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Subject: Re: Remembering Vortex 1 Estacada Ore. 1970

karen esquivel (Please foward me pics!! Sad RIP,John!)
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Date Posted: 20:23:19 02/02/15 Mon
In reply to: Janene 's message, "Re: Remembering Vortex 1 Estacada Ore. 1970" on 16:14:49 11/03/09 Tue

>>Hi Greg
>>I've been talking with Tom and John and actually have
>>some photos I think you'd like.....just let me know!
>>>>Looking for anyone that was at the 1970 rock fest.
>>>>Estacada Oregon, McIver Park, Vortex 1. Just want
>>>>know what you remember and looking for pictures
>>>Yes, I was at Vortex 1 and I will never forget it.
>>>I arrived at the fest with my band called "Wings of
>>>I played lead guitar and had graduated from high
>>>school in 1969 from South Eugene High. I later moved
>>>to Brownsville, Oregon where I saw a bunch of guys
>>>jamming in front of a supermarket one day. I had
>>>played with a real band before and had a great time
>>>improvising and it fit pretty good. Later we all
>>>formed a band and we were managed by a guy named Jack
>>>Richardson who lived in Brownsville and had tons of
>>>Vox Superbeatle amps and a PA system and a Gibson SG
>>>guitar for me to use. He had earlier managed a band
>>>calle "The Barber Green". I remember he had a big
>>>truck that looked like an armoured truck, to haul
>>>everything in. I remember he had aircraft landing
>>>lights in the front and if anyone ever shined there
>>>bright lights on us at night would quickly dim them
>>>when we hit them with those beams!
>>>We called ourselves "The Wings of Freedom" and we
>>>practiced nearly every day. I moved in with some
>>>in Corvalis and the drummer (Tom Ashmore), would pick
>>>me up in his dads Mercedes with the bass player (John
>>>Mayhan) and we would drive to Brownsville to practice
>>>in an old movie theater that was in the small town.
>>>practice a lot and the singer Janene Wallace had a
>>>fantastic voice. We did all original songs. Our
>>>keyboard player was named Steve and always drove
>>>around in his van with his girl friend.
>>>I remember we always played at the Pioneer Picknick
>>>and it was a huge party and a great time.
>>>Our manager heard about the Vortex 1 Festival and
>>>us to pack up the truck and head up to the state park
>>>where the festival was held. We drove the truck and
>>>parked it near the stage and waited for our chance to
>>>play. I listened to the other bands and they sounded
>>>really good. There was a band called the Portland Zoo
>>>and they were awesome. The music I remember was
>>>Jaz and Blues and I was not sure how our hard edged
>>>rock music was going to go over. Our manager told
>>>we would not play on the first day and then he
>>>to let us play on the second day too. So I just
>>>around the fest looking at all the beautiful nude
>>>ladies walking around and I even saw a couple in a
>>>sleeping bag getting it on right in front of
>>>I remember there was a vat of electric cool aid near
>>>the stage and lots of card tables set up where they
>>>sold weed. I ran into my best friend Krink, who had
>>>moved to Portland and played guitar and had taught me
>>>everything I knew. We jammed for a while. Before I
>>>arrived at the Fest I had seen him on TV blowing
>>>bubbles when the film crew first arrived at the fest.
>>>There were sky jumpers and one of them caught on fire
>>>from a flare he had strapped to his leg and he died
>>>before he could reach the ground.
>>>There was a real sense of brother hood and strangers
>>>would hand you there bottle of wine or hand you a
>>>joint to toke on.
>>>Finally our manager said to set up were going to play
>>>our set now. I was so nervous I could not stop
>>>with my bandmates. I remember trying to convince them
>>>(and myself) that they would like us because we had
>>>the only chick singer.
>>>I shook my bass players hand and told him "Good Luck"
>>>just as we went out on stage. The stage was huge.
>>>There were huge amps set up that we had to use and I
>>>was not sure how to get my sound with them. There was
>>>a sea of people and the mixing board was run by the
>>>sound guy, far out in the center of the mass of
>>>waiting to hear us.
>>>We started playing and even though no one had heard
>>>any of our songs, they really cheered and threw
>>>on the stage. I was so nervouse I could not stop
>>>stomping my feet when we played. I mean my feet were
>>>over a foot high off the ground and I kept playing
>>>like that.
>>>The crowd and the energy was unlike anything I had
>>>ever experienced before. Our last song was our theme
>>>song called "The Brownsville Boogie" Later I heard ZZ
>>>Top doing a song called La Grange that sure sounded
>>>like it but we were the first. The crowd went nuts.
>>>Just before we played it our organ players Hammond
>>>stopped working. I was really scared because he
>>>the bass part on this song with the organ while our
>>>bass player played rythem guitar. I was amazed when
>>>Steve grabbed the bass and started to use it instead.
>>>I did not know he could even play any stringed
>>>instrument. It sounded fantastic. The crowd went cazy
>>>and we had so much fun I still feel it today.
>>>When we left the stage the crowd kept screaming for
>>>more but our manager wanted the crowd to want more of
>>>our band but would not allow us to play any more.
>>>I later got drafted, joined the Air Force, retired
>>>from the Air Force and now live in Guam and work for
>>>the National Weather Service and still play with one
>>>other guy in some of the clubs here. We call
>>>the Beach Geezers www.beachgeezers.veryweird.com.
>>>If anyone has pictures from the fest please share
>>>Or if you were a band member please contact me.
>>>Greg Lonien

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