Cosmic Music & Cosmic Bands

The Cosmic Aeroplane not only promoted eclectic music, but fostered many musicians during the decades of its existence:

Smoke Blues Band and the Sixties  ——————————————————–

Smoke Blues Band rehearsed in the back room of the Cosmic Areoplane on 369 South Temple.

Smoke Blues Band rehearsed in the back room of the Cosmic Areoplane on 369 South Temple. This photo was taken behind (Ophelia) Taylor’s Cafe nearby on 400 West, around her BBQ grill.

Smoke Blues Band distinguished themselves in front of huge crowds when they performed solid opening sets for Numenor Productions’ Dance of the Desert Prophet in 1968.

Back cover of The Electric Newspaper Number Two, advertising the Dance of the Desert Prophet in 1968 -- Art by Judy Hess, Rotis Allred, Dennis Kelker, or Lynn Wildey.

Back cover of The Electric Newspaper Number Two, advertising the Dance of the Desert Prophet in 1968 — Art by Judy Hess, Rotis Allred, Dennis Kelker, or Lynn Wildey.

Smoke played gigs around the University of Utah, and any place that was interested in modern Electric Blues, including the Bastille Family Reunion.

Bastille Family Reunion -- 1970

Bastille Family Reunion in Fairmont Park — July 14, 1970 — original photo by Dave Doepner.

and there we were, the Bastille family, in 1970. One of the biggest collections of misfits, radicals, individualists, free-thinkers (popularly known as “secular humanists”), free lovers, non-workers (not including me), uncommitted students, dropouts, back-sliders, and alienated Jack Mormons, Salt Lake City had ever seen. And don’t let me forget, also a couple of French nationalists. It was Bastille Day, after all

From The Thirtieth Annual Bastille Family Reunion by E. Richard Bastille
This highly-recommenced book illuminates The Movement in Salt Lake City which spawned the Cosmic Aeroplane and other creative endeavors.

Images circa 1970 from Bastile Family Reunion by E. Richard Bastille (Hart) -- for review puropses only.

Collage of images from the book by E. R. Bastille (Hart) — including a poster for the first Bastille Family Reunion and portions of fliers protesting the visit of Richard M. Nixon 4 years before he resigned. 

The Thirtieth Annual Bastille Family Reunion by E. Richard Bastille is in print — available via email from swclow@mac.com and (ironically) on Amazon.

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The motto under Utah Chronicle’s logo says: Zee duty of zee newspaper is to raise hell and print zee news. This edition announces the Bastille Family Reunion later that day.

Although there’s no further Bastille material, read the entire front page as a PDF File:

Front Page Utah Chronicle July_14_1970

Nick Snow-Bastille described the Bastille Family Reunion on July 17, 1970,
also in this issue, Society Editor MARILYN was dishing on the Bastilles.

What did Sherm mean when he said the Bastille Family Reunion was only the warmup “for something even bigger?” And why the sudden reappearance of Lucky Thinks, the avant-garde jazz unit … if not for some important occasion?

Read these two complete articles as PDF Files:

News_of_Social_Note — Utah Chronicle_July_17_1970 PDF

Bastilles Get It On At Park — Utah Chronicle July 17, 1970 PDF

(The identities of music-makers “Truckee Canyon” are under investigation.)

Chapter Six of the 30th Annual Bastille Family Reunion by E. Richard Bastille provides some answers to MARILYN’s questions — buy it at swclow@mac.com

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From Bastille Family Home — Photo attributed to D.D.

Link: Bastille Family Home Page — Bastille Family pictures, articles, and records.

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Hear Smoke Blues Band’s music on CD

“Smoke” on a break behind the South Temple Cosmic Aeroplane. This patch of weeds became a patio area, serving the Sun Tavern and also the East Room, which later occupied the space at 369 So. Temple.

Reverend Willis sells vintage Smoke Blues Band recordings on his website!
You are invited to peruse Smoke’s pages for more photos, and lists of band members.

“Smoke” eventually metamorphosed into “Rocks and Gravel” and were part of a de facto reclamation of the blighted area around the depot, which accelerated after their regular bar, Ben’s Railroad Exchange, became the Sun Tavern under Joe Redburn’s management.

