The Metro St. Louis Live Music
Mike Bertel /Guitar
Stan Eto /Guitar
Phil Markley /Keys
John Von Fange /Bass
Jim Hammers /Drums
I got this note and history from bassist John Von Fange on 12-31-15:
This is John Von Fange of the Nomads. Found your search request while Googling Mike Bertel. I'm not on Facebook, but am on Linked-In. I periodically try to find info on the band members but find very little.
We were a band based out of Kirkwood (1964) and Kirkwood High School (1965-1967 or 1978)
Mike Bertel was a neighborhood friend of mind. Well after his band was up and running, they needed a lead singer and I was invited to join. I continued with that until I sang my voice out and was learning bass guitar, where I did mainly backup singing and Mike or others did most of the leads. I was only a mediocre bass player, but was able to hold my own, as rock music was only 3-note progression with simple bass lines. My best was "Hey Joe, Where You Goin With That Gun In Your Hand."
Mike was a good rhythm guitar, who progressed to being a great rhythm guitarist and playing a little lead. He was always learning, even learning the drums. I think Mike ended up on the west coast playing with groups there. He had great potential.
Stan was an amazing lead guitarist. He could play anything from Flamenco to Blues, to Jazz, to Clapton and Hendricks. He had to be a genius with a photographic memory. It seemed he only needed to hear riffs once and could play them all note for note, feedback for feedback, and than even jam on them in their style as though it was actually them. People came from all over to hear him play. I have a good story about him and the worlds best blues guitarist at a symposium at Mel Bay in Kirkwood. He had a hollow body, Cherry Red, gold plated, Gibson guitar he bought for $1,500. I don't know anything regarding his whereabouts since then, but think he wanted to be a brain surgeon.
Mr. Hoemann, of Hoemann's Jewelers in Kirkwood, was a promoter and had us entertain at the 66-Drive in and other drive-ins before the movie started. One of the group mothers had us cut an instrumental record called "Trash" an original song similar to "Pipeline" highlighted by Stan's lead guitar. Not sure, but think we made a local TV appearance.
The photos were taken at Phil Markley's pool at his home in Graigs Wood. Phil's father was a producer for Channel 4. Phil joined the band during the high school period and was one of the best keyboardists in the area. His "Light My Fire" by the doors was his best - no one could play it better. He had a Farfisa keyboard and later a Hammond B-3.
eventually got a manager and did some recordings in his basement
studio. He bought a 50's Cadillac hearse with NOMADS and info hand
painted on it to advertise and haul our equipment. We won a battle
of the bands at the Kikwood Ampitheatre, and another battle of the
bands in North county where 25-30 carloads of greasers attacked us
at a burger joint after the contest and were finally swarmed by the
police that ran us out of town as a bunch of Hippies that started
the whole thing. Our manager Played our recordings over a Crystal
city radio show and booked us at some clubs or highway 21 road
houses where everyone was wearing the peace symbol and giving the
sign, yet would often break into brawling.
We hated the Beatles, but loved and played the Kinks, Stones, Bo Diddly, Cream, Who, and some of the 60's standards. We tried to write some, but did nothing to remember. I guess we never got the big break and some of us were going on to college and careers so we disbanded the beginning of our senior year
...and this correction from Shirley Hammers:
Not sure where John got his info, but Jim is alive & well & living in Los Angeles, CA.
Still playing Rock 'n Roll and the Blues.
Please 'fix' this!
We have a son & daughter - born & raised in CA. Our son did not attend Kirkwood HS.
We even have an amazing grandson.
If you have any info about, or photos or recordings of this band, PLEASE email me at: email@example.com
Return to Bands page