March 1968 was a fun and exciting month of gigs and we’ve already chronicled the WDGY Super Scene at Metropolitan Sports Center (now the site of Mall of America) on March 8, 1968. We owe gratitude to Scott Jeffy for holding onto a calendar, on which he listed our gigs and revenue.

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.

Here is the March 1968 installment:

Friday, March 1, 1968

Inn Too

Menomonie, Wisconsin                                        Revenue: $160

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 2, 1968

George’s Ballroom

New Ulm, Minnesota                                             Revenue: $130

George’s was always a great time because it was such a quality venue in the German inspired town of New Ulm. We’ve included a sample of the cards that were handed out to the crowd showing up for rock dances (we’ve got some Nickel Revolution ones somewhere, but have yet to find them in our treasure chest).

 

George’s Ballroom was located on Center Street. It was built in 1947 after World War II and became a hot spot for young couples reuniting after the war. Performers such as Lawrence Welk, The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller, and the Six Fat Dutchmen (hey, it’s polka land in Minnesota) all played there, and in its heyday it was an important center for big bands and polka music, and then the revolution of rock dances as teens created a new revenue stream for the Midwest ballrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 1, 1968

WDGY Super Scene ‘68

Bloomington, Minnesota                                      Revenue: $158

Great fun and it really was a “Super Scene” with Wilson Pickett and the Hollies.

Read our full post on this event here: Super Scene

 

Saturday, March 9, 1968

Cabaret

St. Paul, Minnesota                                                Revenue: $120

Friday, March 15, 1968

Holy Trinity High School

Winsted, Minnesota                                               Revenue: $160

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, March 16, 1968

Southwest High School YMCA

Minneapolis, Minnesota                                       Revenue: $185

Sunday, March 17, 1968

Kato Ballroom

Mankato, Minnesota                                              Revenue: $145

 

Saturday, March 23, 1968

New City Opera House

Minneapolis, Minnesota                                       Revenue: $88

Friday, March 29, 1968

Hill High School

St. Paul, Minnesota                                                Revenue: $180

 

Saturday, March 30, 1968

Inn Too

Menomonie, Wisconsin                                            Revenue: $160

(Ending the month were we began it)

 

Total Revenue for the month: $1,486 (Average gig: $149)

Conversion to 2012 dollars: $1,486.00 in 1968 had the same buying power as $9,892.29 in 2012. That would be like a band making $989 per gig today. 

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

 

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: 

 

 

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

 

 

 

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

 

 

 

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

 

Reunion Update: We will have a venue contracted shortly as we complete negotiations. Here are the details we can publish now:

Date: Saturday, September 1, 2012 (Labor Day Weekend) Minneapolis Minnesota

Time: 8:00 pm. The Nickel Revolution will play the first set and open each set. We are openly inviting friends to join us in jam sessions with pre-determined sets. If you want to participate in the jam portion of the evening, let us know with an email to: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

Jamming musicians will need to bring guitars, drumsticks, etc. (you will use our amps, pa, drums, etc.). A pre-party reception is planned for family and close friends. Again, for details contact: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

More to follow…stay tuned…and now looking forward beyond the Nickel Revolution’s Reunion

“To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)   There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)   And a time to every purpose under Heaven.”

Folk signer Pete Seeger wrote the words, borrowing the theme from the book of Ecclesiastes. The Byrds recorded and released Turn, Turn, Turn and the song would top the Billboard charts on December 4, 1965.

Everything does have a season and the season for The Nickel Blues Band begins now with a rebirth and vision. The name and logo come from the founder, Jerry Lenz (drummer and keyboards), who began playing in rock bands at the age of 14 in 1964. His first band would evolve (turn, turn, turn) into The Nickel Revolution.

This evolution is a result of “getting ready” for the Nickel Revolution’s reunion on September 1, 2012 in Minneapolis, MN. The band has never had a full reunion and this one will take place 42 years after the conclusion of the Nickel Revolution’s playing days. During the long interim, Jerry was not playing the drums because you can’t really play a “song” on the drums. Instead, he returned to playing keyboards as he had learned to play the organ as a boy growing up. Plus, with the advancement of musical instruments, he could build his own drum tracks for songwriting.

The necessity of a return to playing the drums onstage required Jerry to purchase an electronic drum kit in August, 2011. That would give him a year to practice and prepare for the reunion. Playing to tracks, he quickly realized that he needed the feel and action of real drums. So in October he purchased a kit and was quickly called into action when his rock/blues friend, Arte Tedesco, asked him to play drums on a simple track that Arte was recording for charity.

