Ginger

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History

Ginger

1970 – 1975

June, 1970:  A new band forms called Anaconda and goes through a number of name changes including Boa’s and Zhurbadi, with the original lineup consisting of: Bob Edwards on lead vocals; Larry Moe on keyboards and vocals; John McEnary on lead guitar and vocals; Craig Swanson on bass guitar and vocals; and Marc Taylor on drums.  The band members are graduates of Washburn High School in Minneapolis, with the exception of Craig who had just graduated from Frank B. Kellogg High School in Little Canada.  The band practices at Larry Moe’s house in South Minneapolis (on 13th Avenue South, just South of 46th Street).   The band plays the five state upper Midwest region and play all cover songs from popular bands at the time including The Doors, The Allman Brothers, B.B. King, Jethro Tull, Elton John, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, The Zombies, The Beatles and Leon Russell.  In town, the band plays at: the Home Bar; the Café Extempore; the Lamb’s Club; the Lino Lakes Reformatory; the Hiawatha YMCA; the Medina Ballroom, the Newport Teen Center; the Shakopee Teen Center; various junior high, senior high and college dances; and fraternity parties at the University of Minnesota.  The band is booked through Larry Moe’s Dalton Productions and also through CECRU, Magnum and Alpha Productions. 

Fall, 1970:  After numerous name changes, the band settles on the name Ginger. 

Mid-November, 1970:  John McEnary leaves the band and is replaced by Gary Gimmestad on lead guitar who joins the band on November 23. 

1971:  Larry Moe starts writing original songs for the band and the band adds them to their song list. 

Fall, 1971:  John rejoins the band for a couple of months and then leaves the band again.   During this time period, Steve Sorenson fills in on drums for Marc Taylor while he is on vacation. 

April, 1972:  Tragedy strikes the band, as Bob Edwards dies in a car accident near Jordan, Minnesota just two and a half weeks after his twenty-first birthday.  The band cancels their scheduled jobs for two weeks and then carry on with Larry Moe doing the lead vocals.  

June, 1972: Marc Taylor leaves the band and is replaced by Steve Sorenson on drums.

Winter, 1972:  The band records an album as a tribute to Bob Edwards at P.David Studio in Minneapolis, owned and operated by Paul Stark, who engineers the album.  Side 1 of the album features Bob Edwards on vocals, the songs recorded at prior rehearsals.  Applause is added to the recording to give it a “live” feel.  The recorded rehearsals and some live jobs are the only recordings with Bob on vocals.  Side 2 features all original songs, written as tribute songs to Bob, recorded in the studio.  Two of the original songs are written by Bob’s twin brother, Bruce Edwards, who also sings lead vocals on both songs, one is an instrumental written by Gary, and one is written and sung by Larry Moe.  On the album are Larry, Craig, Marc (who rejoins the band for the recording), Gary, and Bruce. The songs on the album are as follows:

Side 1:

“I’m Ready” (Larry Moe)

“I Was Alone” (Larry Moe)

“Country Comforts” (Elton John)

“Try a Little Tenderness” (Three Dog Night)

Side 2:

“He’ll Talk to You” (Bruce Edwards)

“Two Orbits” (Gary Gimmestad)

“The Early Morning Rehash” (Larry Moe)

“Years” (Bruce Edwards)

“The Early Morning Rehash” includes a Psychedelic sound collage using backwards recordings of various instruments and vocals.  The song also includes a sound clip of Bob Edwards stating “Psychedelic Ginger… never to be known.”  The sound clip comes at the end of an extended Psychedelic version of “She’s Not There” (Zombies) recorded live by the band at a  job at the Newport Teen Center on September 18, 1971. 

Fall, 1972:  John McEnary rejoins the band as a second guitar player, along with Gary.

November, 1972:  John McEnary leaves the band, followed shortly by Steve Sorenson.

January, 1973:  After recording with the band, Bruce Edwards joins the band on second guitar and vocals.  Steve Groebner joins the band on drums, as Marc rejoined the band strictly for recording the tribute album. 

March, 1973:  The Bob Edwards tribute album is pressed and released on Cheap Swank Records (named by Craig).  The album is released in a blank, white record jacket, with two inserts that contain photos of the band, names of the songs and the band members, various credits and an explanation of why the album was recorded.  The album is made available to friends of Bob Edwards and friends of the band.  The album has no title and becomes known as Ginger with Bob Edwards.  

