War Stories

~ True Tales from the Road ~


Here’s a saga of the band’s two high stakes adventures whilst touring the Dakotas — a behemoth bison, and the iconic heads of our founding dead Presidents.    

Focus-challenged Eric Holle, Michael Lepine, Robert Anderson, Scott Brownlee, Michael Aisner

Because of the brutal North Dakota weather, they repaint this 60-ton beast every few years. Since 50 years ago, it’s been repainted to colors “more like a real bison.”

These are the only known photos of manager Mike frolicking with the band, here under the 26-foot tall concrete buffalo near Jamestown, North Dakota. It should be noted that the artist got paid a measly $800 to make this thing in 1959.


Pointed back to Colorado from some rousing North Dakota gigs, Vincent the van screeched to a halt an hour west of the Fargo gig. Always on the hunt for cheesy roadside attractions they decided not to miss the carved up presidents in the Black Hills. To their wacky misfortune, that day would be the only one that year that the stony presidents were enshrouded in a very rare ground fog!!!  Fragments of an ear, cheek, brow, lip floated in and out of the ephemeral puffs. We came “all this way” to see only a glimpse of Lincoln’s beak? The boys grew antsy waiting for ALL the faces and decided to take action: abandon the tourist viewing deck and head down to the mountain base to climb up closer to see if things got more visible.  

Opps, somehow missed the CLIMBING MOUNT RUSHMORE PROHIBITED sign.  While the band was closing in on George’s chin, a ranger echoed out STOP and wrote the boys up with a court date a few months away for “climbing Mount Rushmore.”  Since Manager Mike was on a little diversion during the ranger encounter he was “clean” but agreed to drive 400 miles from Boulder back to the Justice of the Peace hearing to deliver a dramatically bleeding plea of their sorrowful case — oh the rare fog, the sign was even in the fog, the once in a lifetime chance to see it, the well-meaning boys just entertained nearby for locals….bla bla and the JP gaveled their incursion of judicial impropriety… dismissed.  

Robert’s ode to the event:  I’ve Got Those Section 7.77 Climbing Mount Rushmore Red White and American Blues. 


Banjo player Eric Holle recounts a bizarre gig in O’Neill, Nebraska broadcast live on local radio. After each instrument solo break and song you could hear Beatle-like girls screaming for the band:

We played in a giant warehouse next to the police booth. They had displays of heel stash in shoes – the heels swivel sideways and reveal hidden chamber with reefers. They also had gruesome hiway accident photos, one of which made Rob completely forget the words to what he was singing. Nebraska and Kansas were the best for complete weirdness. Holcomb, Kansas – land of In Cold Blood – and some private club way the hell out in the cornfields where some guy took us and someone opened a little slit in the door and let us in to a giant bar/bowling alley complex where we played some bluegrass and they loved us in spite of our hippie hair, Robert’s was green as I recall.  And there is weird sh*t in the Holiday Inns along I-80 like you can’t imagine unless you try hard.