 Jerry at John Blanche Recording Studios, Longwood Florida

That experience reminded Jerry how much he needed to be playing LIVE and not just practicing to tracks. Playing live is a very different dynamic. Drums and bass form the foundation upon which the other musicians play—and in that sense, the drum/bass rhythm section has more of a leading roll. On tracks, you are playing along—not initiating the rhythm. Recognizing this Jerry knew he had to find a way to play live with other musicians and that is when he discovered the various blues jams around Orlando, Florida.

He quickly attended the jams and began talking with the organizers and host bands. Fortunately, Jerry met Doc (Carl) Williamson and Stephen Plotnik. Doc Williamson (keyboards and vocals), hosts three jams a week in addition to playing solo and band gigs. Steve Plotnik is Doc’s “house” drummer for two of the jams. They explained the process to Jerry and told him to prepare to sit in for a short set. The very first blues jam for Jerry was at the Alley Blues Bar (Sanford, Florida) November 14, 2011 and it certainly was an eye-opener and ear-opener for Jerry. He had a lot of work to do to get the rust off and become a drummer once again. No stranger to hard work and dedication, Jerry asked Doc and Steve to help him, and give him the straight truth and not to sugarcoat it. The pros obliged and told him to work on meter, build a strong collection of blues standards and to learn the drumming style rather than playing rock rhythms and fills. They also told him to be “up front,” confident and louder (defined) on his snare hits. Jerry’s dedication and persistence paid off. He committed to 4-5 jams per week, listening and learning along the way (and the education continues). Practice, practice, practice. After 60 days of this routine, Jerry’s fellow jammers remarked on his improvement and he gained the respect of Doc Williamson who said, “I don’t worry about you anymore.” Anyone that knows Doc will appreciate the comment.

Doc Williamson

 

Stephen Plotnik

 

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

 

 

 

 

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

We’ve already chronicled what a change 1968 was for the Nickel Revolution, music in general and the nation as well. Our equipment would undergo a makeover as well in 1968. We were loyal customers at B Sharp music, but they did not carry all lines of amps, especially the new equipment that we saw national acts using.

Leo Fine and Mort Kaufman of Park Music Center were aggressive in that they had received the dealer/distribution rights for Sunn Amps and PA Systems. They visited us at local appearances and invited us to stop by their store, which we did. Some of our friends, Jokers Wild and Stillroven had migrated over to Sunn Amps and we liked what we saw.

Leo and Mort were extremely generous in exchanging gear for minimal dollars in order to extend the Sunn brand further in the Midwest. They also paid to have our “Wooden Nickels” printed at their expense so we could pass them out at gigs. They were very popular and if you held onto one, it’s surely worth some money today (well, maybe). The Nickel Revolution’s popular Indian Head Logo was on one side and Park Music Center was printed on the flip side. People still ask why we used an Indian head for our logo…it is based on the very collectable Indian head nickel that was in circulation 1913-1938 (Buffalo on flip side).

Jerry would continue his relationship with B Sharp Music and Rogers Drums as he felt the hardware was better-suited for rock drummers at the time. All the manufactures were racing to improve their equipment for the continuing rock explosion, bigger venues, outdoor concerts and changing needs. Jerry did work with Park Music and upgraded his cymbals, purchasing them from Park. He was photographed in the drum section of Park Music to help Leo and Mort promote their Ludwig line, but most people realized that Jerry was still featured in the B Sharp ads with his Rogers Drums.

Leo and Mort invited the members of the Nickel Revolution to be their guests at the June 1968 NAMM convention in Chicago. NAMM is the organization of manufacturers and retail merchandisers. National Association of Music Merchants.

It was a great experience to see and sample all the new instruments and the convention was loaded with artists and give-aways. Jerry secured a Kustom Kat for his younger brother Allen. Kustom used a “nagahide” covering on their amps and created a little mascot, Kustom Kat, to promote the brand. We were not interested in the amps, but had fun bringing home something for the kid brother.

Jokers Wild Promoting Park Music

Stillroven Promoting Park Music Center

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

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

We’ve discussed in earlier posts how our parents were not only supportive of the band, but also involved in looking for opportunities to further promote the group. Keith Follese (original member and keyboard/guitar player) brought a suggestion to The Inchanters. Keith’s mom had obtained information that applications were being taken for tryouts to be considered for the 1966 Judge Wright Awards. The Inchanters had a little over one year playing at this point and they decided to go for it.

