The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell Story
In 1965 my Father’s job transferred our family from Ventura, California, to Corpus Christi, Texas where I attended King High School.
My last class of the day was a study period. I was setting there thinking how this feels strange. This is the first time I had ever been the new kid - I knew no one, and I hated it. Then I realize that this guy I’m setting next to is talking to me as though we know each other. That person was Buzz Adamek. Then he say’s “you wouldn’t happen to play the guitar by any chance, oh well, you probably don’t”.
I thought that was kind of strange since I actually did play guitar It was my first day in a new school and I was glad just to meet someone. We started talking and he invited me to his house to play the guitars after school. I remember when I got to his house, there were about 15 people there to see the new kid from California. It scared the hell out of me, but I thought this was great for being in a new place just one day. That’s how Buzz and I met
After that we started looking for a drummer and bass player. Buzz is an outgoing and friendly guy. I think he knew just about everyone around, including some guys in a band called “The Riptides”, who later became “The Zakary Thaks”. Through Buzz, the word got around that we were looking for some players to start a band.
I got a call from Wayne Harrison, a bass player who wanted to try out. He seemed to fit in so that took care of the bass player. I don’t remember who the drummer was, but he wasn’t very experienced and his timing was horrible.
One night we were playing at some high school dance and a drummer named Carl Aeby, who we had met a few weeks earlier, came up to me on one of our breaks and said “You guys need to get rid of this drummer and hire me”. We did, and that took care of the drummer.
We came up with the name “Zulus”. We had some steady work at places like “The Tides Club” on the Navy Base for about ten dollars per man. At the time we thought that was good pay.
Often, we played for free, just to get our name on the radio for the exposure. After we had been together for about six months, we started looking for a singer. I was doing most of the singing and my voice was always raspy, plus I wanted to concentrate more on the guitar.
We found Richard Painter, who was playing bass for a band called “The Incrowd” who later became “The Buckle”, so that took care of the lead singer. Then in 1967 a local promoter / producer named Carl Becker, who had just dissolved a partnership with “J Beck Promotions” called me and said he wanted to manage the band. He had heard a singer named Ronnie Tanner who was playing in a band in Rock Port, Texas who generated a lot of energy on stage. Carl wanted us to try him out.
After we heard him we thought he would be a great addition to the band. At that time Buzz Adamek had just left the band, and since Richard Painter was a bass player, he was able to switch over to rhythm guitar.Carl Becker wanted us to change our name to something patriotic since there were bands like “Paul Revere& The Raiders”. He thought “The Liberty Bell” was about as patriotic as you could get, so that became our new name.
During these changes we were trying to find a good Sound /Equipment Manager. We were lucky enough to find Lawrence DeAtley, since there weren’t very many good sound men around. Soon after that we recorded our first record “The Nazz Are Blue”, a song that was on the B side of a “Yard Birds” single. The rest of our releases were original and included “For What You Lack”, “That’s How It Will Be”, “Something For Me”. Ronnie Tanner left the group in 1968 due to the draft.
Chris Gerniottis who had left the “Zachary Thaks” took his place. We soon recorded a song he wrote called “Thoughts and Visions” for Back Beat Records. I believe the band came to an end sometime in 1969, when most of the guys went on to other careers.
What are the Liberty Bell Band mates doing today? Carl Aeby attended college and is now Dr. Carl Aeby, D.P.M. Wayne Harrison formed his own company in computer programming. Richard Painter, Ronnie Tanner and my self, worked together in a band named “Junction” at a dance hall called “The Yellow Rose”, from 1980-82. Richard Painter is now behind a desk at “Sam Kane Meat Co.”. Ronnie Tanner is partners in a sound rental company. Chris Gerniottis is now teaching at the high school he graduated from. I now live and own rental properties in Spokane, Washington, and at 55, I’m still trying to figure what I want to do. But I will always believe that those were some of the happiest years of my life.
Allen Hunt 01 March 2005
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