Tricks History 1977

January 7, 1977 - (Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids) -
Lots of kids dancing, a great show. One- night highschool gigs are a huge effort and Tricks decides to stop taking highschool jobs - unless the pay is really, really good.

January 8 - (Immaculate Heart Junior High, Grand Rapids) -
Another ill-conceived Purcey booking. A Sunday afternoon church hall dance for the kiddies; Junior High.

January 14 - (M.S.U. fraternity party, Lansing) -
Tom Baird plays with Tricks at this gig because it is a party that he booked.

January 18 - (Fired from Gomery's) -
A huge snow storm is in progress and the band starts over an hour late because of travel and set-up troubles. The next night a couple Tricks members are late again. As Tricks gets ready to start ten minutes late, the manager comes up to the stage and says, "You don't think you're going to start playing now, do you? No, ... pack it up, you're through". Not the greatest bar anyway. It's the only time Tricks has ever been fired from any gig.

February 10, 11 - (The Rusty Nail) -
Tricks is sounding better and tighter than ever. The Rusty Nail in Grand Rapids is a very fun place.

Tricks plays Grand Rapids area bars
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Wild! (Notice blue flowers on Les Paul) . . . . Steve at The Barn with the big Ludwig drums . . . . Bill on synth keys, guitar, vocals, & mixer

February 12 - (Sweetheart Dance, K of C, Hilliards) -
Tricks does this Sunday gig "for hire" and it is nothing like the previous Tricks-sponsored party.


February 14, 15, 16 - (The Rusty Nail) -
Great fun nights at The Rusty Nail. Aggravated by his equipment and the whole drunken rock and roll bar scene, Bill walks out in the middle of the 2nd set. Bill has been mixing sound from onstage while playing multiple synthesized keyboards, as well as singing and playing some guitar parts, and his jobs are overwhelming at times.
SHERRIE COKE COMMENTS, added 10/2/2004: "Back in the 70s Tricks was the hot band for us Kentwood chicks. A group of us would go out just about every weekend to a place called Danny J's Lounge on South Division. It was a small bar with a big dance floor. I loved Tricks' rendition of the song "Substitute" by Who. Rick was on guitar, Steve on drums, Michael was the lead singer, Lopez was the sound man.
Some of Tricks band members lived in a house in Burton Heights, off Division. The doors were always open and there was always a bunch of people just hanging out and you were always welcome there.
Those are some of my memories of Tricks back in the 70s."

February 18 - (Sweetheart Dance, Hopkins) -
Tricks does another big highschool dance at Hopkins. Huge turn-out; lots of Tricks fans are born this night.

February 19 - (Fidelman's Resort, South Haven) -
This place must be a mafia front, because it's huge and beautiful, but there are hardly any customers.

March 6 - (J.A. Trade Fair) -
Another gig arranged by Tom Baird. Lots of 15 and 16 year olds. Bill sticks a couple microphones into their old upright piano and has a hell of a good time. But the dance gets shut down after only two hours.

March 19 - (Wedding Party at Mr. Jim's) -
In an unbelievably small room, but for excellent money, Tricks does a wedding party at "Mr. Jim's Animal Kingdom" on Division, you know, the old haunted house. Fun, small, trippy party. Our old neighbor friend Tom Selzer shows up from Alaska. Fun! It's so Surreal, man.

April 1 - (The Infamous Tricks April Fool's Day Party) - St. Sebastian Hall, Byron Center
All Tricks can say is "Oh my Gawd! Holy Crap!"
April Fools Day falls on a Friday, there's a new hall in North Dorr: Seems like a good time and place for a big Tricks Party. This is the Mother of All Tricks Parties. The Tricks Party by which all future Tricks parties will be judged.

