Jury
The Jury got its start with Brian and Gary getting together to play songs. When Bob moved to Ogden they quickly discovered he played drums and asked him if he’d like to be in a band with them. One evening Gary and Brian were at a dance being held at the then newly constructed Catholic church in town. The Colour of Tyme from Boone were playing and during the bands breaks Gary and Brian talked to Joe and Steve about music and the band thing they were trying to put together. Joe and Steve were invited to come to a practice the “band” was going to have that Saturday. To everyone’s surprise Joe and Steve showed up. The time together went very well with everyone being convinced of the “good fit”, which left Joe and Steve to break the news to the members of the band they were in already. This practice cemented the partnership and Jury was formed.
   The name came from Brian. A friend of his was in Ogden for Fun Days, a local summer celebration. They started talking about names for bands and his friend told of his brother having a band once called the Jury. When talking to Joe’s brother one time at a practice his response to a question was, "I'll be the judge and you be the jury." The cosmic tumblers clicked into place, Brian suggested Jury for the band name and so it was.
Date formed: early 1969
Date disbanded: Fall 1970
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Joe Boesen: Lead guitar. vocals
Gary Buckley: Bass, vocals
Steve Fellingham: Organ (1969-70)
Bob Groves: Drums, vocals (1969-70)
Brian Oeffner: Rhythm guitar, vocals
Joe
Gary
Brian, who played mostly rhythm guitar, had a three pickup Teisco solid body guitar finished in a red sunburst with a whang/twang bar. He purchased it at Ardan’s in Ames for 40 or 50 bucks. He had a Jordan amp at this time which he got from Klocksiem’s Piano & Organ in Ogden by trading in his Kay guitar and small practice amp. The Jordan amp, which cost $250, had 2 12 inch speakers and was solid state with tremolo and reverb. The speakers were arranged vertically so the amp was about 4 foot tall or so.
   Gary had a blue solid body bass that looked like a Fender Jazz bass, but was actually a Teisco. It was a short scale bass with one pickup. No one remembers what Gary was using for an amp at this time for sure, but it could possibly have been a blue Kustom tuck and roll amp.
   Joe had a Fender Mustang and a Gibson Melody Maker. The Melody Maker was a single pickup solid body with a single cutaway finished in what is now known as vintage sunburst. This finish is a bright yellow in the center changing to a darker brown as it progresses to the edge of the guitar. He bought the Gibson, which was previously owned by Mike Arnes, at Sounds Inc. used for $40. Joe had a Vox “Super” Beatle amp which he bought from West Minist’r who were selling off some of their old gear. [As a side note, West Minist’r was a band from the Fort Dodge area who were quite popular around central Iowa. They eventually built a studio in Otho, Iowa in a brick chicken coop. The studios possible claim to fame is the fact that Brian Wilson visited back in the early 70s. Also a couple of the members were in a band called Hawks which had two albums out on Columbia Records in the mid 80s.] The head soon went belly up as the solid state Vox amps were wont to do in those days. He replaced the Vox Beatle head with an Acoustic head he purchased through a discount catalog and used it along with the Beatle speaker cabinet. The Beatle speaker cabinet had 4 12 inch speakers and 2 horn tweeters in it.
   Steve was using a Farfisa Mini Compact combo organ which he purchased at Alber’s, 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. Later, in the summer of 1970 shortly before he left the group, Steve purchased a Hammond M3 from Brian Sparks along with a Leslie and an Acoustic amp head.
   Bob had a Ludwig drum set finished in what was known as oyster blue pearl. It was a combination of blues, dark and light, in a pearl looking finish. Ringo Starr’s drum set had the same finish. Bob’s kit consisted of kick, snare, two rack toms, floor tom, hi hat and cymbals.
   According to the members I talked with the band rented a PA from someone, although it’s not clear who. It was a Kustom PA in black tuck and roll. They never owned their own PA as far as can be remembered.
Steve
Bob
Brian
Being split between two towns, getting the members together for practices was somewhat of a problem. At first they practiced at Bob’s house south of Beaver and then Brian’s room at his house in Ogden. They next moved to Steve’s house in Boone in the basement and finally ended up at the greenhouse that Joe’s dad owned in Boone. It was easier for Brian and Gary to get to Boone because they were older and had their drivers licenses.
