In Memory of
He is rocking with the best now.
June 23rd, 1946
August 31st, 2004
"The Messengers". Milwaukee WI. For several years "The Messengers" had one or more of their records, almost continually, in the "Top Ten" in the Milwaukee radio area. "The Messengers" also wrote and performed, the "Musical Stage Show",
"The Evolution of Love"
The First Rock Opera to go on Tour.
BIG BAD RED
Roadie 1969-72 "Larry Mondello" Styer
Reprint from "The Milwaukee Journal" June 7, 1970
One of Milwaukee's hottest groups, the messengers have released. I've got to dance, (Homemade Record Label) written by members Mike Morgan and John Hoier. The rock 'n roll welcome to summer has a driving beat, created by the drumming efforts of Bob Cavallo, Mike Morgan who is the lead
organist and guitarists John Hoier and Peter Barns through the foot stopping sound. Hoier, also lead singer chants a list of fun things to do during the warm months. "Go to the drive-in for a soda pop.
You can take yer baby to catch a TAN or beat your feet to a rock 'n roll band"
They mix unusual instruments, effects with ecstatic oohs and whistles, showing their enthusiasm.
Already getting lots of top 40 airplay, the number should soon be heard blasting from car radios and transistors along the lakefront. Because of the excellent dance beat, the prospect should appeals especially to the young listeners.
Build by us.
Reprinted from "The Catholic Herald Citizen"
Michael said, "you can take any of the records off either the AM or the FM stations and throw them in two boxes labeled either "bubble gum music" or "underground music." Very rarely does a tune come along that you couldn't find a box for. But it's those tunes which usually strike my interest. Something new, you know," he said.
Michael feels that the "Jackson 5" single now on the market called "I Want You Back" is the best example of something new and different. Yet, they talked this record over and finally concluded that it's perhaps just a "half-step above everything else" because "it's different."
The Messengers feel they, too, are different. They explained that they have a unique style that is quite a bit different from any other rock group around today.
"As far as what we're mostly into is not the music," Michael said, "We've played the music as long as the group has been around. Now, the music doesn't interest us as much as doing the show.
"I'd rather watch Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers, or W. C. Fields, rather than just about any rock group. They were entertainers . . ." he said.
"I really think there is a place for someone like W. C. Fields or Charlie Chaplin today. And there isn't anyone so we're pushing toward something like that. With music as the foundation, of course," John said.
The Messengers work hard at perfecting their show and although they say that they de-emphasize the music for the performance, they admit they are continually writing new music and constantly updating their performances.
Currently, they are averaging two dance-concerts a week as well as practicing and working on new material for several hours every day.
They just recently came off of a tour during which they were playing six to seven days a week. It was a hard grind, they said, but good experience.
They have had two singles on the commercial market called "Window Shopping and 'Midnight Hour,before they began writing their own music. The first one "sort of flopped,"Bob explained laughing," ..in fact was what you call a bomb."
But "Midnight Hour," sold nearly a quarter of million records. Today, they have an LP out called, simply enough, "The Messengers."
Greg, their co-ordinator and engineer and a member of the original Messengers four years ago with Peter Barans, detailed their immediate plans for the future. They are in the process of building their own four room recording studio.
The Messengers had a bad experience with the record companies over "Midnight Hour." Although it sold well, they hardly received any of the royalties. "We should have gotten $10,000 to $15,000 for it," Greg said.
Furthermore, they were unhappy with the recording facilities the record companies had to offer them. So they decided to design and build their own, Greg said.
The Messengers have been saving their money and working on a very elaborate, very professional looking studio for two years now. And they hope to have it all assembled and completed by the middle of February.
Besides all the recording conveniences, Greg pointed out that the studio should offer them a bargaining edge with the record companies when the Messengers decide to write and produce songs later on.
"We have one other advantage over other rock groups," Greg said. "We live together and get along well." The Messengers live in a big old house on Milwaukee's east side near UWM.
