Teton Rocks

 

For myself, I played a lot of Chet Atkins style arrangements, my brother Henry who had introduced me to the guitar suggested I should start a band which I thought was a great idea, so I did.  I taught myself drums and what the bass player did, I already knew about Lead guitar and Rhythm. Collected a lot of cast off equipment like radios and built amplifiers out of them, broken cymbals, a snare drum etc.  The first band was my Brother Henry on Rhythm, my friend Vic Lindeburg on drums.  Then Henry went back to college so big Jim Moran from Montana started playing rythm for us. then he left and Dennis Green joined along with Bob Steen from Riverton, I talked Bob into being the bass player and we even managed to talk hin into buying a bass and amp from Chesbro Music in Idaho Falls ID which is where all of our stuff came from.  

 

My mom had bought me my first guitar in a Sunburst color scheme which I still like, the old arch top design with the f holes like violins have, an acoustic Jazz guitar.  Later, I got a pickup and little amp, then she came up with a real electric guitar something like the Gretch Chet Atkins played, a Harmony which had the Bigsby tail piece (whammy bar) which you could make beautiful, gentle chord vibrato's with.  When I was playing in a lot of clubs in LA, I upgraded the pickups to Humbuckers, and re-carved the head and put my own logo on it made out of the aluminum Harmony lettering, looked nice and sounded better. Did all that in my Chevy Van with hand tools. Then came a real amplifier and then later a big German made Dynachord "Eminent".  What a great amp that was/is (still have it along with everything else) it could do distortion if you turned the Master vol down and the slave vol way up and it has this cool moon glow blue tube that could show that relationship, ultra cool.  Then I got a Gretch reverb box.

 

Louie Dopyera, one of the brothers that made the very famous Dobro Guitar used to live in Jackson Hole during the summer.  Livingstons knew of my interest and they knew Louie so they took me over to his place and introduced me.  I guess we hit it off as he would up giving me a bunch of parts, tuners, a bridge pickup and some odds and ends.

 

Dave Yeary who had been famous twice in his life as a performer gave me a snare drum, Stippy Wolf the Champion fiddle player and great guitar player gave me a trememlo unit that used a Mercury switch and an adjustable motor to shake the switch. Somewhere I got one of those green bullet microphones harmonica players love, and one of the old fashioned chrome grill microphones.  I made a PA out of two Juke Box guts that Karl Linquist the electronics store in town had.  I also made me first adult purchase from him on time payments, a 4 track tape recorder with "Sound on Sound" which means it could do an overdub.

 

Then Vic Lindburg was called to the Military and went to Viet Nam, so I talked my old friend Bob Weber into trying out.  Bob remains one of the most natural musicians I have ever known.  Weber and I went in halves on a good drum set from Chesbro's. Once in a great while you play music with someone who simple connects to the flow and inately understands where its going, Weber was like that.  So it was Weber, Green & Steen for quite awhile, we played many dances in many places, once in Pinedale WY on a long haul trailer for a battle of the bands and it was snowing.  We won the competition and I was lucky enough to meet beautiful Stephany Stradly.  Then Weber got the military call and marched off to Vietnam.

 

The Beatles had arrived in America by then, prior to that we were mostly an instrumental band like the Ventures, we played their arrangements of Walk Don't Run, Perfidia and a few I wrote, all good hard driving dance tunes.  With the Beatles though we had to do more vocals and none of us wanted to sing, Weber was the only good singer amongst us and we had done a few songs like Abaline, Walk Right In.  But the Beatles not only sang, they sang harmonies, none of us had ever done that.  So, we wound up with my kids voice which I hated, trying to sing "Twist and Shout"  "Money" and my favorite: "What I Say" by Ray Charles.  I would always turn the words around and put Steen and Green in there like "See the guy named Dennis Green, he went out with Barbra Breen" and such mischief.

 

So, via Bob Steen we added Art Thayer from Riverton, WY as yet another guitarist and a drummer from Rock River WY that I can't recall his name because we always called him "Ding".  He was very small but was also a great dancer so he taught us cool moves to make while we were playing much like "Paul Revere & the Raiders" were doing. Art Thayer pushed us into being a more of a showy band which was good and expand our music to include the "Rolling Stones" which I never liked although they finally would up with several good songs and into writing our own tunes.  We also became "The Fabulous Fugitives" still a little chicken about using the name Teton Rocks.

 

My dad is from the era, drought & great depression, where you collect anything that can be fixed, converted or reused somehow. So there were always a lot of raw materials to draw from. I built a light show with some boards, switches, wire and a bunch of sockets.  Getting the colored spots were a little harder because no one ever had any money.  Although whenever we played a dance we would each end up with about $45 which was great pay when most kids were making $50 every two weeks working 40 hrs per week.  Problem was it was difficult having enough dances and we always needed someone we could trust to take tickets and be our bouncer.  Big Dave Edminston often filled that role, every one called him "Oop" for the cartoon character "Alley Oop" who was a big strong cave man transported in a time machine to our future.

