Friday, November 18, 2022

The Nightmares on Fredlo (Quad Cities)

The Nightmares' lone record opens with a cackling announcement of LISTEN... YEAH... BABY! as the group launches into their rock-n-roll instrumental "Greyhound."  The song is three and half minutes of pounding piano coupled with primitive proto-surf guitar sounds.  On the flip side, "The Nightmare!" is an equally fantastic instrumental with spooky sound effects and menacing hoots and hollers all drenched in reverb.

The Nightmares appear to have been, at least in part, students at the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.  Throughout 1960 the group performed regularly as Speedy Gonzales and the Nightmares at the Red Fox Nite Club in Rock Island, Illinois.  The single (Cat# 6007) was recorded that same year at Fred and Lois Mauck's Fredlo Recording Studios in Davenport.  

"Greyhound" was written by Elmer E. Gonzales of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Elmer had been playing music, primarily fiddle, from an early age.  Prior to coming to the Quad Cities, he served in the Army Special Services where he played in the Circle A Wranglers.   As a member of that group he performed with many of the greats in country music, including Faron Young, Roy Drusky and Roger Miller.  In 1957 Elmer won first place in the "All Army Entertainment Contest."  

By 1960 Elmer and his brother, Rodolph "Rudy" Gonzales, were enrolled at the Palmer School in Davenport.  Elmer graduated with his Doctorate of Chiropractic in 1961 and returned to New Mexico.

"Nightmare!" was written by Robert "Robin" Jarmain of Queens, New York.  He graduated from the Palmer School in 1963.  In 1965, after returning to New York, it appears he may have recorded a single as Robin Jarmain and Friends.   

While the Nightmares did not last, both Gonzales and Jarmain went on to have long careers as chiropractors in their home states.  Fiddlin' Doc Gonzales passed away in 2017.

If you have any additional information about other members of this group or the single PLEASE get in touch at

No comments:

Post a Comment