West Michigan Mid-Sixties Bands

Aardvarks

From Muskegon
Fenton, Vark

aardvarks-1969.jpg
The Aardvarks from 1969 Daryl Dingler, Bill Poplaski, Tim Smiley on top, Don Harold in the hole, Jim Britton. Photo courtesy of Bill Poplaski.

Last updated on May 17, 2004.
Comments

I used to play drums with the Aardvarks in late 67 and throughout 68. I replaced Gary, who got drafted to Vietnam, and I believe that he was KIA. I had just returned from Vietnam when Darryl Dingler and Don Harold came to my house and asked me to try out.

We had many good times, and I don't remember any bad times. How are the old boys today? Still putting out music? I left the band in late 68 and came to California, where I still reside.

I started a band here and we did quite well locally...but nothing like the Aardvarks. What a great time and I have thought of them fondly over the years.

Our band consisted of Darrly Dingler, Don Harold, Jimmy Britton, Tim Smiley, and me, Neal Stone. We were good, very good.

Posted by: Neal Stone at August 30, 2004 01:05 PM

It was interesting finding this on the web. From 1964-1968 we had a band in Clinton, Iowa named "The Aardvarks". I don't think we got up to Michigan but we did play all over the midwest. The draft got to us also. That is why we had to break up. we played a lot of the top 40 but we loved experimenting with the "new" feedback sounds we learned from the Yardbirds and others. We also had some of our own songs but had to mostly play the top 40 to make it. well, it was a great time and some great memories so I just thought I would write a fellow "AARDVARK".

Posted by: Stephen Bobek at October 20, 2004 05:18 PM

Garey is alive and well - served 30 years in the Army and retired in 1968 - and still has a few stick tricks left just not as fast as I was in the 60's.

Garey "Sticks" Walker

Posted by: Garey Walker at January 28, 2005 09:25 PM

Great News!!!! Just got an e-mail from Gary Walker. In an earlier message I noted that I believed him to be KIA in Nam. He is alive and well!!! Great news!!!!

Neal Stone

Posted by: Neal Stone at January 30, 2005 08:49 PM

Hello Neal Iam the drummer who took your place and played with the band for two years after you left the band. My name is Bill Poplaski I played with them from 68 through 70

Posted by: Bill Poplaski at September 19, 2005 09:41 PM

Garey Walker is the one who taught me to twirl my sticks. Gary do you remember the Thunderbird lounge?

Posted by: Bill Poplaski at September 19, 2005 09:44 PM

I believe this was intended for you:

Hi, I am wondering if you are the Bill Poplaski who grew up in Muskegon in the 60’s? My name was Ruthie Henricson and I remember lots of fun from “the good old day”.

If you are the “right” Bill Poploski, I hope you are well and enjoying life.

Sincerely,

Ruth Murphy

The e-mail address was ruthm@thehousingconnection.com

Posted by: Bill Poplaski at January 5, 2006 04:19 PM

I'm friends with John Carter who played in the Aardvarks band. Does anyone out there have any Aardvarks 45's they would want to sell? I'd like to add one to my music collection!

Regards, Nathan Myers

Posted by: Nathan Myers at February 21, 2006 10:08 PM

Hi, my name is Bill Karis and I am a friend of Terry Potts, who played base with the Aardvarks. He is living in Muskegon and I am sure would like to get in touch with past band members. If anyone is interested, please email me and I will forward it to him. He doesn't have internet access.
Thanks,

Posted by: Bill Karis at September 1, 2006 10:29 PM

Hello Bill,
I' am also a friend of Terry A. Potts, but have lost contact after I had to leave the US in 1967. I lived as an exchange student with his family at that time (1966/67). Maybe he would like to renew our friendship. Would be nice of you to transmit this to him!
Instead of the email address above (I have to state it thes way, otherwise the server wouldn't post it) use my private addess p.blodow@dreki.de.
Thanks a lot!
Peter

Posted by: Peter Blodow at September 14, 2006 07:37 AM

Don Herald is alive and well in Kalamazoo. He works for Habitat for Humanity and does great work for our community. Would be greatly interested in getting in touch with the band and any recordings that exist. I work with Don and he has new life with seeing this and other posts about the Aardvarks. Thanks to everyone for helping to get this going and if anyone wants to get a hold of him let us know.

Posted by: Don Herald at October 2, 2006 10:50 AM

To: Bill Karis I would forward a message to you but I dont know your email address

Posted by: Bill Poplaski at November 4, 2006 02:15 PM

Hi! I am a HUGE fan of the Aardvarks and used to be an Aardvark "groupie." I lived across the street from Garey Walker (had a crush on him) and have wondered what he's up to and where he's living. Does anyone know? I thought I had heard that John Carter was around this area and had a CD for purchase. If that's the case, I'd be very interested!

Posted by: Linda (Johnson) Todd at January 13, 2007 06:46 PM

About Terry Potts, if he is the same fellow that played bass with the Village Gayte back in the 60's tell 'em Charlie with the tape recorder said hi!

