West Michigan Mid-Sixties Bands


From Grand Rapids
Evolution, Forte

The Fredric, 1968The Fredric

The Fredric was a great pop band who recorded an album that has become a rare collector's item that has been known to sell for several hundred dollars. Thankfully, the fine folks at Arf-Arf Records have re-released it on CD.


Joe McCarger - vocals
Dave Idema - drums, vocals
Steve Thrall - guitar, vocals
Ron Bera - keyboards
Bob Geis - guitar


Coming soon...

Currently available

Phases and Faces (West Michigan Psychedelia 1967 - 1969 The Complete Recordings) by the Fredric - a collection that includes the complete contents of the original album as well as a single and some outtakes that were recorded for an unreleased second album.  Click here to order.

Phases and FacesTrack Listing:
Tracks 13 - 17 are the extra, non-album tracks.

  1. Federal Reserve Bank Blues
  2. The Girl I Love
  3. All About Judi
  4. Henry Adams
  5. Morning Sunshine
  6. Taggin'
  7. Cousin Mary Knows
  8. My Yellow Tree
  9. Red Pier
  10. Old Fashioned Guy
  11. Born in Fire
  12. Saturday Morning with Rain
  13. Five O'Clock Traffic
  14. Postmarks
  15. Bob's Songs
  16. Lori Lee Loveland
  17. Country

Midwestern Sound, Grand Rapids, 1968

Last updated on May 17, 2004.

I went to school at Forest Hills with Joe Mc Carger of this band. These guys were pretty professional in the sense of not dressing sloppy and actually having rehearsed starts and endings to their songs. They played at a few dances at Forest Hills High School in the late 60's and even though they were sorta light and pop-ish when lots of music was getty druggy I think everybody liked them alot. Very talented. Fun,innocent days! Joe was cornered and asked to play for our 35th Class reunion in 2004 but had other commitments, but maybe we'll drag him out to play for the next one???

Posted by: kim rush at September 14, 2006 03:01 PM

Was this Steve Thrall ever in a band called The Casanovas?

Posted by: Maxine at November 26, 2006 08:05 PM


I gatored to these guys at the Forest Hills High School dances in 1973. They were really great. I remember it well.

Posted by: Parker Tuthill at January 18, 2007 07:17 PM

I rock the Sagatuck Coral Gables deck during the summer. My favorite Fredric tune is "Taggin'". My audience digs it when I lick the guitar strings after the solo riff.

Posted by: Tombo Bryant at January 18, 2007 08:54 PM


I wanted to be in that band really bad. I knew all the guys and used to follow them around. I was not a male groupy though. I just carried Joe's guitar.



Posted by: Judy Lynch at January 18, 2007 10:01 PM

Ron Bera, aged 56, formerly of Grand Rapids, died peacefully in Bonita Springs, FL on February 11, 2007 following a battle with cancer. Ron was preceded in death by his father, H. Ozro Bera, Jr. He is survived by his mother, Anita Bera of Port Richey, FL; brother, Roger (Cindy) Bera of East Grand Rapids; nieces, Stephanie (Dwight) Meston, Alison (Dean) Cappallazzo, Kate Bera; nephew, Matthew (Terrie) Bera; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Ron attended Oberlin College and Mary Grove University and was employed as the Director of Music at Saint Leo Catholic Church in Bonita Springs, FL. Funeral Mass and burial were help on February 14, 2007 in Bonita Springs.

Posted by: Drew at February 15, 2007 05:11 PM

A friend and myself, had met a few of the band members, as we lived next door to a drummer - Billy Zigmund. I believe the band they formed at the time was initially The Rock Graden, and later just The Garden.
Sorry to hear about Ron.

Posted by: Rick Zane at February 23, 2007 01:34 PM

I can't believe Ron died. I hung with him for a couple years - '70-'72 I think it was. Beyond his work with The Fredric, Rock Garden and Garden, he was an incredibly talented classical pianist and organist. We'd sneak into the organ loft at Aquinas after hours, lock the door, get a little buzzed and he'd sit down and play. LOUD. I think I still have some tapes I made of him playing the piano in our "garden apartment" at Wealthy and College SE. He was a great man who will be missed.

Posted by: Dave Morey at April 30, 2007 09:21 AM

steve thrall is my dad!!!!! ahhh im so lucky :)

Posted by: anachristinathrall at October 11, 2007 05:06 PM

steve thrall is my best friends dad!!!!!!!!! ahhhhhh im so lucky!!!! :)

Posted by: Natalie Shuart at October 11, 2007 08:14 PM

steve thrall is my uncle!!! I was the best man at his wedding!!

Posted by: Steve Thrall at December 18, 2007 10:31 AM

Does anyone know who the girl vocalist was on "Johnny's Music Machine" ?

Posted by: Steve at January 6, 2008 11:45 AM

The question of who the girl singer was in "Johnny's Music Machine" was answered for me when the record was first released by a close friend of the band. The the girl singer in "Johnny's Music Machine" was the same girl that sang in the Archie's recording of "Sugar, Sugar". But who knows her name?

Posted by: Bill Bab at January 7, 2008 08:13 AM

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Bill..seems her name is Toni Wine.

Posted by: Steve at January 8, 2008 09:53 PM

I have come into posession of a early 1960's Les Paul Jr. guitar, when I opened the back there was a label inside that said Steve Thrall The Casanovas Were Here. Is this the same Steve Thrall?

