Monday, May 25, 2020

Incident At Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival (Heyworth, Illinois) - 50th Anniversary

Originally planned for May 30-31, 1970 (Memorial Day weekend) however people started showing up as early as Thursday May 28th.  Over the course of the next four days an estimated 40,000-60,000 people converged on L. David Lewis' farm outside of Heyworth, Illinois in rural McLean County for a celebration of music, sun, drugs and mud.  The first band performed at midnight, early Friday morning.   Over the course of the next three days between 30-40 bands played.  The Spotify playlist above is just a small sample of the bands that were there though it includes one recording made at the outdoor concert:  Canned Heat's "Reefer Blues."

For more music recorded live at the festival listen to our show from last year (More details):

The Bands

Unknown group on stage at the Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival. 
Courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History

Headlining National Acts

  • Canned Heat - closed the festival on Sunday evening.
  • B.B. King - went on stage around 3am early Sunday morning
  • The Amboy Dukes
  • Country Joe and the Fish - preceded Canned Heat on Sunday
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band - preceded B.B. King, went on late Saturday night around 11:30 or midnight.
  • New Colony Six - played either Friday or Saturday
  • Frijid Pink - played on Sunday
  • Smith - played Saturday evening
Originally on the bill but did not perform:
  • The Kinks
  • Delaney & Bonnie & Friends

Supporting / Regional Acts

The majority of the supporting acts were local groups represented by Blytham Ltd., a Champaign-Urbana talent agency run by Bob Nutt and Irving Azoff.   Below is a list of bands that played at Kickapoo Creek or were scheduled to play.
  • Aorta - from Rockford / Chicago, Illinois.  The band was listed on early advertisements for the concert but was not included on similar ads closer to the event.  Unclear whether they were there or not.
  • Arrow Memphis - from Collinsville, Illinois.
  • Backstreet - (aka Backstreet Majority) from central Illinois.
  • The Basic Need - from central Illinois (possibly Clinton).
  • Bloomsbury People - from Waukesha, Wisconsin.   
  • Blue - from St. Louis, Missouri.   Michael MacDonald was a member of this group (see also The Guild).
  • Bluesweed - (aka Blues Weed) from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.   According to an interview with band members Perry Hamilton and James Kingelhoffer, the group was at the festival and scheduled to play but a downpour of rain right before going on postponed their stage time and they were ultimately bumped.
  • Bucktooth - ?
  • The Challengers - by one newspaper report this group performed on Friday.
  • Devil's Kitchen Bandfrom Carbondale, Illinois however the group relocated to San Francisco from 1968-1970 and was the "house band" at the Family Dog Ballroom.   Having returned to Illinois around the time of Kickapoo, the group got added to the bill at the last minute when their managers were asked to help run the festival's sound.  Devil's Kitchen performed in the afternoon on Saturday.  This was the group's last concert.
  • East Street - ?
  • The Esquires - originally from northern Illinois though based in Champaign-Urbana at this time.  By one newspaper report this group was the very first to perform with a start time of midnight, early Friday morning.
  • Fat Water - from Chicago / Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  
  • Feathertrain - (aka Feather Train) from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  
  • The Finchley Boys - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.   The band's stage time was moved up to noon on Sunday to help "wake up the crowd."
  • Dan Fogelberg  - Reportedly played at Kickapoo though not listed on any promotional posters or advertisements.  In 1970, Fogelberg was still a student at the University of Illinois and performed primarily in coffee houses around Champaign-Urbana.  He was however represented by Blytham Ltd. so it is possible he was at Kickapoo.  Here is what Dan sounded like in 1970:  
  • For Days & A Night - from Chicago though they played around central Illinois frequently.
  • Fuse - from Rockford, Illinois featuring guitarist Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick).   According to drummer Chip Greenman, Fuse was the opening act launching the festival.  This however conflicts other such claims.
  • Genesis - from either Milwaukee, Columbus or Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  NOT the English rock group featuring Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel as has been reported in the past.   Also NOT the American psychedelic group from Los Angeles that released an LP in 1968.
  • Gidians Bible - from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.
  • The Guildfrom Mascoutah, Illinois. Michael MacDonald was a member of this group around this time (see also Blue).
  • Light Brigade - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
  • The Litter - from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Monterey Hand - from Chicago featuring guitarist James "JY" Young (Styx).
  • Moses - from Charleston / Matoon, Illinois.  Band members:  Steve Dalton, Marc Nale, Eddie Pearcy, Gary Tate (rear) and Jim Hite.
  • Nickel Bag - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
  • Night People - from the Quad Cities, IL / IA.
  • One-Eyed Jacks - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.   One newspaper states the group opened the show at 5 pm on Friday.  The Chicago Tribune reported them as playing Saturday evening.
  • Phoenix - ?
  • REO Speedwagon - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.   
  • Corky Siegel - from Chicago, Illinois.   Presumably he performed with Jim Schwall but still unconfirmed.
  • Seven - ?
  • Spare Chaynge -  from St. Joseph, Illinois (Champaign County).  
  • Tayles - from Madison, Wisconsin.  
  • Truth - ?
  • Uncle Meatfrom Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. One of the first bands to play.
  • Zebra - ?

