ORIGINAL MEMBERS: GERRY FIKE; KEYBOARDS, VOCALS -- KENNY PASSARELLI; BASS, VOCALS -- MIKE KERNS*; SAXES AND FLUTE -- DAVID RAINES; LEAD VOCALS, GUITAR -- LARRY FERRIS*: DRUMS, VOCALS -- DOMINICK TODERO*; TRUMPET, VOCALS -- BOB YEAZEL*; GUITAR, VOCALS *DECEASED
Above is a promotional bio picture that was used for The Beast and below is an unused concert poster. The place where the band was to appear would be printed in the rectangle at the bottom of the poster.
The Beast premiered at The Junction in Colorado Springs in July 1968. Click here to listen to a radio advertisement for their first concert. If you would like to hear other radio spots for Beast concerts, click here.
On August 18, 1968 The Beast opened for The Who (radio spots can be heard for this by clicking the link above). This is what Bob had to say about it:
THE FIRST TIME I PLAYED WITH THE WHO WAS ON AUGUST 18, 1968. IT WAS AT AN AIRPLANE HANGER TYPE CLUB IN COLORADO SPRINGS CALLED KELKER JUNCTION. IT WAS AFTER “MY GENERATION”, AND BEFORE THE GROUNDBREAKING “TOMMY” AND THEY WEREN’T AS POPULAR AS THEY SOON WOULD BE.
I WAS IN A GROUP CALLED THE BEAST AND WE OPENED THE SHOW FOR THEM. I REMEMBER LOOKING OUT FROM THE STAGE AND SEEING ALL FOUR MEMBERS STANDING AGAINST THE DRESSING ROOM WALL WATCHING US. THEY WATCHED OUR ENTIRE SHOW.
You can read all about this show from an article published in the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph by clicking here. Also, more comments from Bob about performing with The Who can be read on the Sugarloaf Concerts page.
Below is what I believe to be a promo ad from a music industry trade publication shortly after The Beast released their first album. The ironic part about this is that the opposite side of this promo is an ad for The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, a band that Bob was in only months prior.
On January 18, 1969 The Beast was the host of The Battle of the Bands in Colorado Springs. Below is a poster for that event. (In case you are wondering, C.A.A.B. stands for Clement Adder's Aviation Band.) Click here for a radio advertisement for this event. If you would like to hear other radio advertisements for Beast concerts, click here.
Here is a concert ticket for a show that took place on March 24, 1969 at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium. The Beast was referred to on occasion (wrongfully and rarely) as The Incredible Beast. Bob verified this by stating that he remembered the show. This event also featured The Livin' Ends which was another group that had their recordings produced by Norman Petty. Also of significance is the fact that Chocolate Hair was on the venue. They would very shortly change their name to Sugarloaf and release their first LP on Liberty/U.A. Records. The year after this Rock Festival took place, Bob joined Sugarloaf.
The Beast was the band I helped co-found outside the now defunct but legendary
Exodus Club in Denver after Ron Morgan and Jimmy Greenspoon went back to L.A.
ending the run of Superband.
had so much energy, with lead singer David Raines fronting our group. We had the
late great Larry Ferris on drums, Kenny Passarelli on bass, Gerry Fike on
Hammond B3 organ, and myself on guitar. Adding the icing on the cake: the late
Mike Kerns on saxes and flute, and Dominick Todero on trumpet. It was a big
powerful sound with an edgy rock attitude.
we played our first gig, we moved to a desolate area between Denver and Colorado
Springs and practiced, practiced, and practiced some more. Living on a 1000 acre
ranch in the middle of "the black forest" in a communal setting was
quite an interesting experience. Dogs, cats, wives, girlfriends, and all night
practice sessions driven by a consuming love of music and high quality drugs
were a recipe for a strong band. This arrangement lasted for about a year until
we moved back to Denver to recapture our collective sanity. Totally unforeseen
by the band, this caused quite a buzz in the musical community, and when we
finally started gigging, we kicked ass!!
It didn't take long to get some folks interested in us, and we picked up John T. Philbin as our manager. Then it was off to Clovis, New Mexico to record with the legendary Norman Petty in the studio that recorded Buddy Holly's songs.
I remember recording the Prelude track that opens side one of the first LP, we all stood around a microphone and whispered "Rush!" until we reached a crescendo, then our drummer Larry Ferris did the maniacal laugh on the end.
Above is a rare mono promo LP of The Beast on Cotillion. It is unlikely that a mono stock copy exists. The LP hit the charts on September 13, 1969. Below is a letter sent to radio station KRBC promoting the upcoming release of Beast's first LP. Along with the letter came a two page bio on the band. We would like to thank Tom Reed for contributing the following three items for the site.
recorded both of our albums with Norman, the second in his new huge state of the
art facility, that also had a radio station and several offices in the building.
(more about this on Beast page 2, click on the link below)
(more about this on Beast page 2, click on the link below)
I am still in touch with David Raines, but I haven't heard from the other guys in Beast for years.
footnote: Dominick Todero contacted Bob in April 2002 after viewing this site. They had not been in contact for many years. Bob asked if he would give us a bit of an update on what he has been up to. This was his response:
After the Beast, I eventually made it out to Hollywood, and hooked up with "Cordova Rock". We headlined at "Gazzari's" on the strip for six months and were one of the hottest local bands in L.A. at the time. The experience in Clovis helped me a lot, as I also did a lot of studio work that I picked up through other musicians, and also through the Union in Hollywood. I even got to sit in and play an entire gig with Harry James and his orchestra. I was very proud of that since I also played trumpet. After those days I worked as a singing waiter in an upscale restaurant in Las Vegas. That lasted 2 years. Eventually, I got into the video business at it's beginning, and have been there for most of the last 20 years. Time sure does fly.
footnote: Before a show Bob performed on Labor Day Weekend 2003, I was talking with bassist Hubert "Blues" Lawhorn and he mentioned that his neighbor, Carson Weaver had passed away the night before at the age of 72. Carson was the artist that created the painting of the first Beast album cover. I only found out that they were neighbors the previous time I spoke with Hubert. I was hoping that it would have worked out to one day ask Carson a few questions about the drawing. Here is some of what Bob has told me about Carson and the Beast cover: The Beast album cover was the work of a local Denver artist named Carson Weaver. It was 4' x4' in size and done mostly with acrylics. The actual piece was beautiful! Carson had total artistic freedom to create whatever he wanted. The little "stick figures" on the bottom were socks he had painted silver and formed into what you see on the album cover. Carson threw a party for the Beast and friends for the unveiling of this painting. Besides being an artist, he was also a jazz keyboardist that was still performing.
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