the huns...CONQUER ITHACA, NEW YORK, 1966!
After 50 years of collecting dust... the huns, finally release their long awaited album "CONQUER ITHACA, NEW YORK, 1966!" as part of the "Time Capsule Series" from Jargon Records!
12 PAGE BOOKLET! Cool photos & liner notes!!!
This is the story of the huns...a short lived but colorful College Frat Rock - Garage band from Ithaca, New York, who were active between September 1965 - May 1966.
Our story begins in late August 1965 with High School Classmates and long time friends, John Sweeney and Frank Van Nostrand, both from the rural town of Phelps, New York - The Sauerkraut Capital of The World! John & Frank were scouting for musicians to form a new band in the college town of Ithaca, New York. Just picture it: John and Frank as Ithaca College juniors sitting at a table on the campus lawn late in the summer of 1965 greeting
incoming freshmen with a handwritten sign advertising that they were looking for musicians to play with. That’s literally how they met soon-to-be front man Rich La Bonté. "The first day I was there," La Bonté recalls, "I was carrying my guitar case into the dorm and John and Frank walked up to me and asked 'Is that an electric guitar?'"
The huns congealed and soon played their first show on September 24th, 1965. At first they were a five piece band with John Sweeney on Farfisa organ, Frank Van Nostrand on Bass guitar, Rich La Bonté as Lead vocalist, Carl “Buz” Warmkessel on guitar, and Richard Headley on drums. Headley left the band early on, and then Steve Dworetz stepped in as the new drummer. The sixth member, Keith Ginsberg, soon joined and filled out their sound with another guitar. The huns would have their run for the duration of the '65 - '66 school year but were finished by the Summer of 1966. During their nine month odyssey, the huns played fifty one gigs. Sixteen were at the local fraternity houses, sixteen at the Hotel Leonardo, five at the Travelers Hotel, three at sorority houses and the rest at college dance parties, and various local watering holes. All the dates were documented. That’s right; these guys kept records and ran the band like a business. Despite their "appearance", the huns were quite organized...after all, they were working towards a college education. Considering that all the band members were full time students, the huns, the new band on the scene, had an impressive performance schedule during their nine month ride in Ithaca.
So when you listen to this long-lost treasure of an album, you'll want to bear in mind that this music was made just as the world was going through convulsive seismic shocks. Nowadays we think of the whole right of passage of going to college, keg parties, and playing in bands as routine, and we barely even flinch at the thought. But when the huns formed there were serious consequences that came with choosing rock and roll as a
For starters, it may seem silly now, but having long hair in that place and time came with serious risks. When I first saw pictures of the band, I thought “These must’ve been taken before they grew their hair out.” They actually looked clean-cut to me! But at that time, even having hair down to your collar was a subversive act - one that was likely to get you roughed up on your way home. (Check out the photos, it's a timeline... you will note their hair length grows as the huns progress through the school year). To make matters worse, more than one member of the huns were summoned by the school dean, who made it unequivocally clear that they were to cut their hair or face expulsion...
Read the rest of the story in the liner notes!