I guess my interest in music started when I was a very young child, watching and listening to my mother play our old upright piano. Later, my dad bought mom a Conn electric organ. I used to play the bass pedals, while she played the organ keys. I just played by ear.
When I was in high school, I got very interested in the guitar. My folk soon bought me my first guitar...an electric one...a Sears Silvertone "solid body" style. Actually, the guitar was hollow...made of two slabs of masonite. It was a Danelectro guitar, but marketed through Sears.
During my senior year in high school, my folks bought me my first "serious" electric guitar...a Gibson Les Paul Special, double cut, blonde finish. During that year, some schoolmates and I formed a band, we named the "Teen Beats".
We played a lot of dances in and around my hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. After graduation, I moved, with my folks, down to Independence, Missouri. Soon after, I enrolled in Graceland College, located in Lamoni, Iowa. While there, I and four other students formed a rock band we called "The Fabulous Morticians".
The "Morts" became very popular and developed a large following. We had a 1951 Cadillac hearse, we named "The Gray Ghost". We later moved to Missouri. Three of us transferred to Central Missouri State University, while John transferred to the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music, located in Kansas City. We became one of Kansas City's better rock bands. During the summer of 1967, we toured the western states of Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, playing clubs. Club work, playing six nights a week, made us a very tight band. At summer's end, we returned to Missouri and college life. While still at the university, we were the house band at "Pizza Villa"...the local hang-out for the college kids, and when not playing at the "Villa", we would be playing in some surrounding town.
In 2002, we were notified that we were to be inducted into the Iowa Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Since that time, we have been getting together to play various cities throughout the mid-west. We still do this two or three times a year.
It's been a fun ride and one that I wouldn't trade for anything. So many good memories, people we have met, etc. All of the original members are still among the living.