April Fool's Day, 1977 - The MOTHER Of All Tricks Parties
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Rick headbanging with Steve while Richie rocks steady . . Rick wonders if this is a good idea . . Even Michael is flustered a bit by the huge crowd

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Almost twice the 400-person "fire capacity" . . . . Bill looks a little worried about the situation . . . . Steve doesn't have time to be worried

A Climactic Moment for Tricks I
On Saturday, April 1st, 1977, about 700 people cram into the new St. Sebastian's Hall at $3 a piece to listen and dance to Tricks while drinking 17 kegs of Michelob Beer. Lots of people. The drinking age is 18, so plenty of teenage guys and babes. All die-hard TRICKS fans are there - from Grand Rapids, Dorr, Wayland, Hopkins, Byron Center.
The band starts rocking around 8:30 with people still pouring into the hall. Around 10:30 the "adult" hall monitors panic at the size of the crowd and call the police & the entire St. Sebastian parish council. Nonetheless, the crowd couldn't be better behaved. Everyone is dancing, clapping, and screaming, but there are no fights or any other problems.
Sherry and Betty are in charge of taking money at the door. Sherry comes up around 11:00 to tell the band that the police want to talk. Also, the 17th keg is empty and we need someone to make a run to buy a few more kegs to make it through until quitting time at 12:30. Apprehensively, the band members manage to push through the crowd to get to the back room.
Walking into the small office, there are 4 Kent County sheriff deputies and more than a dozen parish council members along with Pastor Zerfas. Sitting at 2 tables are our door girls and 2 of the parish ladies counting stacks of dollar bills. One of the cops tells us that there were 200 people still lined up outside to get in, and that the police told them to go home because the hall is almost at twice the legal capacity. Monsignor Zerfas tells us that we are being notified that there is no insurance coverage for anything that happens with an over-capacity crowd, and that if we decide to continue, the band will be responsible for damages.
After a quick huddle, the band decides to continue until planned quitting time at 12:30, but no more kegs of beer. The cops confiscate most of our 1800 dollars for "safe keeping". Before continuing with the beginning of the last set, the band explains the situation to the crowd, but no one seems concerned that there will be no beer for the last hour of the party. All in all, it's just a super fun time. A little scary, maybe. Tricks only ends up getting part of their money back.

STEVE COMMENTS: added 2/6/2007:
Steve's Trip To The Sheriff's Office - An Anti-Climactic Moment for Steve
Steve's epilogue to the April Fools Party story:
"After the April Fools party at St. Sebastian hall Sergeant Robinson from the Kent County Police called and told me to “come down to the station” for a talk about the situation. Since they and the church hall folks had all of our money, I agreed. Little did this 19 year old realize what they had in mind".
"The questioning seemed real informal, I didn’t even realize I was being interrogated and I opened up with way too much info. If they only had Law & Order or CSI back then I would have known he was using those tactics to coax all the information out of me he could.
It’s not that I got the band in any more trouble than we already were. The Sergeant was looking for who else was involved so they could collect as many fines as possible. Sound familiar"?
"So he has me laying out the details of how our little band put together this huge party. I took it on myself to rent the hall and run the advertising and arranging for bartenders and “sorta” purchasing the beer. He questioned if we paid cash for the 17 kegs of Michelob from my Dad’s store. I said, “We had the kegs fronted to us and actually the distributor, Mervenne Beverage even fronted the kegs to Dick’s.”
BINGO! The good Sergeant knew that this was technically unlawful and both my Dad & Mervenne were fined for their participation in our illicit event"!
il·lic·it ADJECTIVE: Not sanctioned by custom or law; unlawful.
"As it turned out, this had the effect of plea-bargaining my charge from a felony of selling alcohol without a license, down to a misdemeanor charge. So when my day in court came up I pleaded guilty. The judge was a jerk and really wanted to slap me with a big fine for “having too much fun.” He scolded and preached at me which kinda pissed me off. I ended up paying the maximum which was $100 fine + $75 court costs.
Now, 30 years later, my name is on two State Liquor Licenses at the store. How do you like me now Judge?"

April 7, 8, 9 - (Slipknot in Ionia)
A very nice and fun bar. Some familiar faces from the recently burned-down Ionia Barn. Tricks has a new PAS 600 power amp and other new equipment for a loud and clear sound. Always trying to be a better-than-average music act, Tricks decides to look for a sound man to help create a balanced and quality sound out front.

April 15 - (Wayland High School)
Tricks plays in the Wayland High Cafeteria after a basketball game. The sound is just terrible with the tile floor and cement block walls. But the kids just love Tricks. Great crowd.

