Yes, the first was Live Spirit out of Canton South Dakota which was a variety cover band playing everything from Led Zeppelin to Doobie Bros to the Stones. That was a great experience because I got to travel all over the area performing for proms, homecomings, clubs and concerts. I did that for about 2 or 3 years and eventually the guys in that band wanted to go more mellower and I was starting to get into Kiss and I wanted to go heavier so I quit the band. It wasn't long and I joined a hard rock group that was forming in Sioux Falls called Rox Band. We played all the same type of venues but we were much louder and played a lot of Kiss, Ted Nugent and AC/DC to name a few. I loved it. Unfortunately that is when my life started to go downhill personally. I got into drinking and lots of drugs. The whole sex, drugs and rock n roll stereotype was indeed my life. It got old after awhile. I was searching but I didn't know for what. I ended up converting to Christianity after about 3 years in that band.
Zion formed in 1980/81. I had been playing drums in a softer Christian band that did covers in 1980 after I left Rox. Then two other local musicians at the time Dave Moore and Bruce Fischer had heard that I had quit Rox which was a pretty well known band locally. Dave played guitar in another secular local band that was more of a southern rock flavor called Southwind. He too was sick of the lifestyle and looking for a change and was intrigued by my conversion. Bruce was another guitar player but wasn't in a band at the time. He was the program manager of the most popular secular fm rock radio station in town but he was also a pastors kid. He was looking for a change as well and had grown up with Dave. They got together and called me. We then met up to discuss the possibility of getting together to form a more rock style Christian orientated original band. Tommy the drummer came a few years later and helped out as a sound and light man and also a drum tech at first. When Bruce finally moved away in 1986 that is when I stepped out from behind the drums and Tommy became the drummer.
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