(and The Knights)
1962 to 1967
1962: A group of students at Richfield High School form a basement band (Cats and His Confederates), the lineup is: Chris Katsamedus on guitar and vocals; Dick Wiegand on guitar; Larry Wiegand on bass guitar; and Dick Thomas on drums. The band never performs in public.The band changes names to The Knights and play at frat parties and pizza places. The band does all instrumental songs including covers by The Ventures and Duane Eddy.
Dick Thomas leaves the band for military service and is replaced by Skip Kovacs on drums. Chris leaves the band for military service and is replaced by Lonnie Knight on guitar.
1963: Robbie Hardell joins the band on lead vocals. Robbie had been with a band called Robbie and the Rave-Ons, so the band uses the same name. With a lead singer, the band now does cover songs by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Eddie Cochran and Hank Williams.
1964: Skip leaves the band for military service and is replaced by Harry Nehls on drums. Robbie leaves the band for military service and is replaced by Lonnie Knight and guitar and vocals. With Robbie gone, the band becomes The Rave-Ons. The lineup is now: Lonnie Knight on guitar and vocals; Dick Wiegand on guitar and vocals; Larry Wiegand on bass guitar and vocals; and Harry Nehls on drums and vocals.
The band now plays at local high school dances and at the Bloomington Roller Rink, Mister Lucky’s, the Marion Hall, the Marigold Ballroom, the Prom Ballroom, Bobby’s and Schlief’s Little City. The band also plays out state jobs in Arlington, Gaylord, Glencoe, New Munich, Nisswa and Duluth. In Wisconsin the bands plays at the Frederick Rec Hall, Proaches Popular Ballroom in Ellsworth and The Pines Ballroom in Bloomer. With the band members still in high school, all of the out state jobs and Wisconsin jobs are played on weekends only.
With the arrival of The Beatles and the British Invasion, the band adds cover tunes to their song list by The Rolling Stones (“Little Red Rooster” and “It’s All Over Now”) and The Kinks (“You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night”). The band also plays a number of songs by The Yardbirds. The band begins to change their appearance, now growing their hair longer and wearing more dressier clothes.
Late, 1964: The band talks to record producer George Garrett at his record store at Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street, Nic’o’Lake Records, as the group wants to do some recording. George records three songs with the band at Kay Bank: “Everybody Tells Me,” “I Want You to Love Me” and a version of “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” (Herman’s Hermits). The first two songs are released on the Twin Town label, one of Garrett’s numerous record labels. “Everybody Tells Me” gets airplay on the local radio stations.
1965: The band records their second 45 with George Garrett (also at Kay Bank): “Whenever” backed with “Love Pill.” “Whenever” gets airplay on the local radio stations. “Love Pill’ is a cover song originally recorded by The Rivingtons.
August 7, 1966: The Rave-Ons open up a concert for The Yardbirds at Maple Lake Pavilion in Mentor, Minnesota.
Summer, 1966: The band records their third 45 with George Garrett, this time in his basement recording studio located at Nic’O’Lake Records : “The Line” backed with “Baby Don’t Love Me.” The A-side originates from George Garrett who has seen local teens doing “line dances” at the local clubs. This 45 is released on Garrett’s Re-Car label.
Fall, 1966: David Anthony takes the band into Dove Recording Studio in Bloomington and they record four original songs and one cover song. The original songs are: “I’ll Come Back to You,” (Lonnie Knight); “What’s His Name Today” (Lonnie Knight); “I Hope She Comes” (Larry Wiegand); and “If I Loved You” (Lonnie Knight). The cover song is “I’m Talking about You,” a Chuck Berry song. No records are pressed from this session. Each band member receives one copy of an acetate of the five songs.
March, 1967: Due to differences in musical directions and due to David Anthony Productions looking to put together a new band (South 40), The Rave-Ons come to an end.
In 2011 Larry Wiegand reports The Rave-Ons were playing at Marion Hall in Bloomington on the night The Rolling Stones played at Danceland in Excelsior. Larry said The Rave-Ons drew a crowd of roughly 500, at least double the crowd size for The Stones (estimates vary from 150 to 250). Some of the people at The Stones concert went to see The Rave-Ons after the concert in Excelsior. Larry reports the recording of “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” was never released and no copy of the song is known to exist.
In 2011, Lonnie Knight reports he was the singer for the Rave-Ons in 1964, due to the fact that he had borrowed a microphone from Roy Hensley of The Castaways. Lonnie played with The Castaways prior to joining The Rave-Ons. No one else in the band had a microphone. Lonnie reports that he played a 12 string Electric Guild guitar on the songs recorded at Dove in 1966.
The Line (45)
Whats His Name Today – (Unreleased)
Browse [Artist] Details:
Rave-Ons BAND TREE
Rave-Ons 1963 to 1967
Robbie Hardell Robbie and the Rave-Ons
Guitar / Vocals Rave-Ons
1963 to 1964
Dick Wiegand Lead Guitar / Vocals 1963 to 1967
Cats and his Confederates
The Other Brothers
Larry Wiegand Bass Guitar / Vocals 1963 to 1967
Cats and his Confederates
Pacific Gas & Electric
Bobby Vee Group
Joyce Everson Group
Kevin Odegard Band
Willie Walker Band
Corey Stevens Band
The Other Brothers
Joe Juliano’s Band
Skip Kovacs Drums 1963 to 1964
Harry Nehls Drums / Vocals 1964 to 1967
Freeman Nehls & The Other Brothers
Lonnie Knight Rhythm Guitar / Vocals 1964 to 1967
Mojo Buford Band
Lexy Johnson Band
Lonnie Knight Solo
Chad Mitchell and Friends
The Knight Henley Band
Crow featuring Dave Wagner
The Neilsen – White Band
Cocktail Stevie & the Table Rockers
Michael Johnson and Friends
The Lonnie Knight Band
Blues West House Band
Inn Kahoots House Band
Lonnie Knight & Big Shoes
R nt Solo
Lonnie Knight & Reid Papke
Knight – Papke – Sansby – Haberman
Rave-Ons Where Are They Now ?
Rave-Ons 1963 to 1967
Robbie Hardell Guitar / Vocals
Active in Music NO……………. Living in Minnesota
Dick Wiegand Lead Guitar / Vocals
Active in Music Yes………….. Jobbing in Bands
Larry Wiegand Bass Guitar / Vocals
Active in Music Yes… Studio Session Work – Jobbing in Bands
Lonnie Knight Guitar / Vocals
Active in Music Yes………….. Solo Music Career
Skip Kovacs Drums / Vocals
Active in Music No…………….. Living in Minnesota
Harry Nehls Drums / Vocals
Active in MusiC Yes ……………… Writing & Recording Career
Interview Part ONE – Time = 28:23
Interview Part TWO – Time = 22:06