Note: Kim and I were talking by e-mail about the Iowa R&R Hall of Fame, and he gave me some history of Silver Laughter of which I was totally unaware. Here is what he sent me. – Mick Orton
Silver Laughter was formed in 1969 by Jon Ludtke and Steve Elliott. Soon afterwards, John Carstensen and Kim Ludtke were added. That was the original band with major influences being the Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.
Eventually Denny Walton joined and provided a Chicago blues influence, playing a telecaster as well as a mean harmonica. This early band was booked 2-3 nights a week, through eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The band that went on the road in Aug 1974 was Jon, Steve, Kim and Denny.
Steve and Denny didn’t care for the traveling and left at the end of 1974. So the band incorporated two musician friends from their hometown of Davenport with the addition of Mark Zaputil on guitar and Mick Orton on bass. Mark stayed a short time until Ken Wiles joined, later in 1975.
After their departure from Silver Laughter, Denny and Steve formed the Sneaky Feelin’ band (Denny is in the picture of that band on this site – he is sitting on the rock next to Steve). Also, after Sneaky Feelin’ broke up, Kim joined Steve in forming the original HiFi band. This would have been the summer of 1979, just after Silver Laughter disbanded. Jon would also later join HiFi (after lead singing in the band Cold Stare for several years) and continued playing music with Steve for many years.
Kim J. Ludtke