High Heel & The Sneekers
2017 - Band
Band Members: John Rogers, Barry Clark,
Dan Sullivan, Steve Busteed, Kevin Nelson, Becky Braun, Lisa Larsen, Rex Meyer (decease)
High Heel & The Sneekers was the premier rock and roll show band in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska throughout the 1980's, performing for large crowds throughout a 300-mile radius from the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. They were widely known and highly respected, and sought after for festivals, street dances, RAGBRAI, and as opening acts. They shared bills with Gregg Allman, Rare Earth, Randy California of Spirit, Bad Finger, Tony Carey, Aldo Nova, The Romantics, The Everly Brothers, Nancy Griffith and many more.
High Heel and the Sneekers began as “High Falootin’” in 1980. In late 1982, as they morphed from this country-rock act to a more professional, rock- and pop-oriented band, they changed the name and took off. Working constantly (up to 19 of 21 consecutive nights), High Heel & The Sneekers had a 24’ truck, concert sound and lighting and a 3-4 man crew. With their wireless mics and guitars, Becky, John & Dan would make the entire venue a stage, and audiences connected with consistent, joyous energy. The last show played by High Heel & The Sneekers was in September of 1992 at the legendary Ranch Bowl in Omaha, NE, a venue the band frequently played throughout the 80’s.
Onstage, “Doc” Nelson was incredible; surrounded by several keyboards (including Hammond organ), painting wonderfully detailed sonic pictures. Lead guitarist Dan Sullivan had (and still has) impeccable technique and tone. Barry’s drumming was and still is pure power with finesse. Rex, and then Steve, locked in on bass with Barry to anchor and drive as JR added his soulful, powerful voice, harp and slide guitar to the mix. Becky was a mesmerizing front-woman, with great vocals, natural charisma, and captivating dance moves. Her successor from 1989-1992, Lisa Larsen, also a skilled and talented front-woman, added killer harmonies on all High Heel & The Sneekers releases and continues to perform in the Metro Omaha area with her offshoot act, “High Heel the Band.”
HH & S was a dynamic, high-energy show band based on the hottest rock and pop tunes of the day. Some originals and left-of-center showpieces include covers of Van Morrison, Huey Lewis, Madonna, The Motels, The Alan Parsons Project, Bruce Hornsby, Eurythmics, Genesis, Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, Stevie Nicks, The Police and countless others, along with top 40 cover songs from the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel, etc. High Heel & The Sneekers were the standard that many good bands looked up to; very professional and admired by their peers. When HH &S took the stage, there was usually a full house and a line out the door.
Their original recording of “Dancing on the Berlin Wall,” inspired by the wall’s collapse on November 9, 1989, was aired repeatedly on Armed Forces Radio and Voice of America around the globe and featured a clip of JFK’s famous, “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech (used by permission). The song was played worldwide and is in the Kennedy Library archives.
Their recording of “Merry Christmas, Doll” (co-authored by Steven Curtis Chapman), was in frequent rotation on CMT during 1990, 1991 and 1992 Christmas seasons. “The Price of Freedom (The Final Price),” about the end of Desert Storm, inspired a video of the band, along with powerful footage of the war, tearful farewells to deploying National Guard troops and their happy return, aired nightly on WOWT-TV for over three months.
Most of the core members have continued in the music industry in local and regional bands, including, Living Proof, Acoustic Groove, and others. Barry, Dan, and JR still perform together regularly in Peace Love Etc. Steve Busteed plays bass in EckoPhonic; he and Barry are the rhythm section for Knucklehead. Dan has managed the Pro Shop in Dietze Music in Omaha for many years, and John works for Midwest Sound & Lighting, pro audio, and A/V shop. John occasionally speaks on career day at Omaha high schools about the realities of being a working (let alone full-time) musician. They all remember their days in High Heel & The Sneekers fondly and are very grateful for being considered for the Hall of Fame.