The Secret Agents, Pedestrians, Flyin Home, Milkweed, Dog Breath, Don Henke and the Echomen, Sizzle (Moved to Calif. Club band) (Lead Guitar, vocals) (Think Twice, It’s Too Late)
A message from Kim Weighous, lead guitar player of the Pedestrians, August 2001
This is Kim Weighous, lead guitar player of the Pedestrians. What a great site. Sure brings back lots of memories for me. I wanted to tell you that the “Buyit” label was strictly a brainchild of Tony Cooper as he had aspirations of starting his own label with what was supposed to be the follow up to “Think Twice.” WLAV and WGRD both initially agreed to air “It’s Too Late,” but then wanted to play the B side (which I sang, with a terrific head cold). The ensuing confusion led to WLAV only playing the “It’s Too Late” once or twice, then dropping it. WGRD never played it. “Think Twice,” after being #1 for the year 1966 in Grand Rapids, was re-released in a version with dubbed in bells and strings in Orlando, Florida, where it went to #1. Tony Cooper’s folks were from down South. I had a few copies of this which may still be at my mom and dad’s house in Grand Rapids. The four of us, Tony Cooper rhythm guitar and vocals, Billy De Young, bass, Jay Kay (Kilpatrick) Drums, and myself signed a contract with Atco (I was only 14, everyone else 17) and we thought we were headed for the big time, but they never did anything with our song. We wrote them a letter asking why they did not do anything and they sent us back the contract.
By the way, we were the only band in Michigan ever to beat the Soul Benders in a battle of the bands at “The Place” in 1966. We did not participate in any more battles after that so we could keep bragging rights.
I played with Don Henke at his night club at Turk Lake out by Greenville for a couple of years. I noticed his record with Don Henke and the Echomen on the Fenton list. Don had this great voice like Bill Medley. That was fun, too.
In looking around the site some more, I noticed on Aris’ site that Dave Kalmbach stopped by a recent session with Aris. Glad to here he is still around. The recording studio was set up in an old theater in Sparta. In later years with the club band, Flyin’ Home, we recorded what turned out to be pretty much a dud, “The Flyin’ Home Boogie,” at that same studio. WLAV played it, but it only went to #35. This was in about 1973, I think, so the studio was still active at that time. We went outside the studio and took publicity photos. I don’t know how much longer he operated the studio after that.
Do you have any information on The Barons? This was Dick Stiemli (later with Soulbenders) on guitar, Dave Rutkowski on keyboards and vocals, Bill McNamara on bass, and I don’t recall the drummer’s name. They were the best band in GR from about mid 1964 to 1965, in the very early days of dance bands in that period. They played the Grand Valley Armory, the forerunner of The Place. I saw them there several times and idolized Dick, and copied a lot of his riffs. Dave was later in the Pedestrians briefly before they disbanded. If you can get ahold of Jim Kemp (whose nickname was “Jafes,” the label name for the Baron’s songs) the manager of the Pedestrians and The Barons, he would probably have a lot of information about that period and be able to refer you to a lot of good sources.
Story used with Permissions from www.GrandRapidsRocks.com
(Think Twice, It’s Too Late) 1966 c.
Here’s a youtube of their local hit called “Think Twice” :
Here’s a youtube of the flip side called “It’s Too Late”: