Below is a history and some links to bands I have played in over the years, including links to the sites for, Salvadore Dali Llama, and Lemon Creek, my current band. There are links to published recordings by Salvadore Dali Lama, Lesley Rostron (my eldest daughter), Lovejunkie, and The Truffles. Also a few live recordings and videos of performances by the cast of my musical, Evermore.
My very earliest bands were formed in Jr. High and High School during the 1960s in Junction City, Oregon, and included a polka/dixieland band, a couple of rock bands, and a folk band.
My very first band, maybe 1963, 1964. That’s me second from the left in back. I played trombone. Missing is our band instructor extraordinaire, Wayne Travillian who helped us put together our little ensemble (name forgotten). We played simple arrangements of polkas and dixieland—and even got paid a few times—I was hooked!
Later in the 1960s I played in both folk and rock bands, as well as the high school pep and stage band. The folk band was the most successful by far. We did songs by The Kingston Trio, Dylan, and Peter Paul & Mary, and had no problem getting well-paying gigs at various local functions. That group started as a quartet, and eventually grew to nine performers. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recordings of that band, and I’m not even sure if we made any.
In early 1975, during the construction of the pipeline in Valdez, Alaska I met my true musical soul-mate in the form of the wild young rocker, Jim Nelson. So began a friendship and musical collaboration which, though interrupted many times over the decades, endured and blossomed, culminating with our creative efforts this last decade. Our first band together, based in Valdez, was Moondance, which (perhaps inevitably, given our sense of humor) quickly became Ballonpants. (We were prophetic, anticipating a hip-hop clothing style, I suppose.) At different times Rich Danielson or Albert Overbay played bass, with various drummers; notably Hunter “Catfish” Kranz, Lynn Overbay, and Gary Snyder.
Jim and myself, probably in 1976, Valdez, AK.
Ballonpants, probably 1976. Valdez, AK spread out below us. From top to bottom, Jim, Gary, my very hairy self, and Albert.
Albert Overbay and myself, probably 1975 (or 76?), Valdez, AK.
In 1976 Jim’s friend, Gary Snyder moved north from Tacoma and took over drums, while Rich Danielson (who sadly died a few years later) replaced Albert on bass.
During the summer of 1977 I performed in another version of Ballonpants in the small town of Haines, Alaska with Dennis Skaugrud on guitar, who became a fast friend and musical co-conspirator in several more bands. Dennis Miles played drums (also sadly deceased), Albert bass, and Jud Cranston Jr. joined to form a quintet.
I moved to Tacoma in early 1978, where Jim, Gary, and I formed The Tools, with Ed Gluick on bass. We traveled Alaska the summer of 1978 on the notorious “Tools Tundra Tour,” where we (with varying degrees of success) tried to foist our punk sensibilities on a disco obsessed population.
Dyea (near Skagway), AK, 1977. Albert Overbay, bass; Dennis Skaugrud, guitar; Dennis Miles, drums; Jud Cranston; and myself (in jumpsuit!).
The Tools, 1978. Ed Gluick, Jim Nelson, myself, Gary Snyder.
Another shot of The Tools. The name was inspired by my Anthropology studies at the University of Oregon.
“The Tools Tundra Tour,” summer, 1978 started out in Haines, AK. Here we are at drummer Dennis Miles’ property, with his rustic cabin shingled with old license plates.
In the early 1980s I played with the Anacortes, Washington based cover band, Illusion. After that band broke up, I once again joined efforts with best buddies and band mates Jim, Gary, and Dennis to form Flying Accusations. We performed in Washington and Alaska, before folding in 1986, when I moved year-round to Skagway, Alaska.
Illusion, Anacortes, WA, 1981.
Flying Accusations, Anacortes, 1984 or 1985. Myself, Gary (hidden behind drums), Jim, Dennis.
In Skagway in the late 1980s I performed in Ground Effect, with local musicians Glenn Reed (bass), Gary Hanson (sax and synth), and Stan Herbst. Sadly, Stan died at a rehearsal one night (from an undiagnosed condition). Local drummer and singer Perry Ford eventually began playing with us, and we carried on for several more years under that name before my family moved to Haines in 1994, performing at many events in Skagway, Haines, and various venues in the Canadian Yukon and northern British Columbia. Like my previous bands, Ground Effect was a cover band, but we began experimenting with writing and recording some of my original songs, though none of the songs ever made it to finished recordings.
Ground Effect, Eagles Hall, Skagway, AK. Myself, Gary Hanson, and Glenn Reed. Perry Ford behind the cymbal (early 1990s?).
In Haines my daughter, Lesley, and I began recording and performing with bass player, singer, programmer, and all around musical prodigy, Richard Cooper. We formed The Truffles. Several drummers took part, notably Gary Snyder, Delmar Washington, and Andy Engstrom. We played Haines, Skagway, and Juneau venues.