The competition invited only youth in a typical 50s/60s variety show format. The Inchanters entered the competition and advanced to the finals.

All of the finalists competed before a live audience in a formal setting. There were a lot of dance groups and individual singers. The Inchanters were the only rock band to make it to the finals.

The 20th Annual Judge Wright Variety Show was sponsored by the Minneapolis Junior Chamber of Commerce and supported by many prominent Minnesota businesses (you can see the listing on the program photo included here). It was a two-evening event, first at Henry High School on Friday, February 18, and then Southview Jr. High School on Saturday, February 19, 1966. Tickets were sold and a large audience was on hand both evenings.

The event was named after Judge Fred Wright who had served as a juvenile judge in the Hennepin County Court System. A memorial fund was set up in Judge Wright’s name and administered by the Minneapolis Junior Chamber of Commerce.  In the program it states, “The show is made possible only through the unselfish efforts of the young men and women who constitute the cast. These young people, by generously contributing their time to talents to this cause, perpetuate the intent of the Judge Wright Fund—that youth help youth help themselves.”

Although the Inchanters had played a variety of songs during the competition leading up to the finals, only one song could be selected for the finals. The band decided to play the song that had originally launched the group, so the Inchanters played, “The Grind,” by Gregory Dee and The Avanti’s. One of the Twin Cities leading rock bands from the 60s. And they WON the competition.

It was a promotional asset for The Inchanters to use the tagline, “winners of the 1966 Judge Wright Talent Show.” It helped secure new bookings for the band. We put the tag line on our promotional materials and you can see an example of how it helped us in the ad for Block’s LTD. That ad ran in Robbinsdale Senior High’s Newspaper and all four members of the Inchanters attended Robbinsdale at the time.

The Inchanters would continue to book themselves until the fall of 1966 when Dick Shapiro of Central Booking Alliance (CBA) signed the group to exclusive representation.

Members at this time included: Keith Follese (keyboard/guitar), Louie Lenz (guitar), Scott Jeffy (bass) and Jerry Lenz (drums).

Listen to The Grind by Gregory Dee and The Avanti’s HERE

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

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: http://www.60sgaragebands.com/nickelrevolution.html

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

 

 

 

 

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

A simple post with bandleader Louie Lenz who took a break from practicing his stage antics to launch a new senior career. Enjoy.

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

How The Nickel Revolution Rolled

Posted: December 15, 2011 in 1970

From the very beginning of the band that would become the Nickel Revolution, having a van was important to us. While a trailer behind mom and dad’s car would suffice for other groups, we insisted on having our own dedicated vehicle. We wanted to have a truck like the Underbeats and Gregory Dee and The Avanties.

In 1964, our parents helped us accomplish that goal too, even though Louie was the only one old enough to have a driver’s license. Keith Follese’s folks owned an electrical contracting firm (later becoming an Air Conditioning – Heating contractor) and they had an old panel van that they allowed us to “earn.” We have doctored a photo here to get as close as possible to what the panel truck looked like—a 40s Chevrolet Panel truck. No one has found any pictures of our first truck or our last van.

We earned that first panel truck by cleaning junk out of apartments in a building owned by Keith Follese’s mom. Pretty easy work considering it was only one Saturday and we had a truck.

We used magic marker to “paint” Wailing Phantoms on the side and added the decals of a woodpecker with big eyes and a cigar to be cool. Louie also bought “baby moon” wheel covers—it was cool. At least for a short period of time.

In 1965 we were earning enough money to actually buy a used panel van (again with our parents fronting the money). It was a light blue Ford van and it’s pictured here with the Inchanters logo and painting courtesy of B Sharp Music. The van not only took us to gigs, we went to high school in that van and it ended up in a photo in the school newspaper. Also included here.

The light blue van would go through changes when we became the Nickel Revolution. In the end, we converted it to scrap metal as it was totaled in an accident sending a few band members into the hospital. We were on vacation and not gigging at the time of the accident.

Louie, Jerry and Scott at the Lenz home goofing off and the Inchanters van parked in the driveway

Roadie Joe Carroll doing hand stands to entertain the boys in the band. Here is an article from an early musician’s publication:

Next up was a black and white Ford Econoline window van which is pictured here. Interestingly enough, this van was also totaled on vacation. Louie, Honeybear, Scott and one of our roadies, Dave Arneson took the van to the Arneson’s lake cabin near Maple Lake, Minnesota. Honeybear was out  “joy-riding” (driving) the van when, he claims, a bee tried to sting him and he rolled the van on a country road. Some witnesses claim it may have been vapors from a burning weed of some sort.

