale. I stopped doing the music scene after I got married the first time. music would have been more fun. then I left the big town of Olney to go to school in CarBONdalay. studied political science and philosophy with the goal of law school so that I could defend the poor and down trodden. that never happened...wrote poetry for awhile....got married the second time...had twins....went back to school and became a paralegal. I work with low income folks in St. Joseph, mo. just north of Kansas City. anyway, it is really great to look at the old band pics. I used to have a ton of them...all the groups from Champaign and Chicago. unfortunately, they just kind of "faded away" through the years. I'm not sure what happened to them but I think they disappeared at the hands of a vengeful former spouse? there was certainly good music in those parts around that time. hope you keep this sight going. John Keiffer aka: squeak Keifferjm@aol.com
My Two Cents
I've enjoyed reading the contributions to this site. They are interesting and well written, and they tell a good story. Since I lived in Champaign from 1962 to 1973, they brought back a flood of memories. I got such a buzz from reading these gems that I couldn't resist offering my own contribution--not from the perspective of a musician but from one who was just an observer and enjoyed the scene.
I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois in the late 60s when I started hanging out at the Red Herring, drinking coffee, looking for girls, and listening to music. One night I ran into Frank Pytko, who had gone to the same high school that I had and was now playing with Buffum Tool Company. We starting hanging out, and he introduced me to Jim Corbett and Gari Pini, who were also deep into the local music scene. Soon enough I found myself joining these guys at the clubs.
For me, it was great fun. I was a night owl, and there was plenty of time for my studies during the day and for the club scene at night. We saw a lot of bands at the clubs and a lot of other musicians at the Red Herring who made good music and were on their way up. Often we topped off the night with pancakes, coffee, and conversation at Uncle John's. Those were the days when you could drink a gallon of coffee after 10 and still fall immediately asleep at 2 or 3 a.m.
I left Champaign in 1973, bouncing around the country in temporary teaching jobs, but until I got married in 1980, I always came back to Champaign in the summer. I saw a lot of Skater when Jim and Gary produced them. After landing a permanent job in Nebraska in 1978, I drove to Des Moines several times to see Skater, and they even played a gig in my new home town. I was thrilled since it was like bringing a little bit of Champaign to tiny Wayne, Nebraska.
I want to thank everyone for contributing their memories to this site. I hope to see more. I find the good writing especially gratifying because my students-college students, mind you-can't write worth a lick because they never read anything. In fact, in a moment of frustration I recently asked a freshman class how many had ever read a book. About three quarters eagerly raised a hand. This was doubly deflating, not only because fully a quarter would not own up to ever having read a book but also because those who had acted like they deserved a merit badge.
A special thanks to Nancy/Simone for opening this door to Champaign's Golden Age.
DR/Duke/Don Hickey firstname.lastname@example.org
The following was sent in by Frank Pytko:
The band was originally called The Barbarians. Their first drummer of note was named Snake Larsen, and when he left the band they auditioned a few drummers, including me and this guy named Alan Gratzer. I got the job, based mostly on the fact that I had longer hair than Alan did. Image was very important in 1965. Alan then hooked up with Neal Doughty, formed REO Speedwagon, and the rest is history.
Buffum Tool Co. headed west to San Francisco during the Summer of Love and did a three-week stint at The Matrix while camping out in the Steve Miller Band’s attic. Fame eluded us. On returning to the Midwest, Phil Ross left the band to pursue a career in graphic arts and was replaced by singer Brian Cook and bassist Larry Minton, formerly of Somebody Groovy (with guitarist Garret Oostdyck, post-Finchley Boys).
One of our most memorable gigs was substituting for Otis Redding at Ken Adamany’s club in Madison, WI. Otis had just crashed into Lake Michigan, and the crowd showed up expecting Otis, and instead got six white guys playing folk rock. Imagine their surprise. We survived that one and went on to sub at the same club for Moby Grape when they didn’t show up for some reason. Sorry, no refunds.
