Conclusive Proof Western Colorado Musicians are the Best in World
We've all suspected it for some time, and now we're certain. In case there was any doubt, we now have conclusive proof Western Colorado musicians are the best, and nicest, in the world.
Check out this Letter to the Editor from the Tuesday, March 23, 1982 edition of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. This letter was submitted by a Denver based band who suffered an unfortunate mishap on the way to Grand Junction.
If you go back in time a bit, there used to be a club in Grand Junction called "The Rose." Before that, the venue was called "The San Antonio Rose." You could find this awesome nightclub at 30 Road and the I-70 Business Loop. This was the place to be. On a Friday night they would open early for FAC. As early as 5 p.m. there would be a line of people wrapped clear around the building waiting to pay a $7 cover charge to get in.
A month prior to the publication of this Letter to the Editor, the band Two Bucks 'N Change was en route from Boulder to Grand Junction to play the San Antonio Rose when their truck was destroyed by fire. With their gear obliterated, they had to reach out for assistance from the Western Colorado music scene.
You'll notice the mention of the band Sierra. Regrettably, I never had a chance to hear this group. My understanding, though, is Sierra was the band who made it almost impossible to close the bar at night. The San Antonio Rose would still be packed to capacity at 1:30 a.m., and the bouncers struggled every night to get the audience out of the bar by 2 a.m. The band was "happening" to say the least.
Several of my friends performed with Sierra at one point or another. Ted Dussor, Alan Gibson, Don Carey, and many others were part of the group at one point or another.
You'll see where the letter mentions the members of Sierra "loaned us their own equipment so that we could perform." This is no small gesture. I know band members, usually guitarists, who won't even allow other people to look at their instruments, let alone touch them. To allow someone else to actually "play" their guitars? Out of the question. Sierra, on the other hand, were quick to offer their equipment to help these guys out.
Does this happen? Do bands occasionally need equipment when rolling into a new town? Oh, yeah, it happens a lot. An amp explodes, a mixing board goes bad, a power amp catches fire. These things happen. About 20 years ago I received an emergency call from the Rose. It seems the road band's bass player was arrested earlier in the evening on an active warrant, and they needed someone to step in on bass. Hey, it happens.
You'll also see mention of Robert St. John and KQIL. I used to intern for Robert at the old KQIL. Back then we called it "QIL-BILLY." Those were fun times, Country music on an AM station.
You'll also see mention of Jack Ludwig. Jack is a bar owner/restaurateur here in Western Colorado. He's owned and operated a number of restaurants and bars around the western half of the state, the Rose being one. After years of playing bars all over the United States and Canada, I can honestly say no one ever did it like Jack Ludwig. He is/was a genius.
Special thanks to Ted Dussor for sending me the newspaper clipping. It found its way to Ted via Brian Branstetter. Please read the clip at the top. It drops a handful of names out of Grand Junction's music scene of the 1980s. In the end, it proves what we already knew. Grand Junction musicians are the best of the best.