Club Pop House - Beloit, WI - 1941-1973
Preserving the memory! (Copyright Joe J. Accardi, 2005-2013)
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09/25/06
The Beau Gentry
Filed under: General
Posted by: Joe @ 4:26 pm

I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with guitarist Russell Dashiell, formerly of the Beau Gentry who played often at the Pop House.  Russ is a great guy who shared his memories of that time with me.  He said that promoter Ken Adamany booked them for a Wisconsin tour during the summer of 1966, so they drove up from Florida where they originally had formed.  Russ says “One of [the Beau Gentry’s] very first gigs was at The Pop House in Beloit, Wisconsin and the place was packed.  The band really enjoyed the gig, appreciating the supportive audience, and within those first few weeks in Wisconsin they realized they had found an excellent market for their music.”  The Beau Gentry would return to the Pop House numerous times over the next couple of years.  They built a strong following in Wisconsin and Illinois.  After the Beau Gentry, Russ and drummer Rick Jaeger regrouped with two members of the recently dissolved band, The Heard, and called their new group Masque.  I remember first seeing Masque perform at The Meadow in Janesville.  They also played at the Pop House.  By the end of 1968, Russ continued his successful musical career in California, writng original music and recording with a band named Crowfoot.  Upon the dissolution of that band, Russ went  into the studio to record for Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky,” which sold over a million copies.  I hope to include more about about the Beau Gentry in my book.  Today, Russ continues to write and record original music in California and Hawaii.  He considers his current work to be his most important… the development of an animated film feature called “Foreverland Forest.”  You can check out his original music on his web site: http://spiritguitar.com/ .  Thanks, Russ.


Russ Dashiell is in the lower right.  Standing L-to-R are: Rick Jaeger, Doug ‘Chico’ Killmer & Lance Massey.
(Courtesy of Russell Dashiell.)

7 Responses to “The Beau Gentry”

  1. dave hernandez Says:
    I believe when Russ,Chico,and Rick went to California they played in a band called ” Sweet Corn”… I’ll verify that with Lance. Dave Hz
  2. Billy Zoom Says:
    I was a huge Beau Gentry fan. The last time I saw them was at the Masonic Ballroom in Freeport Ill. They let me carry their amps in from the van. At the time, it seemed like a big deal. BZ
  3. Michele Pizza Says:
    I was able to do a very short chat with Russ, via e-mail. Same gentleman as always. I remember the first night they came to the Pophouse. I thought they were “fine” as they would say back then. My brother’s band had the same manager. They hung together for awhile. My brother, Tom Chekouras, had the same curiousity for sound. They would work on sound systems in our old dirty basement. A very gifted man, a true gentelman. I will e-mail Joe with the tons of info I have found on the internet. Michele (Chekouras) Pizza
  4. Joe Says:
    Thanks, Michele. Glad you were able to connect with Russ. I look forward to hearing more from you. Joe
  5. Russell DaShiell Says:
    I just wanted to mention that Doug Killmer also played on Spirit In The Sky (for those who don’t know). In fact, he already had the gig and told me the producer was looking for a guitar player for the sessions. Doug arranged for my audition, and I got the gig. We both toured with Greenbaum when the song hit. Around that time Rick Jaeger got a gig with Dave Mason, recording and touring with him for years. So the 3 original Beau Gentry members did pretty well after leaving the midwest. Lance decided to stay in the area, and he’s still there today. Another brief comment, Billy Zoom contacted me after he made the comment above about helping us carry our amps. For those who don’t know, he was a local musician who ended up playing guitar with a group called X in L.A. They were very well known nationally. Amazing how paths can cross over the years.
  6. Joe Says:
    Thanks, Russ. Good to hear from you.  Lance is living just north of Beloit.  Dave Hernandez and I saw him perform last fall with three other guys at a small bar in Beloit.  I chatted with him between sets and he recalled his Beau Gentry days fondly.  Asked him to play one of his original songs, “Down at the Guitar Store,” from his Horsefeathers days and he glady obliged.
  7. Dave Says:
    Weird indeed. I thought Billy Zoom was a cool, very “stoic” looking guitarist with X when I was in high school.  Missed you at Doug’s tribute in Mill Valley……wished you were there.  It was actually the first time in decades that Norman got on a stage. Do you play in the San Fran area any more?