Donald McCrea Kennedy adds: “...that's probably it, unless you want to recount that, after four years of gigging, and having decided to hang it up, we played a packed farewell gig at the McKinley YMCA gym, to our throng of adoring fans, and then foolishly played one more gig - a high school dance in Dixon, Illinois, where, afterwards, we had to defend ourselves with mace while fending off an attack from some 30 or so drunken redneck factory workers of that fine town.”
The Feathertrain photo was taken by legendary Champaign band photographer Arnie White behind the U of I Auditorium after we did a concert there. Pictured are Bruce Hall, Frank Pytko, Dana Walden, Larry Mitchell, Gary Richrath, and Freddy Fletcher. Note the Finchley Boys graffiti along with other colorful language on the truck door. Also, note the bell bottoms.
Michael Walkup, Feathertrain’s original guitarist, had a story earlier on this site about how Feathertrain recruited Gary Richrath and got him to Champaign. I would add a couple of details:
Irv Azoff, our agent at the time, told us about this great guitar player in Peoria named Gary Richrath. We arranged to meet him at a gig in (I believe) Peoria, he sat in for a few tunes, and we asked him to come to Champaign to audition. At the time, we were also courting Bill Fiorio (the legendary Duke Tomato before he became The Legendary Duke Tomato) so, as crazy as this sounds, we held the audition with Gary and Bill at the same time. Kind of a battle of the guitar players. This turned out to be an INTENSE jam session with Gary and Bill trading riffs for an afternoon in a cold warehouse on Chester St. across from Chances ‘R’.
Bruce Hall was in high school around this time. It was customary for Irv to get us these last-minute jobs somewhere out of town, so we would go to Bruce’s school, get him out of class and spirit him off to the gig. Bruce’s mom was always OK with this - very cool, Mom.
I finally hung up the drumsticks and, after decompressing at Discount Records for a couple of years, I became a computer programmer. The upside of this was a steady paycheck. The downside was that there weren’t a whole lot of babes hanging around the backstage door waiting for the programmers to come out.
I did have the good fortune of hanging with the REO boys during and beyond the Hi Infidelity days. The graciousness they showed their old cronies was unbelievable. Thank you Alan, Bruce, Kevin, Neal, and Gary (and Nancy Taylor, Tom Consolo & John Baruck) for some really memorable times.
I also got in and out of trouble with Skater when they were managed by Jim Corbett and Gary Pini. I even went on the road with them for a week when I took vacation from the mundane computer job. I got to vicariously relive the glory days of endless hours riding across the flatland in a car, going to sleep at dawn, and getting up after noon, lugging amps - you know the drill - but, unfortunately, still no babes dying to meet programmers. Anyway, thanks Moe, Mark, Larry and Jeff. (And Jim. And Gary. And Larry & Jethro, et.al.)
Frank Pytko Santa Fe, NM December 2005 email@example.com
Jim, Duke and the King contributed to this report.
paul sabuco forgot to mention the guitar player who
donated the most to nix86 in champaign pt. two. his name was tim clifton nd he
played with bethlehem steal featured in champaign part one. i would really
apreciate if you could mention this in part 2. i think tim deserves to be
recognized also. a former and present band member with tim.
