West Michigan Mid-Sixties Bands


Grand Rapids

From Jim Frost of the Intruders

We recorded quite a lot, never released any. We first recorded at Great Lakes in May or June 1965. In '64 and early '65, we were doing a lot of instrumental music, influenced by the Ventures, the Tornadoes, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, the Surfaris, and locally by the Renegades (more on them later).

Our first recording was of two original songs, one an instrumental called "Space Walk", and the other a vocal, "Oh, Kathy." Dave Kalmbach was the engineer. We had the songs pressed to acetate disc, but never to vinyl. At the time, we were close to two local DJs, Dick McKay and Jack Hoppus. They gave Space Walk a fair amount of air time, as it was usual then to play an instrumental lead in before the news. Dick mcKay had a television show then on WZZM called "McKay's Place", and we played on it several times. The first times, we would record a song and then go to the studio and be taped lip-syncing, and then on the live broadcast, we would step in after the tape was played for a quick introduction/interview. But on July 4, 1965, we played live from the WZZM remote studio in Muskegon, playing "Space Walk" and "Oh, Kathy" before the Righteous Brothers got up and lip-synced a couple of their songs. We went back to the studio on a number of occasions, but we were not prolific writers and did not have that much good original material.

In late December 1966 and early January 1967, we recorded in Phil Roberts's basement studio, which was quite nice and very complete, but the songs were all top 40 covers, no originals. Again, we had the songs pressed to acetate, but not to vinyl, and there were no releases. We used this output mainly as an audition tool. (I think I still have acetate discs of some of our recordings, if I can find them).

What we were was an excellent cover band, and we played a good live show. We played virtually every Friday and Saturday night from 1964 through 1968 with the core band, and then splintered and evolved into other groups. The core band, The Intruders, played literally hundreds of shows and dances during that time. We played at the places mentioned in my message in your guestbook, as well as many others that I can't remember. School dances, many dances at the armories in Wyoming and Holland, teen clubs all over the Midwest. We played in, and won, several battles of the bands. We played in Ottawa Hills High School's "Junior Review" in 1966, as one of our members was a junior at Ottawa that year. The other three of us went to East Grand Rapids HS.

I have pictures of the Intruders, and of the Root Beer Stand Band that evolved out of the Intruders. Other Ottawa and East bands at the time included the Soulbenders (all Ottawa), Chaos, Inc. (mostly East), Peter and the Prophets (mostly East, but I think Pete Samuelson and John Kay went to Central),(Chaos, Inc., and Peter and the Prophets later merged into a band called The Everyday Things, and released a recording of two Pete Samuelson songs)(also, Steve McKay, sax player in Chaos, later joined Iggy and the Stooges and played on their "Funhouse" album), The Guildsmen (East), the Renegades (East), the Kingtones (East, mostly, but they were several years ahead of us in school), and The Fredric (East and Forest Hills). The Renegades were Fitz Green (guitar), Brian Bracken (organ), Pete Idema (drums), and a bass player whose name I think was Bruce Baldwin. Originally an instrumental group, they released "Greensleeves" in about 1964. They then turned to vocals, and went through a couple of singers whose names I don't remember, and they released "Wine, Wine, Wine" (a cover of a song by a group called the Astronauts who never got much recognition).

Last updated on May 17, 2004.

Is this "The Intruders" that did a hot version the "Wild Goose" on Sahara label. Flip side was Trambone, written by Chet Atkins) about the mid-early 1060's.

Posted by: Stan Christman at July 12, 2004 04:53 PM

Stan, those Intruders were from the Southwest someplace, according to [url=http://www.spies.com/~reverb/reviews/i/intruders3240.html]Phil Dirt[/url].

Posted by: Jake at July 12, 2004 08:39 PM

Shoot Jim, why don't you list the members of the original Intruders here? I was one, Doug Mull and Tim Leuliette were the others, Bob Fodor joined on keyboards in 1967 when I announced I was leaving at the end of high school, and when I did leave, Dave Pryce from Chaos Inc. took my place. That made The Root Beer Stand Band. Dave played with Phlegethon shortly after. After college i helped start Jake The Shake, and when I needed to bow out of that, Jim Stiegmeyer (used to play with Frank Salamone) took my place and formed the Jimmy Stagger band from that. A few years later I joined the Eastones and did the 50s-60s oldies things for years. They ran that into the ground for several years after I left. Nowdays, I play with the Hula Dogs which are the old Jake the Shake guys again mostly, and also play with the KINGTONES! when they need a substitute.

These Intruders are not to be confused with the later-named Detroit band who had a minor hit with "Cowboys to Girls" of course.

Posted by: Keith Robb at September 15, 2004 03:36 PM

I believe the Intruders you refer to that had the hit "Cowboys to Girls" were not from Detroit, but from Phila. Pa. and recorded for Philly's Gamble/Huff Production Co.

I think their was another 60s Intruders group from the Saginaw Valley area, but unknown if they recorded anything? One member was Wayne Wescott(spelling may be off)

If anyone can coment on the Saginaw area Intruders, please email me

Posted by: The Vinylspinner at May 18, 2005 02:38 PM

National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had funded a project with the US auto makers for the past five years. The NTSB covertly funded a project whereby the auto makers were installing black boxes in four wheel drive pickup trucks in an effort to determine, in fatal accidents, the circumstances in the last 15 seconds before the crash.

They were surprised to find in 49 of the 50 states the last words of drivers in 61.2% of fatal crashes were, "Oh, Shit!"

Only the state of Texas was different, where 89.3% of the final words were, "Hey Y'all, hold my beer and watch this!"

Posted by: Sidney at February 23, 2008 04:39 PM

Don't Worry, Be Happy! =)

Posted by: Tom at February 29, 2008 11:55 AM

This is really bizarre. I was the lead guitar player in a group called the Penetrators in the Los Angeles area 1961-63. We recorded Wild Goose, backed with Trambone for Talent Records in Hollywood. It did very little play wise or financially. One of the guys in the group, Les Silver, worked at a record distributor in Hollywood (same time frame) and came across the Sahara release with our recordings, but now we were known as The Intruders. The Intruders never really existed as far as Wild Goose and Trambone are concerned The original members of The Penetrators were: Terry McArthur lead guitar, Tom Ancell Bass, Mike Lyons tenor sax, Les Silver baritone sax and Phil Umann Drums. We did cut several other sides and did background tracks for a variety of other artists at Talent Records.

. . . Just for the record.


Posted by: Terry McArthur at March 4, 2008 10:28 PM

Hello to Terry McArthur: Phil Umann (drums)here in Medford, Oregon. Been Many years since we have seen each other. Boy, the piracy of "Wild Goose" and "Trambone" under Sahara Records was not the only cut that Lenny & Benny pirated. Strange that the record I saw gave the "Penetrators" writer's acknowlegement. on the disc. I don't have a copy of "Wild Goose" anymore.
Just finished promoting and performing in my 15th Annual Musical Pot-luck and Jam Session"...also known as Philstock.
I have lost track of Mike, Les, and Tom also. Hope to hear from you.

Posted by: Phil Umann at July 25, 2008 04:03 PM

Just bring about this forum via google. Joyful to connect you. I came here to learn your cant . thanks all.

Posted by: acinnatwics at September 29, 2010 01:08 AM
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