April 23 - Dave Joins as Sound Man (Wayland Prom)
The Wayland Prom is held at the Finial Room, a nice restaurant on the tenth floor of the Old Kent Bank building in downtown Grand Rapids. This gig is a real trip, as they say. Lots of trips up the elevator to bring in our equipment. Dave Lopez will run sound from now on; relieving a lot of the pressure on Bill, who has been running sound from stage all this time. Lots of tuxedoes and gowns and head-banging rocking and rolling. Several parents, acting as chaperones, come up to the band and say, "you guys are doing such a great job, the kids are having just a wonderful time". After all the rumor-mongering from the high-school authorities, it was nice that some of them recognize that the Tricks band just wants to have good, clean, innocent fun.
STEVE COMMENTS: "I know what you mean . . . While I was out to dinner with my prom date, you guys were setting up for a psychedelic rock and roll prom party!  I recall Michael played drums on Wish You Were Here so I could dance one with Tammy. I have the Prom picture right here - her in her gown and me in my 3 piece suit and sweaty head and drumming shoes on. Tammy's Wayland class of 1977 are TRICKS super fans, since we did their Prom, & dances, and their 10 year reunion at Hilliards K of C and their 20th at St. Stan's hall".

April 30 - (Party at Mr. Jim's)
Cramped again into a little room at Mr. Jim's Animal Refuge. Lopez has a hard time mixing sound in such a tiny room. No room to dance around. Last Saturday's prom was just awesome, and now this seems terrible. But there are lots of compliments, and Mr. Jim himself is all enthused and want to put on a big outdoor summer concert with us and a few other bands. Tricks is less than enthused about the idea.

May 1 - (St. Theresa's Church, Wayland)
The morning after the Mr. Jim's party, Rick plays a solo church gig for First Communion day at the Catholic church in Wayland. "Hey!, Mom made me do it! Don't laugh. Those church ladies love me".

May 2- Monday - (First Time playing at Danny J's Lounge)
What a great crowd! All the 18 to 25 year-olds are packed in and dancing up a storm. And all on a Monday night. Lots of friends came to G.R. for moral support. Danny J liked it all so much, he signed Tricks for a whole bunch of gigs over several months.
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May 6 - Friday (Riverview Bar, Ionia)
Ionia always has good crowds. But this place is a little too small for the big Tricks sound. Michaels sings on crutches because of a bad sprained ankle.

May 7- Saturday (Muskegon Catholic Central Prom)
The Prom is held in a big hall at Muskegon Community College. These Muskegon kids went absolutely crazy over Tricks. The band was set up on a portable stage; kids were jumping up on the stage and going berserk during our Ted Nugent songs. A stack of Bill's keyboards went crashing down off the stage onto the tile floor. But the band played on and on. Wild! Michaels sings on crutches again.

May 9- Monday - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Vic Amato & Co is the house band (on guitar is Charlie Huhn, who will go on to play with Ted Nugent, Humble Pie, and Foghat), Vic Amato plays Tuesday through Saturday, almost every week. Tricks is the fill-in band for the Monday night crowd. And I really mean "CROWD". It's hard to believe that this Monday seems more crowded than the last crazy Monday. Dancers, lots of them. Lots of babes. Lots of young guys looking for young babes. What a meat market. The dance floor is overflowing, and Tricks is on top of their game. Michael sings on crutches again.

May 13- (Montague High School - The Death of Bill's Mighty Ace Tone)
It's such nice weather, it's a bad night to have a High School dance. Only about 30 kids are there in this huge school auditorium with Tricks on a huge stage, with hard tile floor and cement block walls. The sound onstage is horrible. Bill's keyboards are not working right - probably from damage sustained during the Muskegon Prom keyboard crash (See May 7, above). Bill always experiments with different keyboard set ups. He has this very cheap "Ace Tone" keyboard that he runs through his Electrocomp Synthesizer. The Ace Tone was on its last legs tonight. With the auditorium almost empty and during Tricks' last set, we are not having too much fun. Bill decides to entertain us. At the end of a song we pause to decide what the last couple songs will be. Suddenly, Bill yells, "Hey Rick, Look!". We all turn to see Bill holding the Ace Tone over head. Bill takes a few steps and launches the keyboard into the air. The Ace Tone crashes onto the tile floor and breaks into pieces. Then Steve says, "Bill, I'm glad you did that". For a closing number, we do the Todd Rundgren song "Heavy Metal Kids". At the end of the song we all take turns throwing that little keyboard around on the tile floor, smashing the crap out of it. Then a cop comes inside and says something about spending the night in the town jail, so we pack up our stuff and got outta town.