June 7, 1973:  The band plays an outdoor concert at the University of Minnesota for a “Beer Bust” concert organized by the Minnesota Student Association.  The concert is part of a protest against the University’s efforts to ban alcohol from the campus.  The band plays behind Fraternity Row and the protest/concert draws 5,000 students.  The event makes the evening news and the following day a photo of Craig getting a beer from a keg is published in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. 

June 12, 1973:  The band plays an overnight party for the Washburn High School Class of 73 at the Medina Ballroom.  Paul Stark records the concert.  Shortly after this job, the Medina Ballroom is destroyed in a fire and a new facility is built on the site. 

Fall, 1973:  Bruce Edwards leaves the band. 

Early, 1974:  Steve Groebner leaves the band and Steve Sorenson rejoins the group on drums. 

The band records “I’m Ready” (Larry Moe) with Paul Stark at P. David Studio.  The song is in the progressive rock style.  Larry, Gary and Craig record a David Bowie song, “Life on Mars.”  On the Bowie song, Larry sings lead and plays piano, Gary plays Hammond organ and Craig plays bass guitar. 

November 2, 1974:  Ginger plays their final live performance at the Sheraton Ritz in downtown Minneapolis. The lineup is: Larry, Steve Sorenson, Craig and Gary. 

January, 1975:  The band begins another recording project with Paul Stark and have enough songs for an album.

May, 1975:  The band completes the recording project with Paul Stark.  Original songs written by Larry Moe are: “Kennedy”, “You’re Crazy”, Rainy Night Delight”, “Heaven on the Ground”, “War Song”, “I Was Alone” and “Born Again”.  “Born Again” is a song with four parts: “Birth,” Life of Pain,” “Rebirth,” and “Faster.”   The song “Kennedy” is also remixed using phase shifting.  Larry shops the tape, but is unable to find a record company that is interested in the songs.  The recordings are never pressed on vinyl and are never released.  The songs are very eclectic in nature. 

Summer, 1975:  The band members gather together at Larry Moe’s house in South Minneapolis and play together for the final time.  After a five year run, Ginger comes to an end. 

UPDATE:

In April, 1997, Larry, Craig and Steve Sorenson had a band reunion/rehearsal at Larry’s house.  John Pojar joined the group on guitar.  The following week, the band played at the house for a private party, just prior to the house being sold.   Both of the events were recorded by the band.  Among the songs recorded were: “Good Morning Blues” (Leadbelly); “Lalena” (Donovan); and “A Brighter Day” (Steve Sorenson and John McEnary). 

In January, 2011, Craig Swanson reported the album known as “Ginger with Bob Edwards” has become a sought after album by record collectors in the United States, Europe and Japan, among other countries.  Craig reported that some of the albums have the name Ginger hand-stamped (with black ink) on the front cover. 

Craig also reported that during the Ginger time period, there were a number of “spin-off” groups that involved various members of the band.  These groups were:

Crazy Craig and the Creeps (1970-1971): This was the band doing one set as a 1950’s rock’n’roll group during a Ginger performance. 

The Astro-Zombies (February, 1974 – October, 1974): This was Larry, Steve Sorenson and Craig, who put this group together during the recording sessions taking place during the same time period.  The band name came from the name of a 1968 science fiction movie: The Astro-Zombies.  The group recorded a rehearsal at Paul Stark’s studio in early June, 1974. 

The Four Zoas (Late 1974/Early 1975): The band used this name while they were recording during the same time period. 

The Ancient Dogs (time frame is unknown): This was a duo with Larry and Steve Sorenson.  The duo features electronic music and poetic readings. 