Posted by: chas s at May 23, 2007 10:43 PM

I managed the Aardvarks in the mid-60's before they broke up and went their separate ways. During my time with them they formed their own record label, "Vark" and recorded "Let's Move Together" which got airplay around the state, mostly in western Michigan. At that time Daryl Dingler (lead singer), Garey Walker (drums), Rick Kuerth (keyboards) , Terry Potts (bass), Don Harold (guitar), and Jimmy Britton (lead guitar) comprised the group. Rehearsals were on Saturdays in Garey Walker's basement. Breaks were religiously taken so the guys could catch "The Monkees" which aired on Saturday evenings.

Posted by: Chuck St. Louis at June 4, 2007 06:26 PM

HI to all of those that know Terry Potts. He is not on the internet, but I can contact him on your behalf.
Please let me know email,and or addresses, and I will pass on any messages to Terry.
Thanks,
Bill Karis

Posted by: Bill Karis at July 21, 2007 02:14 PM

I'm sorry to say that Don Herald has passed away from lung cancer on 11/05/2007. He was very proud of the music he and the Aardvarks made. Go in peace, Don!

Posted by: Zen at November 6, 2007 05:02 PM

I just talked to Terry Potts about Don yesterday. Sorry to hear about Don Herald. We were just talking about him having the original tapes of the Aardvarks. Does anyone have any more information about him?
Thanks,
Bill Karis

Posted by: Bill Karis at November 10, 2007 08:11 AM

Lets try this in a different way. If you want to get a hold of Terry Potts you can let me know by putting his name in the suject of the title and send it to billkaris at aol dot com. Pretty tricky huh?

Posted by: Bill Karis at November 10, 2007 11:42 PM

Don Herald's memorial service will be in Kalamazoo at the First United Methodist Church on 212 S. Park Street on November 24, 2007 at 1 p.m.

Posted by: Zen at November 13, 2007 10:05 AM

Does anyone have any ties to the Aardvark Bandout of Brooklyn Center, MN,Mid 1060's. I am looking for Members

Posted by: Shelly Hall at February 28, 2008 04:20 PM

Does anyone have anymore news on the Aardvarks. I am trying to keep Terry Potts in the loop, but everything moves so slowly on this page. Are there any other pages about this group that are more active? kariswg1 at aol dot com subject terry potts
Thanks,

Posted by: Bill Karis at March 2, 2008 03:27 PM

I have a compilation that a friend just gave me. He found it in the library in Traverse City. It is called Scream Loud-The Fenton Story. It is a retrospect (61 Prime Slabs of Mid-60's Michigan Teen Punk! By 32 Bands on 2 CD's. It is on Way Back Records out of Germany.

It features The Aarvarks in a couple of photos including the last photo in the Liner notes booklet.

I currently am helping to put out a few Michigan rooted bands on my label called JUMBERLACK MEDIA. The current releases are an EP and new Full Length From "That's Him! That's The Guy!" and a Full Length by "FREER." We get great reviews of our releases in music b logs form all over the world.

There is an Anti-War song the Aardvarks wrote that I would like to re-record with one of our groups. It is timeless in its lyrics and sentiments.

I was given the Aarvarks disc by my father a short while ago without any knowledge of who they were or from where they hailed. I was playing it for a friend a couple of nights ago and decided to GOOGLE the Aardvarks. Low and behold...Sketowne!

What up Dad?

Tell Terry I said hello and thanks.

Posted by: Brett Karis at April 25, 2008 06:36 PM

R.I.P Don, i only knew him for a little while but he was a great guy. The Restore wasnt the same without you man..

Posted by: zach at June 22, 2008 07:24 PM

I posted on this board in 2006, looking for singles of Aardvarks songs. I'm happy to announce that I now own 2 singles, 1 from the Forte Label with Cherrie, Can't You Tell and Let's Move Together and the other one on Talpa with the same songs. I'd like to find a single under the Vark label and the Fenton Label. Curious thing I'm wondering about is if The Aardvarks re-released Let's Move Together/Cherrie on a different label?? Does anyone know? In reference to Linda (Johnson) Todd's post, John Carter lives in Holland, MI out by Lake Macatawa. I'm sure he would be glad to hear from old friends.

