Sweetooth
Date formed: 1979
Date disbanded: 1989?
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Sweetooth was started by Larry Kelley. Although Larry was from Boone many of the other members were from out of town. Sweettooth was a little like another Boone band, Willow, in that the name went on through many changes in band members. Originally Larry got in touch with Art and convinced him to start playing again. Al Sheldon was working at the local radio station in Boone—KWBG. Somehow Larry found out he could play drums and asked him to join. It’s not remembered how the band came across Steve, but his addition to the group happened about six months after Larry, Al and Art had first gotten together.
   Sweetooth got it’s name from Larry. He was looking for a name for a period of time, looking for anything. When he came across an idea for a name, whether reading or listening or watching, he’d run it through his mind seeing how it would work. He happened to be reading an article on a Florda vacation spot where they had “suites for the suite tooth”. That stuck and was changed to sweet along with dropping one of the letter t’s, squeezing the two words together. There is another claim that the band's name did not drop the second letter "t". If you have information on the name - like a poster - please get in touch with me so this aspect can be verified and corrected.
Ron Carson: Bass (1985 - 88)
John Conyers: Drums (1985-88?)
Dan Dobell: Guitar (198?)
Brad Kahler: Drums (1981-85)
Larry Kelley: Guitar, vocals
Art Stevens: Bass, vocals
Al Sheldon: Drums (1979-1981?)
Danny Wallace: Guitar (198?)
Kim Walton: Guitar (198?)
Jan Warwick: Bass (1988-??)
Steve Whiting: Lead guitar, vocals
Jeff Worrall: Drums (19??)
Gear that the band used is a bit sketchy. Larry was playing a Gretsch Country Gentleman that he purchased from Steve Whiting. He was using a Music Man amp, perhaps a 112 RD or RP Seventy–five. Steve had a Gibson guitar—amplifier unknown. Art was using Larry’s Kustom bass amp, perhaps a model 1–D 140 or 1–15C with the model of bass guitar unknown. Danny played a black Gibson Les Paul—amplifier unknown.
   For PA the band was using Peavey gear. They had a Peavey 800 amp for mains and a Peavey 400 amp for monitors. For speakers the group used Peavey SB2s (?) and D 18 bass bottoms. The mixer was also Peavey similar to the powered 900, but without the built–in amp.
The band practiced mostly at Larry’s house, getting together at least a couple of times a week. Sweetooth played a mixture of country to rock and roll. Covering many popular songs of the day and oldies, the band stuck with Larry’s criteria of doing tunes folks wanted to hear. They did do a couple of songs that Steve Whiting wrote, but that was it for original tunes. Over the course of the bands existence, Sweetooth was very popular and in demand. They put on a good show and were crowd pleasers which was good for them and the places they played.
   One of the more infamous things connected with Sweetooth was the poster the group used to promote themselves. The poster featured Larry’s son, Jamie, who was around 1 or 2 years old at the time, amidst several candy bar boxes. The catch was that Jamie was without any clothes. The photo was done by Stokka’s Studio in Boone with candy bar boxes borrowed from the Imperial Inn. There was only one place that wouldn’t display the poster because the manager felt the photo was indecent. A piece of black tape was placed across the “naughty bits” to cover the offense. Sweetooth also had this photo on the request cards they would place on tables for audience song requests.
The band had a couple of guys that set up and tore down the bands gear. One of the guys ran lights for the band and the other did the PA duties. This was still kind of uncommon at the local level. Often groups had friends that would come along and help out, but rarely were the individuals paid for helping out.
   As for the bands personnel changes it was a mixture of personality conflicts, job changes or members just getting tired of playing. For any band members to stay together longer than a few years was a remarkable feat and 3 of Sweetooth’s members stayed together for the majority of the ten or so years the band was together.
   Information of the various members whereabouts is somewhat spotty. Ron Carson is currently living in Ames. He plays with a group called the Burnin’ Sensations. Dan Dobell was last known to be living in Illinois. He was at one time shopping songs around, but it is not known if he found any success at this. Larry Kelley is self employed and lives in Boone with his family. He is very much involved with helping out with his son’s music career and is currently in a band. Jamie Kelley released his first album recorded in 2002 and is doing well. Art Stevens passed away some time in the late 80s. Steve Whiting passed away some time in the 2000's as did Brad Kahler. Kim is a CPA in Ohio. No other member information is available.
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