Cutline: In 2001, Spectacle held a second reunion at the Avalon Ballroom. Performing on June 16 were front row (from left) -- Maryann Creswell-Hirsch, Evadean Schrank and Jim Weiler. Second row -- Steve Smith, Tom Renfro, Randy Hoyt, Bart Ross, Loren Paulson. Back row -- Tom Huntin, Mark Moeller, Al Schrank and Dave Snakenberg. (Sentinel photo by Beverly Van Buskirk)
It was 25 years since the group last played together, but in June 2000, members of Spectacle came together at the Avalon Ballroom for a reunion concert.
This Sunday, Sept. 1, Spectacle will be inducted into the Iowa Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in ceremonies at The Roof Garden in Arnolds Park, one of 13 groups and individuals so honored this year.
The 2002 Induction Ceremony and Concert will take place at the Roof Garden At Arnolds Park starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance by contacting the Iowa RockNRoll office at 712-332-6540 or logging onto the Web site at www.iowarocknroll.com.
Thirteen worthy bands, music businesses and individuals will be inducted. The 2002 honorees are: The Spectacle, Le Mars; Seven Sons, Morningside College in Sioux City; The Fabulous Morticians, Graceland College at Lamoni; Bands of Gold, Dubuque; West Minister, Fort Dodge; Continental Co-ets, Fulda, Minn.; New Colony Six, Chicago, Ill.; Skyline Ballroom, Estherville; Eddie Skeets (promoter/agent), Sioux City; Starline Ballroom, Carroll; KLWW/KMRY radio, Cedar Falls; and Lee Harris of WHO-TV Record Hop, Des Moines.
The induction ceremony and concert performed by this year's inductees will cap off a weekend of events honoring the newest members of the Hall of Fame.
"As a group, we are honored that after 30 plus years, Spectacle is being remembered and inducted into the Iowa Rock N Roll Hall of Fame," said Al Schrank, an original member of the band from Le Mars, now of Sioux City. "When we reunited at the Avalon Ballroom (in Remsen) in June of 2000 for the first time in over 25 years, we were totally surprised and unprepared for the capacity crowd of old friends who came out to support us. Then, as if once was not enough, God let us repeat the party again in June of 2001, also at the Avalon," Schrank continued.
The group members had not planned a reunion for 2002 as several members had conflicting obligations.
"However, when we got the word that the Iowa Rock N Roll Music Association wanted to induct us, that was all the excuse we needed," said Schrank. "We are looking forward to the induction events in Arnolds Park, and are going to our best to remind folks that 'The Party's Not Quite Over!'"
Members of the band returning for the induction concert and show at the Roof Garden will be: Original members Mark Moeller, a Remsen native now of Rochester, N.H.; Bart Ross, a Remsen native now of Butte, Mont.; Fred Juhl, a Remsen native now of Omaha; Jim Weiler, a Remsen native now of Chassel, Mich.; Randy Hoyt, a Remsen native, now of Des Moines; Steve Smith of Marcus; Al Schrank, a Le Mars native now of Sioux City; Loren Paulson, an Estherville native, now of Kansas City, Mo.; Tom Renfro, a Sioux City native, now of Cedar Falls; and Joe Blaha, a Fort Dodge native, now of Roanoke, Va.
Also being inducted, but not able to return will be original member Tim Hauff, a Merrill native now in Bangkok, Thailand.
New members of the group also to be inducted are Dave Snakenberg, Sioux City; Evadean Schrank, Sioux City; Maryann Creswell-Hirsch, Dakota City, Neb.; Tom Hunting, Sioux City; and Phil Carlin, Sioux City.
Walt Clark, a New Jersey native who was also a member of the original group, is deceased.
The group, originally called The Cellophane Spectacle, came together in the summer of 1967, when eight area musicians, still in high school, joined to form a horn band. Their focus was rhythm and blues, with a dash of jazz and rock thrown in for "seasoning." As time went on they would become one of the largest crowd-drawing show bands in the Midwest.
For the next two years, they spent nearly every weekend playing at nearly a hundred small midwestern towns at teen dances, county fairs, K.C. Halls and civic centers.
In August 1967, they won first place in the Plymouth County Fair's "Battle of the Bands" and broke all attendance records at the teen dance the following night.
Following graduation in 1968, the group hit the road full-time, playing many nightclubs. They also recorded two songs from their show, "It's Not Unusual" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" at a studio in Omaha and released a record. While the record got moderate Midwestern airplay, it sold very well from the stage.
The Cellophane Spectacle entered the Battle of the Bands held at the Sioux City Auditorium at the 1968 Sioux City Rivercade. Local disc jockeys and music educators judged the approximately 15 bands who took the stage. At the end of the evening, it was "Spectacle" who won first place and a contract to return to Omaha and make another record.
That fall, with several members attending college, the group could only do weekend "gigs" within driving distance. With music as their first love, members of Spectacle soon decided to go on the road full-time.
They toured several months in the Midwest and then signed a one-year contract to be the house band at George's in the Park in St. Louis Park, Minn. At the time, it was one of the Minneapolis area's premier supper/show clubs. When their contract ended, the band found themselves weary of playing in one place, even though the fourth week of the month was theirs to play where they wanted.
Other influences, a new agent wanting them to go to California and play Disneyland, girlfriends wanting them to stay in Minneapolis, and parents wanting them to go back to college, were tugging at the members. Within a month of the end of their gig at George's, Spectacle - The Party Band, had begun to dissolve.
Several tried to re-form the Spectacle with new personnel, but the core magic of the group was missing, according to members. After several weeks, the band disbanded for good.