May 14 - (Pentwater Yacht Club - Another Prom)
Talk about contrasts! The impression we give the Montague folks is the exact opposite of the impression we leave the nice people in Pentwater. There are about 20 teen couples all dressed up and a dozen adult chaperones at the small Yacht Club hall. Tricks does an excellent job, and even the adults are all telling us how much they like the band. A really friendly town.

May 22 - (Sunday jam at Rick's place in New Salem)
Tricks has some new speakers (Pro Co 586 bass cabinets) and we try them out, playing outside in New Salem. There are about 50 friends hanging out and partying from 4 until 9. No complaints from the neighbors. Great fun time!

May 23 thru 28 - (Weeklong gig at Danny J's)
Tricks does such a great job that they ask us back for the next week, but with everyone doing their day jobs, it wears us down to play 5 or 6 nights in a row. Besides, Danny J forces us to use their house sound system which is set up very poorly.

May 29 - (Party at Iron's)
Tricks shows up at this huge backwoods jam party around 5PM Sunday. It's the 3rd day of the party and many people are just waking up from the all night partying. There are about 1,000 people camped out in tents, about 3 miles down a 2-track path in the middle of the woods. Hundreds of tents are set up all over this big clearing, and they're using a generator to power the bands. We set up all of Tricks' nice new sound equipment and the sound is awesome in that big field. All kinds of musicians are jamming. There's a girl playing flute and Bill puts her flute sound through a Flanger effect. Sweet sound! Around 8PM The Alpine Breeze Band plays country rock music. Tricks start playing at 9:30 (starting with Won't Get Fooled Again?) and everyone is screaming and jumping around and going crazy. A Thousand stoned hippies drinking and dancing and singing. Tricks takes a break around 11PM to gas up the generator. Michael is too stoned to go on, so we continue with Bill, Rich, Steve, and Rick. Under a nearly full moon and with perfect weather, we perform long jamming versions of Pink Floyd "Fearless" and "Wish You Were Here". Lots of tripping hippies listening to Bill doing his space-out (with twin Electrocomp synthesizers) sound effects with clouds sliding mysteriously past the bright moon. Around midnight, Michael comes up and sings a few more, but then Tricks goes on without Michael again. Rick sings Rolling Stones "Little Queenie" and "Midnight Rambler", and then Mountain "Nantucket Sleighride". Steve and Bill are in exceptional form. Richie sings "Honky Tonk Women" and then Michael comes up once again for Todd's "Heavy Metal Kids" (almost the Tricks Theme Song at this time). It's close to 3AM and most people have gone back to their tents by now. But a few hundred die-hards are still screaming for more Tricks. Steve doesn't want to stop, so Rick sings Ten Years After "My Baby Left Me" and we all say GOOD NIGHT!! We all agree that the Irons Party is one of our very favorite times together with TRICKS,

. . . The Alpine Breeze Band at Irons Party . . . . Some of the 1,000 Happy Campers at Irons . . . . Dave is checking out this girl's nice flute


June 3 - (Downtown Grand Rapids - Festival 1977 at the Calder)
Tricks is the last band to play at the Old Kent Stage, from about 9PM until 10:30. It getting dark, and the lights attract so many bugs that we are breathing in bugs as we sing. Now, this is what I call FUN!! Most of the other stages finish early and the Old Kent stage is running late on their schedule, so everyone wanders over to hear the TRICKS commotion. There are a thousand people crammed onto the asphalt, young kids leaning on the edge of the stage, old people with a question in their eyes, WGVU TV cameras are panning up and down Michael's costume. Steve and Rick's parents, grandparents, and some aunts and uncle are all there.

June 6 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Tricks gets to use our own sound system from now on. Someone was able to talk some sense into Danny J.

June 7 thru 12 - (The Shoe Lounge in Muskegon a.k.a. "Rock Saloon")
Tricks plays a long 6 nights at the great big Shoe Lounge, Very long drive, especially for Steve, Rick, and Raab, considering we all work during the day. - We are lucky to get home from the gig at about 3:30AM, get up for work at 6AM, go to work for 8 hours, take a 3 hour nap after work, rock-on for 5 hours from 9PM until 2PM, drive home for an hour and a half, rinse, repeat... By about Thursday our voices are fried, but on Friday and Saturday nights, it's so crowded you can't find a place to stand. We're told that the bar holds 1,000 people. There are also a few minor accidents while dozing at the wheel after the late gig.

