West Michigan Mid-Sixties Bands

Pedestrians

Grand Rapids
Fenton, Atco

A message from Kim Weighous, lead guitar player of the Pedestrians, August 2001

This is Kim Weighous, lead guitar player of the Pedestrians. What a great site. Sure brings back lots of memories for me. I wanted to tell you that the "Buyit" label was strictly a brainchild of Tony Cooper as he had aspirations of starting his own label with what was supposed to be the follow up to "Think Twice." WLAV and WGRD both initially agreed to air "It's Too Late," but then wanted to play the B side (which I sang, with a terrific head cold). The ensuing confusion led to WLAV only playing the "It's Too Late" once or twice, then dropping it. WGRD never played it. "Think Twice," after being #1 for the year 1966 in Grand Rapids, was rereleased in a version with dubbed in bells and strings in Orlando, Florida, where it went to #1. Tony Cooper's folks were from down South. I had a few copies of this which may still be at my mom and dad's house in Grand Rapids. The four of us, Tony Cooper rhythm guitar and vocals, Billy De Young, bass, Jay Kay (Kilpatrick) Drums, and myself signed a contract with Atco (I was only 14, everyone else 17) and we thought we were headed for the big time, but they never did anything with our song. We wrote them a letter asking why they did not do anything and they sent us back the contract.

By the way, we were the only band in Michigan ever to beat the Soul Benders in a battle of the bands at "The Place" in 1966. We did not participate in any more battles after that so we could keep bragging rights.

I played with Don Henke at his night club at Turk Lake out by Greenville for a couple of years. I noticed his record with Don Henke and the Echomen on the Fenton list. Don had this great voice like Bill Medley. That was fun, too.

In looking around the site some more, I noticed on Aris' site that Dave Kalmbach stopped by a recent session with Aris. Glad to here he is still around. The recording studio was set up in an old theater in Sparta. In later years with the club band, Flyin' Home, we recorded what turned out to be pretty much a dud, "The Flyin' Home Boogie," at that same studio. WLAV played it, but it only went to #35. This was in about 1973, I think, so the studio was still active at that time. We went outside the studio and took publicity photos. I don't know how much longer he operated the studio after that.

Do you have any information on The Barons? This was Dick Stiemli (later with Soulbenders) on guitar, Dave Rutkowski on keyboards and vocals, Bill McNamara on bass, and I don't recall the drummer's name. They were the best band in GR from about mid 1964 to 1965, in the very early days of dance bands in that period. They played the Grand Valley Armory, the forerunner of The Place. I saw them there several times and idolized Dick, and copied a lot of his riffs. Dave was later in the Pedestrians briefly before they disbanded. If you can get ahold of Jim Kemp (whose nickname was "Jafes," the label name for the Baron's songs) the manager of the Pedestrians and The Barons, he would probably have a lot of information about that period and be able to refer you to a lot of good sources.

Last updated on May 17, 2004.
Comments

I WAS 14 WHEN i FIRST HEARD tHINK TWICE.
i THOUGHT IT WAS SO COOL THEN AND, i THINK IT IS SO COOL NOW.
I HAVE A COPY OF YOUR SONG ON A TAPE AND i NEVER STOP PLAYING IT.
dO YOU HAVE THE GUITAR CHORDS AND LYRICS YOU COULD E-MAIL ME?
tHANKS

Posted by: Ernie at November 7, 2004 01:27 AM

I'm Tony's cousin. I remember when you guys practiced in my dad's barn when you visited south Alabama. I can still remember the melody and some of the lyrics to "Think Twice." It was a neat song.

Posted by: Clay at December 25, 2004 10:58 PM

KIM ---I'VE READ YOUR INTERVIEW ON THIS WEBSITE &
WANTED TO COMMENT ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU STATED
THAT ATCO NEVER RELEASED "THINK TWICE". SOME YEARS AGO, I FOUND A "STOCK" COPY OF THE RECORD
ON ATCO WHILE LOOKING AT SOME RECORDS AT A RECORD SHOW. SO SOME MUST HAVE GOTTEN OUT THERE.
HAVE SEEN MANY PROMO COPYS ON ATCO, BUT ONLY THE
1 STOCK COPY. THERE ARE PROBABLY MORE OUT THERE.
I'VE ALWAYS PREFERRED THE FENTON VERSION OF THE
RECORD OVER THE "BUYIT/ATCO" VERSION.

