TricksBlog Late 2018

Blog - December 2018
Dec 31 - Allegan Eagles New Year's Eve Party

Tricks claims Allegan as our "home away from home", after Dorr and Wayland as towns that are close to our heart. Allegan is where we got our "better half" from the Opus band (in the 80s and early 90s), with Alleganites Dale Boysen and Tom Hudson coming directly from the Opus band to the Tricks band's Dutkiewicz brothers, Steve and Rick. Dale and Tom taught Rick and Steve how to do Southern Rock, Country Rock, and Blues Rock. In turn, Steve & Rick taught Dale and Tom a thing or two about British Rock and Progressive Rock. That all blended into our history and you can hear it in today's Tricks sound. Whenever we play in Allegan, that Opus band history comes washing over us, and we can't help but play some Lynyrnd Skynyrd and some ZZ Top, in memory of "what Allegan has taught us". And the Allegan dancers and head-bangers show their rock n roll spirit. This NYE Eagles party was one for the history books. Nothing but fun, fun, and more fun. As soon as Rick & Krys walked in, Steve said, "there's a Great crowd of people here". In a morning-after email to the band, Steve said, "Glad to see that packed house last night who partied until the end. Much better than many bars we've played on NYE. Like you said in your last blog, Tricks has found folks that suit us well at the Clubs. I know it always makes a big difference for me with energy when the crowd is even a little responsive."
Speaking of Tricks sound, we would be remiss if we didn't mention a HUGE milestone for Tricks: this New Year's Eve marks the end of Ozzy's EIGHT YEARS with Tricks. Jan 1, 2019 begins Ozzy's 9th year with Tricks. Only one bass player has been with us longer, the aforementioned Tom Hudson, from Allegan's "Opus" band.

All Hail the great John "Ozzy" Bosscher! Thumping for 8 Years with Tricks. So far...

The Allegan crowd did not disappoint. Nothing but love, love, and more love. Lots of dancing action, lots of hugs, lots of friends and family getting together to ring in 2019.
In a morning-after email to the band, Rick wrote, "Great job. Proud of my band. Glad Steve is staying on for another year or so.
Happy 8 years with Ozzy. Starting year 9. Wow! Thanks for putting up with us for so long.

My neighbors were the last table to leave. They were making plans for the Jam N the Cove party this coming summer.
Joe the property owner was there and gave his okay. Tim Miller texted Keith Dawson, and they are the top 2 who put money into the party planning. That whole table was just raving about what a fun and kick-ass band Tricks is. Let's keep working to live up to that expectation." .

Dec 1 - Holland American Legion

This was our 3rd Tricks show at Holland Legion. Steve booked a one-night gig in April through Fran Coughlin, son of Stan Coughlin of "Stan's Tavern" fame. We were hesitant to end our career being a band that plays all the VFW, Legion, and Eagles clubs, but it turns out that those drinkers who frequent those clubs are usually into classic rock, big time. That's how it turned out for us at Holland American Legion. They wanted us back as soon as possible, so we booked their drunk-fest of a golf outing. What a day-long party that was. We played from 4 to 7, and there were a few dozen people who still wanted to pay us to do more music. But, I digress.

This Saturday was terrible rainy road-flooding, snow-melting travel conditions. So, we had about half the crowd we expected. There might have been 40 or so people in there. But, what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. It was one of the funnest crowds we had all year. Lots of cheering and dancing, and all kinds of fun.
Once again, we're getting asked back for a few Saturdays in 2019, and we are happy to take those gigs. If this is how Tricks is going to go out, we're pretty happy doing these one-night clubs instead of the bars. The hours are earlier, the drinks are cheaper, and the crowds are more friendly. Being members, they have more of a sense of "ownership", and it really shows in their party attitude. They work to create a fun atmosphere, instead of sitting back and letting the band do all the work. Check out our fun pictures.
We love this place. And we feel the love being returned to us. Thanks to Fran and the staff for being so nice to us. Thanks to everyone who braved the flooding roads to dance and party with Tricks. We love you guys.

