"The Beau Gentry" - 1965 - Central Florida
Norman Greenbaum - "Spirit in the Sky"- 1969-1970 - San Francisco CA


Russell DaShiell sent in these photos and an amazing "My 1960's Vox Band" success story. I will let Russell tell the story.

"We were called The Beau Gentry and played around the 'Space Coast' and central Florida beginning in 1965. We specialized in Beatle songs and British blues. The original members were Rick Jaeger (drums), who later played with Dave Mason and Crosby, Stills and Nash, to name a few; Doug Killmer (bass), who later played with many San Francisco artists like Nick Gravenites and Commander Cody; Russell DaShiell (lead guitar), who later played with Harvey Mandel and the Creedence Clearwater Revival rhythm section, and Lance Massey (guitar and keys), who stayed in Wisconsin when we moved to California. Doug had a Super Beatle and I had an AC30.

After a year or two we relocated to the midwest, managed by Ken Adamany, the future manager of Cheap Trick.

The interesting thing is, the bass player and I ended up moving to San Francisco in Dec. 1968 with our original drummer, and within a month or so the two of us landed a recording session with the producer of the Lovin' Spoonful, Erik Jacobsen. His artist was Norman Greenbaum, and one of the songs we recorded in early 1969 was "Spirit In The Sky", which ended up selling a few million copies."


Here's a guide to the photos:

1. The Beau Gentry as featured in a local newspaper story in Palm Bay, Florida, March 1966. Clockwise from left: John Cox (summer replacement for Rick Jaeger), Russell DaShiell, Lance Massey, and Doug Killmer (bottom center next to his Super Beatle). Check out my rare Rickenbacker, long gone now, unfortunately.

2. Norman Greenbaum appearance on American Bandstand in April, 1970. From left: Doug Killmer, Bill Meeker, Norman Greenbaum (center) and Russell DaShiell. Bill Meeker played on the Spirit In The Sky tour. Another drummer, Norman Mayell, played on the Spirit In The Sky single, but he didn't want to do the tour. Rick Jaeger joined Dave Mason's band at that time. Note: the Vox Super Beatles were not plugged in. We lip-synced the song, which was #1 at the time.

3. Doug and Norman from the same American Bandstand appearance.

4. Bill, Norman and Russell from the same American Bandstand appearance. My proud father took these photos as my parents watched it on TV.



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