Last Update 9/05/09
From: Donna Crisp
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 8:42 PM
Subject: Chicago Bands
Found this web site and brought back great memories..Waitressed at Haymakers & Thirsty Whale and the Ivanhoe Theater (downtown) Saw Styx and Reo when they were just playing high school gyms..ok really not that old! Served drinks to Cheap Trick a regular at the Thirsty Whale…Looking for what happened to the “Nick Names” they also played at the Whale. Great era love any info on that period in timeJ
I am looking for mp3 or CD of Coal Kitchen Thirsty or Not Choose Your Flavor as well as The Ship's album from the Champaign-Urbana era of 70-78.
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 7:48 AM
Subject: RIP Peter Bailey, Former Slink Rand Bassist
I've meant to send a note regarding the passing of former Champaign-Urbana bass great and buddy Pete Bailey for some time now. Pete passed back on January 3, 2009. I was alerted via former common band mate of mine Ed "Buzz" Eselby from MAXX (1983-86) who played with Pete, Ozzy and Andy Baylor in Clockwork Orange in the mid-later 80's.
Pete was an incredible talent, with a heart twice as big as that SVT stack he used to lug. Pete played with the Slink Rand Group at Slink's height of popularity, and I want to say he replaced Toby Meyers with Roadmaster after Toby took the Cougar/Mellencamp gig.
Pete left C-U in the 90's to find God, peace and family. He had a great life going and was hitting on all cylinders when he passed to a stroke. I first knew Pete as the kid in the wings digging the bad dad laying it down with Slink. He played the bass of a 16 year kid at a Slink show just because he knew it would be a thrill for me, the 16 year old kid. Pete always had time for everyone, truly one of the good guys in the music biz.
He had a web site his wife Mary has been maintaining http://www.peterbailey.us/home.html
There are a few other pictures on his site and some MP3's of some of the Christian rock he had been writing and recording in Nashville. Pretty radical stuff for that market!
I will miss your playing, I will miss your kindness. The world was much cooler with Pete Bailey in it.
Slink Rand Group 1977
From: Bill Brackin
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 8:06 AM
Subject: Champaign-Urbana Bands of the 60s and 70s
I enjoyed your website about Champaign-Urbana bands. I was the bass player and Manager of The Nickel Bag in 1968-70. We played the Red Lion a lot. In the summer of 1969 we toured with Steppenwolf and played with The Turtles, The Buckinghams, The Flock, The Fifth Dimension, The Shadows of Knight, and others. I also substituted as bass player for the Seeds of Doubt, another local C-U band a couple of times when their bass player was sick.
Prior to that I played in the Million Dollar War Babies. Remember us? After that I played in a Latin band, Los Cumbancheros. That was a lot of fun too. We played occasionally in the Student Union for huge Latin dances.
I'm no longer a musician, just an ardent fan. I love to go to music festivals like the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Waterfront Blues Fest, Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Fest, Salmon Army Roots & Blues Fest, and others.
From: Nancy [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 6:18 AM
Subject: Re: Champaign-Urbana Bands of the 60s and 70s
Hey, Bill! Thanks for writing. Is it ok for me to post your email? if so, what about your e-address? ...and lastly, would you have an old photo or two that we could post?
I remember Nickel Bag. Great band. Used to look forward to your bookings.
From: Bill Brackin
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 9:03 AM
Subject: RE: Champaign-Urbana Bands of the 60s and 70s
It is fine with me if you post my emails and e-mail address. I sent you a picture of the Nickel Bag from 1969.
I miss those days. We had a lot of fun.
My Grandfather and I also had a blowout about me playing in a band with my black friends. He lived in Northeastern Mississippi and tried to kick me out of his town when he found out.
I am pretty proud of The Nickel Bag. We seemed to be able to get everyone up and dancing. Larry Lujack, a disk jockey at WLS in Chicago, liked us and often talked about us on his radio show. I spent a lot of my free time going to see blues acts. They were, and still are, my favorite acts. I saw Willie Dixon and Hound Dog Taylor at the Student Union, Muddy Waters at Mother Blues and other clubs, Howlin' Wolf in Carbondale, JB Hutto at a number of clubs, and Luther Allison many times at Ruby Gulch. I also used to go to the black Elks Club in Champaign a lot to dance to great bands that I don't even know the names of. My dancing partner and girlfriend of the time was Laura Schultz from Aurora, IL. We even made the front page of the student newspaper one time dancing in the Student Union.
I eventually opened a mountain shop, Bushwhacker Backpacking Supply, in Urbana and then moved it to Champaign. Royal Robbins and I got to be whitewater kayaking buddies, and I sold Bushwhacker and moved to Modesto, CA in about 1974 and have lived in California, Arizona and Washington State ever since. I went through Champaign in 2002, and it has grown a bit. My old shop was no longer there, nor were some of the old sleazy houses that I lived in as a student and musician. The campus still looks similar, however.
Your website is great! Thanks for the memories.
