April 4, 2004
I couldn’t find the real Exits photo yesterday. Searched and searched. Of course I found a dozen other things I have lost (including my hand written notes from my visits to the Tombstone movie set and the Wyatt Earp movie set), but not the photos of Kingman’s most legendary, mediocre band.
(my graphic novel project that Kathy hates). Without further ado, here’s the real, the one and only Exits, circa New Year’s Eve, 1964. Photo was taken in the Girl’s Gym, Mohave County Union High School (nickname: Mucous). Left to right: Wendell Havatone, Terry Mitchell, Charlie Waters and Wayne Rutchman. The guy with the huge ego, I mean, ears (he paid Rick Ridenour $100 to build a drum riser in shop class just like Ringo had on Ed Sullivan. Rick went overboard and built it four feet high. It weighed about 300 pounds and took an extra truck to get it to the gigs). The matching Beatle jackets were bought in Vegas with band funds ($80 for four jackets) and had a three collar option (without collars, black velvet, or reversed with blue. Pretty groovy, eh?). Wayne’s mom sewed on the Old English “E”s on each jacket. We bought them in downtown Phoenix at a letterman jacket store on Monroe. The drummer’s suit is a full, three-piece George Harrison number which he got out of the front window at Central Commercial for $17 (they couldn’t sell it of course and it was on clearance). The drums are Ludwigs, with zebra toms, just like Ringos ($450). The song being played, if I remember correctly is “Walk, Don’t Run” by the Ventures. Or it might be “Surfbeat” by Dick Dale. Hard to say, because Wayne is pretending to play the saxophone and there is no sax in either tune. So maybe it was “Farmer John”. Two things you can count on—it was loud, and it was bitchin’. We were stoked.
“Turn down! Turn down! You’re too loud! We can’t talk!.”
—Miss Deines and Miss Harris (teachers and chaperones)
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