We do not have a photo of our final van that we purchased in 1968 when we really started racking up miles on cross country trips. It was a green Ford van and we chose not to have our name painted on the side. The reason being is that band vans became targets for thieves. A lot of fellow bands lost equipment and it happened to us as well. However, only our backup gear was stolen out of the van one night when we played at New City Opera House in Minneapolis.

Sample photo of a late 60s Ford Econoline Van

There are a lot of interesting stories surrounding the Nickel Revolution’s vans. One that could have been a tragedy happened late night or early morning after a gig in Wisconsin. We were traveling south near Black River Falls, Wisconsin and had pulled in to eat at a truck stop. Because we were “long hairs,” we were used to being hassled by some of the truckers and we had our own smartass retorts. One of our favorites was, “didn’t your mother ever teach you not to talk to strangers?” We probably used that one along with some others and got a truck driver really mad. We were unaware that he was waiting for us to leave. When we did, he pulled out his rig and followed us. We got on the Interstate and he followed us as close as he could, trying to scare us off the road. We were already travelling 65 to 70 miles per hour with the van loaded with equipment. Louie Lenz was behind the wheel and put the peddle to the metal, but this crazy driver kept it up and he was now trying now, to bump us off the road.

Much to our delight, he instead took his semi truck into the ditch in a heavily forested area. Looking back we saw his headlights pointing skyward. We didn’t stop but traveled on our way to our destination.

A van story with a lighter twist involves Louie, Scott and Jerry, along with their dates being “taken in” to Police headquarters in New Hope, Minnesota (1965). The police called our parents who—get this—had to come down and pick us up because we were parked on a side street that didn’t allow parking and we were making out. That is all…making out…kissing…BUSTED.

Our folks were very eager to talk to us. As soon as the dust settled, we went back to kissing girls in the van. And that’s how these rockers rolled.

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

In planning the reunion and getting in touch with the various members of The Nickel Revolution, it was shocking to learn that one of our best musicians and singers, Mickey Larson had passed away. With this entry in to The Nickel Revolution, we pay tribute to Mickey.

Upon Ron “Honeybear” Hort’s exit from the band, Mickey was recruited by Keith Luer. Both Keith and Mickey were from Wisconsin. It was 1969 and The Nickel Revolution was a high-earning band as our rates had escalated from the record release and the group was always a high draw for ballrooms and club owners. Keith contacted Mickey and learned he was between bands and was looking to join a group in Minneapolis. It was a very quick process and Mickey was in the band overnight and was such an accomplished musician that it was easy for him to slide into position. He had a strong background before joining the Nickel, including having worked with The Dick Clark Show Band, Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers and others.

After the Nickel Revolution, Mickey played in various groups including the Tongue Band and finally formed his own band, The Mickey Larson Band. You can see Mickey Larson in action with the Tongue Band in 1974 on this You Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfqdtU9Ki1w

Although it is a very rough video to see clearly, you can hear Mickey’s vocals and excellent keyboard work.

Mickey Larson (Michael K. Larson) – Born February 17, 1947. Died August 12, 2004 (Throat cancer).

In addition to being a professional musician, excellent vocalist and creative individual, Mickey was the guru of groupies. He certainly had a big following. On one particular night, Mickey was entertaining a young girl who was instantly in love with him. I am pretty sure it was one of our many nights at the London Inn in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She wanted to stay in touch with Mickey and asked if she could write him (yup…no email or Facebook in 1969). Mickey replied, “Sure.” When she asked for his address he rattled off  “423 Roosevelt Street, Minneapolis, MN.” Then the young woman asked Mickey how to spell “Roosevelt” and dumbfounded, Mickey looked at me and said, “Jerry, spell Rosevelt for her.” I teased him about that one for a long time to come. A good musician and vocalist, full of fun and laughs and I will miss seeing him at the reunion. You remain in our thoughts and hearts Mickey!

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

Nickel Revolution Lost Recordings FOUND

Posted: November 23, 2011 in 1968

The discovery of one reel-to-reel tape by Kent Saunders had everyone in the Nickel Revolution on pins and needles for a couple of weeks. Would the tape still be good after over 40+ years of sitting in storage?