Set List from the Shoe Lounge (Rock Saloon) 1977. Thanks to Belinda for sending this to the Tricks history archive.

June 13 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Tricks shows incredible endurance with the punishment that rock and roll places on their young bodies:
Out of the 30 days in June, 1977, Tricks will play 14 gigs - requiring 8 equipment set-ups and 8 equipment tear-downs.
Like these Monday night gigs at Danny J's, many of the gigs require setting up, playing, and then tearing down, all in one night. Add to that the late night hours of rock and roll, and the resultant lack of sleep, the long drives home in the wee hours of the night, along with staying awake for the 40 hour work-weeks at our daytime jobs. I'm getting tired just typing about it.

June 18 - (Party at K of C Hall, on Clyde Park in Wyoming)
Tricks is supposed to start playing at 9:30PM. We expect 500 people, but only about 250 show up. At 8:30PM we discover that the power supply of our TapCo mixer is burned up.We call Pro Co in Kalamazoo (they're closed, but Tom answers the phone) and we talk him into letting us borrow a mixer. Bill and Rick drive like madmen to Kalamazoo and back. Tricks starts playing at about 10:30PM. The rest of the night goes fine. Nerve-racking!

June 20 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Tricks has bumper stickers printed up for the first time ever. The stickers say "TRICKS KICKS . . ."
It was an extra good night at Danny J's. Most of the crowd is made up of Tricks followers. We pass out dozens of stickers.

June 24 & 25 - (The Body Shop, White Pigeon)
The Body Shop is 7 miles west of Sturgis and just 3 miles north of the Indiana line. The crowd, the staff, the owner, ... Everyone tells us that Tricks is the best band that's ever played there. Cool! We want to play here more, and the owner wants to book Tricks as soon as we have an open date. Great, friendly Rock and Roll Crowd. Packed dance floor. Drinking age is 18, so lots of young girls and guys, just like every other bar Tricks plays at these days. Plus, the drinking age is 19 or 20 in Indiana, so we get lots of teens from Indiana in our Body Shop crowds.

June 27 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
This is the BEST night at Danny J's yet. Hard to believe after all those great great nights. Willie runs lights for Raab because Raab is hurting from wrecking his car a few days ago. It helps to have people who come to Danny J's every time Tricks plays there: Laurie, Ronnie, Cindy, Vickie, Bobby Dale, Sherrie, Kathy, Willie, Dan Potts, Vince, Cheryl are some who show up EVERY NIGHT! Dedicated to Rock and Roll fun with TRICKS! Danny J asks to book Tricks for 18 more Mondays; We say "No thanks". We want some variety. Not to mention the grueling one-nighter work of set-up, play 4 hours, tear-down, and work in the morning after 3 or 4 hours of sleep.

July 1 & 2 - (Caledonia Family Tavern)
Tricks plays downstairs at the Family Tavern on Friday night. Lots of the regulars from Danny J's show up and cram into the little bar.
On July 2nd there is a Street Party as part of Caledonia's Independence Day celebration. (it's the same Saturday as the Michigan Jam at Martin Dragway -- thousands of people in Martin are partying with Bob Seger, Heart, Nazareth, & Little River Band) . . . meanwhile,
Hundred of people crowd into the blocked-off street in front of the Caledonia Family Tavern as Tricks plays from a haywagon. What a fantastic fun time. It seems the entire town shows up for dancing and partying in the streets - from very young to very old - all are having a good time with Tricks. At the beginning of the night, a 5-year-old girl climbs up on the wagon with Tricks and starts playing Michael's tambourine. Her name is Betty Jo. She plays tambourine with Tricks for the entire party, dancing with Rick and Michael while they sing and play. At one point, someone shoves a couple dollars in the little girl's hand.

