“Utah, Gateway to Nevada” in Story and Song

Utah, Gateway to Nevada The Book

Utah, Gateway to Nevada was an illustrated satirical book by Neil Passey, Mark Knudsen & Tim Kelly — Published by Dream Garden Press. ISBN-13: 9780942688054 – ISBN-10: 0942688058

Facsimile of the front cover of "Utah, Gateway To Nevada" w/info from rear cover.

Facsimile of the front of “Utah, Gateway To Nevada” w/info from the back cover — 1984

Ken Sanders Rare Books is an excellent place to search for this out-of-print classic.

(L) Neil Passey (R) Robert Crumb

(L) Cosmic Painting by Neil Passey (R) Robert Crumb’s cover for Ed Abbey

Ken Sanders, as Dream Garden’s publisher, teamed Robert Crumb and Edward Abbey on a complete edition of The Monkey Wrench Gang in 1985. He also commissioned Neil Passey’s classic painting, which once graced the Cosmic Aeroplane’s calendar.

Read the list of books currently in print from Dream Garden Press

Utah, Gateway to Nevada — The Song:

Utah, Gateway to Nevada! Not as cool as Colo-rah-dah.

The beer here gives ya’ stronger blad-dahs, but you’ve got to drink behind the barn!

A PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS: Rick Culley, drums; Charles Culley, bass; Greg Howes, keyboards; Dave Faggioli (Cosmic Aeroplane Crew) saxophone; Dave Orgill, guitars; Paul Veenstra and Gary Zanelli, accordions; Rob Jensen, vocals; Background vocals, Bishop Boyd. Marc Brown, an editor at Dream Garden Press, wrote songs with Rob Jensen.
There was also a reference to the Cosmic Aeroplane in their song Jack Mormon:

Cover drawings by Mark Knudsen and Neil Passey;

Cover drawings by Mark Knudsen and Neil Passey;

From JACK MORMON ©1984 by Jensen / Brown (Robbie Jensen & Marc Brown)
Raised up in Provo, where piety’s cheap, he finally decided his buddies were sheep. He started smokin’ and drinkin’ and hangin’ at bars. He grew out his hair and started playin’ guitar. Married a girl who wasn’t uptight. They smoked pot together and thought they were bright.
They shopped at the Cosmic when they went to town (Salt Lake City)
and they bought beads and bells and they wore ’em around.
… “Hey Jack, they’ll baptize ya’ after ya’ die.”
Hey Jack, you’re gonna go back. Ya’ better get on back to the fold.
Face facts, you’re gonna hafta backtrack, when bein’ Jack Mormon gets old.


Peruse the complete visual EP archive by A Plague of Locusts!
(Please wait for the PDF to load.)

Visual archive of the EP by A Plague of Locusts


Listen to ALL the songs HERE!

Art by Passey and

Art by Passey and Knudsen

MORE INFO: Copyright © 1984 by Jensen/Brown and *Dream Garden Press; Recorded at Sacred Grove Studios, Salt Lake City, Utah; Cover drawings by Mark Knudsen and Neil Passey; Design by RAF; Engineered by Orin Hatch; Special thanks to Voyda Richards Cannon Smith Young, and Gateway Editors; Produced by Marc Brown.


Image used for the second edition of Utah, Gateway to Nevada cassette tape (Dolby) -- by Horned Lizard with assistance by M.E.

Plague of Locusts: Image used for the second (Dolby) edition of Utah, Gateway to Nevada cassette tape — by Horned Lizard with assistance by M.E.


For explanations, read the Catalyst article about Plague of Locusts in 1985


Utah, Gateway to Nevada — On Turkey Television:





Utah, Gateway to Nevada, outdoors,
un-posterized, with the VERY SERIOUS introduction:





From GORDY UTAH ©1984 by Jensen / Brown (Robbie Jensen & Marc Brown)

While Gordy was despondin’ he invented a hairdo,
and with it he tamed the split ends of the west.
He called it a beehive.
The pioneer gals loved it.

To this day, in Grantsville, they think it’s the best.

Utah, Gateway to Nevada as Official State Song !?!?




Vocalist/songwriter William Robert (Rob) Jensen (1952 – 2011) passed away on St. Patrick’s Day. Besides the Plague of Locusts EP, he did a CD called Hungry? with the group Turnip Truck (featuring Whiskey for Lunch).

As the Great Salt Lake actually started to deepen in the early 80’s
A Plague of Locusts sang their sea chanty about Trollin’ for Moronee:


Live at the Utah Arts Festival 1985:

All videos thanks to Kent Maxwell;
Additional thanks to Sensible Media.

258_logo_combo000wwDISCLAIMER: Any advertisements you may see below this page are artifacts of our blog-hosting service and are totally unrelated to this project.

