2010 - Band
The Ski Band’s first show was on April 19, 1980. It was the beginning of a “music machine” that would continue for 30 plus years. The band was comprised of former members of Johnnie’s 8th Street Buzz Band from Fort Dodge and Spiral McCoy Band from Sac City . Original members were Craig Arends and Ed Wilson on guitar, Jon Passow on drums and bass player Gene Walker. Later that year Dean Morris, former guitarist and fiddle player for Iowa Lite String Band would replace Arends. Morris and Passow had previously worked together in the early 70’s in PAX.
1985 brought the departure of Ed Wilson when he accepted the position of sound engineer for ROXX. Replacing Mr. Wilson was lead guitarist Phil Smith formerly of Full Tilt, and also a former member of Johnnie’s 8th Street Buzz Band. In 1987 Wilson returned to the Ski Band as sound engineer and stayed in that capacity until his death in 2006.
Drummer Jon Passow left the band in 1991 to pursue career and family interests, but returned in 2005 and continues as drummer today. In his absence the following musicians performed as percussionist in the Ski Band: Nick Rosendahl, Brent Biersted, Steve McFarland, Lance Larsen and Dan Ross.
In the mid 90’s the Ski Band lineup also included Tim Salter who performed as lead vocalist for a few years before leaving to form his own band Front Page News.
On the technical side of the band, the first sound engineer was Steve Baker 1980-1983; followed by Dave McDowell 1983-1987; Ed Wilson 1987-2006; Mark Gales 2006-present. Lighting was handled by Al Sorenson 1980 until his passing in 2000 and Jim McKim from1980-present.
The Ski Band has always been rock oriented with roots both in “heavy metal” and “southern rock”. During the mid 80’s the Ski Band also doubled as “The Ski Boys”, winning several local country showdowns, performing songs written by Dean Morris. “The Ski Boys” even appeared locally as stage band for country star Johnny Rodriguez.
In the early 90’s with more of a “metal” sound, the band went into the studio and began laying down tracks that would be released in 1995 as the CD MadMan on the Junior’s Motel Label.
The Ski Band has shared the stage with many major acts: Jon Kay and Steppenwolf at the first ABATE Freedom Rally, Blue Oyster Cult, The James Young Group, Grand Funk, Foghat, Head East, Dave Mason, Black Oak Arkansas , Ruby Starr, Rick Derringer, Iron Butterfly, The Byrds, Molly Hatchet and many more.
After 30 years the band has no plans to stop their “music machine.” To quote Dean Morris, “You will have to drag us off the stage kicking and screaming.” “You don’t quit rockin’ because you get old; you get old because you quit rockin’.”
The Ski Band joins the Hall of Fame Class of 2010…no kicking, no screaming!