Listen to the music of Rocks & Gravel Blues Band, and the legendary “Peter Brandt Tapes” on the website of Rev. Willis

Poster and contemporary photo of the Railway Exchange, a few doors west of the Cosmic Aeroplane on South Temple and 400 East -- Poster and photo courtesy of Charley Hafen and Steve Jones.

Poster and contemporary photo of the Railway Exchange, a few doors west of the Cosmic Aeroplane on South Temple and 400 East — Poster and photo courtesy of Charley Hafen and Steve Jones.

Later in the Seventies  ——————————————————————-

Cosmic staffer Sandy Duncan and musician Curt Setzer made music together in the early ’70’s, performing at Westminster College’s May Fest, and at the Underwater Poetry Festival with Charles Bukowski, while they were first working as a duo, three nights a week at Trolley Square.

Thanks to Rev. Willis, a recorder was running during the poetry festival:

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Sandy Duncan and Curt Setzer at the Underwater Poetry Festival (1974)

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They also formed the nucleus of a group of acoustic entertainers called the Jordan River Uptown Band, which shifted and expanded its membership, performing well into the following decade. Early collaborators included Mark Nelson on bass and Mark Jardine on fiddle.


Curt Setzer and Sandy Duncan circa 1978 -- courtesy of Hardin Davis.

Curt Setzer and Sandy Duncan circa 1978 — courtesy of Hardin Davis.

The Jordan River Uptown Band played regularly at “The Pub” in Trolley Square, after conversion of the buildings from their former use as a municipal bus garage, but they also appeared throughout the area — even at Symphony Hall with Tenpenny, Wasatch Rascals, and the Deseret String Band.

Fliers courtesy of Marriott Library, University of Utah and Curt Setzer.

Fliers courtesy of Marriott Library, University of Utah and Curt Setzer.

Sandy eventually moved to Colorado, but the Jordan River Uptown Band continued with Hardin Davis, Laurie Bogart and Curt Setzer. Other musicians like Tom Krug, Rand Keith, Ann Downey, and Stuart Curtis were in the group as well.

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The Jordan River Uptown Band circa 1980: (L to R) Woody Whitney with fiddle; Laurie Bogart; Hardin Davis; Tom Krug with bass fiddle, and Curt Setzer — Photo courtesy of Hardin Davis.


Read more about this group in the Jordan River Uptown Scrapbook

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Setzer also made cultural impacts in the Salt Lake area by his involvement with Round Records, Smokey’s Records, Improvisatory Music, and the Avant Garde.

Poster for Sun Ra's first and only concert in Utah.

Poster for Sun Ra’s concert in Utah — Wednesday, October 8, 1986 — Art by Virgil Finlay, with lettering and additional textures by Patrick Eddington.

Setzer promoted the only concert in Utah by master composer Sun Ra — from a contact made with the Arkestra’s woodwind player Danny Ray Thompson by Cosmic Staffer David Fagiolli, while playing in Portland, Oregon. Curt also accompanied services led by Reverend  Holy Ground  Willis — but there is much more to say about his creative career.

Read more about Curt Setzer at: Cosmic Music — Jordan River/Avant Garde

Further into the Eighties   ———————————————————-

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Punk Rock became an actual international social movement despite The Great Rock & Roll Swindle, and a diverse number of Cosmic staffers were involved with this scene.

The Atheists ————————————————————————————-

Byl - Guitar, Vocals, Tunes; Kreg - Bass, Vocals, Tunes; Dave Fry (now RIP) - Guitar, Vocals, Tunes;  Ben Wa - Drums, Vocals, Tunes; id - Saxophones, Vocals

Byl – Guitar, Vocals, Tunes; Kreg – Bass, Vocals, Tunes; Dave Fry (now RIP) – Guitar, Vocals, Tunes;
Ben Wa – Drums, Vocals, Tunes; id – Saxophones, Vocals — Kodalith by Mike Bryant; Scanned by Kent Maxwell

In the Cosmic tradition of challenging tradition:

The Roxy Club was an early incubator of the SLC Punk movement.