Posted by: JOHN at January 15, 2005 08:36 PM

What about Mike Burton?????

Posted by: Terri at August 7, 2005 04:17 PM

Hi I just pickup this site and I want to say hello to all my friends

this site brings back a lot of wonderful memories

I still think about you guys and gals and the fun we had
I would love to hear from you
By the way, I am still in music and ready to release a new album
I still have copies of the original Think Twice

Bye 4 now
Tony Cooper

Posted by: Tony Cooper at September 14, 2005 12:31 AM

didn't bobby speak play keybords in the pedestrians ?

Posted by: bob d at February 11, 2006 06:46 PM

I just happened to see this web site on the Pedestrians, a band I remember very fondly and noticed that Kim Weighouse, a fellow Northview graduate I believe (one year ahead of me) was in the band. I enjoyed the music and would love to get a hold of the song "Think Twice" If you get this message Kim, send me a message back? Take care!

Ron

Posted by: Ron at July 25, 2006 05:50 PM

I have a couple copies of The Pedertrians "Think Twice", one on the original label and one on the WLAV Memory Pack, but they are both scratchy. How can I get a clean copy? I don't find it on any P2P. It was a huge hit in the Grand Rapids area. It would be nice to circulate it again.
I dj'ed at wlav and wzzr/wzzm for many years, and would like to obtain a clean copy for personal use. Maybe in mp3 format?

Posted by: Chris O'Brien at September 13, 2006 12:43 AM

I rememeber going over to Kim Weighous's house when I was in high school (maybe 66-68). I think they were looking for a singer (maybe had an add at Middleton's music) and I wanted an audition. I probably told my Mom that I was going to Arlan's to shop for records and snuck over there. I don't think anyone ever set up their amps and drums and I know I never sang for them. I was intimidated to beat the band, but so impressed with Kim's string-bending I wanted to be part of that sound. Thanks for the memories...I didn't know Kim was in the Pedestrians. Wish more people would offer their memories on this wonderful website!

Posted by: kim rush at October 18, 2006 12:27 PM

Baron's drummers name was "Mandrill Fern". That has to be contrived, huh?

The group did a gig or two at the old Grand Haven Roller Rink & Ballroom too in the spring of '65.

Manager Jim Kemp died in July 2006.

Posted by: Tom Olejniczak at March 20, 2007 01:12 AM

Hey, maybe somebody could upload Think Twice by the pedestrians onto YouTube..it'd be a great way for lots of us who don;t have copies of the song to hear it once again...whatt'ya think..anybody?

Posted by: richie at May 25, 2007 03:39 PM

I JUST put my 45 of Think Twice/Its Too Late on CD. Think Twice is an amazing song. Riddled by warning bells, the vocalist warns of bleakness if you don't think about what you have. At the very end the bell rings, and the song fades to black.

My copy (on atco) is scratchy but it does not skip! I remember when my parents gave me a whole bunch of 45s (this was one of em) as a kid when I got my first turntable I was in awe of "Think Twice"--it was such a good song--and it ended very oddly. I still think its great--its even better now--and "Its Too Late" is a great tune too. Someone tell me how to upload it to this. Music this good needs to be heard.

Posted by: wayved at July 1, 2007 01:22 AM

Hey Kim!
If you ever visit grandrapidsrocks again, we must hook up. We rocked together in the best band either of us was ever in - DOG BREATH. We must get the grrocks to include it on the list of bands. As well as Albert Smith Group, and Flyin' Home.


Posted by: lyle Fales at June 25, 2008 12:57 AM

So glad to see all my friends checking in - only one thing - nobody left an email address. Here is mine - I would love to here from all of you. Here is my email: nulife02@charter.net. Tony, my sister talked to Billy DeYoung a couple times - He is back in GR. Jay lives in Traverse City last I heard. It would be great to do a reunion some time. I've been playing quite a bit - shred style guitar (Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert). Drop me an email - Lyle, you rock! Email me.

Posted by: Kim Weighous at November 14, 2008 09:54 PM

98.7 played Think Twice yesterday. Gosh, the wonderful memories that song brought back!!!! Stumbled onto this site and it is a pleasure to remember The Place, Battle of the Bands, the 60s, Pedestrians, Soul Benders and that awesome, favorite song, Think Twice!!!! Thank you for the awesome memories and please accept my best wishes to all of you!!