Blog - November 2018
Nov 21, 23, 24 - Thanksgiving Weekend at AJs in Dorr (Final Tricks at AJ's)

Tricks final weekend at AJ's. Thanksgiving Weekend 2018. This place was "Stan's Tavern" for many year, even under several different owners who kept the name from the 50s, when the bar was owned by Stan Coughlin. It's been closed a few times, in between owners. The bar seemed to be closed for the last time around 2005. The place was run down and the building seemed to be on its last legs. We all expected to see the building torn down to make room for a parking lot or some new business in the old "downtown" section of Dorr, where Steve & Rick grew up. In 2011, the place was bought by Ernie & Amanda Gills, who already owned 2 other restaurants. One was in GR, the other in Hopkins, both with the name "Cocktailz". They got rid of their Grand Rapids place, and turned their attention to renovating the old building, with new plumbing, electrical, and lots of other things. Thus was born "AJ's Grill & Cocktailz". At first, they only intended to have a restaurant, with no late-night hours and no live music. Not sure how or why the decision was made, but Ernie and Amanda started having live bands in early 2012. After a more or less successful run with live bands, they have decided that they have to stop having bands. They want to sell the bar for their retirement, and live bands are lucky to break even on the spread sheet. That was fine until it comes time to sell. They have to show a lucrative business in their bookkeeping, and bands don't really contribute to the plus side very consistently. They are trimming the fat, so bands have got to go. We wish Ernie and Amanda all the best as they prepare for their retirement years, after a lifetime of working their butts off in the restaurant and real estate businesses.
This final big weekend for Tricks at AJ's was bittersweet for all of us. Wednesday was the usual "Turkey Eve" busy night. Although, the crowd is always gone home by midnight or so, getting ready for Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandma's house. It was cool to see all three of Steve's girls there with Tammy. A mini family reunion.

As expected, Black Friday was slow. Then our Grand Finale night on Saturday was a reunion of friends and family. Steve's birthday is next Wednesday, so Saturday was "get the drummer drunk" night. We had a small busload of people there from Holland, thanks to Krystal's Perrigo Art Dept work pals from way back, Nick & Shirley. We were also pleasantly surprised by our cousin from Grand Haven, Steve Weideman. Lots of our best Tricks fans, friends, and family came out to bid farewell to AJ's live music days.
Thanks to everyone for coming out to AJ's one more time. Thanks to Sherri for taking pics on Friday. Thanks to Ernie & Amanda for bringing live music to downtown Dorr for a good 6 years. And last but not least; Thank you dancers!

"Turkey Eve" Wednesday |Friday |Saturday


Blog - October 2018
Oct 27 - Halloween Party at Otsego Moose

After last year's awesomely fun Halloween party at the Allegan Eagles, we got a phone call from the Otsego Moose. They wanted to have us play sometime in 2018. It turns out that Oct 27 was open, so we suggested a Halloween party at the Moose. That was just the ticket for the Moose Lodge people, since it was the Eagles Halloween party that got them excited about having Tricks for one of their events. Our first time at the Otsego Moose probably won't be our last. They have a decent stage and a big dance floor. Everyone had such a fun time getting crazy on the dance floor, we wrote in one date for next year and penciled in another. They had a 50/50 raffle and about 9 homemade baskets of goodies & knick-knacks were also raffled off. As you might expect, the costume contest was a barrel of laughs. Lots of drinks were bought for the band, even on Friday night when we were setting up and doing sound check. Lots of enthusiasm and fun. Thanks so much to Tony for making the call on booking Tricks. Thanks for everyone who dressed up in costume. Thanks to the dancers. You know we love you.


Oct 5 & 6 - Wayland Hotel

A crappy rainy weekend seems perfect for going out to the rock n roll bar. We had better than average crowds on both Friday and Saturday. Not a packed house by any stretch, but a perfectly awesome fun crowd of party people. Enough dancers to keep the energy flowing. Plenty of our regular friends and also a few newbies on both nights. A few people from the Irons Cowboy Weekend showed up on Saturday. We also had a big influx of people during last set on Saturday. Just as the crowd was fizzling after midnight, the Wayland Class of 1978 Reunion showed up to party with the good old Tricks band. That Wayland class is another one of those special groups that we have an attachment with, thanks to several school dances, prom, and (I think) their 10 year reunion. Anyway, we've played at several memorable get-togethers with the Wayland Class of 1978. What a fun surprise to have that wild bunch come in to dance with us during our final Saturday set.
Thanks to Josh, Amy, and the entire Hotel staff for putting up with our noise. Thanks the Wayland Class of 1978. Thanks to our friends, fans, and family, especially those who have to travel a bit to get here. Thanks to John Frederick for photos on Friday. Thanks to Carol for photos on Fri & Sat. And last but not least, ... Thank you dancers!

