Tricks History 1980

January, 1980 - (Meet Dale Boysen)
With Rick still doing weekend wedding gigs in the Nightwind band, Tricks 2 seems to have come together.

The Dale-connection "back-history" (that's the history behind the history, so it might seem repetitively redundant):
In 1977, Rick saw Opus at Homer's Bar and Grill in Gobles. Rick was talked into seeing the Opus band by our light man, Steve Raab. He said, "you just gotta see these two guitar players in Opus, Dale Boysen and Darl Lane". And the guitar playing was impressive, with lots of southern rock and blues. Lots of great guitar work. And the bar was packed because Homer's was home base for Opus at the time.
In 1977, Dale happened to see Tricks one time as well. It was in Dorr on July 3rd, down at the park with the police reporting "a small disturbance". Dale says he was impressed by "Won't Get Fooled Again" and some of the other English rock songs we did with Michael; Mott The Hoople, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Strawbs... And the crowd was Tricks home-base crowd in Dorr.

So, when Rick first meets with Dale to discuss forming a new band, it's a little bit of the Mutual Admiration Society, mixed with a little bit of apprehension about possible conflicting musical tastes. Rick leaning towards British Art-Rock, Todd Rundgren, and Pink Floyd Space Music / Dale leaning towards American Guitar Rock, southern rock, and ZZ-Top Texas Blues.
After a couple long evenings of talking, listening to Dale's great stereo, and drinking Dale's beer, Rick and Dale decide to go for it. Dale says he's always wanted to do some British-style Who or Rolling Stones music, and Rick says he always wanted to do some intricate double lead Southern Rock guitar work, This should be interesting: two guitarists who have strong opinions about what they like, and Steve stuck in between.

February, 1980 - (Scott Markle)
The new line-up is Steve, Rick, Bill, and Dale. At first we toy with the idea of having Rick and Bill switch off on playing bass - Bill playing bass while Rick is on 2nd guitar and then Rick playing bass while Bill plays keyboards. But that never happens because Bill lacks equipment and lives an hour away from Hopkins, in Cascade. Bill gradually is falling away and isn't able to make it to band rehearsals in Hopkins very often. We go through the sickening process of auditioning about a dozen bass players. It's a painful process. We finally choose Scott Markle, from Grand Rapids. We work hard on songs for the next few months. Scott is a really nice guy, but work is slow because he works nights and can't rehearse except on weekends.

On the porch at Steve's in Hopkins: Rick, Dale Boysen, Steve, and Scott Markle - Tricks 2 . . . almost!

April 3, 1980 - (Todd Rundgren's Utopia at the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium)
Todd has always been a big influence on Rick and Steve's music. Rick, Krys, Dale, and Mike Ernst go to the concert. At the front of the general admission crowd, standing right in front of the stage, the crowd presses forward at the end of intermission (during "Love Alone" acappella performance) and there literally is no air to breath. Dale and Krys briefly pass out and Mike and Rick have to carry them both off to the side of the stage. Otherwise, it's a great night for music in Grand Rapids.

April 12, 1980 - (Rick and Krys sing for a wedding ceremony in Illinois)
April 19, 1980 - (Rick and Krys sing for a wedding ceremony in Byron Center)
During this time, Rick and Krys sing for several wedding ceremonies each spring and a few every fall. It's never for money, but for the fun of it. Favorite songs are "The Wedding Song", "Follow You, Follow Me", "Just You And I", "Longer", "Devoted", and a bunch of other mushy love songs. Singing at wedding ceremonies is an ongoing Rick and Krys tradition that never ends.

April 29, 1980 - (Pat Travers at Battle Creek Ice Arena)
Pat Travers is a legendary rock guitarist who is an influence on Rick and Dale. Rick and Krys go to rock concerts whenever possible.

May 24, 1980 - (Nightwind prom gig at the Black and Silver Room)
Rick has many Saturday night wedding, high school homecoming, and prom gigs with the wedding band "Nightwind".

May 31, 1980 - (Wayland Seniors Skip-Day Party - Scott's only Tricks Gig)
The new Tricks plays for the Wayland High School Seniors at the infamous Hopkinsburg Hall.
Dave does a remarkable job mixing the sound with only part of the remains of the old Tricks sound system.
Several fun songs are performed at this Hopkinsburg party, and never again because of looming personnel changes: "One More Time" by Joe Jackson, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" Rolling Stones style, "Saturday Night's Alright" by Elton John, and "Comfortably Numb" with Scott on Acoustic Guitar, and Rick playing bass with one hand, keyboards with the other, and singing lead vocals.

