After we rehearsed a time or two to see if we liked each other. We named the group The Arcels, Larry came up with the name. Larry's brother Bobby had play in a band with Larry before. Together they sounded like The Everly Brothers, I loved them but Bobby didn't have time to play in a band. A lady that lived across the street from me, Verna work at a club called The Rodeo Club. One weekend something happened totheir band, she knew I played in a band so she ask if we would help out. I was only 15, Victor was younger than me, Mike was 17 and Larry was 21. I don't know how we talked our parents into letting us do it, but we did. We had to get Bobby Covington to do the job with us so we would have enough songs. I can't remember how much money we got, but it was pretty cool to have people pay to see you have fun. Itstarted me to think about a life in music.
The only black cloud that year was my brother got drafted into the Marines. That hurt my dad more than words can say. Vietnam was going strong, it was always on the news how many Americans were dying over there. We were a very close family, I don't remember ever being apart up till then. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was drive him to the bus that night. He gave me his car to keep while he was gone. Christmas was sad around our house for a couple of year.
Mike was the manager of the record and music department at Dixiemart, he gave me a job stocking and helping out front. Linda, a girl that also worked there was beautiful, I was trying to go out with her, but she wanted the boss, that was Mike. They were going out one night and ask if I would go with Linda's sister, Pat. I knew better, but I agreed. She turn out to be a real cute chick, I went out with her all through the holidays and into the new year. All we ever did was makeout, we would go to the drive-in four or five nights a week. One day at work I was opening boxes of records, I opened one and there was a brand new Beatles record,’ Rubber Soul' just in time for Christmas. The hottest selling record that year was 'The Sound Of Music', we couldn't keep um in stock. I could trade that record for anything in the store, I traded one for a ring out of the jewelry department, fringe benefits..
We were getting some great deal, I was getting ten records a day, drums sticks, heads and other drum parts. Two weeks before Christmas Larry lost his job and Mike gave him a job too. Our band was running the record department, sometime we would be slow, and we did a little jamming. Right after the first of the year, the band started having troubles. I got into it with Mike one night over something, and quit the band and my job. Larry was taking control, he was married and his wife was pregnant. So he was in a little more of a hurry to get out and play than we were. On top of that, he got Victor's mom mad, and she wanted him out of the band. She got her way and we got another guitar player, Donny Rickman - a good guitar player, but he didn't sing. Larry wanted Mike and me to start a band with him. We tried that too, it just wasn't the same.
As long as we were having fun and just playing music everything was fine, after the music stop and the talking started, there was going to be trouble. Mike was like a brother, Larry was like a boss, I didn't need a boss in my life or music. I came over one night late and they were talking about me, I stood outside listening for a minute. I got mad and opened the door, I was so mad I can't remember what I said, but that was it for The Arcels and me. That's when I ran into Wayne Taylor. I stopped hanging around Mike and Larry and after a few weeks Pat too. So I lost it all, job-band and girlfriend. Time to start over. Next Story - The Triffids
Victor Conwell – guitar / vocal LarryCovington – guitar / vocal Mike Lineberger – bass Roger - drums