The More-Tishans, from left: Chris Nelson, Roy ‘Pinky’ Herschleb, Dick Schreier and Hugh Kraemer
The More-Tishans were a major live act in eastern Minnesota. Today they’re known mainly for the only song they ever released, “Nowhere to Run” – the other side is the instrumental backing track. What a tune, though, penned by a friend of the band, Mark LeBoutillier.
The band recorded “Nowhere to Run” at Dove Studios in the Bloomington section of Minneapolis. It was produced by Timothy D. Kehr and released on Peak, a subsidiary of Minneapolis’ Metrobeat label.
This is very accomplished garage with fine harmonies. Scott Schell explained to me that after two early lead singers, Steve Peulen and Jim Bancroft left the group, the group needed to rely on their harmony singing to carry the songs. It’s hard to believe they would never cut another record. I find the instrumental worth a listen as well.
Scott Schell has been researching bands from Stillwater, Minnesota and will publish a history of these groups next year. I’ll turn the rest of this article over to him. Scott also sent in the great photos, articles and promotional materials.
The More-Tishans – a history by Scott Schell
From the beginning the More-Tishans were a unique group with almost flawless harmonies, wit, and the ability to work up a crowd. This foursome were all somewhat shy, but on stage a transformation would take place and they would become the impeccable More-Tishans.
In 1963 when the idea of starting a group came about the only one with any musical background was Roy (Pinky) Herschleb. Pinky had been playing drums in the school band for some time, but as for the other three, Hugh Kraemer, Tom Cafferty and Chris Nelson, it would be bloodied fingers, hours of practice and determination.
With the help of their parents the More-Tishans set up a four-way partnership that would include being responsible for bank transactions, deciding on payment, and of course IRS tax and writing off equipment as needed; not bad for high school kids not yet old enough to drive!
The very first job that they would play would be a turkey trot at a local church, at this point they only knew about six songs, but would indeed entertain the crowd for several hours nonetheless. One member of the group went the whole night with his amp on standby, because he wasn’t quite there yet on guitar. As time went on and after hours of grueling practice after practice things began to take shape.
As the musicianship grew so did the image as well. The More-Tishans would not only work their songs to perfection, but also the way they looked: wearing matching suits of which I think there was four or five different ones, and the posters, the pictures, the top of line equipment and last but not lest the hearses; of which over time there would be three.
Time would prove that the hearses wouldn’t be all that practical. The weight of the equipment added to the weight of the hearse itself was very hard on tires and universal joints; as a result the group would have to carry along with them a number of spare parts and two jacks. The two jacks was the only way the hearse could be lifted with all that extra weight.
The next vehicle the group would own was a brand new Ford wagon the boys would lay down cold hard cash for. In the begining these guys weren’t old enough to drive, their first manager Doc Lee would bring the group to gigs in his station wagon touting trailer behind.
Management? Back in the early sixties the venue for live music was big business with over more than likely three hundred clubs, school dances, ballrooms etc. The competition was intense and Doc Lee would prove to be a fierce competitor in the field of entertainment. The More-Tishans would soon find themselves traveling the entire state of Minnesota and all surrounding states, logging thousands of miles a year.
In the spring of 1965 the group was graduating high school. My first job was stocking shelves in a corner store and here these guys are traveling all over the place playing music and learning life lessons from the road, doing what most of the rest of the world could only dream of. Well, so the summer of 65 is upon the More-Tishans and there’s plenty of work to go around before college starts and it’s time to buckle down. As the summer comes to a close and the new school year is upon us, all four of the group have enrolled in college but the More-Tishans are now playing the college circuit. And by now their skills as musicians are honed to a tee. Over the next year it would be school work during the week and rock & roll on the weekends. A tough schedule for most, yes, but this bunch is driven, not just by rock & roll but by life and all it has to offer.
1966 would prove to be a major break through with the writing of, by high school class mate Marc LeBoutillier and recording of (I’ve got) Nowhere To Run on a local record label.
The first blow the More-Tishans would take came in 1967 when Tommy, lead guitar and vocalist, would be drafted into the military; [yet] this was nothing more than a minor setback. A group out of Marshall, Minnesota had a more than qualified lead guitarist / vocalist who would be ready to fill the shoes of Tommy. Dick Schreier came on board and the group continued playing the Midwest, and the college circuit with Dick at the helm.
In late 67 the More-Tishans would suffer yet another blow when drummer Pinky Herschleb would be stricken with a condition that would cause him so much pain in his arms he could no longer play drums for an extended period of time. Once again it seemed as though this might be the end for the More-Tishans, but a young and eager Dan Monson was ready for the chance.
Now considered one of the top ten of Twin Cities bands, the More-Tishans seem to be unstoppable, yet on Aug. 23, 1968 it would end. In front of a hometown crowd at the National Guard Armory in Stillwater, Minnesota with all six present and past members of the More-Tishans in attendence the band would give their final performance.
I am sorry to say with deep regret that four of the six More-Tishans are no longer with us. Dick was first to leave us in the 90’s followed by Dan, then Tom in 2003 and then in 2004 Pinky would join them. Only two are alive: Chris Nelson and Hugh Kraemer.
As a footnote I would like to add that the success these six individuals showed in the business of a rock & roll would also come shining through in their personal lives, all achieving and excelling in the business community.
The persona of the More-Tishans paid for their college educations and paved the way for what it takes to be successful, so; what many see as youthful fling with sex, drugs, and rock & roll is on the contrary; a lesson in business savvy, learning to be responsible, making the right choices etc.
Talk to any musician in the Valley and they will agree the More-Tishans set the bar for everyone to follow. The More-Tishans gave us much more than their own unique talent and showmanship, they also forced the rest of us to go that extra mile.