Some Thoughts About My Early Days With Silver Laughter

Mark on stage with Silver Laughter in Hastings NE 1975

Mark on stage with Silver Laughter in Hastings NE 1975

This morning the news was on television, and the song, “Mustang Sally” came on as a bumper to a story about the Ford Motor Company. It reminded me that, although I had never played it in any of the bands to which I had belonged before Silver Laughter, it became one of the tunes in our repertoire when I first joined the band on the road. I sure wish I had that set list!

Jon, Kim and Mark had been touring for a few months with Steve and Denny before I came on board. And since they had booking commitments through Big G Enterprises which needed to be kept, the rush was on for us to put together a show quickly with the new lineup.

In those first days we used everything we had from our past musical experiences to fill up the 3-4 hours needed for the nightclubs we played. So songs we had done from the “Night People days” in Davenport were dragged out.


Mick & Mark at Scotty’s Wayne, NE 1975

“Feel A Whole Lot Better” was easily put together which took up a whole 3-4 minutes if we stretched it out by adding solos or extra verses. We had to do this to many of the songs in order to fill up the time!

Another song we revived was “For What It’s Worth” by the Buffalo Springfield. And J. J. Cale’s “Lies” was one of the few songs on which Mark Zaputil sang lead. We also sent up a version of War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends” sung by Kim Ludtke. I still laugh when I think about him mugging his way through the lyrics.

This brings me back to the song, “Mustang Sally” which we covered by Wilson Pickett. Jon sang lead. It was a great hit with the dancers! Fortunately for me, the bass line was easy to imitate. Attached is a photo of Mark onstage from one of the first, if not THE first, job I played with Silver Laughter in Hastings, Nebraska. The second is from what may have been my second job with the band, Scotty’s in Wayne, Nebraska. Both pictures were sent to me by Mr. Zaputil from his collection.

Mick Orton

Categories: History

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