Sugarloaf performing; from the top left is Bob Yeazel-guitar, Bob Raymond-bass, Bob MacVittie-drums (center), Bob Webber-guitar (right), Jerry Corbetta-keyboards (bottom left)

Above is a custom pick that dates back to the Sugarloaf days.  You aren't going to find many of these in existence anymore.  This one was contributed by a friend of Bob's who has had it in her collection since the early seventies.  Another rarity that just showed up recently is a custom EMRAD amplifier that was made for Bob.  Each guitarist, including Bob Raymond on bass, had one.  Click here to read this interesting story and see current pictures of the amp.

 

After hearing of the unexpected passing of John Entwistle on June 27, 2002, I asked Bob if he would mind sharing his experiences of performing on the same venue as The Who.  This was his response:

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.

IT WAS ODD TO SEE PETER TOWNSHEND SMASHING HIS GIBSON SG GUITAR TO PIECES WHILE CHEWING GUM. I ACTUALLY HAD A PIECE OF THAT GUITAR FOR A WHILE BUT EVENTUALLY LOST IT OR GAVE IT AWAY TO SOMEONE.  

Please click here for an advertisement for a Beast concert that mentions that The Who are coming.  The ad was from the summer of 1968, and The Who show mentioned is that very one that Bob played at when he was with The Beast at Kelker Junction in Colorado Springs.    

MY NEXT ENCOUNTER WAS ABOUT TWO YEARS LATER ON JUNE 9, 1970 AT THE REFURBISHED MAMMOTH GARDENS IN DENVER (CURRENTLY KNOWN AS THE FILLMORE). 

Jerry Krenzer's ticket stub for the show.

IT WAS THE FIRST SHOW HELD IN THE PLACE IN ABOUT THIRTY YEARS.  THE CONCERT PROMOTER, BARRY FEY HAS CALLED IT THE GREATEST ROCK SHOW HE’S EVER SEEN.  IN THE SEVENTIES BARRY FEY'S COMPANY, FEYLINE PRODUCTIONS WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF THE MAJOR CONCERTS IN THE DENVER AREA AND HE IS STILL ACTIVE TODAY.

   I WAS THEN WITH SUGARLOAF, AND WE HAD JUST STARTED GETTING SOME ACTION ON “GREEN-EYED LADY”. WE OPENED THE SHOW THE FIRST NIGHT, BUT DUE TO SOME VENTILATION PROBLEMS (PEOPLE IN THE BALCONY AREAS WERE FAINTING DUE TO TEMPERATURES OF 130 DEGREES) THEY DROPPED THE OPENING ACT THE SECOND NIGHT.

BACKSTAGE I DID GET TO SEE THE WHO. I WAS STUNNED BY HOW SMALL THEY WERE. THEY WERE EXTREMELY SHORT AND LOOKED LIKE AGING CHILDREN TO ME. I ASKED ROGER DALTREY IF HE WANTED TO SMOKE SOME HASH WITH ME AND HE SAID, “NO THANKS. WHEN YOU COME DOWN YOU STILL HAVE TO FACE YOURSELF ANYWAY”. I’M THINKING, “WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT?” MAYBE HE WAS TRYING TO DEAL WITH FACING HIMSELF. OH WELL.

   PETE TOWNSEND WAS IN A ROOM THE SIZE OF A BATHROOM WARMING UP WITH A TWIN REVERB AMP CRANKED UP TO SHRED LEVEL.  NO WONDER THE GUY IS DEAF.  AFTER MY HEARTWARMING TALK WITH ROGER, I DIDN’T BOTHER TRYING TO MEET ANY OF THE OTHER GUYS. THEY DID A GREAT SHOW AND I THOUGHT WE DID A GREAT SHOW.  I WENT HOME AND LIFE WENT ON. B.Y.

On the last weekend of June 1970, Sugarloaf appeared at what would have been a very cool event in Stevens Point, WI.  The lineup was amazing!  Notice the total misspelling of the new, and fairly unknown at the time Michigan band, Brownsville Station.  Soup was a local WI band that made some great music also.  What a show this would have been.

On August 15, 1970 Bob performed with Sugarloaf in Greeley, CO.  Below is a poster from this event.  What a show this would have been to attend!  Eric Burdon had just teamed up with the United Artists group War, and had a monster hit with their first single release, "Spill the Wine".  Deep Purple was doing killer heavy music with their then current now classic In Rock LP, and Sugarloaf having just unleashed "Green Eyed Lady" to the public, were on their way to success.  

Jerry Krenzer attended the show and watched from the side of the stage.  Keith Rhodes was hired as a roadie for Sugarloaf the next day.  This was Jerry's entry in his daily journals:

The week prior to this event, beginning on August 8, saw the self-titled Sugarloaf LP reach #1 on radio station KIMN in Denver, knocking the Woodstock Soundtrack out of the top spot.  The Sugarloaf LP and the "Green Eyed Lady" single were both at #2 on KLZ-FM in Denver for that same week.   On August 15, "Green Eyed Lady" entered the Billboard charts where it would remain for 17 weeks.