Nathan Myers

Posted by: Nathan Myers at September 25, 2008 01:42 PM

As I was wandering thru the Google Search Engine for fun facts, I happen to come upon this site. I am Darryl Dingler. I started the band back in 1964 with Jim and Jack Crowell but with a different band name,"The Hitchhikers". Gary Walker, on drums, was the only other original member at that time. Later in 1964 Jim and Jack left the band (creative differences)and Gary and I started a new band. He knew John Carter and we also found Rick Spratt. They both played guitar and I played bass and harmonica. Rick picked the name Aardvarks. (First word in the dictionary, you know). It was this group that recorded the first 45. "I'm higher than I'm down" was the A side. It did quite well on the radio in West Michigan reaching about #7 on the Top 40 locally. I believe it was in 1965 Rick Spratt had to leave the band (sadly) but was replaced by 2 very excellent musicians. Rick Kerth on keyboards and Terry Potts took over bass so I could just sing and play harp. Terry and Rick could both sing harmony so the vocals improved also. This group recorded the second 45. "I don't believe" was the A side on that one. All of the records and recordings, except for "Let's Move Together", were done by this group of musicians during this time frame. This was the highest creative point of the band. I did write all of the songs but then the band would get together and arrange the instrumental parts for each song. All of these songs were recorded in a movie theatre in Sparta, MI. In late 1966 or very early '67 John and Rick left the band for school and that was almost the end. In a last ditch effort to continue, Chuck StLouis came along to manage us. We chose Jim Britton, and Don Herald to fill the spaces and that was when we recorded "Lets Move Together". Chuck StLouis knew a man in Grand Rapids named Charles Boubiere (not sure of the spelling) who got us into a studio in Grand Rapids to record that song. Boubiere set up a small tour thru Michigan and to Utica, NY that included a TV dance show preformance on a Detroit TV station. We lip synched our record on the dance show, as everyone did at that time. Of course, the general public didn't know that. The other group that was to perform that day was a West Coast group making their first tour trip to the East Coast. They were called "The Grateful Dead". Being a "live only" band, they refused to lip synch. After they were threatened with breach of contract, they agreed. When their record started playing, they started playing along. At the end of the first verse, the lead singer sat his mic down on the drum stage and started talking to the drummer. The record continued. They started joking around and the drummer and the drums fell off the back of the stage. The record continued. The other band members put down their guitars and started wrestling around on the stage until they had all fallen off the back of the stage and disapeared. The record continued but this part of the show was never aired. A real lesson for standing up for what you believe in. At the end of our little tour we went back to Michigan. We gave money to Charles Boubiere to have more records made but he split with the money, as well as money from other bands, and was never seen again. Terry decided he had to leave the band. I don't blame him. That was when Tim Smillie joined the band and we also had numerous other drummers. From that point on we pretty much just did top 40 songs in bars and never did much of any more recording and never released any other records. I finally left the band in 1970 (band name had been changed also)and did solo performances for the next 15 years in small clubs around the West Michigan area. I do have a recording studio and do record my own songs every so often, but for my own enjoyment. Being in this band thru all the years brought me some of the highest highs and lowest lows that can be experienced in a musician's life. Much of it, I would do all over again. Some of it, never again. Music does sooth the soul and I hope it does for all of you like it does for me.

Posted by: Darryl Dingler at January 18, 2009 10:20 PM

One further comment I forgot to mention. When Charles Boubiere split with our money, he also took the master recording to "Let's Move Together". In the next few years, I had people tell me that they had heard the song all over the place. California to New York. That is where the other records came from and the other labels. I don't know how many.

Posted by: Darryl Dingler at January 18, 2009 10:29 PM

I saw Darryl Dingler's post and wanted to say hello to Darryl. My family are good friends with John carter and his family, My sons and I went out to the golf course where we understood that Darryl works and I was hoping to meet him. I appreciate the information that Darryl put in this post area about the band. It's like taking a walk in the past and being able to hear what these men went through in order to bring the public some great music. I'd love to hear your stories of what it was like back in the 60's when you were making your music. My email is techguy1957@embarqmail.com. I'm also looking for any Aardvark singles for sale. A man has a single on the Vark label for sale on Ebay for the bargain price of $749.00!!! Whew a bit rich for my blood, but I'd still like to have a copy someday!

Posted by: Nathan Myers at February 23, 2009 12:01 PM

I am Rick Kuerth and played keyboards for the band from early 1966 until early 1968. I "auditioned" for the band at the recording studio in Sparta, MI and we recorded the first record, "I'm Higher Than I'm Down" that same day, on the Fenton label, I believe. I replaced Rick Spratt, and Terry Potts joined the band shortly after I did. Incidentally, we followed "The Woolies" who recorded, "Who Do You Love" the same morning. Great record!!

We played a lot of shows in Western Michigan, but I believe our big break came as the result of a Battle of the Bands at LC Walker Arena in Muskegon. We did not win, and came in a close second. However, Chuck St. Louis was there and later that same week approached us about managing the band, and we agreed.

Chuck took us to a new level. John Carter left the band and was replaced with Jimmy Britton and Don Herald. Chuck also got Chris Johnson to do the arranging for our cover songs. That was huge because what we played was accurate to the original recordings. We also rehearsed on a regular schedule and eventually rented our own space on Airline Road, abandoning Garey's basement. We got a real booking agent and started playing all over Michigan in lots of new venues. We were pretty much "professional" by that time.

We recorded "Cherrie Can't You Tell" and "Let's Move Together" at Ed VerSchure's studio in Holland. Much more professional than Sparta.

In the summer of 1967, we met "Harper and Rowe" a singing duo from England. They were looking for a back up band to do a nationwide tour. For better or worse, we opted not to do it. This was also the time music was getting psychedelic. Charlie Bowbeer tried to get us to move in that direction, and again, we opted not to.