Posted by: Maxine at February 24, 2008 01:48 PM

I still gator to "The girl I love".

Posted by: Parker Tuthill at April 30, 2008 10:31 PM

My dad showed me the best moves and got my head pointed in the right direction!!!

Posted by: Bryant Tuthill at June 8, 2008 10:42 PM

fond memories of the Fredric. I was a member of their fan club and our "President" Irene Burgess once smuggled us into "The Note" on Gun Lake. I must have been about 16 at the time. I still have the photos I took of them in their dressing room. I first learned of the band from my mother who told me that my cousin was in a band and they were playing at Yankees Dept Store. (Can you imagine?) Joe McCargar was my cousin by marriage -- my Aunt Dorothy McCargar had become part of the McCargar family when she married the elder George. We used to spend summers up at her home on the Pere Marquette River and once just missed the band after they had visited that beautiful place. I am sorry to hear about Ron and hope all are doing well. Still a fan, Lynne' (Barnaby) Morrow

Posted by: Lynne' (Barnaby) Morrow at May 19, 2009 01:24 PM

Did the Fredric ever play at The Place in Grand Rapids at 632 Plymouth NE ('66-'67)? A friend gave me a picture of the outside of this building which was torn down in 1974. The building was moved from Ramona in EGR in 1955 and reconstructed on Plymouth NE. It was used as a roller skating rink for 10 years before concert and dance bands started playing there. Kim

Posted by: kim rush at October 2, 2009 11:38 AM

Maxine. 2008

Probably way too late to hear back from me, but there's no other way to reach you. Just read through all these comments and, yes, that Les Paul was probably mine. Gold Les Paul.

The Casanovas was a band just prior to changing our name to The Fredric. We changed the name when we took a tour as the backup band for Harper and Row from England. The agency in charge wanted us to change the name for some legal reason. We were passing a city on our way up north for the first concert and it was Fredric, MI.

Steve Thrall

Posted by: Steve Thrall at May 30, 2010 05:08 PM

I was the keyboard guy for the Aardvarks and we had hooked up with your band and Harper and Rowe, as well. You used our rehersal hall on Airport Rd for a time. BTW, Harper and Rowe were actually from Canada,
Anyway, our band was returning form a show in Northern MI one Sunday. I was riding with Charlie Bowbeer. We drove under the overpass for Fredric, MI, and I commented to Charlie that would be a great name for a band. So, there you go. You're welcome.

Posted by: Rick Kuerth at February 8, 2011 09:24 AM

Roger (Ron's brother) Bera was my 6th grade teacher at Oakdale Elementary School and also played piano quite wonderfully - one of my musical inspirations :) - just thought of him today!

Posted by: Laurie at April 15, 2013 02:14 PM

Years ago I worked with Dave Idema as a law clerk when he was going to law school. You may recall that he had a hit called "Blind Man in the Bleachers" under the name "David Geddes".

Posted by: Jim Thome at November 7, 2014 11:26 AM

Apparently folks did the original Gator version to The Fredric before the line dance version was born in the Saginaw Valley. Google "Gator Pile" for an in-depth review on "The Alligator and its gatoring variants.

Posted by: Ol' Mizzou at March 28, 2015 07:41 AM

Just putting this out there-Steve or any other band member i am on facebook and would love to hear from you. We had some great times!!!! Being your fan club president was a wonderful memory from my youth:)

Posted by: Irene (Burgress) Dalziel at September 22, 2015 09:49 PM

Irene; Had seen and then forgot the link to this site. I was the drummer with The Guildsmen which was 3 guys from EGR High and me from South. Knew the Fredric and liked their music. Have the cover of the album but unfortunately, it has no record in it. Knew Idema and the EGR guys were Hank Battjes on guitar/vocals, Bill Gross, keyboards & Larry Ballard for bass. Henry & Bill have passed on and think also the case with Larry. We played a lot of local stuff around GR and Chaos was also popular then. Summers we were a house band at a Saugatuck teen club and I ended up working summers for the Gables while in college. Dock boy then tended bar. Me & Dem Guys were the main draw there and I filled in for Lynn Riggs on drums for a couple of weeks. Great gig.

Posted by: Ken Faux at October 17, 2015 04:53 PM

I remember when Five O'clock Traffic was at the top of the charts in West Michigan...late 60s..WLAV AM...1340hz...what a time that was!

Posted by: Dale Williams at December 22, 2015 09:59 PM

'Mary' in the Fredric's song "Cousin Mary Knows" is my sister Mary! She is about the same age as Steve and his cousin, as I am.

Steve Thrall is a genius, as was his older brother Bill. The whole family are very talented. Both our families were very close and I spent a number of years living with the Thralls when I was very young!

Back in the 60s and early 70s Steve seemed to emulate John Lennon and looked quite a bit like him. He definitely had the same musical genius.

My most memorable time with him was playing with toy soldiers in our grandmother's basement. We had thousands of them and played with them every day for years!

We merrily sand all the old US Cavalry songs like "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" as we moved our cavalry troopers around the floor and fought them 'Injuns.' :-)

Posted by: Bob 'Doc' Beaton at January 5, 2016 06:28 PM

Ken Faux, Larry Ballard is alive and doing very well in Daytona Beach, Florida. I stopped in to see him April 2015 to interview him for a story in our music website. Story coming soon. Larry doesn't do Facebook, etc. but his brother Bobby does, he's on Facebook.

Posted by: Doug Taylor at July 29, 2016 09:46 PM
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