The Journeymen

The Journeymen of Green Bay, WI
The Journeymen, 1966, from left: Gary Clark, Rick Fonder, Bob Van Calster, Mike Bogart and Mark Paulick. None of these guys were in the band by the time of the 45!

Out of Green Bay, Wisconsin, this band went through many lineup changes before settling on the quintet that recorded their great 45 on Tee Pee Records.

The Journeymen came from the Misty Shadows, who formed in 1965 with a lineup of:

Steve Van Pay (lead vocals)
Mark Paulick (lead guitar)
Tobin Kraft (bass, rhythm guitar)
Dan Gallagher (drums)

By 1966 the lineup had changed to the one pictured in the photo above, with only Mark Paulick remaining from the original group. This lineup changed the band name from the Misty Shadows to the Journeymen.

Mike Bogart (lead vocals)
Mark Paulick (lead guitar)
Rick Fonder (organ)
Bob Van Calster (bass)
Gary Clark (drums)

However, Paulick soon left to join first the Society for only one month and then the Invaders, who released several 45s on Cuca, USA and Capitol. Paulick recommended his friend Tom Halfpap, and within six months the lineup had completely changed to the group on the record:

Dennis Pharis (lead vocals)
Tom Halfpap (lead guitar)
Tobin Kraft (bass)
Buzz Eastman (drums)
Mike Giese (keyboards)

Toby Kraft’s father Bob started handle bookings for the band, namely at Premontre High School and the Prom Ballroom.

In the spring of ’68 the Journeymen won a battle of the bands sponsored by Henri’s Music, the prize being five hours of recording time at Appleton’s Target Studios. As usual with these kinds of “prizes”, the recording would be free but the band would be hit for the expense of mastering and pressing the records!

They went into the studio in June to cut their cover of the Yardbirds “You’re a Better Man Than I” for the A-side of their 45. They spent over four and a half hours getting that song down. Engineer Tom Gebheim overlapped Tom Halfpap’s two takes on the fuzzy lead to create a cool echo effect.

With the remaining twenty minutes they cut one take of “Realities in Life”, a song Tom Halfpap and Dennis Pharis sketched out during the ride from Green Bay. Lyrics for the final verse were provided by engineer Gebheim. “Realities in Life” blasts out with an unworldly guitar sound that seems to be shredding the tape it’s recorded on. Vibrant and spontaneous, it’s a rocking winner for all two minutes run time.

As it turned out local radio station WDUZ AM picked up the B-side original for play, so the band added “Realities in Life” to their set list. Most of the copies of the record were sold at gigs. However, Dennis Pharis refused to contribute towards the pressing costs, so Halfpap destroyed Pharis’ share of the 45s in his yard one night, contributing to the present-day rarity of this record!

That summer of ’68, Chicago’s USA Records approached the band about making an album – but the offer required the band to raise the money to cover recording costs, which they were unable to do.

Dale Evans filled in on drums when Buzz Eastman couldn’t make a show, including a few battle-of-the-bands, and joined the group full time when the Marines drafted Buzz after the record was out.

In 1969, Mike Cygan took over on drums. He wrote to me:

I was the last drummer for the Journeymen. I attended East High with Tobin Kraft, Bob Vancalster and Doug Cayer and they approached me in the fall of 1969. Buzz Eastman was still in the service and they really wanted someone who had the similar beat as Buzz. I was already in a band called the Backward Community and was a little hesitant at first but after a bit of prodding from Tobin agreed to step in. The band consisted of Tobin on lead, Bob on bass and Doug Cayer on the Wurlitzer with twin Leslies.

I remember we were playing in Sheboygan and it was one of those Friday & Saturday gigs so we were on our way home early Saturday morning and we were involved in a head on crash that nearly wiped us out. Luckily we swerved and only caused damage to the driver’s side. I think we got home at about 7:00 a.m.

We played for a couple years into the early part of ’71 and then I got drafted and left the band. Ironically when I got out, Doug called me and asked if I wanted to play with him and Tobin and go by the name of; Cayer, Kraft and Merlin. We played for nearly a year but then I got a job as a police officer with the Green Bay Police Department. As a matter of fact, Doug is still playing with a band he started after I left by the name of Rocker. I hope this helps in the story of the Journeymen, one of Green Bay’s finest.

Tom Halfpap left the group in early ’69 and was replaced by Jeff Hermice, but the Journeymen broke up that fall.

Source: Band photo and most of the info cribbed from Lost and Found #2.