yours truly dave piatt. firstname.lastname@example.org
greetings...........our old drummer from the champaign days just sent me the url to your site...........some amazing stuff...........i just thought i would write and introduce myself..........i grew up in champaign as my father was a professor of art at the u of i for years..........i had a band in high school called THE TORQUETTES..........two guitars, bass, drums, and three horns..........then, for several years, in the college days, i was the lead singer and guitarist with a band that evolved from THE BARBARIANS into the BUFFUM TOOL COMPANY..........although we gigged a fair amount in champaign, we were more often on the road, playing throughout the midwest, including alot of chicago clubs, and wls sock hops, etc., and also two summers in a club in the rockies in colorado, and then a month gigging in san francisco in the summer of love, '67..........we were managed by ken adamany out of madison, wi. where he had a great club called THE FACTORY........ken went on to manage CHEAP TRICK (he still does).........back in the sixties, his big act was steve miller...........you mention terry luttrell alot on your site........i knew terry in high school, we played a few pickup gigs back then, i think out at club 45..........among the members of our band were frank pytko on drums...........gerry smith on lead guitar was our main writer (we did mostly original material, which set us apart from most of the groups in champaign then, who were all copy bands)........gerry is still writing and recording in chicago...........rick thady also sang lead with that band..........rick is living and still gigging some in nashville...........phil ross was the bassist.............he lives in chicago and works doing graphic design..........brian cook was also a singer and guitarist with us.........brian still lives in champaign..............after we worked in s.f. that summer, we came back and the band held together for another year.........i then moved out to san francisco in '68.........i have continued making music........apart from the 25 years where i also worked as a photographer, with a studio in sausalito and then in the city, doing alot of fashion work, and then alot of shooting for various film directors, like george lucas and john korty, i still worked in bands..........in the seventies, i spent a few years on the road with COMMANDER CODY AND HIS LOST PLANET AIRMEN and the spinoff group THE MOONLIGHTERS..........over the years i have written some thousand+ songs, with some recorded and performed by other artists...........my present band MINiMAL just completed production on our first cd entitled MISSISSIPPI.......the group is myself on vocals, guitar, mandolin, and banjo, with a young british guitarist, gawain mathews, also doubling on other instruments, a tuba player, and a drummer, with a five piece horn section....i use my middle name now, but that's me up there on the jukebox............you might check out our website:www.mechanicalarts.com........click on the MINiMAL page......perhaps click where it says "lyrics" to see the lyrics for the album...........i would be happy to send you a dub of the cd, if you're interested................at any rate, keep up the good work.......you have done a knockout job of documenting both the champaign scene and the l.a. one, as well(the only times i gigged in los angeles were a few gigs at the PALAMINO)............and let me know if you have room on the site for more photos, i could dig out some i have here in the archives............don
donald mccrea kennedy
Hello , hello everybody , What a great C-U site ! I was there for most of the fun from the mid-seventies on. I played my first " real " gig at the Lion in a band called " Playthings " opening for Screams ( who used to actually rehearse in my basement in Rantoul for a time ). When Screams broke up ( retired ? ) drummer Brad Steakley ( Elvis ) and I started a band called Mystery Dots. This would've been in the hey-day of Mabel's when such bands as Combo Audio , The Vertabrats and NIX86 ruled the roost. Brad went on to join the Elvis Bros. with Rob Newhouse ( Coal Kitchen , Mantia ) and Graham Walker ( The Jets , Screams ). I stayed with the Dots and played 5 ,000,000 gigs at Mabel's and frat houses. Eventually , I became a member of NIX86 with Mo ( Slink , Skater ) , Neil Robinson , Chris Courtney , John Richardson and , later , Kenny Reiss ( George Faber & Stronghold.) And, later yet , Matt Stewart ( Starcastle , 180 ). I now play solo and duo acoustic gigs around the area and have a rock/funk trio with Zoc Gilespie and Pauli Carman ( Slink Rand , Coal Kitchen , Champaign ).
I remember some of those great sweaty nights at the Lion; The Ramones , David Johansen , Screams , Slink , Ginger , Skater.... Anyone remember Rocky with eventual Off Broadway guitarist John Ivan ? Or Horace Monster with eventual Off Broadway guitarist Rob Harding ? Iggy Pop at Mabel's ? The Bus Boys at Mabel's ?
The gigs...the shows...the after-hours parties !!!!
A lot of you folks have written in to this site and I remember so many of you. I hope everyone is doing great ! We had a helluve time , didn't we ?