Thursday, April 9, 2020

John Prine - NFOTM Concert, Illinois State University, March 12, 1971

Promo copy of Prine's first album given to NFOTM by the man himself
Pantagraph March 11, 1971
In March of 1971, 24-year-old John Prine performed one of his first concerts outside of the Chicago area.  Traveling 130 miles south on a Friday night to the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Prine went on stage at 8 pm and played two sets at the Red Door in the (Old) Union building.

The concert was sponsored by the New Friends of Old Time Music, a student organization that promoted folk, blues and bluegrass concerts on campus for more than 15 years. (See NFOTM for more on the organization.)  Like all of the NFOTM shows at the time, the John Prine concert was free.

John performed over 20 songs that evening, accompanied only by his guitar.  His first album would not be released for another eight months (though Prine did provide an early promo copy of the LP for NFOTM - shown above).  While most of the songs he played that night were on his debut album, several would not be released for years to come.  Almost certainly everyone in attendance that night was hearing Prine and all of these songs for the very first time.  Below is the full set list:
  • Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
  • Angel From Montgomery
  • Aw Heck
  • Hello In There
  • Paradise
  • Illegal Smile
  • Great Society Conflict Veteran's Blues (aka Sam Stone)
  • Donald and Lydia
  • Way Down
  • Spanish Pipedream
  • Quiet Man
ISU senior Janel Hiland performed between sets 
  • Flashback Blues
  • Sour Grapes
  • Blue Umbrella
  • The Frying Pan
  • Souvenirs
  • The Great Compromise
  • Spanish Pipedream
  • Six O'Clock News
  • Clocks and Spoons
  • Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
  • Hey Good Lookin' / Jambalaya
Thanks to Bill Kemp and the McLean County Museum of History, Greg Koos, Chris Koos, Keith Zaleski, Bruce Bergethon, Laine Morreau, Milner Library and Illinois State University.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Show #46 - Apr. 5, 2020