July 3 - (Dorr Independence Day Celebration)
Tricks plays on a big flatbed truck down at the Dorr Park. There are 3 or 4 hundred kids having a grand old time sitting in the grass watching Tricks. About 5 police cruisers show up, with no trouble that we could see. Looks like the cops are just sitting in their cruisers, observing the merry-making. Probably looking for pot-smokers or under-age drinking - but there was very little of that going on; kids just wanted to have fun watching the band's hijinx. On the TV-8 News at Eleven, they report that there was a "small disturbance at a Rock Concert in Dorr" because of a rowdy crowd and fire crackers. What a hoot. Someone has a wild imagination, because there was no disturbance. [Later in 1981 when Rick first meets with Dale Boysen to form Tricks v.II, Dale says that he was at this show in Dorr on July 4th weekend.]

July 4 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Very dead night. Very boring Tricks performance, . . . after all that recent excitement.
Can you say "Anti-climactic"?

July 8 & 9 - (Caledonia Family Tavern)
Tricks is back at the Family Tavern with very small crowds. Tricks learns that good summer weather often means small crowds, except at resort areas. Caledonia is no resort area.

July 11 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
July 18 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Tricks plays to good crowds at Danny J's on Monday nights. Vic Amato & Co. are the house band and they play Tuesday thru Saturday. People tell us that the only thing cool about Vic Amato is they have lots of nice equipment and Charlie Huhn is a great singer/guitarist.

July 22, 23 - (Oceana County Jams)
Tricks learns that history cannot be coaxed into repeating itself, no matter how well you plan things out. The plan is to repeat the fun time of the Irons Party (See May 29, above). The plan is: 30 Kegs of beer, $5 per person, 2 days of rock and roll partyin' and campin' out in the boonies. Unlike the Irons Party, the 3 bands would each have a band tent to stay in, and band members even get paid around a hundred dollars each (not the best pay for so much work and equipment wear and tear, but the fun time makes it seem a worthwhile venture, after all, Irons was one of the best Tricks parties ever). At 4PM Friday, everyone is out of work and gathering at the Tricks house near Burton Heights. The Tricks entourage is ready to leave Grand Rapids for Oceana County. We get word that the owner of the land was building a stage and the cops took him in for not having a building permit, so the whole weekend was cancelled. Determined to force the hand of fate, Tricks decides to go for it anyway. We will make this party happen, after all, we have The Alpine Breeze Band, Osprey, and Tricks, along with loyal followers who have planned to make this weekend a big event.

Sherrie & Kathy from the Danny J's crowd . . . . Raab, Michael, and Willie talk to the cops . . . . Osprey Band plays before Tricks

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Tricks arrives with several carloads of friends and fans, drives down a 2-track for a couple miles, and finds the party spot - no one home! Not a soul! It's about 7PM and most people have heard that the party is cancelled. The land owner collects $5 each and buys about 20 cases of beer. We sit around the campfire with acoustic guitars, Al Glissen, from the Alpine Breeze Band, plays his banjo. The weather is perfect for the 100 people gathered around waiting for the next big Tricks party to happen.
Saturday Morning - we all go swimming at Bass Lake, then to Hart for food, flowers, and camping supplies. Sound is set up by 3PM and the Alpine Breeze Band plays for a couple hours. Their bass player had deserted the cause, so Bill and Rick take turns helping out on bass guitar. A couple cop cruisers show up, but they can't decide if we're breaking any laws, so they leave without any trouble. Our good friends. Osprey, play a couple great sets from 6PM until 8PM. Tricks plays from about 10PM until 1AM. There are only about 150 people. The Tricks band is pretty loaded from a long day of a hard partying, so the playing is sloppy, but the crowd is MORE loaded, so everyone is pretty happy with things. (We have tapes of this performance, and it doesn't sound too bad, considering the circumstances.)

July 25 - (Another Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Everyone from the Oceana Jam party shows up at Danny J's tonight, so it's a great crowd. Bill is annoyed at the fact that we did lots of work running sound equipment for all 3 bands, got no money, and put on a less than stellar show at the party. Bill says that Michael is ruining the Tricks "image" by his party attitude. We need to be more professional if Tricks is going to satisfy our musical needs.

July 26 thru 31 - (The Rusty Nail - a week without Bill)
During set-up on Tuesday, Bill is still upset about our "un-professional" weekend party. Bill leaves at 9:15 to get cleaned up, but doesn't return. During 2nd break, Steve goes and pleads with Bill to no avail. The next night, Bill comes and takes his equipment. Tricks nervously plays the rest of the week without Bill.