They get along well because each of them has his own job to do, Peter said.
Mike and John write most of the songs. Bob works on the skits and the rest of their act during the show. Peter and Greg work on tapes they use during the show between songs.
As for their songs, the Messengers believe in writing and singing simple songs with a basic melody and beat. They feel t's the only way to constantly reach young people.
"Rock and roll tends to shoot out every ten years or so," John said, "and it starts over. Bubble gum music till makes it because it's simple, but it lacks one basic thing-sincerity.
"Right now, I think Country and Western makes it because it's the most basic and simple kind of music there is. You see, it's also got a kind of tradition about . So we're trying to be super-simple in our songs," John said.
"Like when I went to CYO dances, I wanted to feel part of the band '"Mike said. "Today, you can't follow most of them. The music is so complex that there isn't one basic beat. That's why we play simple songs and why so many people seem to like us."
Mike may have been making a very important point here that other rock groups should take into consideration. The Messengers felt they passed one of their biggest tests when they played in Madison recently. The University of Wisconsin students, relatively sophisticated in rock and roll, really liked their simple songs and the way the Messengers performed them.
The Messengers and Freddy and the Free Loaders will be the feature performers at a concert-dance to be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at New Berlin high school, Sunday. Jan. 25. Two local disc jockeys will host the show sponsored by the New Berlin Ministerial association as the closing event.
The Messengers and Freddy and the Free Loaders will be the feature performers at a concert-dance to be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at New Berlin high school, Sunday, Jan. 25.
Two local disc jockeys will host the show sponsored by the New Berlin Ministerial association as the closing event for
By Charles Geer, jr. Herald Citizen staff
The Messengers like to refer to themselves as a troupe instead of a group. For good reason. They perform on stage. They bill themselves as entertainers and not just musicians. And yet they are very good rock musicians who play only their own original material.
Michael Morgan, a graduate of Oconomowoc senior high and the Messengers' leader and organist, explained their act as a form of "improvisational theater."
"It's more of a show instead of just playing music." said Peter Barans who plays lead guitar. He is from River Forest, Ill., and spent a year at Marquette university before he left to form the original Messengers over four years ago. "Some people have said it's like old time vaudeville," he said.
"Rock and roll now is such a drag to watch. To see a band just get up on stage and play music, just standing still . . . it's nothing, you know," Peter said.
"The way things have been going the last few years everybody's trying to be the best musician he can," said drummer Bob Cavallo, a native of Milwaukee who graduated from Marquette high.
He pointed out that when young people pay to see a rock group, they want to be entertained. But during the last couple of years, rock musicians have been more involved in the complexities of their music than in putting on an exciting, lively show."
The trend began when the Beatles came out. It was very positive in nature so that when you listen to the music it would sound very happy. Since then it's gone into a depressing whine," said bass guitarist John Hoier who is from New Holstein. He made a whining sound that turned into a growl.
John's the mean one in the group, someone said laughing. "Growl, John!" they all said in chorus now and John accommodated them. "John lives on the third floor and you can get that way living on the third floor," Peter explained.
"Anyway, we'd like to bring music back around again in our own way," Michael s a i d. "Just present something that's very positive and happy. That's our underlying message. We play music, but we're primarily entertainers."
The Messengers, Michael, Peter, Bob and John, do not model themselves after any other popular rock group. They say they have to make up all the little skits they do during their show.
They play many different instruments from "hammers" to a violin, a specialty of Peter's, which is a rarity in modern rock music. As for their music, as they explained, it's all their own.
As for the music other groups play today, the Messengers were not impressed by most of it. "I still like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones-they've still got their own personal touch," Michael said. "The rest of the commercial music ground out on the radio is boring; it all sounds the same." Even the FM underground stations, but in a different way," Peter said.
John Hoier Bass song writer
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Bob "Mother" Cavallo is the Messenger"
drummer and help devise their skits.
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That's the way a woman is