About Michael Evans

Michael has lived in Montana, Washington State (East and West), Holland, and England, but he was born in Salt Lake City, and graduated from the University of Utah.
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14 Responses to “Utah, Gateway to Nevada” in Story and Song

  1. I witnessed A Plague of Locusts headlining at the Utah Arts Festival on a fine Sunday afternoon, ironically at the so-called “Gateway Center” in 1985. Babs Delay had promoted their appearance for weeks on KRCL-FM. Mike Daley of Klazz (and 004) was the drummer. They performed Trollin’ For Moronee, Utah, Gateway to Nevada, among several others, and ended with David singing Utah, We Love Thee, the OFFICIAL state song. Dave lives in Hawaii now, but that’s a coincidence!

  2. Of the original “A Plague of Locusts” band, three of the six performers have exited the earth, front man, lyricist & Vocalist Rob Jensen (aka “Mr. Troll”), Drummer Rick Culley (aka “Clock Hopper”), and early Bossmen guitarist David Orgill (aka “Tarantula Fingers”), while the remaining three continue on existing on da earth plane.

  3. Pingback: A Mirror of Locusts | Cosmic Aeroplane 1960's to 1990's

  4. Pingback: Cosmic Music & Cosmic Bands | Cosmic Aeroplane 1960's to 1990's

  5. Vila Deuel says:

    Were there any copies of the albums made into cd? And if so, are there any for sale? Thanks.

  6. ashmire says:

    I always thought it would have been funny to have A Plague Of Locusts open for A Flock Of Seagulls. Oh, well.

  7. Marc A Brown says:

    that old horned lizard has it right–the damn locusts been dying like flies. robby went most recently just like a jack mormon ought to–he drank himself to death on 3.2 beer. I am very glad to see all of this “history” about the cosmic. oh, and if we had opened for A Flock of Seagulls we would have had to eat ’em. hey horned lizard, what was it Jello Biafra said about the Plague–“reminds me of a band in Iowa called the Corn Dorks” I think.

  8. Horneddlizard says:

    Whelp, jes for da record, or CD, or MP3 or ???, as well as Marc A Brown, co-author of the lyrics, here’s a verbatim excerpt from da hand scrawled letter A Plague of Locusts received from Jello Biafra after I sent him a copy of da Gateway to Nevada vinyl:

    “Jeezus Christ, thanx for sending me “Utah, Gateway to Nevada”! It’s one of the funniest things I think I’ve EVER heard! Great logo too!”

    “A sequel to this should include Orin Hatch Goes to Hell, Ervil LeBaron, Rulon C. Allred Bloodbank, something about the office & phone the mormons keep ready in case Jesus returns to earth, Dugway 100-Proofing Grounds, “MX Missiles in my driveway”, the surveillance cameras in Mormon Financed public schools, “God Told Us to Kill You”, Jesse Jackson & Louis Farrakhan trying to get into Mormon heaven, etc. etc. etc.”

    “The lyrics are truly outstanding. I wish I knew what a ZCMI & BZ was. An explanation of what Moronee is would also help increase understanding among non-utah-kids. Keep it up! If you wish to send me a few more copies, I know people I’d love to subject this to. I’d also love to see the book that goes with this. The graphics that go with the record are really amazing.”

    “I’d also suggest sending one of these to some people in Iowa who are trying to do the same thing out there. They haven’t come nearly this far, so encourage them! —- The Corndorks % Bladex Productions, …address listed in IA.”

    “I am not familiar with Pvt. Mutcho & his accident.”

    “The calendar idea sounds like a good one. I don’t have time to put it together, do you? I hope so.”

    “I AM familiar with the Laffertys. I’m out in Colorado right now and their story dominated the Sunday paper.”

    “Hope to hear from yoo….Don’t Get Lost or Killed, JELLO BIAFRA”

    The above quoted letter was received sometime during late 1984, following the EP release of “Utah, Gateway to Nevada”.

  9. horneddlizard says:

    Subject: Cosmic Site Addenda – Ed Abbey quote eerily suggesting “A Plague of Locusts”

    Edward Abbey “from Quotable Quote”

    Edward Abbey
    “To aid and abet in the destruction of a single species or in the extermination of a single tribe is to commit a crime against God, a mortal sin against Mother Nature. Better by far to sacrifice in some degree the interests of mechanical civilization, curtail our gluttonous appetite for things, ever more things, learn to moderate our needs, and most important, and not difficult, learn to control, limit and gradually reduce our human numbers. We humans swarm over the planet like a plague of locusts, multiplying and devouring. There is no justice, sense or decency in this mindless global breeding spree, this obscene anthropoid fecundity, this industrialized mass production of babies and bodies, ever more bodies and babies. The man-centered view of the world in anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, antinature, antilife, and–antihuman.”

    ― Edward Abbey, Beyond the Wall: Essays from the Outside – Published in early 1984

    id: Strangely enough, dis Ed Abbey masterpiece was published in early 1984, just prior to the recording of the EP by “A Plague of Locusts” by a few months. No one quoted Abbey’s concept to the band members before Rick Culley (“Clock Hopper”, the drummer) arrived at the basic name for the band which was unanimously endorsed by the group members, without hesitation.

    As an obvious result of deforestation worldwide, coincidentally enough, the human race was compared to “A Plague of Locusts” by Horned Lizard during the various Utah radio program interviews which aired in early 1985.

    Ungodly OverPop Art Uber Alles….

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