Sweet Nothin'

2010 - Band

Sweet  Nothin'  began in  Iowa City in  1971, an off‐shoot  of the local rock and roll  cover band Hoochie Koo. Although  various members came and went, the core of  the band was as follows: Ellery Temple, lead vocals-bass-keys-guitar-songwriter; Phil Steffen, lead guitar-lead and backup vocals-songwriter; Rick Van Doren, keys-sax-backup vocals-chief songwriter; Roger Stephenson, drums-percussion.

The  band covered  a lot of what  were called "album  cuts", i.e. select songs  from artists band members admired  like Eric Clapton, the Allman Bros.,  Fleetwood Mac, Sons of Champlin, Todd Rundgren, Steely  Dan, etc. (never Top 40 Hits, which they avoided like the  plague!).

Once  prolific  songwriter  Ric Van Doren   joined the band their  focus became almost exclusively  original material, and at least half  of what they played live was their own  music. Sweet Nothin’ classified their music as  progressive rock and took pride in not emulating  existing artists, but forging their own sound. The goal  was never to be a living juke box, but to write music  that expressed their own artistic outlooks.

In  the spring  of 1972 Sweet Nothin’  was spotted by the management  of Big Brother and the Holding  Company, and offered a production  deal at a studio in Chicago. They traveled  back and forth for two years with the majority of  that travel in their renovated school bus, which was  common for touring bands in the Midwest. They finally signed  a deal with Big Tree Records in New York, a subsidiary of Atlantic  Records. The band released a single called "Dance Zarina" (with the B side  called "SB Special") that got a lot of airplay in the Northwest and in the  South, but ironically not much play in the Midwest where they were based.

Sweet Nothin’ also  recorded a full length  album which was never released  by the record company due to contractual  problems. The band toured; opening for name bands  like Big Brother, Ted Nugent, Fleetwood Mac, Illinois  Speedpress, Chicago, The Sons of Champlin, and others whose  names escape them today or as they put it, “hey, it was the 70s!  like they say, if you were there you can't remember it!”

Sweet Nothin’ members  offer special thanks to  supporting musicians, roadies  and friends along the way such  as David Pearson, Mike Underwood,  Mike Shomers, Mark Craney, Doug Habbena,  Mike McCormick, Ron Stewart, George McCallister   and Ben Best (strongest roadies ever), Steve Lange  and Bev Gebelstein from Genuine John's in Ames IA,  and the many loyal fans who knew their music and loved  and believed in them. “May Ellery and Ric rest in peace........”

The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

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