Road
Road had its beginning in the summer of 1969. The Revolvers had fallen apart as had the Agency; the respective bands that the two Denny’s and Ron had been in previously. Gary Lofstedt, from Grand Junction, was known to Denny A. and was asked to join. Just before the beginning of the new school year Denny Cretsinger decided to quit due to work and personal responsibilities. He was much older than the rest of the members who were all still high school age, which was a factor also. A search for replacements ensued with the result of Andy, from Startford, and Brian, from Beaver, joining the band some time in the early fall. Brian, who was a close friend of Denny and Ron’s, joined even though he had no instrument. Denny was the one who made the connection with Andy.
   At that time Denny was working at a store in Boone called Sounds Inc. which sold musical instruments, records, stereos and tvs. Many musicians came through the store as it was practically the only one in Boone at this time that sold musical instruments. On one of Andy's visits to the store Denny approached him about perhaps joining the band. Andy accepted and the band was complete.
Date formed: early Summer 1969
Date disbanded: May1970
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Denny Allen: Bass, vocals
Ron Carlson: Guitar, vocals
Andy Crim: Guitar, vocals (Fall 1969)
Denny Cretsinger: Lead guitar, vocals (Summer-Fall 69)
Gary Lofstedt: Drums
Brian Sparks: Organ, vocals (Fall 1969)
Denny
Ron
The name for the band was chosen in the usual painful and awkward way. The members sat around one night combining initials of first and last names or going through the dictionary trying to find something suitable. Someone eventually suggested the name “The Road”, which was later shortened to just Road. The reason behind this was bands like Led Zeppelin and Cream existed at the time and the traditional “the” was not in those names. It was decided that “the” didn't need to be in this band’s name either.
Denny Allen played bass for the band. At this time he was playing a Gibson EB–2DC through a Vox Westminster amp. The bass was finished in cherry with two pickups.
   Ron played rhythm guitar for the band. He is using a Kent semi-acoustic double cut away guitar. It was finished in a cherry sunburst and had two pickups. For an amp he was using a Magnatone M7 which he purchased used at the House of Music in Ames. At that time in 1968 the House of Music was located where the old House of Vision used to be on the northwest corner of Main and Kellogg. Later, to keep up with the ever increasing volume of his bandmates, Ron purchased an Electro-Harmonix LPB1 power booster from Lafayette Radio Electronics for $14.95. The LPB1 came in two versions, amp plug in and instrument plug in. Ron purchased the amp plug in version. The LPB1 promised a tenfold increase in volume. It was basically a nine volt powered preamp that boosted the signal of the guitar adequately enough to realize a power increase to help keep up with other instruments. When turned up the full amount you could get distortion, but it was a real nasty sounding distortion.
   Ron also had a combination volume control and wah-wah pedal purchased from Lafayette for $30. This was not used much as it did not work well with his guitar. Another purchase Ron made from Lafayette was a Univox Super Fuzz for right at $30. The Super Fuzz had a switch that changed the sound from a harder edged fuzz to a more softer sounding fuzz. The ad for the unit claimed that it could emulate a saxophone or a sitar. With the choices of the two sounds it was like getting two fuzz boxes in one. One final pedal that Ron owned was an Apollo pedal. Besides wah-wah and volume it also had controls for surf, wind, and a siren. The main reason Ron purchased this pedal was his being enamored with an effect that he later found out was called flanging or phasing. He reasoned that the surf or wind effect the pedal could do would be similar to the flanging that he had heard on some of the popular records of the day.
   Andy played mostly lead guitar for the group. He had a candy apple red Fender Stratocaster which he played through a Fender Twin Reverb amp. He and Dave Sternquist, with whom he was in a band previously, went to B Sharp Music in Minneapolis and purchased identical Fender Twin amps. They purchased the amps for approximately $375 in 1968. Andy also used a Crybaby wah–wah pedal.
   While he was in the band, Denny Cretsinger played lead guitar. He had a Gibson SG that was finished in cherry and had two pickups. For an amp he used a Fender Twin Reverb.
   Gary had a oyster blue pearl finished set of Ludwigs similar to what Ringo Starr played with the Beatles. The set at this time consisted of kick, snare, two rack toms and floor tom with the usual ride, crash and hi-hat for cymbals. He later added a second kick drum along with another floor tom.
   As mentioned earlier Brian did not own an instrument at the time he joined the band. For a short time he used Denny’s Vox Continental organ during practice and on a few jobs that were played out. He eventually bought a Hammond M-3 organ which sounded great, but was a monster to have to lug around to gigs. Brian didn’t use a Leslie or an external amp, but relied on the onboard amp and speaker. The band simply mic’d the speaker on the organ and ran it into the P A.