Paul Sabuco email@example.com
I grew up in Urbana and during high school was heavily involved with The Tigers Den and the local music scene. Bob Nutt was involved with REO Speedwagon early on, not later. I was involved with the hiring of bands to perform at the Tigers Den and Nutt was the man (we paid REO $125 a night). Then Irv Azoff came along and they became partners. To make a long story short, the way i heard it from a member of The Seeds of Doubt....Irv and Bob went to LA to promote REO Speedwagon and make it big. They were 50/50 partners and then something happened. I was given details about what happened but i hate to pass along rumors that i cannot verify. In the end, Irv came out managing REO, Eagles, Fogelberg, and many others. Bob Nutt.... He was the guy with the straw hat and fur coat. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi> I was turned on to your site recently. I thought you might like some additional information about the 60’s bands and the true origin of REO Speedwagon.
On my arrival in ”Chambanaland” in 1967, I immediately fell into the “underground” music scene, starting a “head” band which we dubbed “Whitelight”. Our female singer, who was not always in town, had spent the Summer of Love in 1967 in San Francisco living with the drummer for the Jefferson Airplane. While there she wrote a couple of sets worth of folk rock songs that we would play when she came around. They were quite good and sounded like the stuff off of the “Surrealistic Pillow” album. The rest of the time we did blues and psychedelic stuff. Our lead guitar player was a former beatnik who had hung out in Greenwich Villlage during the early 60’s with Elvin Bishop. He was a psychology grad student at the time I knew him and was brilliant in math. During his time in New York he acquired several Les Paul guitars at pawn shops for around $50 each and would alternate playing them. In the Fall of 1967 we were the band for the “anti-Homecoming” and our equipment man, Neal, was the “Anti-Homecoming Queen”. We played on a float which followed the regular parade in front of a motley group of stoned out hippies, which were still a rarity on campus at that time. This was followed by the “dance” which consisted of us playing 45 minute versions of Mellow Yellow and similar songs while a light show called the “Bangor Flying Circus” ,which later became the light show for the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, showed light displays on the ceiling to a room full of hippies sprawled out on the floor looking up at the display. The band lasted about two years and developed quite a cult following among the growing hippie types. We of course knew the other bands at the time like the Finchleys.
Around this time REO Speedwagon formed with Terry Luttrell as the singer and Bill Fiario (later known as “Duke Tomato”) playing lead. At that time they had a horn section and were doing copies of Blood Sweat and Tears, and Chicago. They later dropped the horns and Bill left the group, to be replaced by another lead player, whose name I don’t remember. They did a lot of extended hard rock stuff like “Sympathy for the Devil.” I can’t even guess how many times I saw them in frat houses and the like. The One Eyed Jacks were the other big group who represented the tail end of the mid 60’s Chicago type sound (Ides of March, etc.).
A friend of mine named Geoff Poor, whose dad owned Poor’s TV in Urbana, and I got together to form an alternative booking agency to Blythum Limited, which was headed by Bob Nutt and Irving Azoff. We eventually formed a group with three lead singers, two of them black, around the time that Three Dog Night were coming out. It was natural for us to do 3DN songs so we became what would now be called a “tribute band” with very effective renditions of their songs plus our own arrangements of Laura Nyro and other artists. We became the house band first at the Brown Jug and later at the Red Lion Inn, with appearances also at Chances R where we rented a warehouse space directly across the street for rehearsals.
We couldn’t stand up to Bob and Irving and eventually threw in with them, getting a manager who had been the base player for the One Eyed Jacks. At that point our bookings really took off and Irving wanted us to start playing 6 nights a week instead of the 4 we were doing. The money was really good considering the times and the fact that I would have done it for free if I couldn’t get paid. Our average take for the week with four nights was about $1500 which would be around $6000 in today’s money. I was already trying to hold down a pre-med major and was losing sleep as it was so I took that opportunity to withdraw from the group. We instituted a search for a replacement at lead guitar and found a recent high school graduate from Peoria named Gary Richrath. He came to one of our jobs in Springfield to meet us and I later helped work him into the group. I then left to cram for my finals. (I never did get to med school but did graduate from law school).
