The Impacts

The Impacts of Longview, Washington

One of several bands called the Impacts in Washington state, this group was from Longview, a small city along the Columbia River, a half-hour’s drive north of Portland. Original members were Ron Baldwin and LaDonna Lockman on vocals, Bruce Farquhar on guitar, Dick Sayles keyboards, Bill Uhlig bass and Spook Brusco on drums.

By the time of their first 45, Dan “Spyder” White and Steve Green had replaced Sayles and Brusco, respectively, and LaDonna Lockman had either left the band or was only appearing at their live gigs, as she isn’t on any of their recordings.

Impacts NWI 45 A Little Bit MoreThey recorded their first 45 at Northwestern Inc., the legendary Portland studio where the Kingsmen cut Louie Louie, and paid the studio to press it on its NWI label. “A Little Bit More” is a fine original, and may have helped get them signed with Pat Mason, a major booking agent in the Pacific Northwest.

“Leavin’ Here” is an Eddie Holland song on Motown that became a staple of live acts like the Who and the Birds in the UK, but in the states was less often covered. The Impacts probably learned it from Jimmy Hanna & the Dynamics’ version on Bolo.

Compared to the frantic pace of the UK groups who recorded “Leaving Here”, the Dynamics and the Impacts versions take a much more languid approach. The Dynamics make it work with swirling organ fills and horns responding to the vocal lines. The Impacts start off well, with a sharper sound than the Dynamics, but the band somehow fails to generate the energy to make this work, especially on the chorus.

Impacts Lavender 45 Green Green FieldOnce signed with Pat Mason, the Impacts started releasing records on his Lavender label, and recording at Bob Gibson’s Ripcord Studio in Vancouver, WA.

“Green Green Field” and “Don’t You Dare” show a much more confident and accomplished band. Like “A Little Bit More,” these two songs are originals by Dan White (Robert Douglas White on the BMI registration).

After this record they changed their name to the Impact Express and released three additional 45s on Lavender in progressively pop stylings. I’d feature “I’m Gonna Change the World” if I had a copy, but by “Sunshine Day” they sounds like a completely different band.

45 releases:

The Impacts:

A Little Bit More / Leavin’ Here (NWI 2006)
Don’t You Dare/Green Green Field (Lavender 2005)

The Impact Express:

I’m Gonna Change The World/ You Get Your Kicks (Lavender 2006)
Sunshine Day / Don’t You Dare (Lavender 2007)
A Little Love/Fly With Me (Lavender 2008)

Photo from PNW Bands

29 thoughts on “The Impacts”

  1. I would be interested in knowing where you got your information on The Impacts/Impact Express as some of it is wrong.
    The band was started and owned/run by Henry “Spook” Brusco. He started the band when he was in high school in Rainier, Oregon which is just across the Columbia River from Longview, WA.
    At the time of their first 45 and throughout all of their recording career Spook Brusco owned the band and was their drummer. It is his drums you hear in each of their records. White and Green never “replaced” Brusco. Brusco did quit the band eventualy to pursue another career. The band’s “heyday” in the Pacific Northwest had pretty much ended by then.
    Spook Brusco WAS The Impacts. He was an amazing drummer and, by the way, is alive and well and living in Longview, Washington.

  2. Just to let you guys know that the Impact Express ‘You Get Your Kicks’ (Lavender) is a big sound on the UK’s Northern Soul scene.
    Think the original version was done by Mitch Ryder & Detroit Wheels?

  3. OK… I’m the bass player through all of this and beyond (still playing to this day, in fact). It’s been a long time and I can’t verify that Spook drummed on everything. Steve Green joined us when Spook quit because he didn’t like the fact that Bruce and I had suddenly been smitten by a Jimi Hendrix obsession. There were a lot of reasons why things sort of ran out a couple years after that. Spook was integral to getting the band started, but so say he “owned” it is humorous to put it mildly. I would say that the main musical leaders were Bruce, Spyd (Dan White) and Ron. Spook was (and is) a great guy.. he was a good drummer then too, for what we were; young kids. I drank my first beer in the back seat of Spook’s old Oldsmobile… drivin’ across the Longview/Rainier bridge on the way to a gig at the Knights of Pythius Hall in St. Helens, Oregon.

    There’s lot of stories to tell.

    But no, Spook didn’t “own” the band. Really…. I was there.