   Road had a fairly nice P A system to use. Denny had purchased a Kustom PA that consisted of the amp along with two speaker columns each containing a 15 in. speaker and a high-frequency driver with a 15 in. horn. It had the classic Kustom tuck and roll covering that was a white/silver sparkle color. The amp had four channels with reverb. For microphones they had a conglomeration of Shure and Turner mics. They also had light columns which were Ron’s and had previously been used with the Agency. Each column contained four bulbs colored red, yellow, green, and blue. Along with these lights they also had a black light that was usually set up behind the drummer.
The guys practiced at Denny’s folks’ house. The house had a large 20 by 20 ft. room to the north which had been added on so the bands Denny was involved with could have a place to practice. This saved money on renting a place and, since it was in the country, there was no problem with noise bothering the neighbors. Practices were held once or twice a week depending on schoolwork and other responsibilities. Evening practices were the most usual running about 2 to 3 hours in length.
   While Road did many popular songs of the day they also did some songs that were album cuts. “Celebration Song”/Steve Miller Band, “Get Back”/Beatles, “Fortunate Son”/Creedance Clearwater Revival, “Time Machine”/Grand Funk Railroad, “Almost Cut My Hair”/Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “Spirit in the Sky”/Norman Greenbaum, “Season of the Witch”/Donovan/Supersession ver., “Sour Milk Sea”/Jackie Lomax, “Badge”/Cream, “Cold Turkey”/Plastic Ono Band, “American Woman”/Guess Who, and “I Got a Line On You”/Spirit are among the songs that were performed by this band.
As far as jobs go Road never played out in front of people when Denny Cretsinger was still with the group. After Brian and Andy joined the group the band started accepting jobs. Most of the jobs they played were around the immediate area. One job that stands out even though the band was playing minus one member was the battle of bands that took place at the Ogden High School during Christmas vacation in 1969. Ron’s family was going to California during Christmas vacation that year. He was not going to be allowed to stay home so that he could play the dance. Denny and Ron concocted a fake telephone call that would be from Ron in California to Denny. In the course of the call Ron was going to perform a song supposedly over the telephone so Denny could tape it and play it that night at the dance. What happened in actuality was Denny and Ron got together well ahead of time and recorded the Beatles tune “All My Loving” to Denny’s reel to reel tape recorder. Only those in the band knew about it. At one point during the set at the dance–with Ron’s guitar and amp on the stage along with two purple candles which were lit very ceremoniously–the tape was played. Although they did not win the battle of the bands competition that evening, the supposed phone call brought down the house. Phil Dorner had brought his tape recorder to the dance to record portions of each of the three bands playing that night. He happened to record this part of Road’s set on tape. The entire gym was quiet as the tape played-you could not hear anyone talking at all. When the tape ended there was an explosion of applause.
   Probably the worst gig they played was their last one. This took place at the American Legion hall in Grand Junction Iowa. Going into the dance it was known to all the members that this was the last time they would perform together and there was quite a variance in mood amongst the members themselves. The least the band was paid per member was about $20. The most that the band made was close to $40 per member.
The bands break up came about somewhat reluctantly. During the course of their short career they bought into the idea that they needed a manager. Jim Robinson, who was friends with Ron and Denny, asked if he could be manager. One of the big selling points was his willingness to find jobs for the band which, in and of itself, was a good idea. In fact, right toward the end of the bands existence, he was lining up a chance to play at the TCA building at Iowa State University. Also around this time Jim started suggesting that perhaps he could be the lead singer in the band since the band did not have any one person that just sang. It was the consensus view amongst the group that someone who just sang and did not play an instrument was pretty much not needed in the band. But, there was the promise of jobs that Jim could get for the band. Also, Jim was taking a rather large percentage of the profits on jobs while doing what seemed like little work. For one job, all he did was line up the place to play and swept it out. The band did all the advertising and other work. For Jim’s part in the process he got 40%. There was disagreement over this facet of Jim’s management also. While it is not clear, it seems these two things may have caused the band to fall apart.
Denny went on to play in several other bands in the area. He currently lives in the Dallas area. Ron also played in other bands in the area. He is currently living in Boone. Andy went on to play in one other band with Denny. Details of this association are on the next page. Andy and his family currently live in Boone. He does water loss survey work in many areas of the country. It is not known for sure if Denny Cretsinger played with any other bands. He passed away some time in the mid 80's from health related problems. Gary also played with other bands in the area. His currently lives in Des Moines. Brian only played in one other band after Road fell apart. He passed away on June 20, 2014 while in hospital at Mary Greeley in Ames, IA. He was working as a groundskeeper at ISU in Ames at the time of his death.
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