-- Bob Laughton --
Bob played Bass Guitar and sang lead or backup vocals for most songs . Occasionally he would switch to slide guitar for songs such as "Bullfrog", which he wrote. Bob wrote or co-wrote many of the band's original songs and did occasional graphics work such as designing a band logo for an equipment stencil and designing posters (e.g., the posters for the Hippodrome and the Rock Jam at the Santa Rosa fairgrounds which can be seen on the Photos page)
Before the band:
Bob's background is shrouded in mystery, but we do know that he was already proficient on a half dozen instruments - mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass, harmonica, oud and ocarina when he showed up on campus in Carbondale. Bob actually graduated from SIU with a degree in Design. Bob is a polymath who has published extensively and patented an astonishing portfolio of his designs for things as diverse as furniture, transportation hubs, musical instruments, and industrial processes.
He was active in many music groups on and off campus. He played for several years with a bluegrass group, the "Dusty Roads Boys". In that group he played guitar, banjo, mandolin and sang. The Dusty Roads Boys won many campus talent shows and were popular performers at Folk Arts Society events and local barn dances. He played bass and blues harp with a Chicago Blues style band, "The Nite Owls" who were later renamed "The Nickel Bag". The Nite Owls were very popular at local bars and parties.
Interesting side note: Other players in that group included: Jon Stocklin on lead guitar, John Jeremiah on keyboards and Gary Miller on guitar and lead vocals. Stocklin and Jeremiah went on to play and record with Rotary Connection. John Jeremiah later joined Mitch Aliota and Skip Haynes to form the eponymous group "Aliota, Haynes & Jeremiah" who had a big hit in the Chicago market with "Driving on Lake Shore Drive (LSD)". A few recordings from the Nite Owls/Nickel Bag are now available on "Chicago Garage Band Greats" and online.
After the band:
After the band broke up, Bob joined a Buddhist monastery for a while before marrying Fran and raising two boys while settling in Redwood Valley, CA. He plays with a Celtic music group, The Boys of the Bog, and co-hosts a local radio program on technology. Bob regularly posts his amazingly sophisticated and elegant photography on Flikr, and manufactures new memes in his home lab, outsourcing distribution to teenagers in Tucson AZ; Boston MA; Bern Norway; Lyon France; Galway Ireland; and Ashville NC.
Some links to Bob related sites:
Robbie Brett Steve Stories