Evolution
Date formed: Summer 1966
Date disbanded: late Summer 1969
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Mike Burkhiemer: Drums (1968-69)
Andy Crim: Guitar
Steve Fellingham: Organ (1968?)
John Lantz: Drums (1966-68)
David Sternquist: Guitar, vocals (late 1968-69?)
Don Sternquist: Bass, vocals
Lauren Taylor: Vocals (1968)
Evolution was the next step for Don and John after the A-Go-Gos. David had been in the service during the formative stages of this group. Andy had been brought in during David’s absence. Not much more is remembered about the group during the early part of it’s existence. Members like Steve and Loren were in the band for short periods of time. Reasons for their departures are not remembered clearly. John was replaced by Mike due to the fact that he started missing several practices.
   The name came about in the usual way, thumbing through a dictionary or some other “scientific” method. It is quite possible that the name was chosen due to the nature of how the band came to be with it morphing from the A–Go–Gos into Evolution.
Andy had a candy apple red Fender Stratocaster while in this band which he purchased in 1965. It was a pre–CBS Strat with rosewood fretboard. It is not remembered what he had for an amp early on, but in 1969 both he and David purchased new Fender Twin Reverb amps from B Sharp Music in Minneapolis. The cost new was in the $300 to $375 area.
   Steve was using a Farfisa Mini Compact combo organ which he purchased at Alber’s on 8th & Greene Sts, which was located two buildings west of the current Boone State Bank, in Boone. He had also added a used Vox Continental organ. He would put the Farfisa on top of the Vox as was the fashion. It is not known what he used for amplification. It is not clear if he had the Vox for sure at the time he played with Evolution.
   David had a Mosrite guitar that was finished in blue metallic. It was a Ventures model with the fiberglass body, two pickups and wang bar (that would be vibrato bar for you non-guitarists out there). He later decided he needed a change and bought a Les Paul Deluxe gold top from Des Moines Music House. It’s not clear what David had for an amp at the start, but as mentioned earlier he purchased a new Fender Twin in 1969. He was also using a Mosrite Fuzzrite fuzz box at this time also.
   Don was playing a Mosrite bass that matched his brother’s guitar. It was finished in the same metallic blue, two pickups and NO wang bar. He had a Fender Bassman with the 2 x 12 bottom. Don later got an Ampeg B18 amp which had a single 18 inch speaker.
   What John and Mike had for drum sets is not known either. Their kits were most likely the basic kit of the day with kick, snare, one or two shell mount toms and floor tom along with the usual compliment of cymbals and hi-hat.
   For PA the band used the Precision amp from a previous band and two speaker bottoms. This speakers were from Sounds Inc., but that is not a certainty. What they were using for lighting is not remembered although they surely had something for when they played out.
The band practiced exclusively at Don’s house. During colder weather they were in the living room and when the weather got nice they moved to the garage. In fact, Evolution is one of the few bands detailed in Garage to actually use a garage to practice in. They aimed for a couple times a week to practice and these ran for 2 to 3 hours.
   Some of the songs carried over from the former band with the addition of newer songs. Evolution covered groups like the Beatles, Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Cream, the Who and other popular artists of the day. Most of the bands jobs were played in and around Boone county–occasionally playing in Fort Dodge, Stratford and perhaps Ames.
The bands breakup was brought about mostly by David. Some of the members were using drugs at the time while playing and/or practicing. David didn’t like that as he felt everyone should be straight and sober while doing their “job”. They were asked to leave if they couldn’t abide by this rule and they did.
   David, Don and Mike continued on and changed the name of the band to Styx–which was before the popular band appeared. Of the members that left, Andy went on to play in other groups. He currently lives with his family in Boone doing water loss survey work. He still plays occasionally for his own enjoyment. Steve Fellingham left to rejoin Joe Boesen in Jury. In later life he ran a nursery with his wife Peg. Steve passed away from a heart attack in late 1997. It is not known if John went on to play in other groups. He lives in the Cedar Rapids area with his wife Evelyn. John suffers from MS and is confined to a wheelchair. Lauren Taylor currently lives and works in the Clear Lake area.
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