In early 1968, Garey was drafted and left the band. That was a disaster for us because we had developed such a tight performing style. We played one gig with the drummer from the Shackelforsts (sp?). He was very good, but not familiar with us. It was my last performance with the band, and perhaps the worst one we had ever done. I left the band shortly after that, followed by Terry Potts. I was drafted shortly after and served my time in Vietnam, as well.

Tim Smiley, a friend of Chris Johnson's joined the band while I was gone, along with some other drummers, but the band was forever changed.

When I returned, I reconnected with the guys and they had become "Revelation". The band was Jimmy on lead, Tim on rhythm and vocals, Chris on bass and I don't remember who the drummer was for sure. Don Herald has also left by then, as had Darryl. I actually heard them perform at a bar in East Lansing and they were, I thought, super. But they did not have Chuck's guidence and only played bars and eventually faded away.

My time with the band I will never forget and I am both surprised and flattered we are still remembered. A couple of years ago, I reconnected with Garey, Terry and Darryl and John Carter. John actually put together a CD of all of our recordings, and there were some I had never heard, recorded either before or after my time with the band. Garey actually suggested a reunion, but of course with Don gone, it would just not be the same. We are pretty widely scattered. I live in Vermont and Garey is in Maryland. The rest are still in Michigan, of course.

I am still into music, of course. I returned to my classical music roots and got a C7F Yamaha grand piano to play it on. I also play guitar with my youngest son, Jason, but he will only play heavy metal, so I had to learn Metallica, Pantera, etc. Wild. I am also in to bluegrass and am currently building a new 5 string banjo and a mandolin. My last public performance was last May at my son's wedding. I had arranged with the "Starline Rhythm Boys" to do some Byrds and CCR, I was ready on the 12 string electric, but Jason chickened out at the last minute. After 10-15 minutes of rehearsal, I got called to the stage to sing anyway. They did not ask me to join the band. Oh well.

Thank you all so much for keeping the memory alive. I know my recollections may vary a bit from what is above. Trying to contact Darryl, but without success.

Posted by: Rick Kuerth at May 8, 2009 09:23 AM

Rick again. I meant to include my email in hopes the guys, including Chuck, might get in touch. I am at rkuerth@hotmail.com. My phone number is 802-899-4396.

Posted by: Rick Kuerth at May 8, 2009 09:28 AM

I first heard the "Cherrie, Can't You Tell" b/w "Let's Move Together" single in the mid-1980s, when I "borrowed" a stack of 1960s 45s from my older siblings: singles by The Beatles, The Who, The Doors, Donovan, The Zombies and the aforementioned 45 RPM by The Aardvarks.

Even though "Cherrie" was listed as the A-side of the record (ArR 2021A), I liked "Let's Move Together" (ArR 2021B) much better. An exciting song, whose party atmosphere is reminiscent of the Beach Boys' version of "Barbara Ann."

It wasn't until many years later, doing an internet search, that I was surprised to learn that 1.) the Aardvarks were a "local" band (from my home state), and 2.) that they never put out an LP. Had there been plans or ideas for an Aardvarks album back then?

Posted by: Rob Imes at May 16, 2009 10:47 PM

I too remember the Aardvarks as well as the Cynics from GR, Poor Boys Pride from the Fremont area, and a few others. My band, The Union Made Band out of Whitehall played in the same Battle of the Bands with the Aardvarks and we came in 3rd I believe. I was the lead singer for the Union Made Band as well as the lead singer for the Sunset out of Fremont (also in the battle). The Union Made consisted of myself Mike Pearo, Stein (Chris) Crancer, Don Mickelson, John Pykonen and Steve our drummer whose last name escapes me at the moment. I left the band in 68 to go to Vietnam. During that time the band changed it's name to Dead Body Incorporated. The only name I can remember from the Sunset was Nick Kubicek and Gary Head. It was indeed a fun time back then playing all around Michigan. I remember a guy named Joey Wilder who looked alot and sounded alot like a famous long time rock and roller from England still rocking today in the worlds greatest rock band if you know who I mean.. As Union Made we opened for the Kingsmen (Louie, Louis) and was told by many that we blew them out! Who knows, this was from our fans of course, lol! In the late 90's I was told by a fan that the Union Made was the original "Punk" band, compliment? Good luck to all of you who are still out there and still playing, it was great hearing about you all. I heard a bunch of guys jammin in the Kent City Lounge who said they used to play, they were playing "Think Twice" by the Pedestrians and I believe one or two of them used to play with the band. Also remember the 9th Street Market, another great band in the area!

Posted by: Mike Pearo at June 4, 2009 11:16 PM

The name of the drummer for the Union Made Band was Steve Flaska from Whitehall.

Posted by: Mike Pearo at June 4, 2009 11:19 PM

Hi aardvarks, I was a neighborhood kid, i ripped your dumb monkey aardvark asses off. We stole every lick of your equipment and didn't give two sniffs a donkey fart about either. Ps, your song revelations 2213 sucks.

