Arlington Mass

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Arlington Mass were a 1970s band from Boone, Iowa

Boone, Iowa

Arlington Mass was started primarily by Larry Kelley. Many of the members were in school at ISU at the time. Unfortunately much of the member information is forgotten. Larry was from Boone and had been in bands before this one. Ron Davis was from Jefferson as was Steve Hastings and the other trumpet player. Terry Rich was also in school at ISU. The gal that played keyboards was from Sioux City. The lead singer was characterized as having a voice reminiscent of David Clayton Thomas who sang for BS&T. The band name came from a word association thing. While the band was passing by Arlington, IA the thought was brought up about their being an Arlington, MA also. The name sounded good so it was adopted.

   Due to the fact that most of the members were going to school at ISU, the band practiced at the old WOI studios on campus. They used what was then Studio B and that is what they called their booking entity–Studio B Productions.

   As far as material goes the band did songs by Chicago; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Bachman–Turner Overdrive, Doobie Bros. and whatever else was popular at the time. Most of the jobs were obtained through either Larry, John Q. Davidson or Fred T. Fenchel out of the Mason City area. The band averaged around 4 to 500 bucks a gig which wasn't much for an eight way split.

   The band broke up over disagreements about drugs and also the ego thing. Larry felt that drugs had no place during a bands performance—even beer and cigarettes on stage were not appropriate. His stance was that this was a job like any other an individual might have. Those that were paying to see the band deserved the best the band could do—a professional performance. The younger members thought otherwise. Larry left the band over this disagreement.

   The other group members also felt they could do better at booking the group. So after Larry left the group they tried to continue on, but pretty much only played the few contracted jobs they had at the time Larry left. Larry was a trusted person by those agents who had the connections to other gigs and with him not being in the band the trust those agents had was also gone.

   Larry went on to play in other area bands. He currently does satellite TV installs and helps his son’s musical career as much as possible—providing transportation and support in bookings and the like. Terry Rich worked for Heritage Cable for awhile and is now with the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. Other than that not much is known about any of the other members.

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