In 1964, I remember my brother coming up to me when I was about 6 years old telling me about some group that was going to be on television that night. Being 6 years old, I didn’t know what he was talking about but watched anyway. That television program was The Ed Sullivan Show and that band was The Beatles.
Ever since that day, I was interested in music. My first instrument was a plastic guitar that my parents gave to me at Christmas. Then I remember getting a toy drum set when I was about 8 or 9.
Things didn’t really get serious until 5th grade when I started playing drums in the school band. Playing drums wasn’t enough though, I began playing guitar in 6th grade and played both instruments throughout high school and college. But two instruments wasn’t enough either. I started playing piano in 11th grade and continued on throughout college and beyond. After college, I decided playing the drums just wasn’t for me anymore and I wanted to fully concentrate on the guitar. In 1984, I was asked to join a band playing bass guitar. Yet another instrument to learn. As it turned out, the bass became my favorite instrument and to this day, my main instrument.
Although I am officially retired from music, I still get asked to sit in once in awhile with previous bands. I enjoy dusting off the bass and getting up to play in front of people again. But I’m glad its not full time anymore.
This section is my tribute to all the bands I’ve been in since 1972. Wherever possible, I’ve included pictures. Enjoy!!
My very first band. We were all in Junior High School and fascinated with bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf, Humble Pie, etc. After about six months of practice, we did manage to play a few jobs in public.
Our first job was playing at our own Junior High for the 8th grade dance party. We did not own a P.A. system or a bass amplifier and had to borrow that from the school’s music department. But we were in Heaven playing for our peers. I remember getting paid $50 for the evening. $10 apiece. Not bad for a bunch of Junior High kids.
Kind of a spin-off of “Opus.” We were making the transition from Junior High to High School. I remember we used to practice in Jay’s garage and played much of the same music as “Opus.” We did play 4 live shows including a wedding and frat party and managed to win a talent show that was put on by one of the local television stations.
We broke up after that summer as High School sparked other interests in everyone. This band was a lot of fun. Everyone was a little bit crazy.
The most successful band to date. We played around 20 – 30 jobs and did a bit of traveling as well. Artie & Rodger were very talented musicians and were able to play just about anything we decided to play.
One of the more memorable jobs was playing for Audubon, Iowa’s High School prom. We were well received and asked back for the following year. Too bad we weren’t together anymore.
My first band playing lead guitar. Which I think was what I wanted to do from the beginning. We played a lot of jobs including playing a dance after the football game at our High School.
One of the more memorable jobs was at a 3-band dance in a little town in Iowa. We were scheduled to play first and last with the other two bands “sandwiched” in the middle. By the end of the night, everyone was juiced up a bit and really got into our music. Our lead singer, Dave, was an accomplished gymnast and used to do backflips on stage. This was a fun band.
In 1978, I moved to Kearney, Nebraska to attend college. One day, I was practicing my guitar in my dorm room when a fellow student happened to walk by. He knocked on my door and asked if I was in a band. I said no and he mentioned he was a lead singer and knew a drummer who was looking for a band. That drummer was Dave McCoy who had his drums set up in his fraternity house. I brought my little amp and guitar over one day and we jammed for several hours. Mitch Ashley lived in the same fraternity and was a bass player. He fit right in and we started learning some songs. Unfortunately, the singer who introduced me to Dave didn’t work out and was let go. We placed a few ads here and there around campus for a new lead singer. Al Wilson answered the ad and although he was still in High School, he was the perfect man for the job.
We managed to play several jobs including bars, proms, street dances, etc. The band’s last job was on New Year’s Eve, 1981 in Arapahoe, Nebraska. I was the one who left the band and I haven’t forgiven myself yet. This was a good band.
Despite leaving Black Water under not so good circumstances, Dave McCoy asked me to join his new band, BlackJack. Lynn, who had never sang in a band before, was absolutely tremendous. At about 5′ 2″ tall, she had one of the biggest voices I’ve ever heard and could sing Pat Benetar, Linda Ronstadt & Stevie Nicks with ease. Kent was a veteran musician who had been around playing in bands for several years. Dave Claussen was a band teacher in a small town in Nebraska and knew all there was to know about music.