Posted by: Anonymous at October 31, 2009 09:30 PM

Hey!!! I was part of the band when you ripped off our stuff. I remember who you are now. I'LL BE SEEING YOU! By the way, there never was a song called Revelations 2213. That was the name of the band idiot!!!!

Posted by: Former Aardvark at March 23, 2010 11:21 PM

Hello...I worked (past tense due to his retirement) for John Carter and it would be great to have the members of the Aardvarks reunite (possibly play some music). I understand some live out of state and Don has passed away, but if the ones in Michigan are available, please let me know. You may reach me at angelica.velez@gentex.com.

Posted by: Angelica Velez at June 8, 2010 09:22 PM

To Shelly Hall: In response to your posting regarding The Aardvarks from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a 1960's band, I am in contact with two of the original members. Please feel free to contact me at my email: deejon55@comcast.net.

Posted by: Denny Johnson at July 3, 2010 06:10 PM

anyone have any copies of the Aardvarks, Fenton 2021, 2090, Vark 2058, they would like to sell? thanks

Posted by: john green at July 26, 2010 09:27 PM

I USED TO LIVE BY THE BAND OFF HOYT AND WATCH THEM AT THERE WAREHOUSE WHEN I WENT TO NELSON SCHOOL....WHERES TIM NOW????

Posted by: JERRY WILLIAMS at July 29, 2010 06:57 PM

Ask the guys who the drummer was who came up with the name "Aardvark". It had been "The Aardvarks".I also came up with the name REV:2213. Same guy who worked his balls off at CWC foundry because the "neighborhood kid" stole all our equipment. Wow, can there be more of a loser? 40 years later still bragging about what was, no doubt, the high point of his life. Sad.

I think there is a timeline error somewhere since I was with Tim, Daryl, Jimmy, and Don in 69. I was onstage with them on Dec. 27, 1969 the night my son was born. I lived at the Aardvark house with Tim & Meg & our long-haired "manager" Big John Alexson (sp?), hella hangers on, lotsa dogs, and more classic hippie stories than you could cram into three movies.

I'll be in Mich.for Thanksgiving (2010) Have anyone contact me at allan@fireart.com

Allan

Posted by: Allan Albaitis at October 22, 2010 06:12 PM

I was researching to find some information about a band from Muskegon late 60's. I saw a mention of Jim and Jack Crowell but I'm looking for a band who had a member by the name of Ron Crowell does anyone remember him. I wondered if any of their songs were recorded so I can give them to him as a gift

Posted by: Mary at December 20, 2010 10:18 AM

Okay, I hope this gets through since the time line of this info was started way back and I just found it.
I was the drummer for the Village Gayte around 1967-68 soon after I met Terry at Muskegon Community College. I think I replaced Rich Ruell (sp) and Bob Borgman played guitar along with Carl Webb and Dave Albert on keyboards. Bob left so then it was me, Terry, Carl, and Dave. We played in the Muskegon area for a while until Dave and me went off to college out of town. I remember us playing a battle of bands up in Ludington with the Union Made (who busted up their gear like the Who). The owner liked us so booked us for the Memorial Day eve show he put on. I still have an orange poster advertising it.

Posted by: Dick K at January 4, 2011 11:09 PM

It went through so I am adding more:

I think the Shackleforsts (sp) had Jessie Cazares as their guitar player. He was phenominal. He got shot years later outside his mom's house I believe.

I want to ask the Charlie that recorded the Village Gayte if he is who went by Chucky back then? I remember him as being a nut (a good nut). Any recordings of us?

Now back to the real subject, The Aardvarks:
Back around late 1971 I got hooked up in a band with Terry, Dave, and now guitar player Rick (Carl) Rademaker, and Daryl Dingler (lead vocals and electric piano) and we called ourselves The 4th Re-Incarnation (Daryl came up with that name because it was either his 4th band or he tried recapturing the Aardvarks (even though we did no tunes by them). We played several gigs but then broke up.

Bill Karis, if you read this have Terry call me at 216-409-3162. More later

Posted by: Dick K at January 4, 2011 11:21 PM

What happened to Charles Bowbeer?

Posted by: Snookered at January 6, 2011 10:06 AM

Who is Chuck Bowbeer?

Posted by: Dick K at January 28, 2011 10:47 PM

Could be spelled Boubier I think. He was a small time manager/promoter. I believe he made off with money from a couple GR area bands

Posted by: Snookered at February 8, 2011 10:55 AM

Charlie Bowbeer was a friend of Chuck St. Louis who was manager of the Aardvarks. Mr. Bowbeer seemed to have some connections in the business, so we took him in. In the end, he drained our account and took the masters of our recordings. Our music was being played all over the country under the names of other bands that never existed. That is apparently how he made his living.

Posted by: rick kuerth at February 11, 2011 01:13 PM

From my Jan. 4, 2011 posting, it was Jesse Cazares and in answer to Mike Pearo on the singer's name that emulated Mick J., his name was Joey Milder (his dad was a pharmacist in Muskegon Hts.)