I used to see Dan Fogelberg in the basement of the Channing Murray Unitarian church where he would pass the hat at 3 AM after doing his rendition of Neil Young’s “Helpless”. Later on he got moved up to the chapel for a special concert featuring his original material which he wrote during a period when he was in San Francisco. A couple of years after that he recorded the first album and played to a crowd of about 2000 which included his proud parents. Just last week I met someone who had been in a class in High School with and hung out with him at that time.
One of our bandmembers at Feathertrain was a high school senior from a tiny little town just to the West of Champaign named Bruce Hall. After about a year with Feathertrain, Gary left to replace the lead guitar at REO who was quitting that group. After I graduated, Irving headed to Los Angeles and became the manager for the Eagles. At that point he was able to leverage his other groups and promoted the heck out of REO and Fogelberg. When the REO baseplayer left, Bruce Hall was tapped as his replacement and is still with the group.
Gary’s first song, “Golden Country” was written when he first joined REO and I think you can see that all of the rest of their songs run in the same vein. Mike Murphy, who had been with the Jacks, replaced Terry Luttrell and was in turn replaced by Kevin Cronin ( who came and went a couple of different times).
As for me, I became a lawyer and formed a band in Chicago called “Lake Effect” which played a lot of Summer festivals throughout the city for several years. Since moving to the suburbs I haven’t done anything with a group but am looking to start something soon. I now own a small farm with a barn in which we could rehearse and give concerts. I am looking to get REO to come around here to do a benefit concert for a local environmental group so Bruce and I may be re-united if that ever happens.
Thanks for putting up the site. I look forward to seeing other entries.
Michael Walkup, Crystal Lake, IL email@example.com
Do you know of anyone that has the album Thirsty or Not
Choose Your Flavor by Coal Kitchen burned on a CD I could purchase. Thanks, Bill
The following letter is from a beautiful girl that I
knew only briefly when she was dating my nephew.
Kim Coffey writes:
Unfortunately I was too young for the Red Lion days, but I was totally into the music scene in Champaign/Urbana in the 80’s and 90’s. I would go see bands like Combo Audio, Nix 86, which had Moe Mosely (Don Mosely) from Skater fame as the singer, The Boyzz from Illinois, Smokehouse, Enuff Z Nuff, Lillian Axe. I would also go see Clockwork Orange, which had Mike & Peter from Slink Rand Fame. I dated Steve Hall for a few years in the 80’s and he was a bass player for a few different bands here in town, and he is also the little brother of Bruce Hall. I have stayed very close to the Hall family and still go to any of the REO shows that are close by. REO, Cheap Trick and Head East were just at the Illinois State Fair this year and I took my 4 year old son to his first concert. He loved it! Bruce stayed over at his mom’s house in Springfield for a couple of days and my son was able to do some fishing with him there. In the 90’s, Steve Hall introduced me to the drummer in his band (Red Rover) who I ended up getting married to (Jimmy Brotherton). We were married less than 2 years, but he is a great guy and still playing music down in Missouri. Steve Hall is playing bass in Las Vegas for a band called The Mark O’Toole Band. I hear they are fantastic. Keith & Ron Phelps are also in this band and they are originally from Champaign/Urbana too. They had a band here called Mistress. Here is the Mark O’Toole Band’s website in case anyone is interested. http://www.markotooleshow.biz. Please post my email address if you can, I would love to hear from Zack or anyone else from my past Rock & Roll life.