Friday |Saturday

Blog - September 2018

Sep 28 & 29 - AJ's in Dorr

First weekend of Autumn. This has been a busy summer for the Tricks members - Rick's solo shows, KaR Tunes shows, Tricks Trio shows, and the full band shows. Lots of hot sticky nights, but lots of fun as well. Now we're back into the bar band business for fall and winter. We're ending September with some rainy and cold weather. Perfect weather for spending time rocking out with some live music. We had a better than usual Friday night, with about a half-full bar and enough dancing action to keep the band on our toes. Then Saturday was slightly less busy than we expected, after such a good Friday party bunch. Saturday's performance seemed a bit tighter than Friday. Maybe it takes a night to get used to AJ's active acoustics. The wood floor and tin ceiling is very nice-looking, but it makes it difficult to get a good sound. Both Friday and Saturday had something in the air. We touched base with a lot of friends who we haven't seen in a while.
Thanks to Amanda and her staff for doing a good job taking orders over that noisy band. One bit of ominous news; owners Amanda and Ernie are debating whether to continue having bands in 2019. Amanda said she'll let us know in the next week or so. Tricks has one more fun week at AJ's this year. We'll be here for Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Weekend. And, it might be our last. The end of an era? Again? (We have seen this old "Stan's Tavern" come and go over the last 40 years, changing owners at least 5 or 6 times. The bands could come back after Amanda and Ernie retire. We wish them all the best. Amanda is an outstanding owner, but she's itching to sell AJ's and get properly retired in Florida So, who knows?)

Friday |Saturday

Sep 14 & 15- Cowboy Weekend in Irons, Mi

This is our 2nd year doing music for the Irons Cowboy Weekend. Really, it's nearly a week-long party with horses. People start to arrive as early as Tuesday, and there is a free "Survivors Breakfast" at the Oak Grove Tavern on Monday morning. Cowboys, cowgirls, and horses converge on Irons for several days of trail-riding and horse contests, with plenty of parties, dinners, and socializing. Krystal, Rick, & Ozzy brought the Tricks Trio music to the Friday evening "Cowboy Dinner" at Oak Grove Tavern. After all that Friday night music fun, we had to get up early Saturday and get the big Tricks band set up on a trailer, for a noon show. That live Tricks music is for Saturday's Wagon Ride. Wagons drawn by horses or tractors make their way down the 2-track back trails, starting in Irons at the Oak Grove Tavern. About 3 miles east of Irons, the "Half-Way Point" is our friends from Dorr, the Fifelski family, long-time owners of the gas station on the corner in Dorr. With the Dorr Business Owners connection, that makes a lifelong tie between the Dutkiewicz family and the Fifelski family. When Steve & Rick were young kids working in their dad's grocery store in Dorr, the Fifelski kids were working in their dad's gas station. In fact, Steve and Tammy used to come up to Fifelski's Irons cabin back when they were teenagers. So, this is all one big family and friends get-together. There were over a hundred horses and several wagons at the HalfWay luncheon at Fifelski's. Free hot dogs and beer for lunch.
After last year's Cowboy weekend, the facebook page only had one complaint that the Halfway band didn't do enough country. That motivated us to add some more country and southern rock during our last winter break. We added Zac Brown "Toes", Shania Twain "Man, I Feel Like a Woman", Skynyrd "What's Your Name", among others. BTW, there were plenty of horse-lovers who weren't necessarily country music lovers. But anyway, we felt a lot more welcome this year than last year (even though last year was pretty cool). Not sure if we want to do another year. We might ask instead to play music for the famous Irons "Flea-Roast / Ox-Market" weekend during July next year. Give the cowboys and cowgirls a break from the hard-rocking Tricks music.

Thanks to the Oak Grove and all the volunteers who make this event possible. Thanks to all the cowboys and cowgirls for making us part of your family. Be sure to look at the photos from Saturday - from set-up to tear down - and by the last few songs we were dying in the hot sun.

