The big band in the Quad Cities around the 1960’s was (and still is) The Night People. Besides Silver Laughter, they influenced what almost all of the bands in the area were playing. This photo I grabbed from the Internet shows them in 1965. I think I have the members identified correctly as Rob Dahms, Gary Pearson, Mike Stroehle and Richard Collignon. I may have told this story before, but bear with me.
Not a lot of people know this, but one of the members, Mike Stroehle (pronounced STRAY-LEE) is Jon and Kim’s cousin. And that connection got me a ride in Mike’s Corvette to Grigg’s Music Store so I could try out a Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar. At the time I think it was a $600 instrument.
So when my mom balked at the price, and thanks to my infatuation with Paul McCartney, we compromised on an imitation Hofner bass (violin shaped) which we bought from my cousin who worked at another music store in Davenport. Besides, almost everyone we knew played guitar so bass players were in high demand!
Elsewhere on this site, I talk about how Ken teased me for tuning down the first four strings of my little 6 string guitar before I got the real bass. He still does. And I have also related to using that imitation Hofner bass even into my start with The Contents Are: before I had made enough money to buy the real thing. Craig Hute told me he knew it had arrived from Texas when he heard me warming up with it. He was outside arriving for practice, and his comment was that he could tell because it was so much clearer than my old bass.