I have received many photos and emails this week
Mike Isenberg of the Jets. Below is the first one:
What a great find, this brings back a lot of road memories! My band The Jets played Champaign regularly, mainly The Red Lion and Panama Red's. It was quite a scene then, the 'concert club' thing was really taking off then and the circuit was loaded with fantastic bands that lived what they were playing, they weren't weekend warriors. They took the risk and went with it. Lots of camaraderie, great days. We were sharing the bill with Screams at Panama Red's when we got picked up by a management company. Our Twin Tone record was already out, both tunes were doing very well ( Lover Boy b/w Paper Girl ) and I could easily say from experience that no Hollywood band would stand a chance against any of the bands on the circuit then in Illinois. They think doing a road gig is going to Burbank for a 40 minute set. Of course after The Jets broke up, Graham Walker, our bass player became Graham Elvis, became one of the founding members of The Elvis Brothers and Champaign was pretty much their birthplace. They owned that town!
Today, I live with my gorgeous young wife ( half my age, eat your heart out ) in the Hollywood Hills; she's shot for Playboy a couple of times and has appeared in a motion picture that made the Cannes Film Festival, I work with young talent here in Hollywood, The Jets and I are making our first record in 25 years; I'm working with my new band and preparing to tour and I have an autobiography coming out next summer called 'The Kid From Coolidge Street.' I have endless photos and stories, but I'm thinking space is limited. Let me know, I'll provide if you ask! Bless you all!! Mike Isenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
I made a special page for all of Mike's emails and photos.
Check out this old photo below:
My name is Larry Wigand currently with The Dave Chastain Band, living in Peoria, Illinois. I really enjoyed you information about Champaign Bands, I was in one of the pictures, (The Bullets)
I first moved to Champaign with a band called Coal Kitchen, we lived in Carbondale first. Mark Lundquist and I left the band to work with Bruce Hall, currently (of REO Speedwagon) and Mike Murphy who was in the One Eyed Jacks. We called ourselves Silver Bullet. I wanted to be in the One Eyed Jacks, but Murphy wanted to change the name.
Anyhow, I wanted to let you know I really enjoyed the website. I haven’t heard some of those names for years.
I can currently be reached at www.thedavechastainband.com
We have a new CD just released this year, that we are having a great response to. Larry
Hello & Oh My God - this is amazing. I know so many of these people & places.
I was the bass player/vocalist for ILMO SMOKEHOUSE and
later versions of SMOKEHOUSE with Slink & Dennis, Micki & Dennis et al.
We played Champaign infrequently for some reason but I have vivid memories of
some club upstairs where our ILMO-era leader Freddie Tieken got popped in the
mouth once, and later gigs with SMOKEHOUSE & THE BOYZZ where shall we say we
were all too numb to be out in public but were anyway. About 1969 I was on a
hiatus from ILMO and had a band called THE BIG HUGE with Dennis Albee of Brillo
& The Firebirds (Macomb) and my former GONN drummer Dave Johnson. We decided
to go audition for Blytham Entertainment which was Bob Nutt, Irving Azoff, and
Jon ... I forgot the 3rd guy - anyway Irving saw us and decided he wanted to
take ME into the studio and possibly build a band around me. Being a numb-nut
from Keokuk, Iowa, I quit BIG HUGE and took off to put together a band with
BACKSTREET MAJORITY guys and some others, and recorded a
couple of songs for Irving, just as he was selling REO to Epic and dropping
Champaign like a hot potato. Seems like Bob Nutt never recovered from all of
this. So close, so far. While in ILMO we did shows with LIGHT BRIGADE with Steve
Hunter, John Sauter, Jerry Armstrong, Sauter later played bass with Slink and
also ended up taking my place in Smokehouse just before he went off to play with
Ted Nugent. The old '6 degrees of separation' has many, many of us in touch with
a whole lotta rock 'n roll history. ILMO played a show at Expo in Peoria with
The One-Eyed Jacks who were 3rd on the bill opening the show for us and BB KING.
