Nickel Revolution Looks Back on January 1968

Posted: January 7, 2012 in 1968

As we begin this post, a “tip-o-the hat” and a big thank you to Mike Dugo of the national website, 60s Garage Bands. Here is what Mike has posted on The Nickel Revolution:

The members at this time included: Louie Lenz – Guitar, Scott Jeffy – Bass, Jerry Lenz – Drums, Ron “Honeybear” Hort – Keyboards, Kent Saunders – Lead Guitar, and John Berman – Sax.

One of the great treasures uncovered in publishing the history of The Nickel Revolution is a calendar that Scott Jeffy kept and he had the good sense to hold onto it all these years. Here is the January 1968 installment.

Friday, January 5, 1968 – Pla-Mor Ballroom, Rochester, MN $140

The Nickel kicked off the new year playing at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Rochester MN. This was a classic Minnesota ballroom. Ballroom owners learned early on that they could make excellent revenue with teen dances, charging admission and selling sodas (pop as they say in Minnesota), hot dogs and snacks. This rock addition at ballrooms moved the traditional music bands and beer / set-up sales to different nights and afternoon dances.

Researching the Pla-Mor, the only photo we could fine was of “Coat Check” tokens—but that also gives you some insight into the upscale nature of Midwest ballrooms and what life was like in the 1960s….don’t forget to tip the coat check girl (you do want your coat, don’t you?).

We found one news account of the Pla-Mor’s closing in December 2006: “The Pla-Mor Ballroom, where Rochester area couples danced to live bands for more than half a century, now has disappeared into a pile of rubble and into city history.  The 55-year-old building would have been too costly to restore.”

Bimbo’s was cancelled on Sunday January 7, 1968.

Saturday, January 13, 1968 – New City Opera House, Minneapolis, MN $88

As was often the case, the Nickel Revolution played at “union scale” for many in town gigs. It was important to keep building the home town audience and local gigs at NCOH were always a good time in that we’d play with another band and have fun before, during and after the show.

Friday, January 19, 1968 – Phi Beta Phi, University of Minnesota. $185

College party gig…always a good time with perks and good money.

Saturday, January 20, 1968 – Richardson Pavilion, Clayton, WI $160

Another classic ballroom gig and again, no photos or news detailing when this venue closed.

Monday, January 22, 1968 – Stage House, Minneapolis, MN $130

Friday, January 26 – Albert Lee Community Center, Albert Lee, MN $150

Saturday, January 27, 1968 – New City Opera House, Minneapolis, MN $88

Closing out the month of January, we played at one of our all time favorite venues:

Monday, January 29, 1968 – London Inn, Eau Claire, Wisconsion $170

This was always a fun time and 18-year-olds could drink 3.2 Beer (low-alcohol content) in Wisconsin. The revenue was very good and within the year, our earnings because of audience draw, would escalate to $500 per night at the London Inn (excellent income for 1968)

Total number of gigs for January, 1968: Eight

Total revenue: $1,111

Average per appearance: $139

Conversion to 2012 dollars

Total revenue: $7,183

Average per appearance: $898

Besides investing our income in our equipment, we were also able to buy nice cars. This will give a another perspective on 1968. These photos are a good representation of our transportation of choice. Louie and Jerry Lenz shared a new Ford Torino Fastback (alternating with the band van)

Bass Player, Scott Jeffy had a VERY fine 1967 Pontiac GTO

Keyboard player Ron “Honeybear” Hort raced across town in his 1968 Oldsmobile 442

We welcome your comments and feedback on this blog. You can post here and share this with your friends via Facebook and Twitter (see easy links). If you want to email us any questions or comments:

Visit our YouTube Channel to listen to our recordings


See these great websites for further insights to Twin Cities bands from the 50s, 60s, 70s:

If you truly enjoy reading about local and regional rock bands from the 60s, you need to check out this national website:





© 2011 © 2012 Jerry Lenz, Lenz Entertainment Group All Rights Reserved


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