    1. Man it has been a loooooong time.
      The Impacts came up in a conversation today and I found the website that had your comments. You guys were an awesome chapter of life in Longview and the precursor to a lot of dead brain cells. I hope all is well.

      Rick Stanton / Class of ’67

  4. Sunshine Day was our bid to try to break out a single. It was written by Dick St. John of Dick and Dee Dee fame, who we were touring with extensively and backing up at the time. We spent an unheard of (for us) amount of time in the old Ripcord studio in Vancouver tracking and over tracking this thing. Vocals over vocals… (I think we were four track by then, but maybe only two) We threw everything at it, and I think it stands up pretty well for what it is.

    Perhaps because we spent so much time on it; perhaps because it was a “real” song, written by a “real” hit maker; perhaps because at the time we really still believed in the “making it” dream… but I still think this is the best thing we did on vinyl.

  5. Paa leeze!!! Spookie was never the “owner” of the Impacts. Where on earth did you ever get that informaiton?

  6. Exactly Bill. There are people talking here that really have no idea what the heck was going down. We for sure have a Spookie groupie here. That’s OK though, Spookie was a cute kid on those drums.

  7. I remember the Impacts well, as I was the little kid who lived across the street from Bruce Farquar, and loved to sit outside and listen to them jamming in the Farquars garage. I was much younger than Bruce- I seem to have in my mind that they were the warmup band for Paul Revere and the Raiders once.. Can someone substantiate that?

    Glad I found this website, and listening to Green Green Fields again was a blast, sort of eirie, since I hadnt heard that 45 in close to 40 years- the words still came right back to me…. ( I bought the 45 when it came out years ago, but is long gone now)

    Hey Bruce, what have you been doing the last 40 years?

  8. Remember dancing to these guys at the smith center in Longview. Was like 15 or something and really remember thinking that was the peak of night life

  9. I met these guys at college in Longview. It’s been driving me crazy because I saw that a Bill Uhlig was in a band in Cannon Beach…and there just aren’t that many peops with that name! So glad to find out it’s really him! Went to many dances all over SW Washington & Portland and even sang with them once at a beach party for fun. Very nice guys..This is such a fond memory for me growing up in the 60’s. Not sure why I didn’t check the internet before! sheesh! Any news on the rest of the guys, Bill?

  10. By the way, I still have an article I cut out of the paper with their picture…I should put it on my facebook page..eh?

  11. I was Ron DePriest’s high school sweetheart for awhile. Bruce, I loved the Impacts music, and what memories to get to revisit some of the songs on this website! How are you? So neat to see you. Still in love with Ron! Never forgot my first love. If you are still in Longview, tell him I said hello!

    Are you still playing guitar?

    LOVE hearing the music tonight!
    Cindy Jordan

  12. Loved stumbling onto this website! Went to high school with some of you guys, and remember dancing with my high school sweetheart at some of your gigs in Longview. You guys are really awesome…hope all are well and healthy and happy. Bruce, you and Ron were best buds I think, and he and I were h.s. sweethearts sophomore at RA Long. What GREAT memories I have of Longview and the good ole days, dancin, cruisin. Thanks for the memories! Cindy Jordan

  13. I haven’t seen the other guys much for the last few years. Ron and I used to hang together and were even in a pretty popular (and good, I think) blues band together on the coast. We played the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival pretty often back in the 90s. But, we’ve sort of drifted apart. I never see Bruce anymore. Haven’t for years. I think he’s in Longview. Once in a while I randomly run into Steve Green, and very, very occasionally Spookie. I understand Donna is still around in Longview, as is Spyd.

    I got spun off by way of Astoria into the whole string band/bluegrass bar band scene in the mid nineties. I was lucky enough to find an enduring musical brother in Spud Siegal, aka “The Great Mandolini”, and we’ve been holding forth at Bill’s Tavern in Cannon Beach once a week for nearly twenty years now, as well as touring all over the region in the summers. But that’s coming to an end soon. I still play with Portland blues legend Johnny Ward in his jug band down in Portland, so I’ll stay at least somewhat active musically.

    I still have a place in Clatskanie, where I’ve basically been hidin’ out since ’73. But I work in Portland, and have for years. So, now I have a weekday apartment down here as well as the place out in the woods. That’s about all the update I can provide right now.

    Sure has been a long, funny trip… nice to see a few folks still remember the old days. I spend a lot of time these days boring people with reminiscing. Who knows what’s around the next corner.

