2001 -Matousek Lifetime Achievement Award
Danny Matousek was involved in Music in one way or another most of his life. He was a member of the Velaires who were inducted into the Iowa RockNRoll Hall of Fame in 1997. Danny passed away in the Spring of 1998 just prior to a scheduled performance with other IRRHOF Bands at Swisher Iowa.
The loss of Danny has left a big void in Rock and Roll History in Iowa.
This Award is presented to those persons that have displayed, during their lifetime the same dedication the same spirit, the same professionalism and made a lasting contribution to Iowa Rock and Roll Music, as did Danny Matousek.
The year 2001 award is presented to John Senn.
He has spent all of his adult life involved in Iowa's music industry. Over the last forty years plus, Senn has been a musician, vocalist, songwriter, promoter, recording studio engineer/owner and bandleader.
Senn's interest in rock ‘n roll began with the emergence of Elvis Presley, who he can remember listening to while milking cows on his father's farm. At 20, john joined his first rock ‘n roll band. "The Rhythm Tones". Over the years, John has been a member and /or leader of many groups including, "The Rhythm Aces", "The Chevells", "Dee Jay & the Runaways", "The Senn Men", "The Fortunes", and many more, including his current group"Mosquito Flats". The most notable of these groups , "Dee Jay & the Runaways" , hit the national charts with their song "Peter Rabbit", in 1966. Senn was "Jay" of Dee Jay, and co-leader of the group. Senn points to "Peter Rabbits" success as the highlight of his career.
In 1965, Senn helped found the first recording studio in Iowa, the "Iowa Great lakes Recording Company", which was a magnet for groups from the upper midwest.
John Senn dreamed for many years of having rock and roll music take its proper place in the Iowa's lifestyle history. He knew just talking about it to his children and grandchildren or anyone else who would listen wasn't good enough. He knew documentation and pieces of memorabilia preserved in a museum would be the best way to insure that vital part of history.
Senn was the driving force behind recruiting rock and roll music performers and fans to form the non-profit organization known as the Iowa RockNRoll Music Association (IRRMA) in 1997.
A Hall of Fame and consequent induction ceremonies each Labor Day Weekend have brought about a strengthened association. Spending a major portion of his free time from a full time job with Polaris Industries on the running of IRRMA, Senn has put his heart and soul into the dream of a rock and roll music museum.
Senn continues to perform with two groups; DeeJay & the Runaways and Mosquito Flats. He uses those appearances and opportunities to tell IRRMA's story and seek help with building a museum.
Serving as president of IRRMA's board of directors, Senn spearheads the fund drive currently underway for construction of the Iowa RockNRoll Museum and Hall of Fame to be located in a proposed $1.5 Million addition onto the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park. He does everything from attending countless meetings to taking the Polaris Victory motorcycle to parades, concerts, and anywhere a large group of people may be gathering, in hopes of selling more raffle tickets on it to bring money into the building fund.