I used to work for record distributor ADA, and I was privileged to travel the back roads of the mid-west, searching for record stores. On a visit to exotic Sioux City while visiting legendary record store Uncle John, I saw some unusual posters hung up in the back of the store. I asked store manager Thad Sand about them, noting they presented many bands I had never heard of. This scene of bands seemed to be based in mid-1970s Western Iowa; the musical acts seemingly lost in time in the age of the internet. Thad said “we have a bunch more of these in this box”, pointing to a package stuffed behind a pinball machine. Amazed, I made an offer on the entire box, bought them all, and brought them back to Minnesota. Terry Drea was a booking agent that put on shows in Western Iowa, many at The Twin Lakes-Lookout Ballroom in Rockwell City and the Starlight Ballroom in Carroll. I donated some of them to The Iowa Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, traded some to historian Tom Tourville, and gave one to Johnnie Bolin. Johnnie was then drumming for Black Oak Arkansas, and he was shocked I had posters of his teenaged band Malachai. Note: the poster shown by Iron Maiden is NOT the British metal giants. Other bands on the posters: Vixen (they went onto bigger things) Truth & Janey, Terrace, Van Man Grease Band, Armageddon, Burntshoe, Kickin, Magic, Spencer, Sass, Rural, Kilowatt Pioneers, & Stack.
Of all the bands I worked with back in the Prospective Records heyday, The Swingin’ Teens have the fattest file folder in the cabinet. I released half a dozen records by these guys, and they were constantly on tour getting press. Their file is almost two inches thick of photos & reviews.
The Swingin’ Teens roared into town early 1987 opening for The Mighty Mofos at The Uptown Bar- the Batson Brothers had played with them in Iowa, and invited them up for the opening slot. They were the perfect band to see live for The East Side gang I was hanging around with at the time (Dan, Henry, & Joe) and myself. Kick-ass rock with a wild stage show.
Here’s a few songs from their first demo cassette- a few of the songs on the tape eventually made it onto vinyl- the first two here did not & the third was their over-the-top first 45. Thanks to Johnny Random for allowing me to bring these to you.
Things of Past
Gidget’s Bitchin’ Beach Party