A Psychedelic 20 Pack of Sound: 1965 -1968

The Del-RaysLollipop LadyArch1968Mascoutah
The One-Eyed JacksSomewhere They Can't Find MeLakeside1966Champaign-Urbana
The Sound of FuryI Don't Need YouSummit1968LaSalle-Peru
The Unknown?All Over The World (La La La)Cinema1967Belleville
The ShagsIt Ain't EasyGolden Voice1967Peoria
The Sounds Of UsWhat Would You SaySummit1968Ottawa
The Seeds of ReasonI'm Your True LoveLakeside1966Rockford
The Golden HazeHave You Ever Loved SomebodyCobblestone1968LaSalle-Peru
Five Of A KindeI Could Love YouGarric1967Quad Cities
The JacemenDon't Take It Out On MeLarson1967Rockford
The Raindear ArmyAviatorLedger1967Springfield
The Nite-OwlsHassleRembrandt1966Carbondale
The Coming GenerationDown To The CitySummit1968Dwight
The KomonsWhyFeature1966Rockford
The Rising TidesThe Girl's Made GoodSummit1968LaSalle-Peru
Kracker-Barrel KomplexMy WorldPage1968LaSalle-Peru
The Eighth DayTen BelowSummit1968Toluca
The Back PagesGood Things In LifeGolden Voice1967Peoria ?
The MavericksIf You Had Just Been GoodSummit1968Ottawa
The NomaddsI'm In TransitRadex1965Freeport



Friday, March 27, 2020

Show #45 - Mar. 28, 2020

Stay At Home Edition

The Sound of FuryI Can't See YouSummit1968LaSalle-Peru
Chuck PerrinWhat Am I Doing Here?-no label -1973Pekin
Bonnie LouSeven Lonely DaysKing1953Towanda / Carlock
Birdlegs & PaulineSpringCuca1963Rockford
Dean CarterFeverMilky Way1965Danville
Angelo's AngelsSpring CleaningErmine1964Tonica
Jim Estes & The Blue EchoesRainmakerGolden Voice1970Pekin
Dallas McGeeYou Ain't Going Nowhere- no label -197?Bloomington-Normal
Chuck WheelerFeelin' Kinda LonesomeMarlo1961East St. Louis
Wild Child Gipson w/ Freddie Tieken & The RockersSitting Here CryingHit1958Peoria / Quincy
Wayne Carter & Organ TwistersLet's Run Away From The WorldMootrey's1973Decatur

Saturday, March 14, 2020

A Psychedelic Six-Pack of Sound (1968)

A Psychedelic Six-Pack of Sound compilation album was originally released in 1968 on the Summit label.  The LP consists of six bands from central Illinois with each group being represented by two songs.  The album was produced by Ronnie Dale and recorded at Fidelity Sound in Streator, Illinois.  See original liner notes below for more details about the groups.

A bootleg reissue of the LP was produced in 1997 by Lüstbütt (knotfurguthen).   

The Sounds Of Us

The Sounds of Us have been together a little over one year.  Their popularity is attributed to their unique sound of a driving beat matched with Rhythm, Lead and bass Guitar with three part vocal harmony.   They also, on occasion, add a trumpet or sax as further proof of their versatility.  They all originate from the Ottawa-Marseilles, Illinois area.  Members of this popular group are:
  • Joe Halterman, Drums & Vocal
  • Brian Gunderson, Guitar & Vocal
  • Jim Travis, Bass Guitar & Vocal
  • Greg Lowery, Bass Guitar, Trumpet, Sax & Vocal
Tracks:   "True" (Greg Gary)  & "What Would You Say" (Gunderson)

The Coming Generation

One of the finest Rock 'n' Roll groups in the area.  The Coming Generation all hail from the Dwight, Illinois area.  They have been together for about one year, and have been very actively performing in many of the area schools, youth centers, and in several Battles of the Bands.  The Coming Generation is composed of the following members:
  • Steve Eddington, Lead Guitar
  • Roger Eddington, Electris Bass Guitar
  • Ed Connor, Rhythm Guitar
  • Girard Steichen, Drums
  • Bob Frobish, Organ
Other members:
  • David Larimer, Bass 
  • Peter Spandet, Drums
Tracks:  "Without You" (S. Eddington)  & "Down To The City" (Connor)

Sept. 22, 1967 - Streator, Illinois

The Rising Tides

The Rising Tides originate from the LaSalle-Peru area and have been entertaining the public for the past three years.  They have played throughout the state of Illinois, and have appeared on television on four occasions.   They were honored in placing ninth out of 90 bands appearing at the Illinois State Fair in 1967.  Personnel of the band are as follows:
  • Paul Kinsella, 18, Lead Singer, LaSalle
  • Dan Carlile, 17, Lead Guitarist, Tonica
  • Phil Clark, 19, Rhythm Guitar and Composer, Peru
  • John Prey, 21, Bass Guitarist, Oglesby
  • Johnny Johnson, 19, Drummer, Oglesby
Tracks:  "Little Girls" (Clark)  & "The Girl's Made Good" (Clark)