  14. RA Long!!! I grew up in Longview and as posted before- have fond memories of listening to the Impacts jam in Bruces garage across the street from my house. They DID tour with paul revere and the raiders- I have been able to verify that.

    When my mom and dad got divorced I was in my junior year at RA LONG- what a school- we had to packup and spent my senior year in upstate new york- ( Queensbury High School- what a rinky dink school ) it couldnt hold a candle to RA LONG- one of my deepest regrets in life was not graduating from RA LONG

    1. Definitely appeared with Paul Revere and the Raiders. It was my first concert & it was in the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Krista Cobb Mackey and I had front row seats. Coolest thing EVER! 🎶

  15. hello, my name is stephen, im looking to get a copy of Dont you dare vinyl,anyone no were i could get one?? or even a download??

  16. Can anyone put me in contact with someone that was in this group? I’m seeking permission to use some of their original music in a documentary I am producing about northwest concert promoter, Ed Dougherty.
    Thank you

  17. Chuck, I was the keyboardist for The Impacts and sole composer/author of all original Impacts material. You can email me about what exactly you are looking for regarding documentary. Thanks

  18. I am so excited to have found this website. For the last year I have been researching materials for a potential documentary about the Longview / Kelso music scene. I am looking to research at least 50 years worth of local music. For the last few months I have been scouring microfilm at the Longview Library (yes…..i’m the nerdy guy sitting at the microfilm machine scanning like a maniac. What I have come to discover is that our local scene has been full of vibrant, lively, and may I say killer rock and roll music. As a musician of 25 years here in Longview I really am quite proud to carry on the tradition around these parts. While making a documentary film is still definitely in the cards, I do believe that making a book will enable me and all of you local scenesters and rockers to tell your story. At this point I am currently looking for articles, show listings, photos from the daily news and I must say we have had a great scene here: The Stilettos, The Furys, The Panics, The Night Walkers, Those Guys, and of course The Impacts. Everytime I play “Don’t You Dare” it gives me goosebumps every time. In the coming months I hope to spread the word through my blog which will be dedicated to my latest updates with regards to this project. As of tonight I completed my study of 1966 and have compiled over 250 shows from all across Cowlitz County. Once again, I am but a young man hoping to gather up this fantastic history and share it with the world. Thanks to all you great bands who have inspired me to tell this story.
    Please get in touch with me and share your stories. I want to hear from all of you!

    1. Tyler,
      I was bass/vocals for the Stilettos in ’63 & ’64. Three of us, Darrel Boyles (drums), Dave Farrah (lead), and myself were from Castle Rock. Our sax player was Mike Morgan from Kelso and Dean Adair (keys) was from RA Long. In the days of fierce school rivalries it was helpful to have diverse membership, ‘though we came close to mayhem at a Kelso after game dance when some of the crowd recognized Dean as an RAL enemy and stormed the stage. I’ll never forget Farrar holding his mid-fifties Les Paul by the neck like a baseball bat, preparing for battle. I at least put down the P-Bass and picked up a mike stand.
      No management, but when I was seventeen and Farrar fifteen we roamed the area looking for venues. Nearly every town back then had a dance hall and when we found one we would take down contact information, come back a week later and rent it, get a permit, hire rent-a-cops and put posters everywhere and the following weekend separate the locals from as much money as we could. There were no thoughts of Liability Insurance, Legal Responsability or Lawyers. A good time was had by all, even the ones who got in the occasional fist-fight. Truly a great time in our lives!

      1. Tyler,
        My comment about the Stilettos was a reply to your request for info. about other area bands and it wound up in the wrong place. The Impacts were a great band and we (as a group) admired them greatly . In my estimation they were at a level of professionalism that we never quite attained, but we had a great time while it lasted. To be listed in the same grouping as The Furys, Impacts, and other bands mentioned was very complimentary but I had no intention of jumping on their bandwagon.

  19. Oh and let us not forget THE CANTERBURYS, THE HUMANE SOCIETY, THE VITRONS, THE MARQUIS, JERRY AND THE E.T.s, etc. and so on. I am in awe of how great our scene has been.

  20. I drove for UPS for 30 plus years with Bruce Farquhar and Ron Depriest out of Kelso Wa. We have a retiree breakfast or lunch monthly. Recently Bruce has gotten back on the the horse and doing a gig here and there locally. He still has “It”.

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