RUBBER

BANDE

Category: Band

Members: Danny Cain, Dan Harrison, Dave Doohen, Jerry Percy, Rick Archer

In 1966, five Sioux City musicians—Danny Cain (drums), Dan Harrison (guitar), Dave Doohen (lead vocals), Jerry Percy (electric bass), and the late Rick Archer (keyboards)—formed The Rubber Band. It quickly became the most popular one-nighter band in the area. They practiced in the Cains’ basement and covered top-40 dance hits by the Animals, The Beatles, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Rascals, and others.

In addition to playing at clubs, ballrooms, colleges and high schools in and around Sioux City, The Rubber Band—like many local groups—regularly loaded their equipment into a rented trailer and drove to gigs across the Midwest. The band was often booked by Dick Matousek of C&M Enterprises. They performed at several iconic Iowa ballrooms including the Cobblestone, the Starline, the Avalon, and the Laramar. Load-outs and load-ins became noticeably more difficult after Archer acquired a carved oak, Hammond C-3 organ weighing nearly 500 pounds and a tall-boy Leslie speaker cabinet.

The band opened for national and regional acts and participated in local battle-of-the-bands and rock ‘n roll festivals. A highlight was winning the Sioux City Rivercade Battle of the Bands in September of 1966. The contest was held in sweltering heat and humidity outside the Sioux City Auditorium. The conditions inspired the band to perform The Lovin’ Spoonful’s current #1 Top-40 single: Summer In The City. They placed first, winning two hours at a Minneapolis recording studio. Shortly after that, the Vietnam War draft called Harrison to the Army. 

That November, before he left for basic training, Dan Harrison and Jerry Percy penned the group’s only original tune—Now I Know—as the band headed to Minneapolis in the back of Percy’s father’s van. In the studio, the group arranged and recorded Now I Know with fan favorite In The Midnight Hour on the B-side. Harrison was on his way to basic only a few days later. As the record was going to press, they learned there was another band recording under the name The Rubber Band, so the group added an “e” to its name on the labels for the records.

The remaining band members considered approaching various guitarists about filling the vacancy created by Harrison’s departure. Daryl Shinkunas, a longtime friend of Harrison, called. Shinkunas needed musicians to help him fulfill a recurring engagement across the river at The Dunes in North Sioux City, South Dakota. For the next few months, a reconstituted Rubber Bande—with Shinkunas on guitar—spent weekend-nights at The Dunes and booked one-nighters in-between. Then another call came.

Cain, Percy, Doohen, and Archer joined five other musicians in the initial line-up of The Skeeters, a 9-piece horn band formed by bandleader and promoter Eddie Skeets. Before year-end, college and other pursuits forced the inevitable turnover, and Cain was the only Skeeter remaining from the Rubber Bande. A year or two later, Harrison returned from military service and the Skeeters morphed into the Board of Directors.

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