July 30 - (Tricks Party, . . . Not!)
Saturday afternoon of our week at the Rusty Nail, Tricks brings some of our equipment to a party near Cascade, East of Wyoming. Defiance, Sheba, and Osprey all play before Tricks. While helping out with sound for the other bands, Tricks blows up some equipment because of AC power mix-ups. Before Tricks can play one note, the cops come and shut down the party. For our pain and misery, we get one hundred dollars to split among ourselves; maybe pay for some repairs.

July 31 - (The Rusty Nail)
Rick tells Michael to buy the house a round of pitchers with the money from the failed party last night.
Rich gets upset that he isn't getting his share of last night's money.

August 2 - (The Rusty Nail Set-Up, . . . Not! - Goodbye Bill and Rich!)
Tricks is asked to play another week at the Rusty Nail, after our equipment is down. So we have to set up and play on a Tuesday night.
Long story short: Bill and Rich rail against our latest string of bad luck, and boycott the setting up at Rusty Nail. Rick can't take the bickering, so he says to Rich and Bill, "you're out and you're out". Bill and Rich say, "you're not the boss, you can't fire us". Rick says, 'Well then I guess I quit", and goes home for the night. No band at the Rusty Nail on that Tuesday.
While Steve is packing up his drums at the Rusty Nail, Tom Baird stops in. Steve asks Tom to re-join Tricks.

August 19, 20 - (The Body Shop - the return of Tom Baird)
After 2 weeks of cramming rehearsals with Tom, Tricks is back in action. Because of the change in band membership, our booking agent, Leroy Purcy, has cancelled several weeks of gigs at Danny J's and The Shoe. After getting contracts for lots of bar gigs and parties from Purcy Productions, this is the beginning of the end of the relationship between Leroy Purcy and the Tricks band. "Hands Off, Mr. Ten Percent"!

Tom Baird and his mighty Rickenbacher . . . Michael Rocks the Body Shop, White Pigeon . . . Work, work, work at the Body Shop

August 26, 27 - (The Body Shop)
Another great time at the Body Shop in White Pigeon. Everyone is happy again.

Tricks in the Rain, but still some fun times . . Wet, soggy band gear on a wet, soggy flatbed . . Dave's big electrical hazard in the rain

August 28 - (Tricks in the Rain)
After rescheduling an outdoor Tricks party three times because of rain, Tricks decides to "Go For It", "Do or die", "Rain or shine" on a Sunday afternoon.
Steve's girlfriend Tammy has an aunt who owns property across from Martin Dragway, a perfect spot for a big noisy rock and roll party in the summertime. We advertise the party with flyers saying "TRICKS IN THE STICKS". But it turns out to be Tricks In The Rain. There are about a hundred people waiting and watching as Tricks sets up equipment on a flatbed truck. By mid-afternoon we are ready to go. Tricks launches into a set, but there is a sudden downpour after only a few tunes. The rain comes so suddenly that people are frantically pointing behind the band, in the middle of a song. We turn around to see a wall of rain coming across the field. What a scramble to get all the drums, guitars, microphones, power amps, out of the rain. We get everything set up again, but everyone is cold and wet, and Tricks gets bored and packs it up after another short set. . . "maybe next year".

September 2, 3 - (The Body Shop)
Tricks has found a fun home at the Body Shop in White Pigeon. These people love us , and we love them.

September 6 thru 11 - (The Shoe Lounge in Muskegona.k.a. "Rock Saloon")
Tricks plays to nearly empty bar on the weekdays, but packed to the walls on Friday and Saturday.

September 30 - (Prom in White Hall)
Tricks sets up while it's raining and plays in a nasty sounding hall. We get a complaint letter through our agent that says the band was "possibly on drugs" and that we "dressed shabbily" and were "disrespectful". God, I certainly hope so!

October 7 - (Allegan Homecoming Dance)
Tricks plays to a fun crowd at the Allegan High School Homecoming. We live up to all the expectations, ours and theirs.
Lots of decorations and a very well put on dance.

