The Agency
band photo
Mike Arnes: Lead Guitar, vocals
Ron Carlson: Rhythm Guitar, vocals
Carl Dorner: Bass Guitar, vocals
Rich Robinson: Drums, vocals
Date formed: Spring 1967
Date disbanded: early Summer 1968
The Agency originally started life as the Gobi Desert Canoe Club Band. Inspired by Sgt. Pepper and Ron’s sense of humor, this name was used until a “serious” name was deemed necessary. Carl and Ron were the motivating force behind the bands inception. They both went through the process of learning guitar simultaneously; getting together most Sunday afternoons to trade licks and new techniques learned during the week.
   The name came about because the band was looking for a synonym for the word “organization” that sounded “different”. The Association had already been taken, but “agency” had not.
band in car
At the outset, before roles were cemented in place, Carl was playing guitar. He had a red solid body Kent guitar with 2 pickups and a small 10 watt Kent amplifier. Both were purchased at Alber’s in Boone.
   Alber’s sold what were for the most part factory seconds at a very low price cashing in on the music craze that had swept the nation at the time. Naturally the Alber’s connection was mentioned to Ron who, at the time, was without an instrument. This is where Ron purchased his first guitar with a little help from his dad. It was a cherry to yellow sunburst finished thin electric/acoustic Kent with two pickups. Along with the guitar he got a 15 watt Kent amp with tremolo.
Carl eventually decided to play bass for the yet to be formed band. He purchased a cherry solid body Epiphone Wilshire bass with two pickups and an accompanying Kalamazoo Bass 30 amp from Klocksiem’s Piano & Organ in Ogden. With Ron on rhythm guitar—he found chords to be easier than notes—this left the two with a lead guitarist and drummer to find.
   Carl had made an acquaintance with Mike through high school band for which Mike played trombone. Finding that Mike also played guitar and was interested in playing lead in a band, he was asked to join. Mike’s equipment at the start of the group was a Gibson Melody Maker-single pickup and sunburst finish-and a Gibson GA–5 Skylark amp. The amp had a light brown covering and brown grille cloth. The combination was wonderful! Later on Mike "upgraded" to a semi-acoustic Conrad guitar with 2 pickups finished in a honey sunburst. He also purchased a Heathkit amp that was a fairly blatant copy of a Fender Twin Reverb. He bought the amp as a kit and a friend who was in engineering classes at ISU helped him put the amp together. It actually sounded pretty good with the only problem being the reverb which worked only occasionally.                        NEXT PAGE