2018 - Band
Members: Max Allan Collins, Steve Kundel, Brian VanWinkle, Bill Anson, Jim VanWinkle, Dennis Maxwell, Andrew Landers, DeWayne Hopkins, Jamie Hopkins, Lenny Sloat, Rob Gal, Ric Steed, Paul Thomas, Chuck Bunn, Bruce Peters
Crusin' was among the first of the '60s-revival bands, founded by keyboard player/lead singer Max Allan Collins (inducted in 2008 with the Daybreakers, whose "Psychedelic Siren" is one of the most anthologized garage-band recordings).
Led by mystery writer Collins (Road to Perdition), Crusin' remains active, presenting an engaging mix of classic rock and '60s-style originals. The current line-up includes drummer Steve Kundel, bassist Brian Van Winkle, and guitarist Bill Anson.
In 1974 Collins and Paul Thomas (Daybreakers bassist) wanted to start up another rock band, but neither could tolerate disco and other current radio fares. The success of American Graffiti and Sha Na Na inspired them to create a ‘60s act. They brought in combo veterans, drummer Ric Steed and guitarist Lenny Sloat. Their debut at Muscatine's Warehouse 4 got them immediately booked back.
When the success of Crusin' at local clubs prompted the band to go full time, Sloat opted out. Bruce Peters — the Daybreakers guitarist and one of the Midwest's greatest rock showmen — was in LA doing a solo act and filling in with Van Halen. Collins and Thomas convinced Peters to return, and audiences were knocked out by the new line-up.
In the mid-to-late '70s, Crusin' was perhaps Eastern Iowa's most popular band, playing to packed houses at notable clubs such as Grandview's Talk of the Town, Burlington's Ramp, Davenport's Al's Lounge, Conesville's Thirsty Camel, and especially Dodgeville's Pub where for several years they played every other weekend to capacity crowds.
When health problems took Peters out, Iowa City guitarist Rob Gal came in, bringing his New Wave energy. When Collins left to pursue his writing career, the band went three-piece, first as Crusin’, then as the Ones. This version was enormously successful on the college circuit; the group was several times voted Iowa City's most popular band. In the late '80s, Collins returned for bookings as both Crusin' and the Ones — depending on the venue.
After Gal moved to the Atlanta area, Crusin’ continued with various members — including Daybreaker Chuck Bunn (who passed away in 2011), but always with Collins and, until his death in 2006, Thomas. The band has performed in Omaha, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Oakland, Chicago, and twice at the famed Williamburg, Iowa, World's Biggest Beach Party.
They have released three vinyl LPs, a gold-vinyl EP, and three CDs, deemed by Goldmine "eminently danceable and always listenable” with Option raving of "a breezy pop-rock sound that recalls the best of the late '60s." Crusin' recorded a dozen original songs for Collins' indie films Mommy (seen on Lifetime TV, the band performing on camera), Mommy's Day, and Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market. They have appeared in concert with the Turtles, the Rascals, the Grass Roots, Bobby Vee, Peter Noone, the Kingsmen, Rare Earth, and the Romantics, among others.
Many talented musicians have been members of Crusin’. Andy Landers, rhythm guitar, is a recording artist heading up Mainstreet Struggleville out of Olympia, Washington. Guitarist Jim Van Winkle was with the band for over a decade. Former Daybreaker Dennis Maxwell, of Scottsdale, Arizona, played bass. Father and son DeWayne and Jamie Hopkins were both drummers with the band. DeWayne is the only member of Crusin’ to go on to be mayor of Muscatine.