 

As I look back on these pictures, we had a good looking band, Dennis had no idea how good looking he was and couldn't figure out why he was always swamped with girls.  He had a white Fender Stratocaster and a 57 Chevy which at the time were nice things but not considered collectibles back then, so as he moved into adulthood, all were sold or given away for a song.

 

I made a far more significant error, I didn't have a single picture of any of the bands.  Dennis Greens family took some which have never been found, and Bob Weber's family took a few, so out of five years of the band, I have no recordings and not one picture until a few years ago when Weber showed up with his during our reunion.

 

Weber on drums, Byron on lead with the goofy hat, Steen on Bass and Green on Rhythm with his Strat.

Old number one!

Old number one!

See the weather check cracks? That's from going out of warm house into all too often -40 below zero temperatures to go play guitar somewhere. I blame my ability on a guitar to the long cold winters in Jackson Hole during that era.

Harmony Electric with Humbuckers

Harmony Electric with Humbuckers

During the time on Balboa Island (South LA CA) I upgraded my old Harmony Electric with Humbucking pickups which are used in Les Paul guitars.

My Custom Carved Head & Logo

My Custom Carved Head & Logo

I was playing in a band called "Friends" that had a record out. We were playing at Tulagi's (?) on Balboa Island, a Ferrari dealership was across the street, yachts going up and down the canal. I decided to recarve the head & put my logo on it I was living in my 68 Chevy Van and only had hand tools, Rat Tail File, things like that. Doesn't look good up close, but I liked it.

Teton Rocks on a roll

Teton Rocks on a roll

Weber and I sharing a great moment. That hat was laying around at the dance so for some odd reason I decided to wear it for comic relief. All of us were pretty shy, so this kind of thing was extremely thrilling.

AKA the JH Drifters

AKA the JH Drifters

Dennis Green on the right, Bob Steen next. What a great bunch of pals we were, No issues, no conflicts, no strutting, we were all just having a lot of fun.

Steen Green Weber

Steen Green Weber

We must have been playing a formal dance and it was before we got our custom made matching shirts (in the other pictures) We played a Prom in Pinedale so this could have been that event but we only knew one slow songs out of 4 hours of tunes.

My favorite album

My favorite album

We played a lot of the songs off this album. Walk Don't Run, Perfidia and others. I would drop the phonograph needle on the recording for the part I was trying to learn, hear one note, take the needle off and look for it on my guitar, then try all the chords that worked with that note. Then teach the parts to the rest of the band.

Dennis Green & Imminent Amp

Dennis Green & Imminent Amp

Loved that amp, super powerful too! That's the Gretch Reverb unit. The essential parts was to have my family behind this and my Mom would work extra to earn enough to get equipment. I finished the guitar payments while at college, but she always tried to get what I needed. Thanks Mom! My inventive Dad built the guitar stand.

Byron & Weber our new drums

Byron & Weber our new drums

Bob Weber and our new drum set that we went in halves on. Purchased like most of our gear from Chesbro Music in Idaho Falls. Finding equipment was a problem in those days even if you could fund it which was rare, a dollar for some gas was hard enough to come by. Catalog sales was the only thing you had, no internet, no TV, no Radio, hard to know it even existed.

Byron headmask & Steen hardhat

Byron headmask & Steen hardhat

Bob Steen and I after a days work building Signal Mountain Lodge, Bob was the forman. I'm wearing one of Weber's full headmasks that he loved, When he was a Policeman in Montana, whenever there was a Cop kind of full of himself, big old Bob Weber would scare the beejeezus out of them like laying under a sheet at the cemetery in the middle of the night. Darn near got shot a couple of times.

Bob business man Steen

Bob business man Steen

Bob Steen wanted to be a business man and by golly he did it up right. That's Weber's Camero but it made a great picture. The Mustang belonged to my brother Henry and me, what a cool car that was.

Still got it?

Still got it?

We decided to have a band reunion, but the weather got pretty bad and Green hit some bad ice and got banged up which we all felt terrible about. But he's tough so he got better, we were planning another one and then Weber had the big one and was no more. A bright light went out for all of us.

Weber & Steen

Weber & Steen

Bob Steen and Weber, between the two of them they created most of the mischief we got into. Never hurtful or dangerous, just good funny fun. Steen was probably the best athlete in the school, built better than Swarzenegger, but he never played sports while going here in Jackson, just the band and business.

Byron & Weber class reunion

Byron & Weber class reunion

Weber looking a great deal like Burl Ives. He always loved this dower look but he was really humorous and fun to be around. He used to be a special forces soldier, a power lifter, a pilot and policeman but what he really was: an incredible guy that sat at the head of the special set of life long friends that you would count on one hand.

The greatest of times!

The greatest of times!

We had so many spectacular moments playing our rock music and holding dances in packed halls to screaming, exuberant kids, we had the maximum success you could ever wish for under the limited circumstances of being from a small town in Wyoming.

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