   The band would set their gear up in what used to be the front office and retail portion of the greenhouse. They were able to leave everything set up which made coming to practice just a plug in and play affair. They usually tried to practice at least once during the week and on Saturday or Sunday afternoon when possible. Practice usually ran for 2 hours or so. Things went well there except for one night when a neighbor came over. He lived one or two blocks away and was complaining he couldn’t watch TV or listen to his radio as the band was so loud. Brian and Joe knew a little of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and broke into a bit of that while this fella was there which appeased him for the time being.
   Like many of the bands then, the Jury did the popular songs of the day. Amongst the tunes they did were “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”/Iron Butterfly, “Wipeout”/Surfaris, “Toad”/Cream, “Fire”/Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Get Back”/Beatles, “Gimme Some Lovin’”/Spencer Davis Group, “Good Times Bad Times”/Led Zeppelin, “Bad Moon Rising”/CCR, “Louie Louie”/Kingsmen and “For Your Love”/Yardbirds.
One of the first gigs the band played was in the junior high building in Ogden. The boys only knew about 18 songs at this time and usually a group needed around 30 to 40 songs to do a 3 hour dance. So every set was almost the same songs. To bluff their way through they would announce the repeats as requests to do the songs again and nobody was the wiser–or so it seemed.
   Another memorable job was the battle of the bands that was held at Ogden High during Christmas break in 1969. Besides Jury, Spazz and the Electric Circus and Road played for the dance. Each band did a slightly shorter than normal set and those in attendance could vote on who they thought was the best. The winning band got to play the last set of the evening. The Jury, to their admitted surprise, did take top honors. Road was minus one of their members for the evening and Spazz was just starting out and still very rough. By Brian's reckoning the fact that so many of his classmates were there–and a little help from one of their friends who “persuaded” some of the under classmen to vote for the group–along with their show was what helped give them the top spot. They had a strobe light which was a new addition for bands in the area, although it’s use had been going on since about 1966 or earlier out on the West Coast. They employed it to good effect on the drum solo portion of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. The “psychedelic” effect wowed the audience to the point that most of the dancing stopped and they crowded around the stage to just watch the frozen in time drum strokes of Bob as he powered through the tune.
   Most of Jury’s gigs were in a 20 to 30 mile radius of Boone and they played for high school dances, at the Boone "Y" and the Community Building in Boone. The most they got paid was around $150 for a 3 hour gig.
This version of Jury ceased to be over a period of time that saw 3 members depart from the group–roughly fall of 1970 through Aug. 1971. The first to leave was Bob Groves. Bob was from Mexico–his father was a missionary there–and it is thought he had to return to Mexico in the fall of 1970. Steve was the next to leave for reasons no one can accurately remember. Brian felt that he may have been under pressure from his folks to stop playing in the band, but he admitted that this was not a clear recollection. It is possible that Steve left to play with Evolution who were together at this time. Pat Lonergan took over Steve’s place in Jury for just that brief period left in the band’s history. The last to leave the group was Gary, although this departure was completely different from the others. Gary was killed in a car crash on August 27th of 1971–just before starting his senior year at Ogden High. While there is a gap from the others leaving and Gary’s untimely death, Jury pretty much ceased to be a group upon Gary’s accidental death according to Joe. (The next version of the band is detailed on another page if you'd like more info. Click on the next band pick below)
   Joe went on to form other bands after this in the Boone area. He currently works in Adel for Stine–a seed company. He plays occasionally for church functions and for his own enjoyment.
   Steve played in other groups in the area, usually with Joe his former bandmate. He started a nursery and tree service which he ran with his wife Peg. Steve passed away in late 1997 from a heart attack.
   Bob continued to play in area bands for awhile after this until eventually getting a teaching job in the Chicago area. Sometime during the mid 80s he passed away from health related issues. He had been in fragile health for quite a period of time and his passing was not entirely unexpected.
   Brian continued on in the next version of Jury, but after spending time in the service in Germany, never participated in an active band again. He does play for his own enjoyment from time to time. He is currently employed by the Iowa National Guard and works in the Des Moines area.
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