The Roxy, located in a subterranean space on Main Street, was an incubator of the SLC Punk movement. Drawings by Patrick Eddington

They recorded their own material and performed at a speed which they characterized from the stage as: If somebody shoved us off the Empire State Building, we could play our whole set before hitting the ground.

Album cover by Tom Irion.

Album cover by Tom Irion.

The Atheists also held forth at various venues around Salt Lake, including the Hole In The Wall Saloon, which was famous throughout the community for hosting crack Jazz performers like Available Jelly, Air Pocket, and Mainstream.

Posters from the Roxy Club -- from SLC Punks FB site.

Posters from the Roxy Club — courtesy of SLC Punks FB site

For your perusal: “Live At The Roxy — 1981” post on Rev. Willis’ Blog

Avon Calling   ——————————————————————————-

Courtesy of SLC Punks (Facebook site)

Courtesy of SLC Punks (Facebook site)

There is a first-hand sketch of the career of Avon Calling at Cosmic Staffers Project V.3

Posters from the wall on the interior of Raunch Records, featuring a rent party featuring Avon Calling and a concert at the Indian Center.

Posters from the wall on the interior of Raunch Records, featuring a rent party with Avon Calling and an Indian Center concert, promoted by Raunch’s owner, Brad Collins, who was also a DJ on KRCL-FM.

Avon Calling at the Indian Center:

Photo courtesy of Jamie Gael circa 1984.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Gael — circa 1984.

Indian Center promoter Brad Collins had worked at the Cosmic Aeroplane before setting up his own record store and skate shop.

(L to R) Black Flag was an enduring Punk Rock band; A characature of Brad in his own store at the epicenter of the Punk Movement.

(L to R) Black Flag is an enduring Punk Rock band that visited SLC often as they established themselves on the road; A caricature of entrepreneur Brad in his own place at the epicenter of the SLC Punk Movement.

Avon Calling was one of the “headliners” at the Rock Against Reagan rally in 1984, kitty-corner from Temple Square, where well over a thousand average citizens of stood up in protest during an official visit from the great communicator. (sic)

Cover of Salt Lake Area Music #3, Autumn of 1984.

Cover of Salt Lake Area Music #3, Autumn of 1984.

For context, read the whole issue:   Salt Lake Area Music (SLAM) Number Three

Shot In The Dark 
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Lisa, Steven, and Gene of Shot In The Dark at the Indian Center circa 1985 -- Christian A Werner / SLC Punks (FB)

Lisa, Steven, and Gene of Shot in the Dark at the Indian Center — Christian A Werner / SLC Punks (FB)

More pictures and info about Lisa Versteeg can be found at Cosmic Staffer’s Project V.1

Although they were totally accepted by SLC’s Punk scene, Shot in the Dark played a variety of hard-charging Rock numbers and original songs as well.

The final show at Salt Lake's legendary Speedway Cafe.

The final concert held at Salt Lake’s legendary Speedway Cafe — SLC Punks (FB)

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Kosmic Kudos — The Speedway Project is seeking memories and memorabilia!

The Speedway Cafe was contemporary with the late 1980’s Cosmic Aeroplane, and definitely had a long-term impact on S.L.C. Culture as well.

Link to The Speedway Project‘s Home Page

The Cosmic Aeroplane is a SLC cultural treasure and it’s awesome what you have done to preserve its memory. I’ve visited the site several times and, in fact, it has been a source of inspiration and validation for the Speedway Project. I would be honored to have our link connected to yours and would be happy to do the same — Trinity West, administrator of The Speedway Project.

Read the Salt Lake UnderGround (S.L.U.G.) Magazine’s article about The Speedway Project HERE — The Speedway Project: The History Within the Walls of SLC’s Legendary Underground Venue  December 30, 2015

Speedway first opened in 1984—cultivated as a local space for underground music, its catchphrase was “a café that served no food and had a bar that didn’t serve booze.”

Read the Salt Lake Tribune’s article about The Speedway Project HERE —
Whatever Happened to — The Speedway Cafe?  by Rich Kane May 20, 2016

… when some 700 people packed into a room that legally was allowed to have 290.