I'm at upper right
From: Terry Walters
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:27 PM
Subject: Some Links For You
I used to play in a band with Dan Fogelberg; The Coachmen. We played mostly in 'Ria (Peoria). You know; opening act that nobody wanted to hear. We played occasionally at the Red Lion too.
This link has some of Dan Fogelberg's songs recorded in my basement.
Have fun, go fast.
Terry A. Walters
From: Todd E. Bradshaw
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 1:23 PM
Subject: Ship update!
After successfully re-forming after 33 years for a few days last spring to play a 90 minute set at the Red Herring reunion, the guys in The Ship are still working together (in a spread-out-all-over-the-country sort of fashion). In the process of putting the set together, we found boxes and boxes of old studio recordings, many of which had never been released. The Warner Music Group has recently re-released our original Elektra album "The Ship - A contemporary Folk Music Journey" as a digital download through all the popular download vendors and the CD hard copy is expected out within 2-3 months. It will be released through Warner's Wounded Bird Records label.
We have also remastered and re-released a CD of the 1976 "Tornado" album and two more CDs from the stash of unreleased recordings (I'm not sure whether that makes them new, old songs or old, new songs, but there are 30 of them between the two new CDs). One CD is very early, folky stuff, recorded at Rofran back in the four-track days. The other spans the entire history of the band and has a broad mixture of music styles on it and even a couple of live cuts. We're hoping to get together once or twice a year and play a gig somewhere, before we all get too old, forget who we are, start drooling, etc. Our website has a lot of information about the group, along with photos, sound clips from all the songs and other good stuff.
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:02 PM
Subject: beautiful site
Stumbled onto your site when my old buddy Bob started playing gigs with a guy named Brian McClain (spelling?) in Santa Fe. NM. Apparently he was a member of the One Eyed Jacks and The Cryan Shames, back in the day. Got me thinking...
I loved growing up in Champaign and know many of the people mentioned on your site. I was a little younger than a lot of these guys but did play some of the same clubs with a band named Tom Terrific. We were me, Gary Strater, Tom Garza, Phil Randall, Matt Boston and later Brent Hahn (known as Ozzie). Ken Holden booked us until a few of us (myself included) left for Boston, MA in 1972. I came back to play in Champaign at Caputo's a couple of times in '75 with a great band from Chicago called "The New Earth Rhythm Band". The last time I was in Champaign was for Gary's benefit. RIP. Gary and I knew each other as kids when the favorite thing to do was make forts and throw rocks at each other!! By the way, I remember his parents as being some of the most mellow adults I knew....
A couple memories :
1. At 15 my Dad was worried about this music thing and since he had worked for Bub Barthelow at his real estate business he had me go to Bub's office above Chances R so that Bub could give me a "pep talk" Ha! Bub told me about going to after hours jam sessions in Chicago where the greats of jazz and blues would meet after their paying gigs. Then he said "the only reason to play music is for the love of it, if it's for money? Forget it.... and I tell my girls, that the lead singer may look good but he has a wife or girlfriend at home eating a cold can of beans". Ouch! I think he was talking about Terry Luttrell! Ha!.... sorry man. Some how all of this sounded good to me!
2. Dragging Tom Garza away from some 35 year old floozy behind the Road Runner in So. IL. He was 15!
3. Drinking beer with the Deputy Sherrif on a Saturday afternoon at the Road Runner.... Gary was the oldest guy at 19. There was a big guy with the Deputy telling us about the best swimming holes.... we mentioned one and he said "uhuh, you'll dive in and come up with a turd in your mouth and a rubber on each ear"
We didn't go swimming at all after that!
4. I had rehearsals at a church in Monticello with a singer song writer, whose name I I do not remember, and the town elders were so upset at these long haired, probably drugged and a threat to harmony, musicians that we were forced to stop, by order of the sheriff, and get out of town! As far as I can tell Monticello is still just as screwed up as ever. Love Allerton, but I wish the people of Monticello could admit.... HE WAS GAY!
5. Jim Cole and I think George Faber delivering a mattress to my house when I was 14. I believe Jim's parents owned a mattress factory.
That's all.... I live in the Eastern Sierra Nevada on 40 acres with my nearest neighbor 6 miles away. I play better than ever and I follow Bub's advice about music!
Lone Pine, CA
Hi, greetings from Botswana, Africa!
Please, please help me with information as to how on earth I can get Coal Kitchen’s “ thirsty or not… choose your flavor..” album, as a download, or to buy as a vinyl record or tape.
I have tried for several weeks to get this music, without success. Please help!!!
Much love and respect!
Hey, great stories on the Champaign bands. My band (Pontiac Jones) was from Carbondale, but I've got great memories of playing Ruby Gulch and Red Lion.
Just for the record, the Road Runner wasn't quite in Carbondale, I believe it was in DeSoto, which was near C'Dale.
Also, I'm not sure where all the Dixie Diesels are, but I still have contact with Mike Potter who was the lead guitarist (also my guitarist in Pontiac Jones).
Meanwhile, can you tell me if Conqueror Worm was based in Champaign or were they a Chicago band?
