Willow
Start date for lineup: early Fall1974
Last date for lineup: late Spring 1977
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This version of Willow was the next step for Steve with this band name. Since the original Willow band fell apart Steve had put together a short lived lineup to cover two contracted jobs that were left after the original group ended. Still wanting to get a band together Steve put an ad in the paper for the needed members. Cathy came over and auditioned in Steve’s living room on acoustic guitar. He talked to Dave and Brian directly about joining up and Rod answered the newspaper ad like Cathy. Since the name was somewhat established Steve decided to continue using it for this lineup.
   A note on the volatility of the drummers during this lineup. Rod was a teacher and his job took him out of the area to Mankato MN. Paul was the next drummer in the band, but was somewhat unreliable in showing up for practice so another drummer was sought. Somehow or other they found out about Pat who was asked to join the band. Pat played with the group for the rest of the time this lineup was together.
   Steve was playing a Gibson SG–cherry finish and two pickups–at the time. He had an AIMS amplifier which was designed by some former Fender employees who started the AIMS company. Steve’s amp was similar to the Fender Twin Reverb amp. Steve also had an old 1957 Gibson Les Paul gold top which he used purchased for $75 from a fellow in the Nevada IA area. It is not clear how much he used this guitar with the band though. He eventually traded the Les Paul for a Gibson L7 and some cash. The last Steve knew Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick owned the guitar.
band photo
Pat Carpenter: Drums (early1976-77)
Steve Greenfield: Guitar, vocals
Paul Headley: Drums (Fall1975-early '76?)
Cathy Larson: Vocals, piano
David Sternquist: Guitar, vocals
Rod Urtel: Drums (1974-Fall '75)
Brian Wolf: Bass, vocals
Cathy had a Fender Rhodes piano although what she used for an amp is not known. It might have been run through the PA system. The band chipped in together and loaned Cathy the money to buy the Rhodes from Rieman Music in Des Moines.
   David played a variety of guitars while in Willow. He started out with an older Gibson Firebird V (or I) which was finished with a mahogany color, two pickups and banjo style tuning pegs. He sold the Firebird for around $525 and ended up with a newer Fender Telecaster. The next guitar he picked up was an Stratocaster styled Ibanez with a white finish. He then moved to a Les Paul Deluxe with two pickups and cherry finish. He sold it after awhile and bought a 1959 Gibson ES 335 that had a blonde/natural finish. He later got another Les Paul which was a copy of a 1952 Les Paul with single coil pickups. He eventually traded that guitar for a Schecter which was modeled after a Firebird. It had two pickups and a mahogany finish. Throughout all the guitar changes Dave was using a black face Fender Twin Reverb for his amp. The significance of the “black face” is that it indicates the amp was manufactured before CBS purchased Fender. It is thought by many players that the amps made by Fender after CBS bought the company were not as good as those that preceded them due to circuit changes amongst other things. The easy way to tell which is which is by the face plate on the amp. Before CBS the face plates were black–after CBS the plates were silver.
   Brian was playing a bass that he made himself. It was a combination of parts from other guitars and a body he cut out himself. The bass had two pickups and the body was left unfinished. For an amp Brian had an Ampeg B15 which is also referred to as the “Convertible”. When not is use it looked like a dark blue vinyl covered cube. A portion of the amps top could be removed revealing the amp, inputs and controls mounted on the underside. There were luggage style fasteners to secure the removable portion during transport and while in use.
   Unfortunately, none of the drum kits used by Pat, Paul and Rod are remembered. It is quite likely that they all had sets that were common for the day consisting of kick, snare, one or two rack toms and floor tom along with various cymbals and hi-hat.
   Willow was using a Yamaha powered mixer for their PA. It was quite a durable board and was one of the newer items on the market at the time. The speaker columns used with the mixer each had a 15 inch speaker and high frequency driver and horn. The band had an assortment of Shure and Turner microphones. The lights the band had consisted of two columns that each held 4 bulbs. These were set on top of the PA speakers. Brian had put these together and they lasted a long, long time. Brian was a talented guy and knew a lot about electronics. He also was quite artistic and did posters and logos for some of the local bands including Willow.
Willow practiced in Steve’s bedroom which was quite small. Rod only brought his kick, snare and one cymbal since his whole kit would take up too much room. A couple of times a week was usually the schedule. The band was doing songs by groups such as Cold Blood, Doobie Bros., Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt along with other popular tunes of the day. Steve got quite a bit of the jobs the band played. Willow also used a couple of booking agents–Morry Drey being one of them. Most of Willow’s gigs were around the area with occasional jobs that were farther away. They did end up in Perry quite a few times. No particular jobs stood out in anyone’s memory.
Willow went through many changes as you can see from just the drummer situation. During this lineup Steve left the band briefly. While he was gone Kumari Troeh had joined the band. Kumari was a friend of Cathy’s from school. There was no concensus as to why Cathy eventually left the group. It may be because Kumari was deemed a more appropriate singer for the material the band wanted to do. It could have been personality issues. Willow did continue on with a different lineup. Click the next band ‘pick’ below to find out more.
   It is not known if Cathy went on to other bands. In the early ’80s she did do some demo recording at A&R Studios in Ames. Her current whereabouts are not known. Rod Urtel was not involved in any more area bands as his job took him to Mankato MN as mentioned above. As far as is known he is still teaching in Mankato today. Paul Headley lives in Urbandale and it is thought he played in a few more groups around the area. Current info on the other members will be shared in the future lineups page. The next band pick takes you to the next lineup of Willow.
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