(Provided with permission of The Speedway Project, Rich Kane, and S.L.U.G. Magazine.)

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Punk-Rock hangout The Painted Word, near Speedway Cafe and Raunch Records, also hosted Cosmic Avant Garde music:

Intermingling art ensembles Noize Zionists plus The Nameless Uncarved Block with Dale Carlson of KRCL as guest.

Intermingling art ensembles Noiz Ziontists plus The Nameless Uncarved Block (originally w/Sherm Clow) along with Dale Carlson of KRCL as special guest saxophonist, plus Curt Setzer and Dave Fagiolli.

Double Oh Four (004)      ——————————————————————–

004 in performance at Arrow Press Square circa 1982; (L to R) Phil, Scott, Terri, Wanda, and Doug -- Photo by M.E.

004 at Arrow Press Square circa 1982; (L to R) Phil, Scott, Terri, Wanda, and Doug — Photo by M.E.

Are there two women in the center? Yes there are!

(L to R) Terri and Wanda of 004 -- From a drawing by M.E.

(L to R) Terri and Wanda of 004 — From a drawing by M.E.

The versatile 004 relied on an uptempo Dance Music called SKA, and began playing at the Roxy Club, making common cause with the Punk Rock scene, much like their counterparts in England.

Fliers from the Roxy and Eagles Club -- 004 became the 'cool rulers' of the State Street drag strip of SLC during their very busy career.

Fliers from the Roxy and Eagles Club — 004 were ‘cool rulers’ on the State Street drag strip — SLC Punks (FB)

Check out 004’s performance on KUED (PBS) in 1982:

Terri Mitchell singing Dance Trance with 004.

Terri Mitchell singing Dance Trance with Doug Edwards and 004.

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Dance Trance Live in the TV studio

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After the group broke up, 004’s musicians kept creating, in SLC, and on the West Coast.
Doug visited Salt Lake with his band Temple of Rhythm from Southern California to play some prestigious venues in Salt Lake, and Phil sat in on some of their gigs.

Wanda partnered with Punk-Rocker Aldine Strychnine in a quartet called Kaos Kids:

Wanda Day and Aldine Strychnine played together in a quartet named Kaos Kids.

Kaos Kids: Wanda Day and Aldine Strychnine — drawing by M.E. in 1984.

Aldine would jam onstage with 004 while playing in other bands like Maimed for Life, Gnawing Suspicions, Spencer Kimball and the Brainwashed. True to Cosmic traditions, he bravely stood with his guitar at the forefront of Salt Lake City’s “Rock Against Reagan” in 1984 for an audience of over a thousand citizens — Cosmic disc jockey Michael G. Kavanagh was MC for this civil demonstration across the corner from Temple Square, during a visit by said president.

Maimed for Life, with Aldine Strychnine (R) plus the poster for this show in 2012.

Maimed for Life, with Aldine Strychnine (singing) plus a contemporary poster from 2013.

Aldine continues to create Punk-Rock for appreciative audiences around the state of Utah, and is a co-host on KRCL 90.9 FM. He also helps administrate the SLC Punks Facebook page, from where this site gets many images, like the two above.

Cosmic Staffer Scott Simons -- from a drawing by M.E.

Cosmic Staffer Scott Simons singing in 004 — from a drawing by M.E.

The LZ Five, and other Cosmic Alliances   ——————————————

(L to R) Extraordinary singer Liz Draper and Phil Miller; A flier for Cosmic Staffer and KRCL DJ Michael Hatsis -- Photo by M.E.

(L to R) Liz Draper of the LZ5 with bandmate Phil Miller at the Utah Arts Festival* circa 1984; A flier for Cosmic Staffer and KRCL DJ Michael Hatsis clubbing with 004 — *Photo by M.E; SLC Punks (FB)

Phil Miller played with Liz Draper well into the 1990’s, but also added horny textures to the soulful Sha Girls band, and popular grunge-punk Boxcar Kids (see Speedway Cafe image above.) Scott Simons did a collaboration called Pangea with fellow Cosmic Staffer Julie Leuders:

Julie Leuders was a first-rate singer and drummer. She back-stopped Wanda in 004, vocalized and played with Liz Draper and the LZ5, then took her considerable talent to My Sister Jane before her untimely death in the early 1990's -- photo by M.E.

