web analytics

Ken Wasco

Flyin’ Home, Ferris State College Band, Ferris and Michigan State University Jazz Bands, Freedom Express, Blues Plate Special (Bass, tenor sax, flute, vocals)

Flyin’ Home recorded a single entitled “Flyin’ Home Boogie” and “You Go Your Way”
in the fall of 1971, relaeased on the Genesis Label. It was produced by Doug Banker and Ken Wasco.

The following information about the history of Flyin’ Home is submitted by Ken Wasco, one of the founding members of the band:

“In the summer of 1971 Doug Banker and I founded “Flyin’ Home”.  Here is a roster of the band members from the initial line up.

“Fergie” Dennis Fredrikson – Lead Vocal and Trombone
Harry Lucas – Lead Vocal
Kim Weighous – Lead Guitar
Ricky Spring – Rhythm Guitar
Jack Inman – Bass Guitar
Scott Feitzing – Drums
Doug Banker – Keyboard
Ken Wasco – Tenor Sax, Flute

“Flyin’ Home” formed originally as a “Chicago” copy band, but ditched
most of the horns, added guitars and went in the direction of a harder
rock sound. Recognized for dead-on renditions of the entire “Mad Dogs
and Englishmen” Album, vocalist Harry Lucas had that soulful Joe Cocker-
type voice and range.  With the addition of “Fergie,” with his incredible
high range, the group added the music of the Buddy Miles Express, the
James Gang, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin to it’s repertoire.
Our music was rooted in the blues and that thread moved throughout all of our music.

As the first “house band” at “The Bank,” located in the Pantind Hotel, the group built
up a local following and with the release of “The Flyin’ Home
Boogie” single in the fall of 1971. This record got a good deal of airplay and expanded
our audience throughout the Midwest.
The group abandoned the horn sound during the summer of 1972 as I left the group when I was drafted.  The group added another guitarist and moved toward a still harder sound.  I am thinking that the group dissolved in 1974.  Here is a little information about some of the personnel:

Kim had quite a history with a number of bands that recorded out of
a studio in Flint and was a wonderful guitarist.
Doug  went on to be one of Ted Nugent’s road managers then resettled in
Atlanta and now works with a talent management firm. One of his clients
is Darius Rucker.
Harry Lucas stayed in the West Michigan area and fronts Harry Lucas and
the Lowdown, a blues band.

“Fergie” went on to be lead vocalist for the “Common People,” then to
Trillium out of Chicago, and finally landed with Toto.”

Ken Wasco also included the following information about the rest of his musical career:

“I left the band in the fall of 1972, and ended up playing tenor sax in the Ferris State College Band, and bass in the Ferris and Michigan State University Jazz Bands
during the mid-seventies.  In 1979 I formed “Freedom Express,” here in West
Michigan.

Tom Greene – Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Jim Fox – Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Scott Peterson – Drums, Vocals
Ken Wasco – Bass, Saxes, Flute, Vocals

Our line up of vocalists allowed Freedom Express to perform a wide
range of styles from jazz to progressive rock.  We played Glen Miller to J. Geils,
Doobie Brothers to Genesis.  Formed as a corporate party band the group
entertained at employee appreciation events, political fundraisers,
country clubs, class reunions, weddings and in the down months even
took a few stints as the bar band at the Silo Gopher in Marne, The
School House Inn in Lake Odessa, The Harley Hotel and the Apple Core
Lounge.  In the early 80’s the Grand Rapids Press published an article about “Freedom
Express” and referred to the group as “one of the most continually
working, popular party bands in the state”.

I have lost touch with these guys other than Tom Greene who now lives
in Lansing and is involved with the Michigan Education Association.

I have been with Gordon Food Service since 1987 and in the late nineties
founded “Blues Plate Special,” a Blues Brothers parody group formed
to play corporate events and comprised entirely of older “ex-
rock band” musicians, now employed at GFS.  Included in the 20 members
of this group were Howard Eddy (keyboard/guitarist of Grand Funk
railroad), Danny Justice (session guitarist and veteran Detroit rock
scene guitarist), Jeff Howard (current drummer of “Three’s A Crowd,”)
Mike Ziglehofer (Christian music, bass session player) and many many others –
this band was a hoot but stopped performing together in 2002.” (Ken Wasco)

Ken Wasco Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ken.wasco

Comments are closed.