Kent was meticulous in his efforts and after testing a couple of other tapes, loaded the band’s only recordings on to his antique Fostek deck…the tape played. He avoided overplaying it until the transfer to digital could be made. On Monday, November 21, 2011, he was able to forward MP3 copies to the band members. What a delight to listen to the recordings and finally have something we could share with our families and friends. Two recordings of the Nickel Revolution from 1968, recorded at Dove Recording Studios, Bloomington, Minnesota.

BONUS Discovery: Thanks to Kent Saunders we have located our sax player, John Berman. Beyond being and excellent musician and vocalist, Kent is also an amateur missing persons detective. After checking with the Minneapolis Musicians Union, Kent found out that the “Fly,” (John Berman’s nickname) had headed west and was living in the Los Angeles area. None of Kent’s phone calls connected, so he used the old school method of sending a letter. Kent explained that the Nickel Revolution was holding a reunion in 2012 and wanted to invite him. He gave John names and numbers and the Fly called the Bear. Hopefully John will be with us, onstage, for the reunion. Kent truly deserves a musician’s thank you–which doesn’t include any money. But, we are grateful for his hard work on this one. (Photo below of the Fly taking five at Dove Recording Studios.)

Sweet, Sweet Lovin’

Kent arranged the instrumental track and coached the rest of us on singing the background vocals. Here is the line up:

Kent Saunders: Lead vocal and lead guitar

Ron Hort: Keyboards and background vocals

Jerry Lenz: Drums and background vocals

Scott Jeffy: Bass and background vocals

Louie Lenz: Rhythm guitar

John Berman: Saxophone

Visit our YouTube Channel to listen to our recordings

Treat Her Right

We had a lot of laughs over the years with this one as Honeybear hammed it up big time singing Treat Her Right.

Here is the line up:

Ron Hort: Keyboards and lead vocals

Kent Saunders: Lead guitar

Jerry Lenz: Drums

Scott Jeffy: Bass

Louie Lenz: Rhythm guitar

Visit our YouTube Channel to listen to our recordings

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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

Every Twin Cities rock musician in the 1960’s was familiar with B Sharp Music in northeast Minneapolis on Central Avenue and B Sharps’ superstar proprietor, Jim Lopes. He was a promoter extraordinaire with immense sales ability, and a story teller with an extra measure of charm.

Jim Lopes was a musician, but he didn’t sell his instrument of choice in his B Sharp Music store. He was an accordion player. Most everyone that visited B Sharp would not easily forget the charismatic, sharkskin suit wearing, hair-slicked-back Jim Lopes. For giggles every once in a while, Jim would break out his accordion and entertain the young rockers and visions of Lawrence Welk danced in our heads. (If you do not know who Lawrence is, do not bother searching online.)

B Sharp was the leading dealer of Fender guitars and amps and expanded into the European lines of instruments as the British Invasion hit the USA. Jim Lopes was aggressive at locating and securing the instruments that were transforming the music scene such as the products used by the Beatles; Rickenbacker guitars, Hofner bass, played by Paul McCartney and Vox amplifiers and keyboards. One of the biggest publicity stunts that Jim Lopes pulled off was to present a Rickenbacker guitar to the Beatles during their only Minneapolis appearance in August, 1965.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the greatest things that Jim Lopes did for local bands was to promote them and his store at the same time. Included here you will see small publicity photo cards that Jim printed up for groups. He included the B Sharp name on the cards and as the bands passed out their cards, B Sharp was promoted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After your band became a significant client of B Sharp Music, Jim Lopes would pay for painting your van (as long as it was a late model van) with the group’s, logo, booking agency and a small block was reserved for the B Sharp name. This was a great deal for the bands and for B Sharp. As the Nickel Revolution went through several vans, each time, Jim paid to have the vans painted.

He extended his branding to putting the B Sharp name painted on the Fender amps. We’ve included a photo of Louie Lenz’s Guild guitar and Fender amp and you can see the B Sharp name prominently displayed.

As the other music dealers in the Twin Cities woke up to the super-promoter, Jim Lopes, their offerings to help promote local rockers became more lucrative. In the end, The Nickel Revolution had moved its business to Park Music and the band endorsed Sunn Amplifiers. We will include more details in future posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In closing, it is important to mention Jim Lopes’ favorite pass time of playing high stakes poker. It is rumored that Ron “Honeybear Hort won some equipment in a game with Jim and we are awaiting his “story.”

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: NickelRevolution@gmail.com

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:

http://www.jeanneandersen.net/musichighlights.html

http://minniepaulmusic.com/

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