Tuesday, March 18, 2008

International Silver String Submarine Banned - ISSSB

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"!

Pictured members:
Back row, left to right-
Dave Smith - rhythm guitar
Mike Kelley - lead singer / guitar
Randy Barnes - bass guitar
Front row-
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!


Unknown said...

Hey thanks for the mention - Bomarcs - I was their drummber, Bob Goodson. Great times, great place. Probably ahead of its time. Our lead singer Dan Bradburn did all the paintings that hung around the walls.

Unknown said...

I also hung out at the Scene in fountain Square. I remember the Cardboard Bachs well. I agree with you that Sean was probably the best lead guitarist around. The organist Rick was also very good. I remember when Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds played at the Scene. That was awesome.

Anonymous said...

I was the bass player for the Bomarcs and moved to San Francisco for a while I saw Rick the keyboard player for the Bach at the time he was playing for Odetta. I think Augie the singer went back to Daytona.

CopperScaleDragon said...

Mike Kelley, are you out there? I would love to hear from you! Last time I saw you I was still married to Quinnon, I think.

CopperScaleDragon said...

Judy! How the heck are you? I would love to hear from you as well. It has been a while since you were in the band with my husband, Al.

Gene Cothron said...

Hey, Anonymous Judy!
It's Been a while... Love to hear from you sometime. Dan knows how to find me, if you know how to find him.

Looks like I may actually get to see ISSSB soon, for the first time in 30+ years.
God..., I'll feel like a Kid Again!