Posted by: DickK at February 17, 2011 10:14 PM

I wonder if old Chuckie B is still around or alive?

Posted by: Snookered at February 25, 2011 08:55 AM

I was an Aardvark in Clinton Iowa in 1965 to 1968......I played lead guitar. Those were the days and we had great times playing.......we were voted best in every battle of the bands we entered. Steve Bobek was our lead singer and leader.......he was responsible for our success while the rest of us worked on having fun. Dick Winkle drums, Lloyd Bedeger guitar, Larry Huntley bass guitar, jane Rosenbohm lead guitar and we had a few combo organ playe

rs play with us.

Posted by: jane rosenbohm at March 30, 2011 08:58 PM

I was a long time follower of the Muskegon band The Aardvarks. I knew some of the members for some time in the mid 60's and up to 1970. I often helped move there equipment from gig to gig. Kind of a roadie. There is a bit of confusion as to the information on this site. The picture at the top is not the band that did any of the records. They were a much later kind-of version of the band with only Darryl as a remaining member. I believe he left shortly after this picture and time frame. They were actually a band called Revelation 22:13 and played in bars in the local area of West Michigan. Had no records. They also changed members so often that there was never really any identity as to a single band. You can understand this from all the different posts and info on this site. The name The Aardvarks was picked long before any of these members, or other posters on this site, were in the band. It was chosen by Rick Spratt, an original member, in 1965. Other members were Darryl Dingler, John Carter and Gary Walker. Terry Potts and Rick Kuerth did join a little later (1966) when Rick Spratt went off to college and they are on some of the records. I was at the recording session when I'm Higher Than I'm Down was recorded at a Sparta movie theatre. Darryl played the bells on a big church pipe organ that was built into the movie theatre. It was kind of funny because when they played live, the bells were never there but no one seemed to notice. The band used to have 45 records of the songs they recorded with them and would toss them out to fans at the gigs they played. Wonder how many of those records are still around? Some were even signed by the band. Record collectors drool??? I've got one but no sale. There were a couple thousand printed. Although later versions of the band had their own abilities, none were as original as the originals.

Posted by: Long time follower at April 21, 2011 08:47 AM

Hey long time follower: Yes, I am sure the photo is not showing the original Aardvarks. I know Bill Poplaski was not an original. I went to high school with Bill and thought I remember him being in another band (maybe an early Shackleforst). Still waiting to hear from Terry Potts. Also, Darryl may not remember me but I remember rehearsing with him in a house somewhere near Mercy Hospital and remember him wearing a black cape when we played out. I have a cassette recording of us playing the Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet with him on electric piano (heavy version). I remember moving that heavy sucker to play a gig at Muskegon Community College.

Posted by: Dick K at April 24, 2011 11:30 AM

Had the opportunity to meet up with Terry Potts last weekend. Doing well and the two of us shared some stories from all the above ramblings and others from when we first met back in '69.

Posted by: Dick K at August 21, 2011 10:54 PM

Hi I'm looking for Darryl Dingler. We went to grade school {Hile} together. Another friend of ours Cheri Smith-Petrie and I are planning a reunion next June 2012 and want to contact Darryl if we can. Could anyone help us with this .

Thank you,

Pam Stibitz

Posted by: Pam Vos-Stibitz at September 28, 2011 04:14 PM

Wow, you would have to hope he reads this soon or someone else that knows him. Are you related to the late Jim Stibitz? If memory serves me right he passed away awhile back.

Posted by: Dick K at October 1, 2011 04:09 PM

My sister happened across these postings which I find fascinating.I'm familiar with a lot of these names from the past.Myself along with my brother Jesse Joe were the guitar players for the Shackleforsts.Rick Anderson was the drummer,Craig Morgan bass player, and Joe Milder singer, harmonica player .My brother passed away in 1973.I remember the Battle of the Bands at the L.C.Walker.We won there against some really good bands.We played with Woolies one time at the Roll-arena.I still play a lot 60's music.

Posted by: Julian Casarez at February 6, 2012 01:25 PM

FYI Terry is in intensive care right now. an attempt to take him own life. he has been taken off life support. only expected to make it 24 to 48 hrs. sad loss.

Posted by: Gary Berdinski at February 8, 2012 02:40 PM

Well, a former bandmate from The Village Gate sent me a note that we have lost our dear musical buddy, Terry Potts. So sad.
p.s. Hi Julian, You may not remember me but I went to Sacred Heart and knew Jesse. He actually wanted to start a power trio with Terry on bass and me on drums but it never materialized.

Posted by: Dick K at February 12, 2012 11:55 AM

The truth about Terry: Terry passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning at Hackley Hospital. Diabetes finally caught up with him. His kidneys were shutting down, and dialysis wasn't helping. He was comfortable and not in any pain. His son and ex-wife were with him when he passed.