Julie Leuders was a first-rate singer and drummer. She back-stopped Wanda in 004 during Day’s recovery from an injury, then vocalized and played with Liz Draper and the LZ5 (above) — photo by M.E.

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Leuders brought her considerable talents to the all-woman band My Sister Jane before her untimely death in 1994.

, then took her considerable talent to My Sister Jane before her untimely death in the early 1990's.

(L to R) Julie Leuders — Drums; Shelley White — Percussion; Sally Shaum — Bass, Guitar; Trace Wiren — Guitar; Martha Bourne — Guitar. Every woman sang. Frame from the video Begat Begone (below). Thanks to KRCL DJ John Reese for his contribution.

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My Sister Jane: Begat Begone — lead vocal by Sally Shaum

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Cosmic Generations

The creative energy of the Cosmic Aeroplane continued with musical children of the original staffers:

Christian Coleman in performance 2013 -- photo by M.E.

Christian Coleman in performance 2013 — photo by M.E. Logo on magnet by Chris Bodily of Hive Gallery.

Christian’s mother Kathleen bridged the gap between West Temple and First South. He helped her out as she and the staff watched him after school.

Electric Christian Colman and the Blue Zen Band during a live broadcast, June 2014 -- Photo by M.E.

Electric Christian Coleman and the Blue Zen Band during a live radio broadcast, June 2014 — Photo by M.E.

Mr. Coleman is also co-owner of the gypsy-like Hive Gallery, which tours the United States. (See Blogroll)

IMG_2171

Christian Coleman at the Utah Arts Festival in 2017

Willis Clow made a musical career of his own, and also played with Curt Setzer at ultra-alternative and Punk-Rock venue Kilby Court during the Millennium:

Willis Clow and his guitar -- photo courtesy of Sherman Clow.

Willis Clow and his guitar — photo courtesy of Cosmic co-founder Sherman Clow.

Willis has his own content-rich website too. (See Blogroll)

A niece and nephew of Bruce Roberts formed a band called Cosmic Aeroplane.
Named in memory of Bruce Roberts, Owner of the Bookstore/Head shop:

The band Cosmic Aeroplane in performance at the Music Garage 2013.

The group Cosmic Aeroplane performing at the Music Garage, an educational organization, in 2013. (L to R) Andrew Cleveland, Emma Roberts, T.J. Maddux and Calvin Roberts — photos by M.E.

As of this writing, they have a page on the social media site Facebook.

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Afterword: Utah, Gateway to Nevada was also an example of Cosmic Music by A Plague of Locusts, an outstandingly Cosmic Band.

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We actively request your contributions of artwork, music, corrections, memorabilia, and oral histories concerning the Cosmic Aeroplane — please contact our blogmeister:

Blogmeister Michael Evans is an author and historian.

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There is more about the early music of Curt Setzer, David Faggioli and the 9th & 9th Community in his book — The Great Salt Lake Mime Saga and Amsterdam’s Festival of Fools.

Email: mike_evans_exile@yahoo.com

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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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4 Responses to Cosmic Music & Cosmic Bands

  1. Jamie Gael says:

    Nice work, Mike! A lot o’ talents were all gathered at one time or another under the Cosmic’s various roofs! Great too see attention for 004, one SLC’s biggest bands ever. Nice to see the pic and drawing of Scott. And nice, to mention Curious Birds, they played out a Lot some years after 004, but Scott and partner Raven really had it going, too! They were Very well recieved, a lot os good shows at the now dead Dead Goat!

  2. charles Snyder says:

    The music scene in SLC was incredibly high level during the eighties. I was sorry to learn of Julie Leuders passing. I worked with Michael Hatsis next door at the Blue Mouse, which was another great SLC institution. I’ll have to see if I can dig up some of my 004 pics.

  3. Sherm Clow says:

    Mark Richmond, original guitarist with Smoke Blues Band (pictured above in cowboy hat), passed away in Flagstaff, AZ at the end of January 2015. He was a great influence on many of us, a long time friend, and will be missed by all who knew him.

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