Anthem La Belle 45 Fast Suzi

Anthem – Fast Suzi

Anthem La Belle 45 Fast SuziI’m not sure how a record this good could be this obscure. When I heard “Fast Suzi” by a band called Anthem, I thought it was late ’70s power-pop. I can’t find any definite info on the record, but the release date seems to be much earlier, even as early as 1968.

Both “Fast Suzi” and the ballad flip “Not Sure She’s Mine” were written by R.E. Warner & Brown for AW Music.

The label was La Belle, and reads “A Dave Eppler Production”. Various sites on the ‘net say the band came from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, about halfway between Madison and Milwaukee. There is a La Belle Lake in Wisconsin, but not close to Oconomowoc.

Anthem La Belle 45 Not Sure She's Mine

16 thoughts on “Anthem – Fast Suzi”

  1. I spoke w/Dave Eppler in 2011. He didn’t remember the names of any members & didn’t remember for sure the reason for the lbl name, but he thought it did come from Lake Labelle. He had a dairy farm in Oconomowoc where they had hayrides for students at Luther Prep in Watertown. This band played at the one of those events & he recorded them in Milw, w/45’s pressed in IL – he thinks “four or five hundred.” He gave the yr as ’69.

  2. After a build-up like that it’s a shame we can’t hear it. Someday there will be a way to share music from computer to computer. The world awaits!!

  3. Anthem was from Watertown, WI. I attended the same private college in Watertown where Anthem’s members went to school. Out of professional courtesy, they shall remain anonymous at this time.

    The hayrides mentioned above would have been for Northwestern Prep (not Luther Prep). In the early 70s, what is now the Luther Prep campus in Watertown was shared by Northwestern Prep and Northwestern College.

    Several members of Anthem, after adding a female vocalist, went on to perform as a very popular house band at The Fireside Restaurant (Supper Club) in Fort Atkinson, WI. That would have been in the 1972-1975 timeframe. Today that facility is known as The Fireside Dinner Theater. I don’t believe they played under the Anthem name, but my research is still ongoing to find out otherwise. I believe the Fast Suzi record was released in either 1970 or 1971.

    In 1972 I played drums for another band from Watertown, Jawbone Hill. Besides myself (John Coleman) on drums, members included Bruce Hartwig (guitar), John Manthe (bass), and Al Tapes (vocals). We played the Dodge and Jefferson Counties bar circuit with the bands The Reflections, Dry Ice, D C Mudd, and The Wall. Venues included Thee Coach Lite Inn in Watertown, Casey’s On Q in Sullivan, Jud’s in Waupun, and The Shorecrest Ballroom in Jefferson.

    John Manthe currently plays with Tis The Band, a traditional Irish band in Southeastern Wisconsin. One of his daughters plays violin for national touring and recording Irish rock band The Tossers.

    1. John Coleman, good to see your info. According to Dave Eppler, who produced the record, it was in 1969 (which puts them in my 1950-69 WI coverage). If it turns out to be later, then they’re out of my covered time period (which would save me more research. 🙂 )It was also Eppler who told me that the hayride for Luther Prep. Perhaps he is confused about it? I do show them as being from Watertown. So far I’m assuming that the 2 co-writers, R.E. Warner & Brown, were band members.

      1. 1969 could be a possibility, certainly not earlier. My recollection of the record is more late 1970. One of my former bandmates has a copy of this 45 rpm. I don’t think Eppler is confused. Today that school is called Luther Prep, so an easy mistake to make. In the 70s, Northwestern Prep was in Watertown, WI, and Luther Prep was in Prarie du Chien, WI. R.E. Warner and Brown(sic) were members of the band , guitar and keyboards respectively.

        1. Thx, John. Pls LMK if you happen to learn which yr is correct for sure. I’m the author of 2 bks covering recorded WI bands/artists 1950-69 & I continue to add to my info. (Anthem is not in the bks, as I didn’t learn of them until after publication).

          1. Gary Myers. A brief update and a few clarifications on previous posts. I e-mailed a member of Anthem regarding the release date of Fast Suzi. As of yet, no reply. Some members went on to perform in a house band at the Fireside Theater in Fort Atkinson. That band was called Currier & Ives. Concerning the schools: Northwestern Prep was on the Watertown campus in 69-70. Martin Luther Prep was founded in 1979 in Prarie du Chien. The two schools merged on the Watertown campus in 1995 to become an entirely new school, Luther Prep.

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for confirming the recording date. I think “Fast Suzi” has a sound that’s ahead of its time. I hope we can get a member of the group to comment on the band – or even a photo of the group.

      1. I co-wrote, arranged, played lead guitar on and sang Fast Suzi and co-wrote the flipside Not Sure She’s Mine. January 1970. Recorded in Dave Kennedy Studio’s in his “old” location on the near northside MIlwaukee, later he moved down to a posh studio on Wisconsin Ave. Dave Eppler was a very hip music bug who got a big bang out of 5/4 music, which Fast Suzi in its verse. We intentionally redlined the mixing board to get that archeo-Rock River sound. Dave Eppler produced, Mark Braun played keyboards and sang Not Sure She’s Mine, Dave Beckman was the drummer and Jimmy Seelow was on bass. The nasty sound of the songs played well in venues in South Central Wisco during that time. Beckman, Braun and I went on to form Currier & Ives in 1972 with Sally Feld & my brother David J. Warner, to play for years at the Fireside Club in Ft. Atkinson, Wis. In that role we became regionally known and loved the Klopsicks at the Fireside — Please give my regards to Dave Eppler who not only got a big bang out of doing the production, but also coming to our gigs, and driving the hottest fire red Chevy SS with a 454 in it. I hope he still has that car. — By the way I have some of the original Fast Suzi 45s in storage, so if anyone is interested, please email me at rewarner@bellsouth.net. Not Sure She’s Mine was used in the soundtrack of a nutty film “Twilight Zone of Real Estate” in 1982. There are many many odd stories connected to this 45, but not enough room here. REWarner

        1. Hi RE
          I’d love to have one of your old 45’s with FAST SUZI and NOT SURE SHE’S MINE. If you will send this record to me I will send you copies of my last two books MESSENGERS OF CHRIST and CHRISTIAN MESSAGES. My address is : 217 East Benson Avenue
          Ridgecrest, CA 93555 The Lord bless you always.
          Carl

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