Tom McCormick (see below in green) has just released his orginal artwork in the Just Ducky Calendar for the year 2009 is now available in a very limiited edition at: http://justduckycalendar.com/
George Faber was the Lead Singer of the Finchley Boys and a big local star.
I'm sure a majority of you all will remember the old Moose Dances. That was my first real taste of a rock and roll night life. There has been little mention of musicians from those days who were really iconic to us kids back then. Tommy McCormick, Mike Brewer, Terry Cook, Arlen Neville... Where are they now?
On October 24, 2008, I received the following email:
I thought seeing as how I'm credited with turning you on to Ro-bo,I should touch in,its only been 40 odd years. I'm still in Arizona and still doing music full time, although its a bit different...I play washtub Bass in my own cowboy bluegrass band The Hey Boyz. I have written and recorded 6 Cds of my own songs and have been around the world 9 times.......yes Nancy, its me, Tommy McCormick..I completely freaked when I found the Champaign site.. Then got into your story and it hit me.....we have to stay in touch...Its 5 A.M. here now and I cant sleep I 'm so stoked.......WOW......just.........WOW firstname.lastname@example.org
In another email:
Of course you can put up whatever you like...my band website is: www.heyboyz.com (pictures of what I have turned into!) I Did have a heart attack last October, but after installing 4 stents, I feel like I'm 18 and just confirmed a 2 month tour of Holland (My 8th year there) the first of 2009.I would love to find Byrd, the e-mail you posted is defunct. I left Champaign in 1960 and never looked back...I still have a sister there; she runs the Urbana Sportsmans Club in Mohomet. I have been writing alot about "the days"lately and I will search out some old photos....it's really strange to say I knew a world without Rock and Roll or television.I have also discovered I can remember an astonishing number of those days in great detail.I would really dig finding some of the old gang, I was back there last summer and it's so different....I sat by the little lake at the Sportsmans Club, just me and a bottle of Jack...the fireflies were out and I held out my hand... One of them landed on my hand and lit up. I cried like a baby for 20 minutes.... More to follow my friend. Attached is a photo of me in Geneva, Switzerland last May.... I'm so stoked to know someone is keeping those magical times alive....... PEACE,
He continues in another email:
Well, for me the good times are still rollin...I married way too much money. Had 2 daughters and wound up with my gun in my mouth behind a bar in Scottsdale...moved to Santa Barbara and joined Alexanders Timeless Bloozeband, then Steve Miller Band. ...Was asked to play for a Phoenix band with a funny name and passed on 3 Dog Night; came back to Arizona to be near my kids,,, dealt coke and drove loads for a few years, then wound up in Apacheland Movie Ranch as a street gunfighter. Met a cute little red head and we have been together ever since (29 years) Through it all I was writing songs on guitar. In 1979 I formed The Worlds Greatest Cowboy Band ...9 fine players and strung out like a big dog. Cut it all loose and hid in the Superstitions for several years. Bluegrass has been really good to me and that stupid wash tub hastaken me around the world in style for the past 8 or 9 years. (I can still sit down behind a drumset and cook you til your done,baby) I'm a crazy ol fuck of the first order and I'm stayin that way til the rims rust off....I gotta stop for now, you got me on a roll. More perhaps in the morning. You realize this could turn into a Hemmingway book don't you?
From my secret files:
Me and the Byrd on the road in Kansas City, He was headed west,I was headed east,,, zsnappy hat eh? I didn't now Byrd stuck his hand in his pants til I got the film back...what a guy!
Shot taken by a chick I was dating named Linda Brown; took her to Phoenix with me and we wound up hating each other.
The first band we formed, my sister handmade the jackets and we played at Franklin Jr High. Notice 2 bass players, John Melchi was a cousin, died when his backhoe hit a high power line. At the time there were only 3 bands in Champaign playing rock and roll.
There you have it kiddo... ANYTHING more I can do for you, just holler This past few days have been a real trip. Now I'm gonna load a bowl and write some tunes.... Peace and Love to you and yours........Tommy email@example.com
My Comment? PRICELESS!
Tom also sent the photo below of
himself and his grandchildren.
Tom had mentioned that he was looking for Mike Brewer, but many of us thought Brewer was dead. Ironically I had been emailing "Roger" about the old Moose dances during that same time period when I first heard from Tommy. Now that's is strange! The day after Tommy's mention of Brewer, I get the following email:
I saw Steve Brewer last wed. and told him I wrote to you. Mike lives in the mountains in New Mexico, in a very remote area. I think he does some gardening up there!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike stops through Champaign maybe once a year and stays with Steve for a day or two. Terry Cook has a pest control company in Champaign. He got rid of my ant problem last year for me. I went to the REO concert last night at assembly hall, and now I'm sitting in a motel in Arkansas on my way to Dallas. Thanks for the info...
What ever happened to Greg Williams, guitarist of the Buster Browns and before that, I spent my teen years in central illinois and really enjoyed finding this web page. So many great live bands each with their own sound. it wasn't clear to me who does this site but I hope this finds you in good times. Be well, Robin Miller in Virginia Beach Virginia.