What I Gave Up to Be A Silver Laughter!

baby stoller

baby stroller

Updated 11/23//13 – When I got the call from Jon Ludtke that he and his brother, Kim, were interested in having me replace Steve Elliott on the road with Silver Laughter, I had a hard decision to make. The Contents Are: had changed their name to Tabernash, and we were not playing much.

I had just gotten married to Pam and was making my way up the corporate ladder in the Gerico baby stroller factory. The plant was just off Highway 36 on the outskirts of Boulder, CO. I had started as a temporary, part-time day laborer who hammered in the plastic ends on the aluminum tubes before they were riveted together to make the (at the time) innovative fold-up baby stroller. Since the band did not have many jobs and music was not taking up my time, I was able to focus on being a “Working Man”. The strollers were much more basic than the one pictured here, but I learned a lot, paid attention and was proud of my work that, after about 6 months, I had worked my way up to full time assembly line operator of the riveting machines. I was so good, in fact, that I made suggestions to change the order of production if I saw there was a bog down at any station; so much so that it eventually earned me the opportunity to become plant manager!

In fact, Pam and I had just bought our house in Pinewood Springs which is on the way up the road to Estes Park. Things were very good, but not fulfilling musically. So when Jon’s phone call came that evening, I was at home in our Pinewood Springs house. We talked for quite a long time about the opportunity, and I jumped. I have documented elsewhere on this website the horrible way I left Pam to go on the road back in the Midwest.

Looking back, I wish I had done a better job of doing things back then, but I do not regret making the decision to go on the road with Silver Laughter… not one bit.

Added 11/23/13: What I did not say is how excited I was to be able to be in a band that was unashamedly commercial and able to actually make a living playing music. So the opportunity to be one of the primary singer and songwriters in the band was a dream come true. I was really jazzed to be a part of it. If Jon hadn’t called, I would probably still be living in Colorado working for Gerico or whatever company they were acquired by.

Mick Orton

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