Larry LaRue

One old rocker remembers five others - and The Deacons reunite

Coming of age in the ‘60s in Southern California, young men were required by law to join rock and roll bands.

Mine was Hook, one of the great garage bands of all time.

Anywhere other than our garage, however, we were long on enthusiasm and volume, short on talent. We did covers, not originals.

Writing would have required that talent stuff. I sang and played bass, because I couldn’t master chords on the guitar.

Playing school and church dances was as close to stardom as we came, but my God we had fun.

At a homecoming dance in 1968, Hook played for the last time. Traditionally, dances then ended with a slow song, and the last one I ever sang onstage was ‘The Crystal Ship.’ It brought tears, probably to anyone who loved the song.

About the same time, a thousand miles north, The Deacons had been playing two, three times a week at clubs and nightspots - a success by any measure.

Four of the five members attended Pacific Lutheran University, the other was in a Lutheran school in Seattle.

They had talent, and played at the first PLU rock and roll dance, a major event in 1965. They didn’t just play great rock and roll, they had stage presence - they were entertainers.

One of my favorites columns this year was about The Deacons, and interviewing the five members brought back that joy of playing rock and roll music onstage.

Michael Boyd, John Radke, Jim Sola, John Sandvig and Dave Luther were all in the 60’s, had played together only a handful of times since breaking up in 1968

They’ve all had careers, families, lives - and are scattered in four states.

Come Saturday night, however, The Deacons are reuniting to play PLU one more time, at the Homecoming Fall Festival.

PLU students and alumni are all welcome - there’s a $20 adult cover charge - and The Deacons will play from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Chris Knutzen Hall, Anderson University Center.

C’mon out and enjoy the music and the fun.

Introducing the band Saturday night will be another old rocker, me. I promise to be loud and enthusiastic, and not to sing.

I was never better than when I covered The Doors that night in 1968. And I was bad then.