Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bob Strader, Rock ‘n’ Roll Drummer

Bob Strader was a friend and a classmate of mine at Whitworth University. He was a musician, a drummer, starting with rock ‘n’ roll bands in the 1960s. He died in April at the age of 60. He was a drummer in 1969 for The Porky Pig Show with legendary Spokane guitarist Sid Fisher; others in the group were Aaron Bochee, Jerry DesVoignes, and Tom Ogle.

The Porky Pig Show played the March 28, 1969 benefit for Locksley Hall at the Grotto, Pacific and Browne. Performing that night were Cold Power, Free, (from Lewiston), United States of Mind and Tendergreen.

They also headlined their own show on a Sunday afternoon at High Bridge Park advertised in the Spokane Natural as “a concert at Hybridge Park,” on Aug. 3, 1969, and billed as a concert with The Porky Pig Show & Friends & Relations from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

A memorial for Bob will be held Friday June 7th at 7 p.m. at Bethany Presbyterian Church, 2607 Ray Street, Spokane. As was the character of Bob, casual dress is appropriate for attending the memorial, your best Hawaiian shirt is called for at this event.

Advertisements

1979 Gig List: Spokane Memorial Coliseum

. . . Date . . . .  . .      Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    . . . . . . .  . Attendance 
March 2 Phoebe Snow  Opera House
March 9 Marshall Tucker/Firefall na
April 2 Styx 8,523
April 14 Van Halen 7,445
April 15 Super Tramp 4,714
April 20 Country Music Hall of Fame 4,232
April 25 Kenny Rodgers/Dottie West 7,218
May 6 Yes 5,419
June 1 Triumph 2,873
June 23 Eric Clapton 5,994
July 23 Ted Nugent na
July 7 Nazareth 3,939
July 13 Kansas 6,728
August 9 Blue Oyster Cult 8,517
September 9 The Cars 8,500
November 7 The Knack 2,237
November 28 Earth Wind & Fire 7,699

Top grossing show, Earth Wind & Fire with $73,140; Blue Oyster Cult grossed $69,477; and The Cars put $68,000 in the trunk before heading out.

Source: Spokane Arena Office Binder: “Coliseum Concerts” typed, handwritten and word processor documents 1975 to 1994. 14 Jan., 2011.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Schoenberg


1980 Gig List: Spokane Memorial Coliseum

. . . Date . . . . .  . . . . . . Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Attendance . . . .
         
January 2   Foreigner   na
February 6   Willie Nelson   7,218
March 21   Rush   6,972
March 27   Van Halen   7,948
May 29   Ted Nugent   6,679
June 1   Country Music Special II   3,754
June 9   Lawrence Welk   7,218
June 17   Grateful Dead   4,050
June 19   Kenny Rodgers   7,538
June 29   Blue Oyster Cult   4,283
July 18   Black Sabbath   Cancelled (July 17)
September 27   John Denver   7,321
September 29   Fog Hat   5,444
October 8   Doobie Brothers   8,500
October 29   Randy Hansen & Head East   1,800
October 31   Commodores   6,342
December 14   Cheap Trick   6,453

Top grossing concerts: Kenny Rogers $90,198; John Denver $85,245; Doobie Bros. $72,887.

Willie Nelson, Van Halen and Ted Nugent were in the low $60,000, and Blue Oyster Cult bombed at $37,542

Source: Spokane Arena Office Binder: “Coliseum Concerts” typed, handwritten and word processor documents 1975 to 1994. 14 Jan., 2011.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Schoenberg


A conversation with guitarist Ron Livingstone

I sat down with guitarist Ron Livingstone Sunday afternoon to have a conversation that ranged from grange hall dances in 1954, at Spring Hill Grange, the grange hall at Waverley, and half a dozen others where his brother, Neil Livingstone, and their band, The String Dusters, played with various musicians from around Spokane, including Bobby Wayne, and stories about Les Paul and Chet Atkins, two of his guitar heroes.

We talked about the beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll in Spokane. In 1955 his friend, song writing guitarist Bobby Wayne, returned from a stay in Georgia where he saw Elvis Presley and his band perform, and immediately ran down to a record store to pick up a handful of Sun Records 78s by the little known rocker who was turning the music scene in the South upside down.

Returning to Spokane Wayne and the Livingstone brothers incorporated rockabilly songs into their own performance. Wayne recorded a number of his own rockabilly songs in late 1955, some of them at Spokane’s Sound Recording Studios operated by Paul and Irene Carter.

Though it was a beginning for rock ‘n’ roll, it was not taken up soon by other musicians in Spokane. Livingstone said that the music scene in Spokane was Country and Western, and the musicians were not immediate fans of rock ‘n’ roll. It took a couple more years, and more Elvis, more Bill Haley, and a little bit of Buddy Holly to develop fully.

Copyright © 2013 Robert Schoenberg