The godfather of milwaukee rock & Roll
“The Godfather of Milwaukee rock and roll”, as many now call him, Larry Lynne is celebrating 50 plus years in the music industry. Born in Waukesha, Larry started his musical endeavors at the age of 14, banging on wooden cigar boxes in the tool shed, and playing his sister’s accordion in the living room when no one was around. His first band, the Rock-A-Tones, saw him playing drums in ’56. Larry received his first guitar when he was 17, and the Rock-A-Tones soon became the Bonneville’s, which was pretty much the first rock & roll band in Milwaukee in ’58. They recorded “Skydive” in ’59, and had a national hit with “Johnny” in ’60. From ’62 – ’64 Larry played with the Mad Lads, the Catalina’s, and a regroup of the Bonneville’s, which eventually became the original Skunks.
The Skunks were born at Monreal’s on 16th and National in ’64, The striped hair and tight pants were an instant hit and the roller coaster ride was on its way. The Skunks released “Elvira” in ’65 (long before the Oak Ridge Boys), and had a regional hit that led to an extensive west coast tour. Their next release, “I Recommend Her” was a local hit and was followed up with “Little Angel” and “Doin Nothin”. The Skunks were one of the biggest bands in the area, and also toured across the United States to promote their songs. When the magic of the skunks was over in ’68, Larry formed Larry Lynne & The Free Meal, which was his psychedelic power trio. The Larry Lynne band was formed in ’69, and went on till ’78. The band released “Back On The Street Again” in ’70, and “Sudden Change” shortly there after. In ’78 Larry came back with the new Skunks which lasted until ’81. That year, Larry joined the Trend and played with them till ’85. In ’86 he played with the Bandits. In ’91 he joined Skyharbor for a 3yr. stint. Other bands that followed were, Shakey Leg, Opera, Yankee Style, and in ’96, Larry Lynne and Bootlegger was formed. In 2005, Larry reformed the Skunks and the group still performs today. And now in 2009, Larry has put the new Larry Lynne Band together and is a reunion of members from past bands in his life. As you can see, Larry has had a busy career. He has opened for hundreds of artists over the years. He has been the back up band for the likes of Chuck Berry, Bryan Highland, Jimmy Clanton, Joanne Campbell, Bobby Rydell, Gene Pitney, and Tommy Roe. He has Played every venue you could imagine, and some you couldn’t. Larry has been there, done that, and probably seen it all. And now, starting his second 50 years, Larry still has that Twang in his guitar, that twinkle in his eye, and a voice that tells you, it was all worth it. 50 years, and still rockin!.
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