Written by Tom Campbell

Version 1. December 23, 2012

Version 2. December 25, 2012

Version 3. December 26, 2012

Version 4. December 27, 2012

Version 5. December 28, 2012

Version 6. December 31, 2012

Version 7. January 1, 2013

Version 8. January 4, 2013

Copyright by Thomas R. Campbell, 2013
 

Photos

Ginger in Field

Recordings

He’ll Talk to You

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Ginger  Band  Jobs

1970

8-29-70:  U of MN Fraternity

9-23-70:  U of MN Fraternity

9-30-70:  U of MN Fraternity

10-3-70:  U of MN Fraternity

10-9-70:  Southwest Junior High

10-16-70:  Ramsey Junior High

10-17-70:  U of MN Fraternity

10-23-70:  Southwest Junior High

10-30-70:  Private Party (Dental Fraternity) Trollhaugen, Dresser, WI

11-13-70:  Ramsey Junior High

11-14-70:  Highland Inn, Fraternity

11-25-70:  Southwest Junior High

12-4-70:  Benefit Music Festival, Cedar Village Theater

12-5-70:  U of MN, Fraternity

12-18-70:  Southwest Junior High

12-27-70:  New Prague Ballroom 

1971

1-8-71:  Ramsey Junior High

1-25-71:  U of MN Fraternity

1-29-71:  Church Dance

2-5-71:  St. Cloud

2-6-71:  U of MN Sorority Dance

2-12-71:  Kennedy High Bloomington

2-13-71:  U of MN Fraternity

2-14-71:  Church Dance Mount Olivet

2-26-71:  Olson Junior High Bloomington

3-5-71:  Ramsey Junior High

3-6-71:  Coffman Union, U of MN

3-19-71:  Prior Lake High School

4-2-71:  Ramsey Junior High

4-17-71:  Cottage Grove

4-24-71:  U of MN Fraternity

5-1-71:  Custer, South Dakota

5-15-71:  Montgomery, MN

5-20-71:  Lino Lakes Reformatory

5-21-71:  Washburn High Prom

5-22-71:  Normandy Inn

5-28-71:  St. Cloud

6-4-71:  St. Anthony Junior High

6-19-71:  Party at the House (Psyche House)

7-11-71:  Powderhorn Park, Benefit Concert

9-18-71:  Newport Teen Center

9-19-71:  U of MN Fraternity

9-24-71:  Montgomery High School Homecoming

9-25-71:  Alpha Tau Omega

10-1-71:  Ramsey Junior High

10-2-71:  St. Thomas High School

10-3-71:  Café Extempore (audition)

10-8-71:  St. Francis High School

10-29-71:  Enunciation

10-30-71:  Shakopee Teen Center

11-5-71:  Willmar Junior High

11-12-71:  Holiday Inn Bloomington (494 and 100)

