2010 - Band
Sweet Nothin' began in Iowa City in 1971, an offâ€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........”