The behind the scenes guys "roadies" are an integral part of any band.  Keith Rhodes was one of Sugarloaf's roadies.  He also went on to help out in Brother Son and was later called upon to work with War.  It is sad to say that he passed away in November 2002.  Below is a picture of him at work (on the left) when he and Bob MacVittie were working with the band War in the mid seventies.

    

Bob Yeazel on Keith: "Keith always went the extra mile and worked his ass off, loading and driving while we slept, etc.  A true professional and then some."

Jerry Krenzer (Brother Son, Freddi-Henchi Band) was a very close friend.  He and Keith go way back to the sixth grade.  Keith was in the first band that Jerry ever played in called The Singlemen.   This band was from the mid sixties.  Below is their business card.

Bob MacVittie (Sugarloaf, Brother Son) and his wife Pat were also very close friends with Keith.  This is what Bob had to say about him: 

Keith Rhodes: sensitive, trusting, trustworthy, hardworking, reliable,- these are some of the words that come to mind when I think of our recently departed friend. I met Keith about 1968 in Denver.  He was an easy person to get to know and came to many of the gigs of the group Glass Attic.  When Sugarloaf began touring we needed help and he was the first one hired.  Later when I started working for War, Keith was the first person I called when we needed another person to travel with that group.  He lived with my family in L.A. for the first few months of his tenure with War.  We loved him and so did our kids.  Our daughter was just coming into the toddler stage and she decided that he was to be her first boyfriend.  Our son thought of Keith as his best friend.  I traveled to almost every state in the Union with Keith - Europe, Japan and many places in between.  He was always good company and a loyal friend.  Pat, my wife, and I will always have a special place in our hearts for Keith.  As with so many of the good folks - he passed too young.  Bob MacVittie

John McPherson also worked with Keith in War's road crew and sent the above picture.  This is what he had to say: I used to roadie with Bob and Keith etc. for War in 1974-75. Sorry to hear about Keith.  He was one of the finest people I ever met.  Here's an old scan of the road crew back then.
I don't think Bob is in this pic..(He may have taken the picture)..but Keith is in the middle on top of the forklift, and I'm the one on the right of Keith.

Van Dorn of the Moonrakers on Keith:  I was sorry to hear about Keith.  I guess it shows how we're all getting older.  I knew him back then because I remember he also did some gigs with the Moonrakers.  He was a perfectionist and a really nice guy.  He set everything up perfectly.  I especially remember he even got the guitar gadgets plugged in just right every time.  He did a gig with us in Fort Collins outdoors at the University and we had a monster PA system with huge Voice of the Theater speakers and he handled them himself like "no problem".  He also liked to balance the sound mix and that helped the band sound a lot better than if we tried to set the balances ourselves.

 

Below is a poster for a concert with Iron Butterfly and Bighorn that took place on August 31, 1970.  Reprints of this now exist but the colors are different.

On September 12 & 13, 1970, an event took place at Springfield, MO, honoring the fallen soldiers of the Viet Nam War.  This was an excellent lineup for the weekend's shows.  All of the bands performing were hot at the time.

On November 13, 1970, Sugarloaf performed with the Chambers Brothers at the Florida State University Homecoming.

On November 21, 1970 Sugarloaf performed at The Civic Center in Abilene, Texas.  "Green-Eyed Lady" was still very hot and in the top ten (where it spent eight weeks).  Opening for them that night was a group called Cassidy Roadhouse that was touring performing The Who's new rock opera, Tommy.  Below is the handbill for this show.  The interesting part about this handbill is the fact that it is a cropped version of the soon to be released poster that was only ever available in the Spaceship Earth promo box.  The handbill was also given a sepia tint to a black and white photo vs. the promo poster being in color.  

The next night, November 22, would see them performing in Big Spring, TX.  Below is a poster from that event from Jerry Corbetta's personal collection.

On December 12, 1970, while still very much enjoying the successes of the smash single, "Green Eyed Lady", Sugarloaf performed at Parkway West High School in Missouri.  It was not uncommon for successful rock bands to play in high schools during this era.

This bio photo was autographed by all of the members of Sugarloaf that night.  From left to right are:  Bob MacVittie, Bob Webber, Bob Raymond, Bob Yeazel, and Jerry Corbetta.  Below is the newspaper clipping and a ticket for the show.

Below is a handbill from a show two nights later with Podipto at The Christy Ballroom, which I believe was located at the South Dakota State University.

For many more concert memorabilia items, photos, and stories please continue on to Concerts page 2.

 

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