The Mavericks

Specializing in Country & Western music, this popular group also plays various types of music.  They have been performing together for one year, and have played at such places as the Ramada Inn, Middy's Tap, High School Dances and were guest performers on the Barn Dance.  Here are a few interesting facts about the personnel of this group:
  • Bob Jessen, 17, the drummer, is a Junior at Marquette High in Ottawa, Ill.  His hobby is sports.
  • Ed Kauzlarich, 16, is the organist.  He is a Sophomore at Ottawa High.  His hobbies are Speech and Electronics.
  • John Nelson, 14, is the Bass Guitarist.   He is a Freshman at Marquette High.   His hobby is sports.
  • Lyle Nelson, 15, Leader of the group, plays Guitar, and is the Lead Singer.   He is a Sophomore at Marquette, and his hobbies are sports and music.
  • Vicki Nelson, 20, is a Sophomore at Western Ill.  She sings with the group whenever possible and gives music as her hobby.  She plans to become a teacher.
Tracks:  "If You Had Just Been Good" (L. Nelson)  & "Trains" (L. Nelson)

The Sound of Fury

The Sound of Fury are known as one of the finest bands to come out of the LaSalle-Peru area.  They have been performing at School Dances, Teen Centers, Clubs, Battles of the Bands and many other functions.  Personnel of this fine group are:
  • Joe Zeman, Lead Guitar
  • Jerry Kaszynski, Rhythm Guitar
  • Bill Wangler, Bass Guitar
  • John Zokal, Drums
  • Jack Sadowski, Organ
  • Mark Wangler, Vocalist
Tracks:  "I Don't Need You" (Zeman)  & "I Can't See You" (B. Wangler)

The Eighth Day

The Eighth Day originate from Toluca, Illinois.   They have been playing together for about 1 1/2 years.  They are truly a versatile band, since they play Rhythm and Blues, Standards, Polkas as well as Rock 'n' Roll.  They have been playing in many of the area High Schools, Colleges, Teen Centers and have played out of the state on several occasions.  The members of this very popular group are:
  • Jack Reginald, 21, Lead Guitar
  • Gary Spires, 18, Vocalist
  • Bob Baldwin, 18, Bass Guitar
  • Greg Orrison, 16, Organ
  • Steve Shafer, 16, Drums
Tracks:  "Ten Below" (Spires, Reginald, Baldwin)  & "What You're Doin' To Me" (Reginald, Spires, Shafer, Orrison)

Special thanks to Dave Lijewski for turning me on to this record.

Hear tracks from A Psychedelic Six-Pack of Sound on Episode #46 of the Downstate Sounds radio show!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

WESN Show #44 - Mar 12, 2020

Jazz. Rock. Prog. Folk. Fusion. Lounge. 1975 - 1981

SatchitanandaAlong Our WayA Thought AwayAferton1978Springfield
Don ThompsonColumbusJupiterSunday Productions1975Macomb
Mike ZikovichMakin' WavesMakin' WavesGolden Eagle1978Granite City
Autumn DustSpend Another Day--Same Old Label1975Bureau
The Diplomats (505th Air Force Jazz Band)Left Bank Express--Silver Dollar1978Rantoul
Karlos P. SteinblastYou Gotta Keep On TryingI Need A WomanFrederick1981Carbondale
Gene HoodSlippin'Out Of The CloudsOld Shack1980Mt. Vernon
Arm & HammerSunday Afternoon At Willi Oil--- no label -1975Du Quoin
Robert BogaertGrocery BusinessIndependent StudyWhy?1979Bloomington-Normal