Posted by: Catherine at November 22, 2008 02:34 PM

I was a student at Creston H.S. in 67/68, and I accompanied (as a roadie) The Pedestrians on a northern Michigan tour to promote their record--"Think Twice." We loaded up an equipment trailer at Tony Cooper's house in North Park and took off. I'll never forget, I think it was Billy who had a beautiful light yellow Chevy Impala 409 convertible. We headed North as far as Rose City, and played the roller rink in town. It was a rockin'great evening. On returning to G.R. we stopped at a gas station in a small town. The attendant alerted us to the fact that race riots had just broken out in G.R., and we'd better be careful re-entering town. The TV was on in the station, and the riots were playing out on the news. We were all shocked and nervous as we approached home.

Posted by: Robin Nott at January 3, 2009 10:52 PM

how do you find the song think twice by the pedestrians ? I would like to get it . what a great song .

Posted by: Gil at January 4, 2009 10:33 AM

How can I bring up the music from Tony Cooper? (think twice)

Posted by: j at February 3, 2009 04:48 PM

I believe that the drummers name in the Barons was Steve Carpenter. I still see him at church.

Posted by: Bill Van Ess at June 9, 2009 10:40 AM

Wow, I can't believe I found this site and this post! I was only 8 yrs old in 1966 but I can hear this song in my head like it was yesterday! never ever forgot Think Twice, which I'm sure would've been a national #1 if the decision makers at Atco had had the foresight..a pity..ah well. I was and still am a northender and graduated from Northview High. Are those of you who visit here aware that there now exists a 2 cd set called Scream Loud!! The Fenton Story which contains all of the essentials from Grand Rapids and Michigan garage bands on the Fenton Label, including Think Twice!! I'm ordering my copy very soon.

Posted by: Danny Andree at June 28, 2009 12:46 AM

Who did the whistling on the record, "Think Twice", by the Pedestrians?

Posted by: Larry Tanis at April 6, 2010 11:03 PM

I have a copy of the original version of Think Twice on a tape that I got from a DJ years ago. Still sounds great.

Posted by: Steve at May 8, 2010 11:00 AM

As the drummer for The Eschelons I was proud to be a part of R&R in this area, with all of the great bands there were back then,it is great to have Real Oldies 1480 AM still playing most of the local bands thank you guys ai WGVU.

Posted by: Dick Beatty at June 23, 2010 09:37 AM

When I heard Think Twice by the pedesrians on the radio I would request as much as I could. Finally wgrd and wlav wouldn't even play it for me. By any chance could you post the lyrics and guitar chords on your site?
I'd love to play this song. Rock on Guys.
If not could you send it to my e-mail address

Posted by: Ernie at August 25, 2010 02:35 PM

When I heard Think Twice by the pedesrians on the radio I would request as much as I could. Finally wgrd and wlav wouldn't even play it for me. By any chance could you post the lyrics and guitar chords on your site?
I'd love to play this song. Rock on Guys.
If not could you send it to my e-mail address

Posted by: Ernie at August 25, 2010 02:35 PM

Hi guys.......used to live in GR...remember the Pedestrians well...I see Tony Cooper posted years back....anyone have his email? Talked to him in the late 80s to try to reform band for concert (I had done a Sheffields reunion that year)...but it never happened. I think he was selling cars back then

Posted by: Al Wagenaar at October 26, 2010 04:20 PM

I just found this website—I loved The Pedestrians, and always rooted for them over the Soul Benders in the Battle of the Bands at The Place. What wonderful memories that brings back! There were so many kids there, dancing and having a great time. I have a copy of their 45 "You Aren't Going to Say You Know," another of their best songs.

Posted by: Deb at December 4, 2010 01:36 PM

I have been searching for your song think twice for the last 10 years where ever i go no one has it and no one even heard of it and i do remember it and when i play a little bit of on my guitar, my brother says i do remember that song and i have not heard of that song since 1965. How do i come aross the pedestrians songs, specially think twice, there is an oldies station 1480 am radio out of grand rapids they actually play think twice which i heard and if they can get your music how did they do it and how can i come across it.
Thank You very much if you can reply!
BIG FAN!!

Posted by: Dave Retherford at December 25, 2010 11:04 AM

I was good friends with Mike Burdon that also was in the band. I made copy on a cassette tape of his original. I must try to find it. If I do, I will upload it. It was/is a great song.

