Willow
Date formed: 1973
Last date this lineup: late Spring 1974
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Jane Curtis: Vocals
Tom Dunnick: Guitar, vocals
Steve Greenfield: Guitar, vocals
Bob Groves: Drums
Sam Nicollino: Keyboards, vocals
Herb Wilson: Bass, vocals
Willow was already formed and playing out when Steve joined up with them. Steve and Bob provide the Boone County connection. Bob was already a member and had encouraged Steve to come and check out the group. At the time they were looking for another guitar player to fill out the lineup. Tom was a good player, but the group felt they needed another guitarist that could play the stuff Tom felt he couldn't do well. Steve liked what the band was doing and decided to join.
   The band’s name was taken from the residence hall at ISU where Jane lived as a student. There is a cluster of four halls that are each named after trees that are planted around them on the ISU campus in Ames. Bob, Sam and Tom were students at Iowa State at the time also. Herb was working in Ames when the band got together.
The gear list is a bit sketchy. Tom was playing a Gibson ES-330 guitar that had two pickups and was finished in a cherry red. Tom used a 1965 Fender Super Reverb for amplification. Herb played a Fender Precision bass guitar. Sam played a Wurlitzer electric piano. Steve was playing either a Gibson Les Paul or Fender Stratocaster at this time through an Aims amp which was modeled after a Fender Twin Reverb. The amps the others were using is not known. Bob was playing his Ludwig set which was finished in oyster blue pearl similar to Ringo Starr’s kit. The band had a PA that featured a Peavey 900 powered mixer along with Peavey SP-1 speakers. The Peavey had the large black plastic knobs instead of faders which made it more reminiscent of the recording consoles that existed in late 60s recording studios.
Willow played mostly AOR tunes which included ‘Doctor My Eyes’/Jackson Browne, ‘Truckin’’/Grateful Dead, ‘Listen to the Music’/Doobie Bros. along with songs from Janis Joplin and It’s A Beautiful Day amongst others.
   Willow played quite a bit around the central Iowa area with jobs as far away as Algona and Des Moines. It was a mixture of bars and schools mostly. It’s also not known exactly how the gigs were acquired, but most likely the band used a booking agent along with getting jobs themselves.
The band’s breakup came about when a split occurred between the members over adding another person to the group. Herb was roommates with a guy named Sammy Davis who had a band called Roadshow at the time. Roadshow put on a Vegas style show and had fallen apart leaving Sammy without a band. He wanted to join Willow, but Jane and Steve were against the idea with the other members being for it. Tom, Herb and Sam joined up with Sammy to start a band while Steve and Jane tried to put something together to keep Willow afloat. Neither group ever fully materialized. To complicate matters Willow still had 2 contracted jobs to fulfill. About all that was left of Willow at this point was Steve who led the many different versions of Willow detailed in Garage. To find out about the next version of the band just click on the ‘next band’ link below.
   Not much information is available on most of the members of this band. Bob did go on to play in some other bands before graduating from Iowa State. After graduation, he began a teaching job in the Chicago area. Bob passed away due to poor health sometime in the mid 80s. Tom is in Wisconsin—his work situation is not known. Jane was employed by the Webster City paper at one point. Steve carried on with many more versions of Willow as mentioned above. Current info for Steve will be found on the last version of Willow–unless I throw it in somewhere along the line.
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