Unfortunately, we decide to drop Scott after this party, The main reason is that Scott has a night shift job and can only rehearse on Sunday afternoons. The rest of the band wants to move forward much more quickly than one-rehearsal-per-week would allow.

Steve says:
"I think it was 1980 - 1982 that Rick was in Nightwind and I was playing out with Asult- Dan Morgan, Mike Mckernin, & Kevin Ballard. Dave Lopez ran sound for Asult. Asult mostly played Hilliards Royal Knight, The Jolly Bar in Wayland, & The Family Tavern in Caledonia. It was in that band that I got the chance to sing lead for the first time on songs like It's Only Love- ZZ Top and also Shadow Play, a Rory Gallagher song with a 15 minute drum solo in the middle."

June 5, 1980 - (Johnny Winter concert)
Johnny Winter is an old blues/rock guitar hero of Rick and Dale from way back. Krys, Rick and Dale go to see Johnny in Grand Rapids.

June 10, 1980 - (Genesis concert)
Genesis is a huge, huge influence on Rick and Steve.

July 12, 1980 - (Rick and Krys sing at wedding ceremony in Mayville, Michigan)
Here's a sad story. Rick and Krys go over to the East side of the state to sing at a wedding for one of Krys' childhood friends. A very beautiful church wedding and reception. That's not the sad part. The Friday night rehearsal dinner/party at the bride's parents' house is a fantastic time with lots of sing-along with Rick and Krys fun. No, that's not the sad part either.

Death Of A Guitar
The sad part is the next day: Rick and Krys stay overnight and the next day there is a family reunion for Krystal's family. All kinds of backyard fun; eating, drinking, playing cards. When the evening chill starts to descend, Rick goes to the car to get a sweatshirt. When he opens the door to Krystal's Plymouth Horizon, wham!, there is an oven-like blast of very warm air because the afternoon has been cool but very sunny. Immediately Rick thinks of his nearly-new Gibson Humingbird acoustic guitar that is in its case, but lying on top of clothes in the hatchback window.
It was a very cool day for July, so it never crossed Rick's mind that the guitar in the car would be in danger. (This brings tears to my eyes typing this, no kidding!)
Rick says:
Gibson Hummingbird was a one-of-a-kind (list price - - $800), that Dale's dad got for me (for $200) at the annual Gibson employees-only "seconds" sale. It was "one-of-a-kind" because it had a deep burgandy special-order color. The order got cancelled, so it got hung up on the wall at the Gibson factory offices until Dale's dad bought it for me. This Hummingbird guitar, like all Gibson acoustics, was beautiful to the eye and beautiful to the ear".
* The Gibson Hummingbird *

Rick takes the guitar case from the hatchback and places it on the grass next to the car. Opening the case, there is resistance because the felt lining of the guitar case lid is sticking to the softened lacquer on the guitar face. When Rick lifts the guitar out of the case, there again is resistance because the guitar is sticking to the felt of the guitar case, because of lacquer softened by heat. Rick looks down the neck of the guitar to check for warping. The fuzzy spots in the lacquer will look ugly but maybe the guitar will still be playable. There is a slight twist to the neck; the worst possible type of warping. The guitar still seems to play okay, but it is the beginning of the end for this nice guitar. The Hummingbird still gets played in Krystal and Rick's wedding. a year after the heat damage, but there is nothing to stop the damage. Over the next few years, the warping gets worse. Dale's dad works on the guitar to save it, putting the neck in a heated neck vise for many days. But the twisting of the neck can't be stopped. Very sad.

August 16, 1980 - (Steve and Tammy Wedding)
Steve marries Tammy Birman.

October 3, 1980 - (Nightwind Highschool gig in Ada)
October 10, 1980 - (Nightwind Highschool gig in Caledonia)
October 11, 1980 - (Nightwind wedding gig at Avery's Party place in Grandville)
October 17, 1980 - (Nightwind Highschool gig in Hudsonville)
November 14, 1980 - (Nightwind wedding gig at Wyoming K of C Hall)
November 21, 1980 - (Nightwind wedding gig)
November 22, 1980 - (Nightwind wedding gig)
December, 1980 - (17 Nightwind gigs, mostly company christmas parties)
What's with all the Nightwind gigs for Rick? Money, baby, money.

December, 1980 - How's Tricks??
Rick and Steve have steady gigs with Nightwind and Asult. Their hearts are into the search for a bassist and a new Tricks band. There are regular rehearsals with Dale at the Hopkins house. Steve is now married to Tammy, so Rick and his friend Rob live at Steve's old Hopkins house. Tricks does rehearsals in the attic, searching for a bass player. Searching, . . .

On to 1981

Back to 1979

Back to Timeline