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KINGTONES MEMOIRS

By 1964 the Kingtones were packing numerous clubs in West Michigan. They were also performing at a chain of nightclubs called Coral Gables around the state. In Lansing, the Coral Gables nightclub added three additions to their original building to accommodate the huge crowds they were drawing! They had also just released a successful single called “Twins” that was being played regularly on the radio. They had also received an offer to issue it on a national label. As a result, they were very encouraged and excited about their recent successes, and figured they could take the band down to Florida during spring break and find a job playing in a nightclub. Without a secured engagement waiting for them in Florida, they packed their equipment in their van and drove to Florida, in pursuit of fun, adventure and the opportunity to perform for the kids during Spring break!

Kingtones keyboard player Bruce Snoap kept a daily diary of their ten week stay in Florida. Join us here each day as we gradually post each and every page of Bruce’s diary as a running sequel. Enjoy an insider’s view of their camaraderie, the fights, the rejections, the laughter and the ongoing struggle to succeed.

**Memoirs List is at the bottom of this page, just click on any day to read the memory.**

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Where Are They Now?

 

Bruce Snoap continued to play with the Kingtones for 50 years. He and Phil Roberts were together in the band for 48 years. Bruce got married in 1966 to his girl friend Chick, the love of his life that he had been going with when the Kingtones played at Porky’s. At their wedding, Mike King, Bob Major and Phil Roberts were groomsmen. Pete Mervenne, for the first time ever, sang the wedding songs “Because” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” Bruce and Chick have three children and ten grandchildren. They still live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Although Bruce doesn’t see Bob, Mike or Phil much any more, he still considers them three of his best friends. He has never joined or played music with any other band.

 

Mike King left the Kingtones when he got married and moved to the east Side of Michigan in 1968. He married a girl that he met while playing with the Kingtones at a nightclub in Haslett, Michigan. Mike has two children. He worked for the U.S. Army as a mechanical engineer until his retirement in December of 2010. He never joined another band and still lives in Shelby Township, Michigan.

 

Bob Major had to leave the Kingtones in 1967. He had become a Grand Rapids Police Officer and being a new recruit, was put on nights and had to quit the band. He eventually left the police force to become a security guard for the Amway Grand Hotel and the Grand Rapids Public Library. He retired in 2005. Bob did play bass in two other bands for a short time. In his last band, “Flashback,” he was reunited with Pete Mervenne who played drums and sang. Bob has one child and still lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

Pete Mervenne got married in 1968 and moved to Flint, Michigan, to work for the Detroit Free Press. This caused his departure from the Kingtones. He married a girl that he had met at a high school dance in 1962 when the Kingtones played there. He had three children. Pete took up playing the drums and joined a couple of bands for a short time. He of course, continued to sing, but never received the recognition that he had enjoyed with the Kingtones. The last band he played in was called “Flashback,” where he was reunited with bass player, Bob Major. Pete died in December of 1989 of a massive heart attack while vacationing in Las Vegas. He was 45 years old. The Kingtones held a dance benefit to help raise money for Pete’s children for future educational needs.

 

Phil Roberts stayed in the Kingtones until the band retired in January of 2008. He never joined another band. He owned Mid-Western Sound Recording Studios for several years, where the Kingtones recorded their record “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” which brought about a three year recording contract with Atlantic Records. Phil’s first “love” is philosophy. He considers himself a philosopher and often attends and even speaks at Philosophy Conferences. Phil never married and still resides in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Home » KINGTONES MEMOIRS » The Kingtone's Memoirs - 1964
Kingtones Van Promo
Kingtones Van Promo
Porky's
Porky's
PORKYS AD
PORKYS AD
Porkys Dancers
Porkys Dancers
PORKYS sign
PORKYS sign
porkys sign
porkys sign
Porky's Sign
Porky's Sign
Kingtones at Porkys
Kingtones at Porkys
another Porkys sign
another Porkys sign
Pete and Bob Major
Pete and Bob Major
Bob Major
Bob Major
Bruce Snoap
Bruce Snoap
Mike King
Mike King
Phil Roberts
Phil Roberts
Phil on left
Phil on left
Phil, Bruce, Pete and Bob Major
Phil, Bruce, Pete and Bob Major
Phil on stage
Phil on stage
Phil
Phil
Mike King and Bruce Snoap
Mike King and Bruce Snoap
Mike and Bruce
Mike and Bruce
Bruce in Florida
Bruce in Florida
Bruce
Bruce
Bruce
Bruce
Bob Major
Bob Major
Phil
Phil
Bruce, Bob and Phil
Bruce, Bob and Phil
Porky's referral letter
Porky's referral letter
Billy Fords Thunderbirds
Billy Fords Thunderbirds

 

Previous Memoir Postings:

Select the specific daily entry that you want to read and click on it. Keep checking back for new entries as we will add a new one each day.

Spring Break started from Michigan State University students from this article below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/magazine/who-made-spring-break.html?_r=2&

11/6/2012 – 11/11/2012

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