Posted by: Dick K. at February 12, 2012 01:11 PM

Mr. Berdinski, an ex-cop, should know better than to spread rumors about sensitive information. I was one of Terry's closest friends. I was at Terry's bedside, frequently, before he passed away. Terry died from kidney failure, due to complications of diabetes. ....Nuff Said?

Posted by: Bill Karis at February 13, 2012 07:49 AM

Hi there Dick K.I probably know who you are but I left Muskegon in 1978.I live in G.R. retired from G.M.So I've lost contact with a lot of people whom I used to know.Drop me a line at casarezjulian@hotmail.com and update me on some specifics if you get a chance.

Posted by: Julian Casarez at February 13, 2012 05:34 PM

I just attended a wonderful memorial service for Terry Potts yesterday (2/18/12). What a great outpouring of friends and family. At the service, we passed the mike, around and told stories about Terry. I learned a lot of things I didn't know about him (even though I've known him since high school).I talked to Terry's son Joel, and found out he has discovered this message board. In Terry's memory, I ask that if you have a short "Terry Potts" story, you post it here. I know that it would mean a lot to his family and friends. Thanks, and Keep the Aardvarks spirit alive.

Posted by: Bill Karis at February 19, 2012 12:03 PM

When I started my first band in Muskegon, in 1965, we talked Terry Potts into buying a Silvertone (Danelectro) bass, and I showed him what to play on the 10 or 12 songs we knew. Peter Blodow, who was the German exchange student living with Terry's family at the time, showed me how to make chords on the piano, and contacted me around the time he posted here, but didn't tell me about this message board. I'm very sad we didn't succeed in contacting and reconnecting with Terry! The one gig we had as the Moogaloonies (a name gleaned from a surfer comic book, and one which caused the question mark balloons to appear over everyone's head in the audience when you said it - so we had various aliases to use when we came out and played the same 12 songs for the second set - Blue Blais & The Flash Gordon Four, Okie Doke & The Local Yokels, and Potts & The Pans) was a New Year's Eve dance at Nelson Jr. High. We were paid $5, not apiece, for the while band. Not sure we were actually worth that, but grateful to have received it! When I got home from the gig, my parents were having a blowout party, and asked where my band was. I knew at least a couple of them would be home in bed by then, but I called Terry and Phil Blais, they came over and we played as a trio for the party, while my parents and their friends tried to do the Frug. Terry wore too much Jade East, but I really liked him. My dad got transferred to South Haven, but I came back to Muskegon for that Battle of the Bands, and the Aardvarks were the audience favorites, but a slick '50s style band with guys who did steps together took first. Terry gave me a copy of the Fenton single, which I still have (not for sale!). I was very proud of Terry! I never realized that Jack Crowell had been an original member! He was also in that Battle of the Bands with a new name to his band, The Creations. I'm not sure what it had been called before, but my first live Rock'n'Roll experience was Jack Crowell at the Thunderbird Lounge. Come to think of it, the Moogaloonies did have one other public appearance - we played 3 songs on a break at a Markells show. Never knew that Jim Britton had later played in the Aardvarks! One day when we were rehearsing, Dave Albert and his dad came by, and his dad tried to talk him into our band, but he had a toy organ, and I didn't envision having a keyboard in the group. Sorry Dave, if you read this! I'm very happy to learn on this message board that he did eventually get into a band. Maybe he'd find it funny to learn I finally added a keyboard player - on accordion no less! But he also plays piano, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, banjo, etc. etc. It was great to learn just a bit more about Terry, and the Aardvarks history. I posted the one existing picture of the Moogaloonies with Terry Potts at his guest book page (they evolved briefly into the Mad Hatters after I left, I think Terry would still have been the bass player, but can't remember). I played in 2 bands in South Haven, including the Aristocrats, then one in Bloomingdale called the Phog, before going off to college in East Lansing, where I played in a couple of bands that never gelled, though the singer in one was the guy from the Five Empress ("Little Miss Sad"), or so he told us. I've actually been wanting to contact Jack Crowell, to see if he had any pictures from his early Rock'n'Roll career. Weirdly enough, a few years ago I saw him on TV, a very short lived feature of people meeting their heros - he met Robert DeNiro! All my bands are linked via the Blue Suede News website. Rest in Peace Terry! I wish we could have reconnected to play a few tunes last time I came through Muskegon in 2005!

Posted by: Marc Bristol at February 19, 2012 07:31 PM

Hi Joel, I am sorry I was unable to attend your dad's funeral. If you read back a bit you'll see some of my notes on when I met your dad and the bands we were in. Also that I was able to meet up with him this past summer. I copied all these notes up to the time before I went to Muskegon in early August and read them to him. He remembered when he was in a band that opened for the Grateful Dead and told me how rude Jerry Garcia was to him for accidently taking over his dressing area. I remember Jack Crowell and the Creations and it seems to me they rehearsed up in Woodcliffe. In fact I remember them using a homemade, white 12-string guitar. I can picture their lead vocalist, a tall slender kid but can't recollect his name. In fact, I even borrowed a champagne-colored floor tom from Jack for the Village Gayte's first performnace at a Battle of the Bands at L.C. Walker Annex. My red pearl kit did not have a floor tom and I thought it looked kind of silly showing up with a small set. Don't think I even played it. Funny.

Posted by: Dick K at February 20, 2012 11:35 PM

The Crowell family not only rehearsed up in Woodcliff,they lived in Woodcliff.They were members of Poor Boys Pride last I heard mucho years a go.Jack and Jim had a brother Dave who would join us sometimes at the Thunderbird Lounge.Jack and Jim were solid hombres.

Posted by: julian casarez at February 24, 2012 04:41 PM

Who are these imposters? The Aardvarks were a British group who were big on the English scene in 1961 -2, see www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/C175

Posted by: Harry Hasta at March 17, 2012 06:53 AM

"Big on the English scene", really? Sounds like the British Aardvarks was an obscure garage band that no one ever heard of. If Tim Rice hadn't become famous, then the footnote knowledge of their existence would never have been known.

Posted by: Bill Karis at March 24, 2012 09:13 AM

The Quest and The JuJu's from Grand Rapids are THE BEST !!!!!

Posted by: Carl Back at June 8, 2012 08:46 PM

The two volumes of "Michigan Mayhem!" are probably the best CD's ever released.Buy them. Demand that 100 more volumes are created!60's rockers earned their keep without making the top 20.

Posted by: Jeff Svirtunas at June 8, 2012 09:15 PM

My last posting was October 22, 2010. Since then I visited my family that Thanksgiving and got a call through to Tim Smiley. He told me that he had attended John Alexon's funeral the day before. He also mentioned that he had bumped into Jimmy Britton a week or so earlier. We had a long, fun reminiscing conversation - lotsa laughs. Looking at the above newer posts jarred some memories. I was at that first Battle of the Bands at the L.C. Walker Arena with a band called The Kritters. Larry Kieft, lead vocals & guitar, Craig (Morgan - I think)on lead guitar, and a guy named Mickey on bass. We wore madras pants and wing-tipped shoes. Man! The Aardvarks, who I would play drums for in 69-70 beat us out. A few years later Larry Kieft and I moved to E. Lansing and started a group called Severe Hands.


I also played drums with Jim and Jack Crowell and the Creations at the Thunderbird Lounge among other places. Oddly, I just got a call from Jack this past April. My sister had run into him in Muskegon and given him my phone number. Brothers Jack and Dave are doing well.

I'll have to check back here and see what's "new". Rock on, Michigan.

ps I moved to Las Vegas in '73 and gigged until '77. Somehow I ended up on Las Vegas Fire & Rescue for 25 years. Retired in'07. Any old rockers visiting Vegas, give me a call.702-528-5645 Eyeball www.fireart.com

Allan Albaitis

Posted by: Allan Albaitis at July 28, 2012 06:55 PM

Allan Albaitis, Please visit our website, www.WestMichMusicHystericalSociety.com as we are compiling info on the Aardvarks and it's members through the years. Feel free to contact me at WMMusicHystericalSociety@yahoo.com Regards, Doug Taylor

Posted by: Doug Taylor at August 18, 2012 04:09 AM

I seem to remember an Ardvarks concert in St. Louis in the mid-60's. There were three bands that played at the old Arena. The Ardvarks, The Animals and the Turtles. The tics were given out to kids who threw these local carnivals with kits you got in the mail from Jerry Lewis/MDA. You had to raise so much money to get a ticket. I was probably 11 or so back then. Wondering if my memory is correct and if the Ardvarks played there.

Posted by: Katie G at January 31, 2013 07:12 PM

Allan,
I remember attending a Saturday afternoon concert at the Thunderbird and seeing a band with the bass player Mickey (I will think of his last name). He was a big guy that played bass with a six string guitar. p.s. Could his last name have been McGuire?

Posted by: DickK at April 27, 2013 11:58 PM

Back to my April 27, 2013 message I believe the bass player's name was Mickey McCullogh (sp) not McGuire.

Posted by: DickK at May 18, 2013 12:01 PM

Any pics of the Aardvarks killer drum kit? I remember as a young boy being in awe of it (and the liller drumming). Used to hang at a place
called "The Place" in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Raven- Florida

Posted by: Raven at May 22, 2013 04:04 PM

Any way someone can block out this latest crap so we can get back to discussion of the Aardvarks?

Posted by: DickK at January 14, 2014 10:30 AM

I can't resist posting this link and wondering if these drums on Pittsburgh craigslist are somehow connected to the mighty Aardvarks gathered here - Do check these pics out of vintage '60s Pearl drums with The Aardvarks bass drum head - maybe some connection? Or maybe another group.

If they are connected, what great luck, maybe Garey could weigh in.

Vintage 60's Pearl Drum Kit - $450 (Pgh)

Need to add the H -Tee-Tee-Pea-colon-slash-slash-pittsburgh(dot)craigslist(dot)org/msg/5130914583(dot)html

Posted by: Budd Kelly at July 20, 2015 06:22 AM
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