Posted by: Tim at March 14, 2011 07:48 PM

Tony is still in Music. actually he has a record label and recording studio. Check out www.herdrecords.com

Posted by: BigChris at June 22, 2011 06:22 PM

I have at least 4 copies of think twice in mint condition that I bought at record shows in the 80's

Posted by: Jack Ropoleski at June 24, 2011 06:48 PM

This on is for Tony. I lived next door to you on Borglum! I would love to connect with your sister Lynnell .....after all these years.

I shall check out www.herdrecords.com

Posted by: Kandi Jakems Haker at July 12, 2011 01:17 AM

This on is for Tony. I lived next door to you on Borglum! I would love to connect with your sister Lynnell .....after all these years.

I shall check out www.herdrecords.com

Posted by: Kandi Jakems Haker at July 12, 2011 01:17 AM

This on is for Tony. I lived next door to you on Borglum! I would love to connect with your sister Lynnell .....after all these years.

I shall check out www.herdrecords.com

Posted by: Kandi Jakems Haker at July 12, 2011 01:17 AM

This on is for Tony. I lived next door to you on Borglum! I would love to connect with your sister Lynnell .....after all these years.

I shall check out www.herdrecords.com

Posted by: Kandi Jakems Haker at July 12, 2011 01:17 AM

This on is for Tony. I lived next door to you on Borglum! I would love to connect with your sister Lynnell .....after all these years.

I shall check out www.herdrecords.com

Posted by: Kandi Jakems Haker at July 12, 2011 01:17 AM

Morning-
Just sittin back and thinking about "old groups" & Tony Cooper (my cousin actually) & the Pedestrains.Should would like to get a reord or album from somewhere.
Got any ideas?
Thanks!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS.
Still have a couple of the Pedstrains pics and poster!

Posted by: Dennis at December 21, 2011 08:59 AM

Dennis, E-mail me at WMMusicHystericalSociety@yahoo.com and I'll hook you up with the right people to get you a copy. Also, go to our new music website and check it out: www.WestMichMusicHystericalSociety.com Doug Taylor

Posted by: Doug Taylor at December 21, 2011 03:13 PM

The guitar player in this band was my older brother, Dick Steimle (Gates). I still have a copy of this tune - it's the original '45 on the "Jafes Records" label. (Wish I knew what 'Jafes' stood for...). The drummer was Steve Carpenter, aka Mandrill Fern. The jacket on my '45 still has an "Arlan's" price sticker on it. - .49 cents!
btw - the 'B' side was "Don't Come Back No More" written by some guy named Dick Gates... =8^)

Posted by: Jim Steimle at April 13, 2012 03:36 PM

Hello, My name is Lynn Burden and I am the wife of Mike Burden who was one of the lead gutarist in the Grand Rapids, MI band "The Pedestrians" in 1966
Mike is retired and we moved to the East side of Michigan and 7 years ago we adopted Mike's four Grandchildren. This alone keeps us very busy :) along with a used car sales business. Mike still has his Silvertone guitar along with the master copy of the "Think Twice" recording. The kids love to get the record out and listen to it with the youngest (now eight) showing off her dancing skills. Although I was not married to Mike at the time of the band he has told me many stories about one of the best experiences in his life.

Posted by: Lynn Burden at May 4, 2012 11:16 PM

Lynn Burden, Check out the Interviews that Kim Weighous did on the Pedestrians on our website: www.WestMichMusicHystericalSociety.com both on his page and the bands page. Kim was also in a very successful group called Flyin' Home with Fergie (TOTO). Does Mike still play? Contact us through our website, would you please? Doug Taylor

Posted by: Doug Taylor at May 5, 2012 05:29 AM

Hi Tony, Is It's to late and Think Twice the only two songs you recorded with the Pedestrians. If there was more I sure would like to know how many.
can you tell me what guitar chord you started the song with? Hope to hear from you soon.

Posted by: Ernie at October 9, 2012 02:03 AM

I want to wish you good luck and all the best

Posted by: AExilyday at May 15, 2013 05:05 AM

Hi,
Looking for any info on a band called The Frogs and band member Ted Jones, late 60's early 70's Ted ran an underground radio station in GR and did some recording. Looking for his Les Paul.
Thanks.

Posted by: Jim at January 6, 2015 01:27 PM


Archives
June 2016
September 2011
April 2011
August 2010
June 2010
February 2010
August 2008
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
March 2006
February 2006
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
January 2005
December 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004

Message Board
Syndicate this site (XML)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.65