BB told me some time ago that he still recalled that gig, possibly since the
promoter had ILMO go BACK ON after BB !!! Lotta nerve. I auditioned for SILVER
BULLET once, when I was moving to Illinois. It's laughable now but I was so
nervous. Bastards didn't hire me. Larry Wigand and the whole scene seemed so
'together' in the early 70's. Larry played in my
bands later on and we got to be really good friends. SKATER and my band EYES
played some gigs together and crossed paths often. EYES played the Normal, IL,
Red Lion, I know I played the one in Champaign a couple of times but I don't
know which band it was! Need a scorecard... Slink Rand, Dennis Tieken & I
played at Panama Red's in the early 80's. Don Moselle, Larry & I played
one-off gigs at Panama Red's, The Second Chance (Peoria - wow, there's a lost
lamented great joint), and around as WOLF & THE SNAKES. BRAD STEAKLEY from
Screams was drummer on some of those gigs! Brad & I got to know each other
back in the Tieken-era when Brad's band out of Pekin was basically a David Bowie
clone band. Later on I was a big fan of SCREAMS and still think "Imagine Me
Without You" should have been huge. We had a great time and still keep in
touch. He's with THE ROMANTICS now. Dennis Tieken from all the variations of
Smokehouse has twin teenage sons who are dynamite players and performers. Dennis
& I and Mike Isenberg from THE JETS did a Cream
tribute band called DISRAELI GEARS for a while in the mid-90's just for the hell
of it, played shows in Chicago, Peoria, with Foghat, Drivin' & Cryin', and
some festivals. It was fun with 2 stacks of Marshalls and an EB-3, like the good
old days. Isenberg now lives in LA. These days I play with my first-ever band,
GONN. We reunited in 1996 and have been at it ever since, with 2 CD's, 2 tours
of Europe, US gigs, etc. Our 1st single from 1966 is on the Rhino
"Nuggets" box set, we were inducted into the Iowa Rock 'N Roll Hall Of
Fame last year, and Aug 6-7 we played at the Cleveland R'NR Hall Of Fame and
Cleveland Brown's Stadium for some special events. In April GONN will be in New
Orleans at Ponderosa Stomp '06, and I'm about to go off on another 2 week tour
of RUSSIA with the band I play with over there "Russian Spies". My
latest CD has Jim McCarty & Chris Dreja from The
Yardbirds and Eddie Philips from Creation on it. I keep in touch with Dennis. I
see Slink very rarely but it's always cool. They both played on my 1989 album.
In fact we had an album release party that year and Mike Hustler & Slink
both performed, Larry Wigand, Greg Williams, it was a cast of dozens and lots of
fun. Jim McCarty was over for that, too. Today I own & operate a collectible
records shop 'Younger Than Yesterday', still play and record. Larry Wigand is a
very good buddy and now plays with DAVE CHASTAIN. Their new CD
"Legacy" is absolutely tremendous. I know I could write a book and
probably stir up a lot of trouble! But it's a gas that you're collecting all of
this. I'll try to send pix. Bless each and every one of you whoever you are and
wherever you're at!
CRAIG MOORE aka bass & vocals:
THE BIG HUGE
READY STEADY GO
I came to Champaign from Columbus, Ohio, in 1967 to attend school at U. of I. and finished in early 1971. What a time that was! After finishing school, I went back to Columbus and never returned to Champaign, although I often wonder what it's like these days. However, over the years, I always carried with me intense memories of the incredible Champaign-Urbana music scene during those days. The One-Eyed Jacks, the Light Brigade, REO Speedwagon, Dan Fogelberg, the Finchley Boys plus all the Chicago area bands that regularly hit the clubs in the area. And the clubs: Red Lion, Brown Jug, Chances R and, of course, Midway's where an under-age student could always count on being able to buy beer without having to show an ID. I was one of the lucky ones who hung out at the Red Herring during that magical period and got to see Dan Fogelberg play on many many nights. I think everyone who saw and heard him knew instantly that he was one of those rare talents who would quickly go on to bigger and better things. I camped out at the local clubs night after night listening to the best of the best music. I remember the One-Eyed Jacks as being among the best and I have vivid memories of the Light Brigade doing an entire set covering the Sgt Pepper album and nailing every note. Does anyone know what became of the individuals in those two bands?
