Open Letter To The Editor – Quad City Times – Silver Laughter

Here is a photo from our last trip to the Big Island. We sold our condo there and this was our goodbye trip.

Mick Orton 2010 in Hawaii

Note: Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the Quad City Times in Davenport, our hometown’s newspaper. They haven’t printed it yet…



I was born and raised in Davenport and graduated from West High School in 1968 until moving to California around 1980. My best memories are playing music in the band Silver Laughter.

As a matter of fact, all members were from Davenport; founder Jon Ludtke on guitar, his brother Kim on drums. I joined in late 1974 playing bass as another “Davenporter”, Steve Elliott  left to start another band. Central High School graduate, Ken Wiles was recruited to play lead guitar. We played places including the Spirit of St. Louis and St. George and the Dragon nightclubs and the Mississippi Valley Fair.

We also toured clubs in the Midwest including Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Illinois. This lineup recorded an album of original songs called “Handle With Care” released in 1976.

Kim left to go back to school so WHS 1967 graduate, Paul Staack, joined the band on drums. With him we recorded our second album, “Sailing on Fantasies” released in 1978. Touring included  a couple of months in Canada.

Last November I started a website dedicated to the Davenport band. Our hope is that some of your readers might remember us and visit the site.


Mick Orton

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