Friday Cowboy Dinner - |Saturday Wagon Ride


Sep 7 & 8 - Woody's at Spectrum Lanes, Wyoming

Tricks hasn't played at Woody's in over a year. So, we were excited about playing here again. The place is huge, and they are currently building an addition. Maybe they'll put in a permanent stage like a "normal" bar. This place isn't normal, though. They do lots of dinner business and bowling business. They have lots of parties booked in for all hours of the day, mostly in the late afternoon. The band doesn't seem to be a priority. On Friday, there was a wedding party on the side of the stage, in the back party room. That was fun; those wedding folks weren't shy about joining in with the Tricks regulars on the dance floor. Friday there was a full house when we started at 9pm, but the crowd slowdly dwindle, and by midnight, the place only had a few dozen people. A crowd that size would look good at most of our Allegan Country bars, but in the big Woody's building, it looked pretty empty. Nevertheless, the Friday dance action was over-the-top. Just how Tricks likes it. We ride on that energy. After a regular Friday workday and an afternoon set-up, we needed the energy from the dance floor. Thank you dancers!
On Saturday, there was a huge party in the back room, all around the back of the stage. So, while we were jamming out to the packed house in front, there were dozens of people chit-chatting on all sides of the stage. That party stayed around most of the night, and there were always a couple people coming up and getting a close-up side view of the interesting stage action. There were plenty of compliments from the big backroom party, so we knew they were listening and watching, in between chatting. The big room was also full, and it was also full of chit-chatters. Our regular Tricks friends tries to get the fire going on the dance floor, but it just wasn't to be. Tricks played several of our best dance songs to an empty dance floor. When that happens, you know Rick & Ozzy are going to jump out there and do some guitar-dancing.
Thanks so much to the regular Tricks GR crowd and Allegan County pals. Thanks for the support. Thanks to the Woody's staff for being super friendly and professional. Sorry to say; we checked for open dates next year, 2019. There will be no Tricks at Woody's in 2019.

Friday - |Saturday

Sep 1 - Iron Bridge "Farewall Summer" Deck Party, Indoors-

As rarely as we play in Allegan, it sure feels great when Tricks gets over to this part of Allegan County. We are over-exposed in North Allegan County, with AJ's, Wayland Hotel, Hilliards, and the occasional Dorr Legion party, or Dorr 4th concert. We're a lot less exposed in the city of Allegan. So, when we get a chance to play in town, our local friends and fans come out of the woodwork. This was exactly what happened this Labor Day Weekend Saturday night. The show was intended to be the "final" live deck music show for the summer season, even though we're going to keep playing Doogie Tunes and other Live Music on the Iron Bridge deck until the weather gets bad. Speaking of bad weather, that's what drove Tricks indoors for their "Deck Party". No one was worried about being indoors, since the humidity was way up and there was a good chance of lightning, thunder, and drenching rain. We had several Krystal & Rick neighbors from Indian Shores, Lake Allegan. There was a good showing from the Allegan city friends. The big surprise was the group from Nethercutt Pointe, another Lake Allegan community - where we just had the 2nd Annual Jam N The Cove Party, (scroll down this page to July 7) All of those party people were in the mood to dance to some heavy-duty Tricks tunes. So, we let 'em have it. It was plenty humid, even though not too hot. And the band had to set up and play immediately. That's fine when you're youngsters. But, these old boys got pretty worn down by a 2-your set-up, then right into the 3 hour rock n roll headbanging fest. Naturally, all those dancers made it necessary to ratchet up the onstage action. We were really crammed into the little space, but that sorta makes us tighter-sounding, because we're in touch with each other, literally. I could go on and on, but I'll let the pictures do the talking. Thanks to our friend Sherri for taking pictures. Thanks to owners Rich & Melissa for supporting live local music. Thanks to the lovely Iron Bridge staff. Thank you DANCERS!!

Saturday Night Fun!|

Blog - August 2018

Aug 24 - Wayland Class of 1982, Tricks Party at Susie & Pete Boyd's place, Plainwell

Talk about memories! Our background with this class of 1982 group goes back to their Senior Skip Day on May 29, 1982. Read the funny little story here at the Tricks history pages. We jumped at the chance to play for these people again. Tricks is part of their high school history, and they are part of our early Tricks history. Not a reunion, just a party because Amy is back in town for a while. Be sure to check out the pics from Susie & Pete's backyard pool party, and especially the pics of the Wild West Town that Pete built for his grandkids. It spinkled rain a little while we set up, around 4 and 5 o'clock, and it sprinkled again around the middle of our Tricks show. But, no one really cared about getting a little wet. There was food, drinks, fun, laughter, and dancing with Tricks. That's the recipe for a great party, rain or shine! We made sure to throw in a few tunes from our 80s repertoire; songs that we played at their infamous party, like Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. Thanks so much to Susie and Pete for having Tricks for their great backyard party. Thanks to everyone who showed up for this "non-reunion"class party. Thank you dancers! Hope we can get together again some fine day in the future. We plan on being here for a while yet.

Friday Night Pool Party -

Aug 4 - Annual Sandy Pines Color-Run benefit, day of fun.

