Monday, January 23, 2012

Beat Generation - Ft. Wayne

Trying to get the stage lights to flash with the beat gave rise to the "Beat Generation"! Didn't work, but hey, they tried. Mostly high school kids from Ft. Wayne, circa 1967.

Mike Rontfrow - organ
John Gall - bass
Don Squires - Rhythm guitar
Steve Leakey - Drums
Tom Romine - lead guitar

The Beat Generation favored songs that have a lot of harmony, favorite groups include the Who and Indy's Sounds Unlimited.
The Beat Generation had plans for a 45 and were in "negotiations"
with Tiara (Fewdle Lords) and Motown labels. Don't think that bore any fruit.

Give them a hand for livin' the dream in the 60's!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sir Winston and the Commons

Happy New Year 2012!
John Gillis introduces Sir Winston and the Commons, Vogue Theater Reunion Show 2004:

"Sir Winston and the Commons originally formed in 1963. The members of the band consisted of Don Basore from Northwest High School, Joe Stout and Gary Crawford from Ben Davis High School and John Medvescek and Ron Matelic from the old Cathedral High School. Don played bass, Gary and Ron played guitars, Joe played sax and John was the drummer. The band’s first name was The Illusions, but was soon changed to The Suspicions. Their repertoire at that time consisted mainly of instrumental surf music and other classics such as Honky Tonk and Harlem Nocturne. Their first shows were at parties, VFW dances, and promotions for Paul Harvey Ford and Dog & Suds drive in. With the advent of the British invasion in 1964, the band, like everyone else, assimilated the new British sound. The surf sound and instrumentals were eventually dropped in favor of the current chart toppers of the day, and Herb Crawford from Speedway High School replaced Gary Crawford on guitar. A new booking agent who wanted to capitalize on the ever growing English musical dominance suggested that the band’s name be changed to Sir Winston and the Commons. For several years, they played a number of college fraternity dances and were fortunate enough to have all the local teen venues like Party Time, The Flame Club, the House of Sound, Westlake Beach Club, Tiger a’GoGo, the Scene, the Indiana Roof Ballroom, and the Whiteland barn, to perform for the Indianapolis teen crowd.

They enjoyed local success and even chartered buses with friends and fans to several dates at The Cellar, a club in the Chicago area. They opened national shows for the McCoys, Beach Boys and Byrds and as they began to write and perform more original material, they recorded 2 singles “We’re Gonna Love” and “Not the Spirit of India”.

Through the remaining 1960’s, the band member count diminished from 5 to 4 and eventually to 3. The group finally discontinued performing as Sir Winston in 1970."

Just about covers all the bases for the band. They were known as the wild guys with costumes and Joe with the cape. This is one of the bands with the least amount of personnel changes over the years.

Sir Winston and the Commons recorded some great tunes and released 2 45's!
We're Gonna Love / Come Back Again - Soma 1454 (1966)
Not the Spirit of India / One Last Chance - Nauseating Butterfly 2207 (1967)

Also recorded during the Soma sessions were two unreleased songs

All Of The Time & No Sorrow - I'll only put up clips as these are for sale on the Norton records website. Hell, if I put up all the songs, who will buy the records?

Of course we previously covered Sir Winston and the Commons involvement with Rojay Gotee.

I've had more requests for this band than any other so far, so get the comments and additions in gear, and let them know they are remembered!