The 1010, now lacking Chris Rhodes,
advertised in local newspapers our need of a guitarist and vocalist to fill
his large absence. Lee Pence was the first and only one to answer our
Scot, Russ, Frank, and I drove to
Hanover Park to meet Lee who recently moved here from Texas to live
with his father. Lee was a beer drinking, slow moving, long tall Texan
who played a mean Les Paul Custom Gibson guitar. His musical
influences were similar to ours emulating Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix and
he could also sing!
Al soon rejoined the new 1010 and along
with Lee we began to rehearse and perform again. Lee’s accomplished
guitar playing opened up new musical opportunities. Our repertoire
expanded to include songs by Moby Grape and Cream we wouldn’t have before
been able to pull off.
We were offered a management contract
with a new recording company called Rupee Records, founded by Tony Rupo and
Bob Pete. Being the first and only offer we eagerly signed with them.
Even though it amounted to just four lines of text we were thrilled to find
mention of our signing in Billboard Magazine!
Tony and Bob rented the former Ramsey
Lewis rehearsal space for us on South Michigan Ave. in Chicago. It was
on the third floor of an old building that housed light manufacturing and
offices. At that time, many of the adjoining buildings were abandoned
due to disrepair. It was a funky place but it was a Chicago address.
Being suburban kids we were thrilled to have a Chicago base of operation and
thought that now perhaps we’d arrived.
There were no windows and no air
conditioning. Week after week we faithfully hauled our amps and drums
up the old freight elevator dutifully rehearsing song after song alone in
that dimly lit room in hopes of one day making records and being famous.
One hot August Sunday afternoon Tony
brought a reel to reel tape recorder to record our rehearsal. We
simply set up the recorder and it’s two little microphones right on the
floor in front of us and recorded several of our songs. The recording
quality was pretty bad. That tape is the only tape ever made of the
1010 with Lee Pence and Al Penny. Despite the poor recording quality,
that tape captured the passion and energy we had for our music.
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