International Silver String Submarine Banned. The name was "borrowed" from the "Little Rascals / Our Gang" shows, but this band certainly was real. Not many bands had a girl in them, but fewer still had a lead guitarist that was a "miss"!
Back row, left to right-
Dave Smith - rhythm guitar
Mike Kelley - lead singer / guitar
Randy Barnes - bass guitar
Randy Steenbergen - drums
Laura Stout (now Harmon) - Lead guitar / backup vocals
Here's the skinny straight from Laura:
We are all from Howe High School, graduating classes of ’67, ’68, and ’69. We first formed in March of 1967 as the Ogres Bridge. Some of the band members were previously with the Other Side, disbanded a few months earlier. As the Ogres Bridge, we established what we wanted to do but had a change in personnel, so we renamed the band to the ISSSB, which was often used in acronym form for advertising purposes.
At that time, there were many Battle of the Bands contests and we entered a few of them, doing quite well. We took 3rd at the Marion County Fair in 1967, although audience reactions said we had the 1st place. Judges didn’t like the bit of acid rock we were doing. This was at a time when “Let’s Spend the Night Together” was banned from a lot of radio stations. Then we played at the Young America Fair (remember that?) at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. We took 1st place the night we played, and I think 3rd at the finals, I’m not really sure about that. The audience voted by using tokens and putting them in the band boxes. I still have a few tokens from then. We also played at Carnegie Music Store battle of the bands contest in 1968 and took 1st place. The store was on Madison Avenue in Indy. I had played there 2 contests before, not placing, so this was very exciting to me. What we won was a $500 recording time there in their studio. One of the things that helped us win was by writing our own song for this, called Paper Airplane. We never did use the recording because the store closed down. It was a good store while it lasted.
We all hung out at Le Scene, in Fountain Square. The Other Side had performed there many times and the lead player that had, Jack (Sean) Jones, joined/formed the Cardboard Bachs. They were so good, as were Sir Winston and the Commons, Bomarcs… all friends of ours. By the way, Jack Jones - Sean, as most people knew him, was, in my opinion, the best lead player out there. He had the magic! Probably still does.
Throughout the years after high school, we stayed together as a band, playing in and around Indianapolis. We landed a job at the Village Inn Pizza Parlor on Indy’s South side, being the house band for nearly 2 years, playing every Friday and Saturday night. We had a blast there! Eventually the place became The Midnight Sun and a few other club names, as ownership changed.
I previously was in a band (and was next-door neighbor) to Jeanne Schuller. That band was called The Bitter End, with Pat and Mike Finnegan and the drummer was Jay (something?). When I went on to join the ISSSB as lead player, Jeanne went on to join The Shy Ones as their lead player. Jeanne! Where are you?
Thanks Laura! And of course, Laura is now kickin' with a new band R & R Classics, doing 50’s and 60’s and some later tunes. I'm sure she'll have them doin' some early '70s psych soon! If you have a chance to see them, do it! You'll most likely meet the missus and me too!