|John and Russ were the ones behind this Boone bands formation during the summer of 1968. John introduced Russ to Dave which gave them three fourths of a quartet. Russ and Dave came across Ron at the Boone Sidewalk Art Show that summer. Ron and his brother, Bruce, were showing some of their art, which was based on the poster art that was mainly coming out of the San Francisco area, in front of the Woolworth’s store in downtown Boone. In the course of talking with Ron and Bruce they found out that Ron played guitar and was recently out of a band. A short time after that Russ and Dave showed up at Ron’s house in Ogden where the pitch to join the band was made.
The band’s name was taken from an eyeglass manufacturer’s line of sunglasses. Russ’ dad was employed at the House of Vision in Ames which gave Russ the opportunity to scavenge through the stuff at the store. Victory Eyeglasses had a series of sunglasses called Suntimers. The boys had a box from the store with that name printed on it that they used to carry their cables and other stuff around in. They thought it would be cool to have the band’s name on the box so they stole the box’s name for the band.
|Dave was playing a red Harmony hollow body electric at this time. It had a single cutaway and three DeArmond style pickups. He had a little Checkmate amp for the guitar.
Ron had a Kent hollow body electric finished in a yellow to red sunburst with two pickups and a double cutaway. He had a Magnatone M7 amplifier to play through which he had purchased used at the House of Music in Ames. The House of Music was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Main and Kellogg in Ames and was, coincidently, the old downtown location for the House of Vision mentioned above.
John had a Gibson Ranger amp to play bass through, but what he played for bass is not remembered.
Russ had an extremely cheap set of drums which were not very good. Most likely the set consisted of kick, snare, single rack mount tom and maybe a floor tom along with hi-hat and a shell mounted ride cymbal.
The one or two microphones the band used were plugged into second inputs on the instrument amps for PA. One of the mics was surely a cheap crystal mic that Ron had purchased from Keith Berg for $10. Dave and Ron did most of the singing for the group.
It is not certain that the Suntimers even practiced together as a group. One get together at John Larson’s is remembered, but no other ones for certain. Most of the songs the band played were ones that they all knew from previous experience. There were certain “standards” that most bands did at this time so a list of a dozen or so songs would be familiar to most players. Songs like “Gloria”/ThemShadows of Knight, “Sunshine of Your Love”/Cream, and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”/Rolling Stones were amongst the Suntimer’s repertoire.
|The Suntimers only played two gigs. The first was for Boone's Krazy Daze. This was a business oriented celebration with most stores in Boone having sidewalk specials and sales. Each store would do something “crazy” like having employees dress up in funny clothes or offer some unique item for free at the store along with the special sale prices. Dave was employed at the SherwinWilliams store and offered the services of the Suntimers for Krazy Daze. The band set up just outside the store on the sidewalk and played for about an hour or two repeating the few songs they knew several times. The second job was in Memorial Park in north Boone not far from where Russ lived. A friend of hisCurt Hillwas going to provide “all the pop you can drink” for the event. The band showed up, but no one else did. They played for awhile in a shelter house and then went home as darkness fell.
The group’s breakup came after this experience. Ron, sensing that this association was not as organized as his previous band situationalong with the feeling that another friend of his was getting a band together soontold the others he felt as though he could not continue with them. It was not an easy thing to do as he liked the other guys and had fun with them. These things coupled with the fact that the logistics of getting togetherRon in Ogden and no vehicle, the other 3 in Boonebrought the band to a reluctant end.
As far as is known John did not play in any other groups after the Suntimers broke up. Dave, Russ and Ron did go on to play in other bandstheir paths crossing occasionally on the way. John’s whereabouts are currently not known. Dave is retired and lives in Arizona. He had some of his original accoustic music featured in a film documentary. Russ is currently in Boulder CO building some fine guitar amps. He is a member of a group there named the Rhythm All Stars which is quite popular. Ron currently lives in Boone.
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