During my years in Champaign I wrote a number of record reviews for the Daily Illini and managed to save a few of the issues. Attached to this email are a few of the club listings scanned from the 2/26/1970, 4/16/1970 and 3/24/1970 issues of the Daily Illini that I retrieved from the basement. The headlines and articles were a fascinating reminder of the mood and events during that period. This was just before the Kent State shootings and right about the time the world was on edge wondering if the Apollo 13 astronauts would make it back to earth. Lots of articles about Viet Nam, the Chicago 7, William Kunstler, the SDS, demonstrations in Washington, Chicago, and, of course, Champaign. What a time.....
I hope this material is of value to you and brings back some good memories of a unique time in Champaign.
Doug Tracy New Albany, Ohio
My name is Marty Shepard. I played (Trumpet!?!) with REO when Terry Luttrell and Bill Fiorio were in the group. Bill and I were roommates when we were in Leroy Knox and the Gaypoppers... a Champaign soul band.... then we both joined REO together. I was so inspired by the Finchley Boys that I bought a little boa constrictor and a few times I played with it wrapped around my horn. But I just didn't have whatever it took to look so cool with a boa constrictor. When I left REO (I QUIT, I didn't get fired!!!!), I gave the snake to Terry and he left it by a window and it died from the cold. I remember the day that REO was up at Blytham Ltd and everyone was talking in hushed tones... What was happening? Bud Carr was being fired from the One Eyed Jacks. Big Mistake. Bud Carr WAS the One Eyed Jacks... so what if he couldn't sing. I believe that he's done alright for himself!!! He was my Figure Skating instructor at the U of I. Yes. Bud Carr taught me how to ice skate backwards!
Man oh Man. You brought back lots of memories.... brought tears to my eyes. Those really were the good ole days. Can we go back, please?
I played at the Red Lion with REO and the Million Dollar War Babies.
Warmest regards, Marty Shepard email@example.com
I was another Chanute AFB guy from the 70’s, plus a member of the U.S. Male (band). We played mostly in areas South of Champaign, however, as well as in Southern Indiana. I am now an industrial automation guy (www.avalonvision.com) in Atlanta, GA. It seems like lots of old musicians went into the technical trades, doesn’t it? It was good to see Mark Lundquist’s address, he is an old childhood friend of mine.
Why no mention of one of my favorite old bands,
Heartsfield? Maybe because they were from Chicago, I think? I know they were a
little on the Country side but they were absolutely one of the best bands to
ever play in the Champaign area and they packed CR and the Lion every time.
Regards, Bill Nicol firstname.lastname@example.org
V.P., Sales & Marketing, Avalon Vision Solutions, LLC
If you happen to talk to Slink Rand, tell him George "Crawdaddy" Long and Chris Wahlfeld said "hi." We use to work for him when he was with Craig Moore and Dennis Tekken in a band called Elmo's Smokehouse. Slink started playing for them when Steve Gaines left and went with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Chris went on to become Luther Allisons
road manager and soundman. Myself, I spent a few years touring Canada and the US
with the Dave Chastain Band. Chris and I now live in Mexico. Need any tequila?
Great web site, but sure did make me feel old.
Hey, someone pointed me to your website about the
Champaign music scene in the 60s and 70s. What a great trip down memory lane!
I'm the "opera-trained chic lead singer" from the band Geyser mentioned in your quote from Mike Rafferty, who was our sound man at the time. Currently, I am the singer and keyboardist for a band called "No Secret", still based in Champaign. Here's our website: www.nosecretband.com
We're a classic rock trio pretty much stuck in the past but still having a great time playing! Dody Cosmedy email@example.com
Dan Peven in the Shawnee National Forest,
Second Prinn birthday bash at the Pit.
Prinn is Dennis and Terry Prinn. They started having a big
birthday party in town about 1972 and eventually moved it out to
their farm near Philo. Did you ever go to the Turtle Races at
the Possum Trot over in Danville? "