Tag Archives: Bowery Boys

Wanted: Old Wisconsin hippies

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sound storm combo

It looks like Wisconsin’s Woodstock, but who’s in the pictures? That’s what the Wisconsin Historical Society was wondering in 2009.

John Nondorf, who researched photos and illustrations for the society, left this note on one of our posts about Clicker, the rock/cover/show band that was popular across Wisconsin during the ’70s:

“It looks like some people who know a thing or two about ’70s Wisconsin music frequent this blog. I’m hoping you can help us out.

“I work at the Wisconsin Historical Society and we have a photo collection documenting the 1970 Sound Storm rock festival in Poynette.

“We have IDs for a number of the bands and artists, but there are a lot of unidentified artists. I’m assuming these were the local/regional artists who performed there. Maybe you’ll recognize some faces.”

Here’s their wonderful collection of 223 photos from Sound Storm and a Wisconsin Historical Society essay to go with the pictures we helped identify.

Robert Pulling took the photos at the festival, which took place at York Farm near Poynette, north of Madison in south-central Wisconsin, on April 24-26, 1970, an unseasonably warm spring weekend.

The photos above — all used with permission of the Wisconsin Historical Society — were among the little mysteries in 2009.

Clockwise from upper left, they were listed only as “unidentified keyboardist performing on stage, 1970” (yes, that’s a cowbell sitting there); “unidentified guitarist performing on stage, 1970” (he’s playing a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar); and “unidentified singer performing on stage at night, 1970.”

But who’s who? Our friend Mark in Illinois said the guitarist shown above is Bob Schmidtke, who likely was playing in Captain Billy’s Whiz Band. (We thought he was playing with Tayles, but John Nondorf said that group was a five-piece; this group is just a four-piece.) Schmidtke went on to play in Clicker.

Mark also thought the guy in this photo is Paul Rabbitt, the guitarist for Tongue, another blues-rock band from Wisconsin. (It is.)

REO Speedwagon, then just an unsigned Midwest bar band, also is said to have been at Sound Storm. However, it isn’t listed on this poster, passed along by Tim, all the way from Singapore.

Tim also says:

“That concert is one of the very few concerts over the years that no recordings have ever surfaced of the Grateful Dead’s set. Dead Heads have been looking for years.”

Among the bands who played at Sound Storm: Baby Huey and the Babysitters, Crow, the Grateful Dead, Illinois Speed Press, Northern Comfort, Rotary Connection, Wilderness Road, U.S. Pure, Luther Allison … and the Bowery Boys, who within a couple of years became Clicker.

Another of the bands was Mason Proffit, who did …

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“Two Hangmen,” Mason Proffit, from “Wanted,” 1969.

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Filed under August 2009, Sounds