Lavendar Hill

2018 - Band

Members: Randy Hawker, Dave Hamilton, John D. Walachy, Ron Roeth, Perry Keating, Del Schmitt, Lincoln Fry, Gary White, Carl Etting, Rick Spiegelhalter, Mike Fleege, Tom Jones, Rick Smith, Dave Mehrl, Marty Wolfe, Pete Finger, Pat Kennedy, Bob Benson, Mike Ransford, Mark Spiegelhalter, Bob Terfruchte, Benjy Kruser, Mike Miller, and Mike Lieb

 

Lavendar Hill left an incredible mark on the Eastern Iowa Rock ‘n Roll community from 1964-1979. Founder John D. Walachy had roles as the lead guitarist, vocalist, booking agent and bandleader.

 

The band’s name originated from a 1951 movie title The Lavender Hill Mob. For uniqueness, John changed the letter “e” in Lavender to an ”a.” Later on, they decided to drop the word “Mob” to avoid any legal issues.

 

Lavendar Hill was recognized in the Tri-state area of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois among fans for its music, energy, and volume. A Telegraph Herald reporter described the band very simply as “notorious.””

 

There were a total of 25 band members over their 15-year run. The original members were John Walachy on lead guitar, Bernie Esser on drums, David Hamilton on keyboards, Randy Hawker as vocals and Ron Roeth on bass. The band members were from the greater Northeast Iowa area, and many still perform today.

 

Their music genre was representative of their generation. Lavendar Hill’s sets included songs by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, and Deep Purple.

 

In 2017, Lavendar Hill memorabilia and their recorded live performances were archived in the Center for Dubuque History at Loras College. This history is now available for research of for the general public of Northeast Iowa for generations to come.

 

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