Even though the music wasn’t exactly what I wanted to play, this was a fun band and I cherish the memories I have with these people.
My best friend at the time, Todd, had always told me he wanted to sing in a band. So we decided to put something together and give it a try. For never singing in a band before, Todd was actually a pretty good singer and a pretty good front man. A short search for a bassist and drummer turned up two guys named Ron. After practicing for several month’s in our bass player’s kitchen, (yes, I said kitchen) a mutual friend or ours, Tony Dillehay, decided he would like to be our manager. Tony was in the DJ business and thought a band would be a nice extra to his already successful business.
We played several jobs including proms, bars, dances, etc. But one of the most memorable was playing at a country bar in Broken Bow, Nebraska called Sylvester’s. Since we were an all hard rock band, we didn’t go over very well. In fact, I remember ice being thrown at us a few times. It’s like the Blues Brothers movie all over again. After a short run, Nightster broke up and the members went on to bigger and better things….I guess.
bsolutely the best band I’ve ever been associated with. Sidekick was conceived by its founder, Dave Kotinek based on the simple idea….play as much as possible and carry the least amount of equipment as possible. We averaged 5-6 nights per week for a solid 5 years. The majority of the jobs were in town, but we did play a lot of out-of-town gigs, mostly on weekends. Most of the jobs were one-nighters and we played 27 nights in a row once during the band’s run.
Thanks to the band’s original drummer, Ron Lewis, who I knew from my previous band, I was asked to play bass guitar for this band after their original bass player moved out of town. Even though I had never played bass before, the transition from lead guitar to bass went smoothly. I found that bass is really my favorite instrument and thanks to this band, it is now my main instrument. This band has so many memories its impossible to list them all here. There will never be another band like this one.
In 1993, I answered an ad in the newspaper for a bassist wanted for an alternative band. John Kitner & Marco Rossetti, along with a singer were looking to put together a new band playing a unique selection of 80’s & 90’s alternative rock. In other words, play music no one else is playing. After my audition, I was hired. After several rehearsals, the three of us decided the lead singer just wasn’t right for the job, which made it awkward since we practiced in his basement. The search was on for a new lead singer. John Friedman answered the ad and was hired on the spot. Because there were two John’s in the band, we decided to start calling the lead singer “Bud” to avoid confusion. Shortly after “Bud” was hired, Marco met a keyboard player who was a Creighton University Music Major. Matt Peckham had incredible talent on the keyboard but had never played in a band before. None the less, we started rehearsing 3-4 times a week.
Shortly thereafter, we began playing local bars and clubs along with street dances. Unfortunately, after a short run, I decided that this band was not for me and I left approximately 8 months after we started.
The Rumbles have been one of the most popular and successful bands in the Midwest for nearly 40 years.Original members of the Rumbles, formed in 1963, were Steve Hough, Joe Brunnworth, Bud Phillips and Rich Clayton. Only Steve remains as a member today. The Rumbles made their professional debut under the Eddy Haddad Agency in 1964. 1967 brought the hit 45 “Jezebel” which reached #1 in several local markets.
Around 1970 psychedelic Music became so popular, attendance at dances declined rapidly and The Rumbles disbanded. In 1979, the group was asked to do a reunion concert at Omaha’s Peony Park. They played together again for the first time in eight years. The dance was such a huge success, the band decided to reform later that year. The lead guitarist position was filled by Lance Hancock because Joe Brunnworth had moved to California. Eddy Haddad returned as The Rumbles manager and booking agent. He remained with them until he retired in 1985 and Steve took over his duties.
My last band. After The Rumbles, I had retired from music and didn’t think I’d ever play again. I was wrong. In January, 2001, I was asked to fill in for The Labels for a weekend as their bassist, Tom had won tickets to the Super Bowl. After not playing for nearly two years, I thought it would be fun. When Tom retired later that year, I was called on to replace him permanently. I accepted and played with them for 3-1/2 years.
In May 2005, I left the band and officially retired from music. The Labels have their own website with more information.