Click here to return to The Other Half Home Page
[Back To Home Page]




Normally, one would expect that it's the girls that change names as life goes on,

but look what happened to us! O.K; Around '66, it was necessary to have an English

sounding name. To say that we embraced that concept would be an


Kirby Bivans Sir John Kirby

Karl Meerstein Carl Benson

Bob Siegel Bob Regal

Brett Knopf Brett London

Howard Olitsky Lance McCarthy

Frank Biner Chadwick Mellows

Scott Bivans Scooter P. Farnsworth

Mitch Bruski Sir Douglas Almond III

But even so, some of us guys changed our names for real and none of the girls

ever did. What are the odds? Brett would answer, "ninety / ten."

Van Karlsson Randy Chance

Karl Meerstein Karlo Seastone

Jill Kelly Jill Kelly

Natalie Kelly Natalie Kelly

Carol Kelly Carol Kelly

Mary Chris Mass Mary Chris Mass


I don't remember some of these, but there we were...

The Cellar -Arlington Heights

The Wayout -Gross Point Rd. and Dempster, Skokie

Deborah Boys Club

The Deep Down

The Pinque Phinque

The Scene -Is that the Evanston Student Union?

The Rolling Stone -Highwood

The Dead End

The New Place

The Pit

Where were all these paces?


In the order in which they appeared in my life-

Them -Kirby's first band. Originally, Scott -gtr, Mitch Bruski -banjo, Kirby -bongos,

Frank Biner -lead gtr. Later members included Howard Olitsky, Jim Callen –Vox

Continental, Mike Brook. We played only once -in Mitch Bruski's backyard. I played

on cardboard boxes and Mitch played simulated-bass on a Silvertone guitar with

an amp-in-guitar-case. It ended when we all got electrocuted.

The Four Directions -Rick Mann's old band

The Exclusives -later "The Flock"

The Embers -saw at Deborah Boys Club 3-65

The Valiants - "

The Cordell's - "

The Vondells - "

The Legends - "

The Vidells -became "The Others" (with John Burns -gtr, John Collier -sax, Pete Marcus - drms)

The Living Endz -Frank Biner and?

The Tiki Quintet -last version: Karlo, Al Josephson, Kirby, Howard Olitsky, Mike Brook

The Freelancers -"the first half": Lee Nudleman, Al J, Howard, Bob Bell?

The Other Half

The Poetics -beat them and The Living Endz in the semi-final at the Main Street

Music Battle of the Bands Oct.31, 1965.

The Flock -I have to mention them again, because it was the best band Chicago produced

The Durty Wurds

The Little Boy Blues -with Lowell Shyette and Paul Ostroff

The Spectacles -became The Patriots?

The Lords of London -Mark Skyer's band

The Invaders

The Dellvettes

The Gremlins

The Cool Gents

Early Times

The Delights

Just Four -Randy's band

The Groupe -Barbara's band

The 13th Dimension

Mr. Lonely & The Teardrops -Jim Albrecht's band

The Mauds -soul kings of The Cellar

Winston Churchill & The Commons -played at The Cellar

The Shadows of Knight -payed for The Cellar

Saturday's Children -the class act

The Ides of March – over-rated band that did an autograph session at L&H when I

worked there. Pandemonium!

The Sonics

The Doctrine of Love

The Left Behind

The Cycle

The Grim Reapers - Kirby quote at the time: "they were terrible but it was better than


The Nightshades -Tom Lavin's band

The Riddles

The Monterreys

The Males

The Electric Band

The Revells

The Knaves

The Trolls

The New Colony Six

Our Changing Times -played with us at Lee St. Beach Be-In


SOME CRONOLOGICAL DETAILS Diary entries in italics

Mar. 9, 1965 -saw Rick Mann and another musician from The Four Directions sub

with The Exclusives (Freddie Glickstein, Rick Canoff,?) at Deborah Boys Club.

Some of them wore one band uniform, while the Exclusives wore another.

Sounded great!

Mar. 17 - Met Karl Meerstein at a Tiki Quintet rehearsal at his house. I sat in on "I

Saw Her Standing There." Went with Frank Biner and Mitch Bruski.

July 18 - Howard gets a Vox AC-30 amp!

July 19 - Vox amp goes to repair shop after we used all 6 inputs at the rehearsal

he night before.

Jul 27 -Kirby's first drum set: Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl Super Classic

Oct.11, The Tikis split in to two groups: Howard and Al Josephson as The

Freelancers and Karlo, Kirby Bivans and Mike Brook as The Other Half.

Oct 23, -first Other Half rehearsal: Karlo, Kirby, Mike Brook, Jim Callen

Nov.7 -won battle of the bands at Main Street Music

Feb.14, 1966 –got first band cards (I don't remember these)

March 1 -"Howard's band got a Bogen P.A. amp & 2 Wilder speaker cabinets (4 –

12" each)!"

March 11 -Mike kicks Jim Callen out of The O.H.

March 29 -"Mrs. Kelly came over tonight to welcome us to the neighborhood – how

sweet! She brought us a crunch cake. She has a Junior daughter."

May? -Terry Holmes auditions with band as rhythm guitar / singer. Ray Herr, later.

May 15 -"Bob Siegel (who has length) drove us home."

June 15 -"I think Bob Siegel is gonna be our bass player."

June 17 -"Scooter and I rode over to Mike's house today and we had an Other Half

practice with Bob Siegel, Bret and Gary. We kicked Gary out & I ate at Kellys and

the new Other Half had an acoustical practice till 11pm. We were great! We had a

great vocal arrangement for "For Your Love" & "Nowhere Man."

Sept. 24 -"Got new Other Half cards. Boss."

Nov. 66 -took out a bank loan for the Voice of the Theater PA. $400?

Dec3 (Sat.) -"Worked at L&H. Bob, Kellys, Brett, Denise, Liz & Rick Mann were

there. We sang Byrd songs, etc." note - I got paid for that!

Dec. 11 -Mike quits band after being notified that we were looking for another


Dec. 17 -"Worked today. Tonight, Van Carlson came over to Bob's and we had

small practice. Greatness. Scootered after."

Dec. 26 -"Took pictures downtown; Marina City, Old Town, Circle Campus, etc.


Dec. 27 -"...then went to The Cellar with The Other Half plus Scott Nolan & Lenny &

the Gooshk. Gave Sampson the first pint."

Jan. 16, 1967 -"Madl called tonight. He wants us to go union as fast as possible.

Feb. 3 -"Played tonight with The Little Boy Blues at the Dead End. We were both

late. Jimmy Boyce broke my snare head!"

Feb. 11 -saw the Nightshades at the E.S.U.

May 6 - "Bob quits the band and cuts his hair and is getting a job!"

May 6 -recorded Van's original, "Reflexes" at his house.

May 9 –"Tom Lavin from the Nightshades came over to Kellys. He might be the new