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.

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