One of Nebraska's finest and most popular bands was The Rumbles.
Formed in the early '60's, the band is still playing together and has plans to play through 2003, 2004 and beyond! Drummer Steve Hough filled us in on the band's history.
An Interview With Steve Hough
60sgaragebands.com (60s): How did you first get interested in music?
Steve Hough (SH): In grade school band I played second chair trumpet. One day the drummer didn't show up for practice so I volunteered to play drums that day. I never went back to trumpet.
60s: Was the Rumbles your first band?
SH: No. The Vibrations were. We were together for one year.
60s: Where were the Rumbles formed, what year, and by whom?
SH: The Rumbles were formed in Council Bluffs, Iowa in '61 or '62 by Rich Clayton and Bud Phillips.
60s: Please recap the group's line-up...
SH: The Original Rumbles were Rich Clayton - guitar; Joe Brunnworth - guitar; Bud Phillips - bass; and Steve Hough - drums.
60s: Where did the band typically practice?
SH: At first in my parent's basement and then later in Bud's garage.
60s: What type of gigs did you typically land?
SH: School sock hops, teen clubs, and private parties.
60s: How would you describe the band's sound? What band's influenced you?
SH: A combination of all the bands we have copied over the years: Beach Boys, Beatles.
60s: How did the band become associated with the Eddy Haddad Agency?
SH: We shared the stage with Eddy's band for a high school prom at Peony Park. After the show we asked Eddy to help us get more gigs. He agreed to do so for a 15% commission. That is how the Eddy Haddad Agency came about.
60s: Did Eddy personally act as your manager?
SH: Yes. Eddy.
60s: How popular locally did the Rumbles become?
SH: Very popular after the release of Jezebel.
60s: Jezebel was recorded by many bands in the '60's. Where did you learn the song from?
SH: We heard Hermans Hermit's do Jezebel at a live concert and decided to record it. The tune was originally recorded at Universal Studio in Chicago for Mercury Records. Before it was released we decided to go back to Chicago and re-record it with a horn section to give it more power.
60s: Your group also released Everybody's Talkin' b/w The Truth Hurts More Than Lies in 1965. Where was the 45 recorded?
SH: At Sound Recorders in Omaha. The session went very fast. In those days everything was done on four-tracks. The song was semi-popular in the Omaha area. It was played a few times on KOIL but never charted.
60s: How many other Rumbles recordings were there? Are there any vintage live recordings?
SH: There were 13 singles recorded over the years on various labels: Dawn Corey, Dads, Soma, Mercury, Sire, GNP Crescendo, and Capitol. An interesting fact: Hey Lenora on Capitol was one of the first stereo 45s ever released. I don't know of any vintage live recordings.
60s: Who was the group's primary songwriter(s)?
SH: Rich Clayton wrote most of the lyrics to the original songs.
60s: The Rumbles also recorded as Rumbles Ltd. Why the name change?
SH: The band incorporated and could use "Inc." or "Ltd." We used "Ltd." because it sounded British and that was "in" at the time.
60s: The Rumbles were produced by the Boys Next Door when recording for Dunwich. What do you recall about that band?
SH: The Boys Next Door was a very talented group that had some song writing and recording experience which was very helpful when we went to Chicago to record.
60s: What was the Nebraska rock and roll scene like? What other local groups do you recall?
SH: There were a lot of great groups in the '60s: The Chevrons, Coachmen, Red Tops, and Imposters...just to name a few.
60s: Did the Rumbles participate in any Battle of the Bands?
SH: Yes - once at the Val-Air Ballroom in Des Moines. The group that won was called North 40 who became Crow of Evil Woman Fame. I don't recall what we played.
60s: Is it true the band used to perform the entire second side of Abbey Road live on stage? What was the reaction to this?
SH: Abbey Road was a well received project considering it was not all that danceable.
60s: Did the band make any local TV appearances?
SH: Yes. We made several appearances on Eddy Haddad's show every Sunday afternoon on channel 7 in the mid '60s. I doubt if any of the shows exist.
60s: Did the Rumbles open for any "national" acts that played in Nebraska? How far was the band's "touring" territory?
SH: Yes. The Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Mamas & Papas, Dave Clark 5, Chuck Berry, 3 Dog Night, Doobie Brothers, Turtles, Paul Revere & The Raiders, 38 Special, etc. in a 500-mile radius.
60s: In 1967 Bob Ford replaced Rich Clayton. Why?
SH: Rich left the band to go to California.
60s: Bob Ford was previously in the Wonders. Did that play a large part in his getting to join the band once Clayton left?
SH: Yes. We knew Bob could play keyboard, guitar and sing and that was why he was asked to join.
60s: Why led to the Rumbles breaking up in the '60's?
SH: Psychedelic music became popular in the late '60s and the kids stopped dancing.
60s: Did you join or form any bands after the Rumbles?
SH: I had another group called Horse in 1970 & 1971. It was an eight-piece horn band that did a lot of Chicago, and Blood Sweat & Tears material. There was not enough work in the Omaha area to support a group of that size.
60s: What about today? How often, and where, do you perform?
SH: Last year we performed approximately 110 shows, mostly on weekends. Our web site (www.rumbles.com) has an up to date schedule of upcoming events.
60s: Any plans musically for 2003 and beyond?
SH: You never know from year to year how much longer you will stay in the business, but I can tell you we are already getting inquiries about 2004 and 2005 availability.
60s: How come there hasn't been a Rumbles CD retrospective?
SH: There were some unsuccessful attempts made a few years ago to obtain the orginal masters from the various labels to remix a CD.
"Copyrighted and originally printed on www.60sgaragebands.com