Richard and I started “Lynn Canal Sound,” a professional recording studio based on that time state-of-the-art ADAT technology. The Truffles released two CDs; Truffula, and Aftertaste; and a cassette, Four More, between 1997 and 2000. Those recordings can still be found on line.
The music caught the ear of a Los Angeles talent manager, and Lesley eventually moved to Studio City, which was the end of The Truffles. Rich and I carried on for a while as a trio, with either Andy or Delmar on drums, as The New Guinea Pigs, and the Pub Scouts.
An article about Lesley and The Truffles from the Juneau Empire, 1998.
The Truffles, Haines, AK , New Years, 1998. Lesley, myself, Rich, (Delmar hidden behind drums).
Pub Scouts, Haines, AK. Probably 2000 or 2001. Myself, Andy, & Rich.
In 2002 I moved to Bellingham, Washington, where I soon met drummer Jon Grover, and began to jam some with him and Dennis Skaugrud, who lived about an hour south. Later Lesley moved to Bellingham, and in late 2003 we formed Lovejunkie with Jon, and bassist Doug Menard, who was later replaced by Lonnie Knechtel. (Son of the late-great Larry Knechtel, who performed on several of Lesley’s recordings.) We released one CD, Wishing Well, also available on line.
Lovejunkie, at La Pinata, Bellingham, WA. Cinco D Mayo party, 2004. Myself, fill-in bass player ?, Jon, and Lesley.
Lovejunkie, at Dakota Creek, V, WA, 2004. Jon, Lesley, Dennis sitting in on guitar, Doug Menard on bass.
The most unique and fun gigs Lovejunkie played were at the Bellingham boat harbor, in the springs of 2004, and 2005, at the “Opening Day” parties. We set up at the end of the dock, with speakers hanging from the rigging of my sailboat. The whole dock was packed with boaters and their friends dancing, drinking, and having a great time. Only a couple of people fell in—fortunately, none of the band members!
Looking down on the “stage” at the end of “G” Dock, Bellingham Harbor, 2004. The boat I built, “Avalon,” behind us.
A view of the crowd.
Here we get ready to perform in 2005. Jon, Lesley, and Lonnie.
In late 2005 Lovejunkie disbanded. In 2006 I began rehearsing with Gary Snyder and Dennis again, calling ourselves Salvadore Dali Llama. The name reflected our new focus on writing and recording our own material. Jim Nelson, who was living in Wisconsin, flew to Bellingham and joined us for a couple of very fun and successful gigs out in the San Juan Islands in 2007.
Jim soon moved to Bellingham, and the rest as they say, is history. In 2010 we released our CD, Foretoken, and since have followed that up with periodic individual song releases, all available at the usual places on line. We continued on until late 2015 with the same personnel, until Jon Grover and Doug Hyldahl took over on drums and bass duties early in 2016.
In 2013 Salvadore Dali Llama, including Jim, Jon, myself, and Ron Steagall on bass formed the “orchestra” for the science fiction rock musical “Evermore,” written by myself with music by myself and Jim Nelson. (More on the Musicals page at this site.) The musical was produced and directed by Christopher Key, and played at Mt. Vernon and Bellingham stages.
Salvadore Dali Llama’s last release, on Halloween 2018, was the psychedelic single, “Without Compare,” with Jon and Doug on drums and bass. Jim moved to Tacoma in 2018, which ended Salvadore Dali Llama. That band’s recordings are available on CD Baby, Spotify, Bandcamp, I-tunes, and the other popular music sites.
Salvadore Dali llama original line-up, at the Galley, Lopez Island WA, 2007. Jim, Dennis, Gary, and myself. It is a tiny place, but one of our all-time favorite venues.
We generally rehearsed in my basement in Bellingham, until I moved in 2015. Here is a shot of our very last rehearsal there, which turned into a party, naturally.
Salvadore Dali Llama, 2016. Jon Grover, Jim Nelson, myself, and Doug Hyldahl.
Below are some links to our music, photos, and videos, etc.
Terpsicore, live at the Skylark, Seattle
Sugarstar, from the first musical, Evermore, by Mike Rostron with lyrics and music by Mike Rostron, Jim Nelson, and Lesley Rostron. Directed and produced in 2013 by Christopher Key and Free Key Productions.
Lemon Creek, was formed in December, 2017. Jon Grover, Doug Hyldahl, Lesley Rostron, and myself. We are a “Tribute To Women Of Pop & Rock From 1980s To Now.” (See Lemon Creek page on this site.)
Lemon Creek performing at the Skagit Casino, 1-11-2019.