Kalamazoo (1974-1976) (1976-1978)
HOME – History and Chronology
Bob Callner and his brother Scott were a talented folk duo in the Kalamazoo area, but Bob really wanted to form a band. He approached me and although I was very pleased with the progression of my solo career, I decided to give it a try. We recruited Bill McKinney and Rick Ducharme and “Home” was born.
Jerry Brown – Piano, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, flute, marimbas, harmonica, vocals
Bob Callner – Acoustic and Electric guitar, piano, vocals
Bill McKinney – Bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals
Rick Ducharme – Drums, bass guitar, back-up vocals
Soundman: Bill Buell
Manager: Keith Heavenridge
Coral Gables Rathskeller – Kalamazoo (Home’s 1st gig August 4th 1974)
The Old Place – Grand Rapids
The Intersection – Grand Rapids
Russo’s – Grand Rapids
The Huron Hotel – Yipsilanti
Lizards – Lansing
WMUK Studio – WMU for a special feature on WMUK FM radio
Engineer: Tom French
In Kalamazoo I had built quite a large following as a solo act so when “Home” debuted we had an instant audience. There was no following in Grand Rapids but we thought it would be great to play there. What helped launch the band there was great support from the DJs at WLAV. I think our 1st gig there was at the Old Place, which was very close to their studios. Some of the DJs at WLAV then were Bill Evens, Patty Haze, Ed Buchannon, Arris Hampers and others. They interviewed us on the air, played tapes from “live” shows and were just terrific. Although “Home” was primary an original music band, Bob Callner was also a terrific arranger and so even the cover tunes took on the “Home” sound. Our arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was without question our biggest crowd pleaser, and it helped us gain significant prominence in the Grand Rapids area. Covers of “Moondance” and “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” were also favorites.
“Home” continued with the same line-up through 1975. Our manager Keith Heavenridge was working very hard to get the band in front of larger crowds and was able to catch the ear of Brass Ring Productions. With their support we were able to open for several national acts all over Michigan.
We continued to play all the same bars as are listed from 1974.
Dave Mason – Wings Stadium Kalamazoo
Sha Na Na – Saginaw – Detroit – Toledo
The Rockets – WLAV Raft Race music festival
P.S. Studio – Chicago – Demo tape
1975 was a great year. Leslye and I were married in January and “Home” continued to build momentum. The main goal at this point was a major record deal.
Bob Callner was eager to open his own recording studio and in 1976 he found a partner and built a studio on the peak of a mountain in Colorado. At the same time, the Common People had just called it quits and so we auditioned Larry Cook to replace Bob. We thought Larry was great and asked him to join. He joined but asked Bill and I to consider Common People drummer Mike Roush to join as well. Mike was very proficient at many musical styles and so we invited him to join the band and replace Rick Ducharme. The original “Home” final concert was in Kalamazoo in the street at the corner of Oak and Vine. I still feel bad to this day about letting Rick go. He was a great drummer and an even better friend. Suddenly there was a new “Home”.
Jerry Brown – Keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, marimba, harmonica, flute, vocals.
Bill McKinney – Bass, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals.
Larry Cook – Acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keyboards, violin, sax, pedal steel, vocals.
Mike Roush – Drums, harmonica, vocals
Soundman – Tom Barton
Manager – Keith Heavenridge
Danny J’s – Grand Rapids (1st gig with the new line-up)
Whistle Stop – Kalamazoo
Lizards – Lansing
Peaunut Barrel – Lansing
Intersection – Grand Rapids
Eastown Saloon – Grand Rapids
Inn Between – Pontiac
Wagon Wheel Saloon – Rochester MI
Miller Auditorium – Kalamazoo
Chenery Auditorium – Kalamazoo
WLAV Raft Race – Grand Rapids
Marshall Tucker – Munn Ice Arena – Lansing (I got knocked out from electrocution when my lips touched the mic)
Uncle Dirty’s Studio – Sound Machine – Kalamazoo
Engineer – Brice Robertson (Brice had little patience with us and backed out halfway through the project).
Second Engineer – Verne Wandell
Recorded and released our 1st single “Time Traveler”. The flip side was “What’s the Use”. The single was released on our own label “Home Records”
“Time Traveler” got extensive airplay and sold quite well, propelling the band to greater recognition on a state wide level. It was not enough to attract a major label contract.
“Home” continued to play clubs and concerts throughout Michigan. We landed a gig in Denver that was fantastic and began to focus on recording new demos in our pursuit of a record deal.
Members stayed the same except for new soundman Steve “Benji” Schussman.
All the same clubs as listed for 1976.
Denim Broker – Denver Colorado
Cannonsburg Ski Lodge – Grand Rapids
Pine Knob – Won the Pontiac Press Battle of the bands
Atlanta Rhythm Section – Ferris College – Big Rapids
United Sound – Detroit – demo
Pampa Studio – Detroit – demo
Disco was beginning to kill us. Several clubs we played switched over to discos and Disco was all record companies wanted to hear. The frustrations were beginning to take a toll on the band.
“Home” forged on and continued to do well. We worked on more studio demos. Tensions began to build between some band members and management. By midyear it became too much and “Home” broke up.
Whatever we could find that wasn’t a disco.
Stanley Clarke – Royal Oak Theatre – Royal Oak
Burton Cummings – Royal Oak Theatre – Royal Oak – “Home’s” last concert
Roller Mill Studios – Traverse City
Producer – Fred Munch
Engineer – last name Ball (as in Ball Jars)
Each incarnation of “Home” only lasted 2 years. We were all proud of what we had accomplished but it was time to move on. Suddenly I was a solo performer again.
“Home” got back together in the summer for a reunion at the Whistle Stop in Kalamazoo. We played 4 nights and it was a lot of fun. “Home” never performed again after that reunion.
UPDATE – 40 YEARS LATER 2016
Today, more than 40 years after HOME was formed, founding members Jerry Brown and Bill McKinney are making music together again. Although we will be playing as a duo, we have decided to call ourselves HOME again. At this point we are busy in the recording studio and hope to create some music videos of these songs in the near future. We hope this will lead to some “live” performances before the end of 2016. It feels great to be playing original music together again.
We have also created a HOME Fan Page on Facebook. We will be posting new and old music, photos, videos and performance dates on HOME Fan Page. Here is a link:
Please visit our Facebook page and let us know what you think. Please “Like” it if you like it. Then you will be notified when we post new things.
The You Tube channel has over 30 videos from concerts that Jerry Brown did in the 1980’s and 1990s. All the songs are originals except the 2 versions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Bob Reilly is playing on many of them.
Home – Time Traveler – Audio (3:37)