Thursday, June 19, 2008

Velvet Infinity - 1968

The Velvet Infinity, another unknown band, with no leads. The pic is from a early 1968 dance at Northwest High School (34th street in Indianapolis). I'm told that the band was hired, and I assume that they most probably did not attend that school.
Check out the threads, fab gear man! I'm stunned that a band that wanted to be "psychedelic" would be using what looks like a gold top Les Paul and ES 335/345s, so I'll bet these guys had played for some years.

Any ideas, leads, real or imagined, e*mail me and let's get these guys some respect that's due!

UPDATE:

Left to right

Steve "Mac" McNally (later of Roadmaster - deceased)
Mike Shepard (drums)
Bob "Tito" Salinas
Mike Milligan
Rex Cruea (bass) deceased also I'm afraid

I'm pretty sure that Rex was from the Kokomo area, the others I don't know yet. Steve should be easy to find info on.

UPDATE the UPDATE!

From Mike Milligan - Lead guitar and trombone:

"My name is Mike Milligan. I am the one in the picture of the Velvet Infinity. The information that you have is correct for the most part. The members were Steve "Mac" McNally who later became lead singer for Roadmaster. Mike Shepard was the drummer. Bob"Tito" Salinas was the lead singer. I, Mike Milligan played lead guitar and occasional trombone for effect (notice the trombone case in the picture). That's an Epiphone Casino that I am playing in the picture. Rex Cruea played bass. Rex, Steve and Tito had some incredible vocal harmonies. There as another guy that was in and out of the band playing guitar then organ by the name of Bill Bird. We were from Kokomo and played about every high school in mid central Indiana. We won the Howard county Battle of the Bands in '67 or '68 and then went on to place 3rd or 4th in the state fair competition. We claimed to be the first Psychedelic band in Indiana playing Who, Cream, Hendrix etc. and had a great time and made a lot of memories. Rex and Steve moved to the Bloomington area in the early 70's and formed a band called Nebula Spoon with Ricky Bennick who played guitar for Roadmaster. Steve and Rex have both passed away. I continued playing through the years and did a short tour with the Drifters. My best musical days were in the 90's to 2000 playing with my sons, Michael and Shaun, and a drummer named Don Bunn in a band called Milligan Stew. Thanks for the recognition and God Bless.

12 comments:

Kevin Williams said...

Although I can't be positive about this, the heavy set guy on the far right, might just be John Hyatt. Yep, thats what John Hyatt looked like back in the mid-late 60's. He was extremely serious about his music even back then. Next time I saw him, he looked like now, and was writing songs, and recording them from Nashville. That was in the mid to late 70's.

I just don't remember what the band was called that he was in, but I do remember Guy Boyd, from her in Indy was in the band with him. If anyone knows Guy, perhaps he can shed some light if that is him.

vinylfool said...

Thanks Kevin. The only bands I have notes on for John Hiatt are the "Four Fifth(s)and/or Joe or John Lynch and the Hangmen. I'll pursue it and find out.

Anonymous said...

Left to right

Steve "Mac" McNally (later of Roadmaster)
Mike Shepard (drums)
Bob "Tito" Salinas
Mike Milligan
Rex Cruea (bass)

Milligan said...

Anonymous is right. That is Steve Mcnally, later of Roadmaster, Mike Shepard on drums, Bob "Tito" Salinas, me Mike Milligan, and Rex Cruea on bass. We all lived in Kokomo. Rex and Mac moved to Bloomington area in the early 70's and played together in Nebula Spoon. Rex and Steve are both deceased. There was another guy named Bill Bird that was in and out of the group. We claimed to be the first psychallic band in Indiana. We had a great time and I still play as well as my sons.

Yoho said...

yep..that is Mac playing that old les paul goldtop, which he let me borrow occasionally while living in Bloomington in the early 70's..Nebula Spoon was a rockin' band...Mac on vocals, big Rex on the bass and wildman Rick on lead guitar..great times..great guys

Matt Cruea said...

Wow, this is a shock. Doing a random Google search on my dad and I find a fun article about his band. I know I'm late on this, but yeah, that's definitely my dad on the far right and I recognize everyone else in that picture.

I'm kind of tearing up here as I write this, as hearing my dad's music was a big part of me and my sister growing up, but it's nice to know someone out there remembers. After Bloomington in the 70s, Rex went south to Georgia in the early 80s. He met a woman, settled down, had two kids, played in a few side-bands here and there, and lived until 2001 where he died of cirrhosis of the liver.

I'm fairly certain Tito's still in Kokomo and Mac, before his death, went on to do some Gospel music after Roadmaster.

Also, I don't know if he'll read this, but: Mr. Milligan, I'd heard a lot about you from my dad before he passed and it's nice to see you still spreading the coolness that was the Velvet Infinity (and even Nebula Spoon! Ha!).

vinylfool said...

Welcome Matt!
Glad you enjoyed the little tribute I did for the Velvet Infinity. Funny, I started out with an unknown (to me) band from a yearbook, and all the pieces fall together. I'm see you appreciate what your dad accomplished, and that's a great honor to him.

clazarnash said...

Hello, this is Robert "Tito" Salinas, I was the lead singer in the band the Velvet Infinity. I still live in my home town of Kokomo, IN as does Mike Shepherd and Mike Milligan.

The band started in 1966 or 1967 with the 3 of us, all from the same neighborhood. We soon realized we needed a bass player and a lead guitar player, Rex joined the band and Mike soon after.

My thanks to you Kevin for your interest in the band. It's nice to know even after so many years there are still those who remember us. The friendships I formed in those early years are still very valuable to me.

Matt & Maggie, I hope all is well with you.

Thank you again,
Bob "Tito" Salinas

clazarnash said...

Hello, this is Robert "Tito" Salinas, I was the lead singer in the band the Velvet Infinity. I still live in my home town of Kokomo, IN as does Mike Shepherd and Mike Milligan.

The band started in 1966 or 1967 with the 3 of us, all from the same neighborhood. We soon realized we needed a bass player and a lead guitar player, Rex joined the band and Mike soon after.

My thanks to you Kevin for your interest in the band. It's nice to know even after so many years there are still those who remember us. The friendships I formed in those early years are still very valuable to me.

Matt & Maggie, I hope all is well with you.

Thank you again,
Bob "Tito" Salinas

Jeff Ludewig said...

The info from Mike and Tito is obviously true, they were there. I remember the band, I was in another Kokomo band at the time called The What. I later became good friends with Mac, Mike and Rex. Sometime after this pic was taken Mac had the Les Paul painted with flowers; psychadelic daisies and stuff. Later photos might have Mike playing a black Les Paul. Those were the first 2 Les Pauls I'd ever seen.

littlewolf said...

Wow! I remember when Velvet Infinity played at the pavilion in my old neighborhood of Indian Heights in Kokomo. I was not quite a teenager but really dug the band. The one original song I seem to recall was entitled "Benefits of Society" or something along those lines. Also recall announcements that a record deal was in the works. Did that ever happen? Talk about your flashback!

Debra Eaton said...

Just read in the Kokomo Tribune that Mike Shepherd passed away this week. I graduated in 1973 from Kokomo High School and I remember this band very well. I graduated with Robert Salinas sister Eva and Rex Cruea's sister Debbie. Glad to see this tribute to a great band!