11-18-71:  Lino Lakes Reformatory

11-19-71:  Minneapolis East Side YMCA

12-11-71:  Glencoe Senior High

12-17-71:  Shakopee Junior High

12-18-71:  Hibbing State Junior College

12-30-71:  Montgomery American Legion

1972

1-14-72:  Brooklyn Center High School

1-15-72:  St. Thomas Aquinas High School

1-21-72:  Fairmont Teen Center

2-11-72:  Osseo Senior High

2-12-72:  Washburn Senior High

2-13-72:  Café Extempore

2-18-72:  Willmar Technical Institute

2-19-72:  Hibbing State Junior College

2-26-72:  Le Sueur Senior High

3-3-72:  Minneapolis East Side YMCA

3-4-72:  Hudson House

3-16-72:  Hudson Rent Party

3-18-72:  Slayton Senior High

3-26-72:  Café Extempore

4-7-72:  Princeton Senior High

4-14-72:  Ed’s Rosebowl, Hudson

4-15-72:  Hibbing State Junior College

4-29-72:  Fraternity Spring Formal

5-6-72:  Shangri-la Restaurant, Fraternity

5-13-72:  Mitchell, South Dakota

5-14-72:  Mount Olivet

5-17-72:  Vermillion State Junior College, Ely, MN

5-31-72:  New Prague Park Ballroom

6-2-72:  St. Anthony Junior High

6-6-72:  Medina Ballroom, Washburn Class of 72

6-25-72:  Café Extempore

9-29-72:  Southwest High School

9-30-72:  Brainerd Junior College

10-6-72:  Cleghorn, Iowa

10-7-72:  Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

10-10-72:  Home Bar

10-13-72:  The Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

10-14-72:  The Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

10-20-72:  Medicine Lake

10-21-72:  Sheraton Inn, Fraternity

10-27-72:  Psyche House Party

10-28-72:  Gervais Barn Party

11-4-72:  Bancroft Ballroom

11-10-72:  The Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

11-11-72:  The Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

11-18-72:  Midland Country Club, Sorority

11-22-72:  Pine River High School

1973

1-12-73:  U of MN Fraternity

2-2-73:  Seward School

2-17-73:  Mankato Holiday Inn

2-24-73:  Howard Wongs

4-14-73: U of MN Fraternity

5-4-73:  Rendevous Club, Somerset, WI

5-5-73:  Rendevous Club, Somerset, WI

5-12-73:  Winona High School

5-18-73:  Hiawatha YMCA

5-19-73:  Lake Minnetonka

5-27-73:  Lake Minnetonka

6-7-73:  U of MN “Beer Bust”

6-8-73:  St.Anthony Junior High

6-12-73:  Medina Ballroom, Washburn High Class of 73

9-28-73:  Waconia High School

10-5-73:  Hiawatha YMCA

10-6-73:  Pharmacy Fraternity

10-11-73:  Saint Benedicts

10-12-73:  Lambs Club, St. Paul

10-13-73:  Lambs Club, St. Paul

10-27-73:  Normandy Inn

11-2-73:  Eau Claire, WI

11-17-73:  Steamboat Inn, Prescott, WI

1974

2-25-74:  Frat House

3-1-74:  Frat House

4-13-74:  Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

4-21-74:  U of MN Fraternity

6-8-74:  Gervais Fest

6-12-74:  Seward School

6-21-74:  Chi PSI’s Sorority

9-20-74:  Buffalo Saloon

9-21-74:  Frat House

9-27-74:  Herman, MN

9-28-74:  Chippewa Falls, WI (high school)

9-30-74:  St. Paul Fraternity

10-4-74:  Shakopee High School

10-11-74:  Armstrong High School

10-12-74:  Milwaukee, WI (high school)

10-19-74:  SAE Fraternity

10-19-74:  Dyckman Hotel

10-25-74:  JJ’s, St. Cloud

10-26-74:  JJ’s, St. Cloud

11-1-74:  Hiawatha YMCA

11-2-74:  Sheraton Ritz

 

Bandtree

Ginger _____________BAND  TREE         

Ginger

1970  –  1975

_____________________________________________________

Bob Edwards        Lead  Vocals         1970  to  1972

Ginger

_____________________________________________________

Larry Moe        Keyboards  /  Vocals      1970  to  1975

Ginger

______________________________________________________

John McEnary        Lead  Guitar  /  Vocals    1970  to  1972

Ginger

______________________________________________________

Craig Swanson        Bass  Guitar  /  Vocals    1970  to 1975

The Skeptics

The  Inner  Outlet

13th  Floor  Elevators (TX)

Ding  Dong  and  The  Doorbells

Ginger

Tramp

The  Wombats

The  Natives

Shadow

The  Wailin’ Aliens

The  Strobes

The  Raydons

______________________________________________________

Marc Taylor        Drums   1970  to  1972

Ginger

_______________________________________________________

Gary Gimmestad        Lead Guitar         1970  to  1975

Ginger

________________________________________________________

Steve Sorenson        Drums    1972  to  1972  and  1974  to  1974

Ginger

______________________________________________________

Bruce Edwards      Guitar  /  Vocals    1973

Ginger

_______________________________________________________

Steve Groebner         Drums         1973  to  1974

Ginger

________________________________________________________

Where are they now?

 

Ginger      Where  Are  They  Now  ?         

Ginger       1970  to  1975

                                                               

Bob Edwards  ………… Passed away at age 21 in April, 1972.

Larry Moe ……………… Living in Minnesota, no longer active in music.

John McEnary ……….. Passed away at age 50 on July 13, 2003, was living in California.

Craig Swanson ………. Living in Minnesota, writing songs and recording.

Marc Taylor …………..  Living in Minnesota, no longer active in music.

Gary Gimmestad ……. Living in Minnesota, writing scores for musicals.

Steve Sorenson ……… Living in Minnesota, plays the drums.

Bruce Edwards ……… Living in Oregon, plays guitar with a worship band. 

Steve Groebner ……… Unknown.

 

 

Interview

(interview here)