. Michael and Rick at Allegan High . . . Big "Heard It On The X" ending - Tricks Rocks! . . Tearin' it up at the Allegan Homecoming

October 8 - (Martin High Homecoming Dance)
There are no frills or decorations, but this crowd is wild. What a reception. Energy flows back and forth, and the air is electric.
Raab puts an extra shot of powder in the flash-pots and nearly singes the gym ceiling. At work next Monday morning, Rick hears two co-workers talking about some band that nearly blew up the Martin gymnasium. "That's my band"!

Oct 10 - (Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
We have regained some of our dates at Danny J's. We've always had good crowds at Danny J's.
Last night for Jammin' Johnny, the break-time DeeJay. he was a fun party guy, and was good at his job.

October 14, 15 - (The Jolly J Bar in Wayland) -
A pretty loud band for such a small bar, but a very good crowd.
Raab tells us he is quitting as our light man. No warning. Dave Lopez starts running lights along with sound duties.

October 16 - (Russo's in Grand Rapids, Sunday Night)
Our first and last gig at Russo's rock and roll basement bar.

October 17 - (Monday at Danny J's Lounge)
Mediocre. Poor Light Show, poor crowd, the new Dee Jay is crappy.

October 21, 22 - (The Body Shop)
Tom Baird tries out an amazing-sounding new set-up for his bass. He split the stereo output of his Rickenbacker bass, and he is running half through eight 10" speakers and the other half through two 15" speakers. What a great sound. Tom is a great bass player. Tricks always highlights Tom's bass playing by doing about a 15 minute jamming version of Mountain's "Nantucket Sleighride", with Rick singing lead.

October 29 - (Wayland JayCees Party at Hilliards K of C Hall)
Tricks plays a Tricks Party at the K of C hall in Hilliards. The stuffy JayCees don't know how to party, but Tricks brings the house down with a great performance.
Not so many regulars, but a fun time nonetheless.

October 30 - (One Nighter at The Rusty Nail)
Good fun on a Sunday night. Tricks seems to be back on track.

October 31 - (Halloween Party in Hopkinsburg)
About 60 tripped-out, costumed hippy freaks get together for a freaky Tricks party at the tiny Hopkinsburg Hall.
Everyone in the band had to work in the morning, but Tricks played past 1AM.
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November 5 - (Madison Hall)
Large Bar with 2 bands on Saturday night. The other band was Prism. Since we were close to White Pigeon, we went to see Osprey's last set at the Body Shop after we were done at the Madison Hall.

November 6 - (Another Sunday night at The Rusty Nail)
Lots of work for a one-nighter, but the crowds are always pretty good. It always helps that the drinking age is 18: lots of young rockers.

November 8 thru 13 - (The Red Cap Lounge in Kalamazoo)
A nice, small bar - too small for rock and roll No stage.

November 16, 17 - (The Venture Inn, Grand Rapids)
Another very small place. Booking agents never care much about matching the band to the bar, they just want their money.

November 18, 19 - (The Body Shop)
Back at our fun rock and roll home in White Pigeon.

November 23 - (Thanksgiving Eve at The Venture Inn)
This time, we make sure that we bring our own crowd to the Venture Inn on Grand Rapids' s west side. A great night of fun rockin'.

Michael and Rick Rockin' hard at the Shoe . . . Steve' pounds the big Ludwigs at the Shoe . . . Steve Raab runs the lightshow and flashpots

November 25, 26 - (The Body Shop)
Steve turns 20 years old on November 28, so we are in a party mood for this rock and roll weekend.

November 30 thru December 4 - (The Rogue Lounge)
December 7 thru 11 - (The Rogue Lounge)
Tricks does 2 weeks at the Rogue Lounge, formerly a country bar. Tricks is the guinea pig rock and roll band. We are now the "Pack-a-Lunch Bunch" after someone in the crowd heckles us for not being a country band. It's like our agent is working against us. More points against our agent, Leroy Purcy.
Getting tired of the same old thing, Tricks decides to call it quits after the end of 1977.
There are no immediate plans for 1978, other than taking some much-needed rest and respite.
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December 23 - (The Body Shop)
December 30, 31 - (The Body Shop)
Tricks does a one-nighter on Friday of Christmas weekend, and then does the big New Year's Eve weekend party. There is one more week-long gig to do, and then this first version of Tricks is finished.

On to 1978

Back to 1976

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