2007 - Band
From Holly to Hendrix, British Invasion to California Country, the 60’s were a time of incredible expansion for Rock music. Few Iowa bands were better suited to embrace and adapt to those changes than The Quarry from Des Moines.
The band was founded in 1965 with the merger of two junior high startup bands (Magoos and Embers). A year later, Brian Smith (lead vocal), Fred Lorence (bass) and Bill Jacobs (drums) joined with guitarists Dave Shirk (Gentrys/Spartans) and Jon Rowat (Berries/Coachmen) creating a formidable "album cuts" vocal group that could still rock the house.
Mixers, frat parties, proms and the new "teen clubs"(Clique, Place) were their early stomping grounds. The group’s popularity and reputation grew rapidly. Summer of ’67 saw them opening for The Association. When Quarry sang "Sgt. Peppers" during a sound check, even the members of The Association paused to listen in amazement. Shortly on, Bill left the band, and Parker Davis (Original Spartans, Russ Allen Big Band) took over duty on drums.
The purchase and outfitting of their signature "Quarry Bus" allowed the group to expand their travels along with their music. For the next three-plus years, they crisscrossed the state playing colleges, clubs, ballrooms and concerts in dozens of locations, appearing with acts like Rotary Connection (Minnie Ripperton), Neil Diamond, Crow, Blues Magoos and even Sen. Eugene McCarthy. On Sept 27,1967, Quarry performed at the now infamous "Doors" concert at KRNT Theater. Yes, it really DID happen !!
Rowat’s rekindled interest in keyboards and Smith’s emerging guitar skills were soon incorporated into the band’s ambitious, ever expanding repertoire. They continued to wow audiences and fellow musicians alike...you never knew what to expect!! To quote local keyboard hero George Clinton (RIP)," They were incredible !! One minute they were like the Vienna Boys Choir singing ‘Requiem for the Masses’, then they’d tear the place up doing a Hendrix tune or Cream or Who, and then finish up with some sweet country song that would make you wanna’ cry!!"
A talent competition in the spring of ‘69 led to them being signed to tour full time. Parker retired to take a "day job", and band friend Ray Burlingame (Mojos-Grinnell) was signed on as drummer. Based in Hays, Kan., they played more shows in more places than any band in the entire Midwest that summer …12,000 plus miles from Minot N.D. to Borger, Tex., and all points between. Fall saw the band back in Des Moines. Ray left for Colorado and Bill, just back from Detroit, rejoined on drums bringing the group back full circle.
Quarry appeared the following spring at the first ever KFMG Concert in Greenwood Park. Anyone who attended will tell you...it was a magical day. Dave’s transfer to ISU that fall hastened the end. A short-lived "originals" effort "Woodrose" lasted through the 1970-71 New Year’s Eve Bash with Mason Proffit. Even though the future took them on widely divergent paths, to a man, they all cherished their time as "The Quarry".
Associated with Quarry were loyal friends Pete Anderson (sound, light, road manager from beginning to end) and Terry Reynolds, who shared duty with Pete for many years. The musical family included Steve Halliburton, Brian Lewis and Steve Rue.
Some things "do" get carved into stone. Solid Rock from The Quarry
(Additional information added 3/23/2007: Word has been received of the passing of Raymond Burnlingame on Feb 17th 2007 in Iowa City. Our prayers and sympathy are extended to his friends and family.)