The Vipers

"The Vipers"

Taken from Bob Ketchum's memoirs: "Face The Music"

The Vipers were, in fact, my First Band.

During the summer vacation of my high school graduation (1964), I had the opportunity to sit in with some guys I grew up with at a July 4th gig at the pavillion on Henderson Beach, Lake Norfork. The band was called "The Vipers", and their drummer had just quit. I played a couple of dances at the local National Guard Armory with the band before Summer was over. While at college that fall (my Freshman Year at Arkansas State College, now ASU) I purchased my Ludwig Super Classic drum set, and spent more time practicing my drumming than I did studying.

I jammed with friends in and around the Jonesboro area during the winter of 64'. The only other band I played actual gigs with was "The Four Speeds". I think we maybe played four dances, and were together long enough to have business cards made, but I don't recall much of the band, other than our very first gig, which was playing in a quanset hut structure pretending to be a bar in Marked Tree by the name of the "C & R Club". It was complete with a dirt floor and a knife fight broke out before the gig was over. I think we played for beer.

Hardly qualifying as a "Band to Remember"........

But by the Summer of 1966 "The Vipers" were the hot local band in the region. There has been much written on "The Vipers", and I invite you to click on any of the links below to get the full story on the band.


(L-R) Steve Tullgren-guitar, Joe Summers-vocals, Gary Shelton-bass,
Bob Ahrens-organ, Bob Ketchum-drums

READ THE STORY OF "THE VIPERS" HERE!

Interview with Bob Ketchum about "The Vipers" from Bob Ketchum on Vimeo.

READ AN INTERVIEW WITH BOB KETCHUM FOR THE
"LANCE MONTHLY" GARAGE BAND FANZINE HERE or HERE!

CHECK OUT THE VIPERS ENTRY AT MYFIRSTBAND.COM HERE


"THE HARLEQUIN VIPERS" (circa 1967)
(Standing L-R) Bob Ahrens-organ, Bob Ketchum-drums, Steve Tullgren-guitar, Gary Shelton-bass
(Seated L-R) Hiram Byrd-trumpet, Joe Summers-vocals

WHAT!!? YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T BELIEVE THE PICTURE!??
YOU WANT TO SEE THEM IN ACTION??

The Vipers from Bob Ketchum on Vimeo.

REALAUDIO SOUND CLIPS

Garage recording of original Vipers song ("In Vain") by Bob in 1965
The Vipers live at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in 1967 ("I'll Go Crazy")
Radio commercial for a Vipers concert in 1968



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