Liberty
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Date formed: 1969
Date disbanded: 1971
Liberty, a Boone based band, was started by Dave and Russ. The band they had been in prior to Liberty, the Suntimers, had fallen apart after two gigs and they continued on. Rick was a friend of Dave’s from the Startford area. Steve was an acquaintance of Russ’ and was asked to join. Since Russ started with the band playing drums they needed to find a bass player. Len came along with a serious set of Ludwig drums and was asked to join with Russ switching to bass.
   The band’s choice of names had to do with portraying the idea of freedom. The hippie thing and the “Summer of Love” was a big influence in the name choice also.
Rick Adams: Vocals
Dave Carlson: Guitar
Len Furman: Drums
Steve Greenfield: Guitar, vocals
Russ Musilek: Bass, vocals
Dave had a red Harmony thin acoustic/electric with three pickups along with a little Checkmate amplifier. Len had the aforementioned Ludwig drum set. Not much detail is remembered about it, but it was a standard set for the day consisting of kick, snare, one or two rack toms, floor tom and hi-hat along with perhaps crash and ride cymbals on separate floor stands. Steve’s equipment was in flux at this time so what he was playing is not certain. He had started out with a Teisco solid body guitar along with a Sears Silvertone amp. At some point he got rid of the Teisco and purchased a Kent electric 12-string guitar from Alber’s in Boone. Steve also had a Fender Mustang at some point, but where it fit in the progression is somewhat hazy. Russ obtained his bass from Brian Wolf. Brian had modified a Teisco bass with a Fender Precision shaped body along with a single pickup and simple bridge. Russ’ amp remains anonymous.
   For practice, the band just ran microphones through the guitar amps. When Liberty played out they would often use a Fender Tremolux guitar amp that belonged to Brian Wolf. They would rent a PA on some occasions. The rented PA system was a Shure Vocalmaster which was “the” PA setup at the time. Rick did almost all of the lead vocals with Russ and Dave doing background vocals. Liberty also had some homemade light boxes that went with them when they played out.
Rick
Dave
Interestingly, Liberty practiced at a friend’s house instead of any of the member’s houses. Jim Barkwill was a close friend to a couple of the guys and just wanted to be involved some way with this “music” thing. He would go out with them to the playing jobs and help out also. The group got together a couple of times a week in Jim’s basement for practice which lasted from 7 to around 10 pm at which point Jim’s folks would ask them to stop.
   The songs Liberty worked up were the popular tunes of the day. Tunes like ‘Whole Lotta Love’/Led Zeppelin, ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’/Iron Butterfly, ‘Born To Be Wild’ and ‘Magic Carpet Ride’/Steppenwolf along with songs from Cream, Eric Clapton, Creedance Clearwater Revival and the Rolling Stones which were also included in the group’s repertoire.
Len
Liberty played around the immediate area of Boone and Boone County since all the members lived in Boone and were still in high school. All the gigs Liberty played were arranged by the band themselves or Jim Barkwill. Among the memorable gigs the band played was one in Madrid at the Oddfellows Hall. This was a dance Liberty was putting on themselves so they had arranged for a police officer to be there. For whatever reason Russ’ father had to come to Madrid to “get” the boys as there were some people that were upset and wanted their money back towards the end of the dance. They had played at the Boone Country Club which made them feel like strangers in a strange land by the way they were regarded.
   Liberty also played in Grand Junction which is in Greene County just west of Boone County. This was remembered as a very good gig with the band making around $35 a piece which was good money for a 5 piece band in a town where they were unknown. This was likely the most they made playing out during the bands existence.
Steve
Liberty broke up due to a couple of factors. First, the fact was that the band was not very good and not getting much better. There seemed to be no forward movement as far as improving individual playing skills and playing together as a group. Another factor that contributed to the break up was two of the members were dating–or at least wanted to date–the same girl. The friction this caused made relationships between these two guys strained to say the least.
   All of the members went on to other bands with the exception of Rick and Len. Rick dropped out of music altogether until the mid ’70s when he briefly joined a short–lived band called ‘I Don’t Remember’. Rick is currently farming south of Stratford, IA north of Boone where he lives with his family. Len’s further involvement is not clear nor are his current whereabouts.
   Steve went on to play in many other area groups. He currently lives in the Riverside, CA area and works for Yamaha selling band instruments. He also plays in a group named the Baytown Band and has authored two books on playiing in cover bands. Dave also played in other area bands. He is currently living in Arizona and is retired. He is still playing for his own enjoyment and has released some CDs of his music.
   Russ played in a few other groups in and out of the area. One of the longest running groups was Lion of Judah/Second Chance which played comtemporary Christian music. Russ wrote most of the songs the group performed. He currently lives in Boulder, CO with his family, working as a contact lens tech and guitar amp builder–the Rustech Blend’r. He still plays and is currently involved with a group there in Boulder named the Rhythm All-Stars. In the early 2000’s they finished a recording of the group that will be for sale at gigs as of this writing. The band does cover material and a few original tunes and are quite popular in the Boulder area.
Russ
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