The annual Color Run Benefit at Sandy Pines is a day full of fun. The morning action is all about the run around the park, with onlookers throwing packets of colored die at the runners. Who thought that up? Anyway, it must be fun, because young and old have a blast doing it, whether they are on the giving or receiving end of the "color". After the run, it's time for Dick's Brats. That lasts from 11am until 2pm. Rick was planning on doing solo acoustic music for the Brat luncheon, but Steve called off the music, because of heat and humidity. Steve said, "save your energy for the Tricks set-up, Tricks show, and Tricks tear-down. The reason we had to worry about saving our energy for Tricks? We're missing the most energetic member of Tricks, that's our Krystal. She took a two-week long hiking & campingvaction on the North Country Trail. See here from info on that trail, which covers over 4,000 miles of trails from Northern New York to North Dakota . So, it was the Tricks Boys Trio playing outdoors in the 93º heat with high humidity. Steve, Rick, Ozzy, and Dave worked from 4pm until 10pm, sweating our butts off. The actual show was only two hours; 7pm until 9pm. I gotta say, it was a very fun crowd, and a very polite crowd. We got enthusiastic applause after every song. The smaller half of the crowd was on blankets and lawn chairs, spread out on the nice grassy lawn in front of the lake pavilion. The larger half of the crowd was chilling in their comfy golf carts, spread out in the parking areas and the road. The lake behind us was very tempting, expecially while we were man-handling speakers and amps to get set up in the hot afternoon sun.
All in all, it turned out to be a great example of our favorite motto, "Work Hard / Play Hard". We had the funnest time, even though we were completely worn out by the time we wrapped the last speaker cable and threw it into the trailer. Even then, after 10pm, there was a big line of people to get ice cream at the place right next to where we player. Sounded good, but we had to hit the road and get that air-conditioner running. Thanks to everyone at Sandy Pines for being such a fun bunch. I know, I know; it was too hot to dance. We only had a couple little kids who danced every now and then during our show. Thanks to Sandy Pines management for really having the skills to organize such a great day.

Hot Saturday Night -

Blog - July 2018
July 14 - Holland Legion Annual Golf Outing
If we had pictures from this day, it would show a full house at the Holland American Legion. Golfers started at 10am, and many were drinking while playing 18 holes. When the whole gang gathered back at the Legion "clubhouse", there were all kinds of prizes for the usual golfing stuff, as well as a bunch of charity raffles and door prizes. The band was supposed to play 4pm to 8pm, outdoors. Because of the high heat and humidity, and the chance of rain, they called a couple days ahead of time to ask us to play indoors. Fine with us! We started about 4:15 because of all the prize drawings. We were surprised that much of the crowd still hung around after the prizes were gone. That's pretty unusual. But, by our last set at 7pm, we were down to about 30 people or so, with about ten enthusiastic dancers who wouldn't quit. We said, "haven't you guys had a long day today"? They said, "yes, we'll sleep good tonight". The Holland Legion leaders were among those who stayed until the last Tricks song, and they started their day before 9am. They gave us lots of praise for a job well done, and said they would be calling soon to book Tricks for another Legion event. Great fun, great crowd, lots of dancing action. Just what we like to see. Thanks to everyone for a great time. See you again soon.

July 7 - Jam N The Cove, 2nd annual Lake Allegan party on the lake

"Party of the Year 2018", at least so far ...Our 2nd Annual "Jam 'N The Cove" party for Lake Allegan boaters. Keith Dawson and Tim Miller are the main organizers and sponsors. The boaters regularly get together at the cove and the sandbar point just outside of the cove, tipping a few drinks, listening to recorded music, and chatting their lake-people chat. The whole point of this party is to have one big get-together for all the boaters and their friends and families. The Cove is part of Nethercutt Pointe residential division, on the SouthWest corner of Lake Allegan. Rick & Krys live in the Indian Shores division, on the peninsula that sticks out right in the middle of Lake Allegan.
There are three kinds of residents here on the lake;
1. People who come here for weekend get-aways from Chicago, Ann Arbor, & other places where they live - we're their "Up North".
2. Retired People who live here during summer, and spend winters down in Florida or some other Southern climate
3. People who live here year-round
No matter what category of "lake people", just about everyone is open to the weekend party idea. All 4 seasons, we are hosts to parties with families and friends getting togther for outdoor activities, on the lake or in the Allegan Forest. Lots of boating, kayaking, picnicking, campfires, ... you name it, we got it. This "Jam N The Cove" celebrates our lakeside life style. There are family and friends visiting from all over, including some of Keith's London friends and family. Thanks to everyone for making this the Party of the Year.

to Early 2018
to Early 2019 website was started in March 2004.
Rick is webmaster, with graphics help from Krystal.

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