14 thoughts on “The Journeymen”

  1. I’d like to add an addition to the Journeymen story after 1969. I was atten=
    ding East High with Tobin and Bob and was in a band called The Backward Com=
    munity. Anyway Bob, Tobin and Doug Cayer came out to one of our gigs and au=
    ditioned me.(without my knowledge)and after we finished up, they asked if I=
    would like to join them as the new drummer for the Journeymen. I said I he=
    ard you had a drummer to fill in since Buzz was in the service and they sai=
    d that he’s so so and that you have the same style as Buzz. Anyway I joined=
    in the fall of 69 and played into the early part of 71 which was when I en=
    listed in the Army. The band consisted of Tobin on lead, Bob on Bass, Doug =
    Cayer on the wurlitzer with twin Leslies. We played alot of the old rock pl=
    us a good chunk of Beatles. As a matter of fact, when I was discharged we h=
    ooked up again and played as a trio with Tobin, Doug and myself. When we fi=
    nally broke up we sort of went our seperate ways, but doug who was
    the best musician started his own group called Rocker and they are still p=
    laying. Now how bout that. And that is the rest of the story.


    Mike Cygan=A0=20

  2. Hey Robert,

    So Mike Giese played organ, not bass?

    Also, what about the early lineup of Steve Van Pay (lead vocals), Mark Paulick (lead guitar), Tobin Kraft (bass, rhythm guitar), and Dan Gallagher (drums) – was that another band altogether?

    Did you play on the record?


  3. That’s right Mike played organ not bass. One day we where practicing at Mike’s house and Dennis missed a booking at an Appleton High School, So I was mad with Dennis for not calling or any contact. He was sore at me for being mad with him, It seamed like everyone was scared of him so no one wanted to speakup against him I got feed up with it all and I quit the band. As far as the other band they where not the early journeymen like I said I started the Journeymenin 1965. No I wasn’t on the recording, But through the years I’ve played with some other great band’s such as TERRY VALE&THE SOUNDSATION’S, SIX THE HARDWAY out of LasVegas,Ralph Cooper also from Vegas,The Mutation’s,Fat Mike& The Blue Cat’s, SteelBlu, all from GreenBay,also THUNDER, The last band was from Marinette we called ourselves HillBillyLaw.

  4. I started this band in 1965,I first added GARY Clark then I talked with Mark Paulick about starting A band and the types of music I wanted to play and asked Mark what he liked after talking for awhile I asked Mark and he said he knew of an organ player his name was Rick Fonder I contacted Rick and asked if he would be interested in joining A band with us he said YES. I was going to Washington Jr. High I talked with a guy I heard was A pretty good singer and a good looking fellow with the girls his was Mike Bogart I asked him if he would like the types of music that we all were going to play and asked if he wanted to join the band he also said yes . then we needed a name for the band and between myself and my Mother we came up with the name The Journeymen and the slogan (ON THE MOVE) We used to practice at Gary’s house. In the beginning and then started practicing at Rick’s house, we played pretty much in town. I don’t remember when Mark left the band. but I remember asking him if he knew of a replacement Guitarist he told me to try Tom Halfpap and I did. He also said he would join the group. After that Rick Quit,Tom said he knew an organ player Mike Giese and Tom asked him to join, he said YES later we added Dennis and THE JOURNEYMEN where at it once again now I replaced the drummer with Buzz Eastman I talked with buzz’s brother Larry and explained I wanted to be able to offer more work but didn’t have a car Larry said he would by a van & be our manager Larry’s first van was a volkswagon bus our travels took us to Sturgeon Bay Larry’s van had a hard time making it up the hill’s. So Larry bought a Ford van it was a powder blue Larry had the [name&slogan] painted on the sides. To all the members of this group [I LOVE EACH OF YOU LIKE BROTHER’S] PEACE BE ALL YOUR’S.

  5. Robert, I think the 6 the Hard Way played at Little Abner’s in South Gate, CA circa ’66 or so. Were you with them then? Our band, which had come out to SoCal from Milwaukee, played quite a bit at Abner’s and I still (or I should say again) live only a few miles from that location. (BTW, I’m the guy who wrote the 2 books covering music from WI in the 50’s & 60’s. The Journeymen are in the 1st book).
    Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

  6. I’ve read the entries about the Journeymen with interest. It seems there has been an amount of fabrication or, lapse of actual timing as all the names and time sequences are not correct. Lets not forget about the group of guys who made up the Journeymen from 1967 thru 1969. Jeff Hermes played lead guitar, Louie LaCount played bass guitar, Dennis Pharis lead singer, Buzz Eastman played drums and Mike Giese played the Hammond Organ. Of course I could scan the promotional pics taken by Coral Promotions showing all the members and provide copies of the record. I don’t mind people writing what they believe, but it would be nice to preserve the history correctly.

  7. great stories, my father mike giese would tell me some of the greatest times in is life was when he was playing. he really loved you guys. hes passed but i still have his old keyboard. i believe dave evans replaced buzz on drums not dale, id like to learn more, thank you

  8. Here’s a little input on the Journeymen: Around 1969-70, I joined the band as organ/keyboard player with Tobin Kraft on guitar,Bob Van Calster on Bass and Russ Hoier on drums.I recall Buzz Eastman being on drums later on and also Bob Larsen(both passed away from accidental deaths).Bob Van Calster was offered a chance to play bass with 6 The Hard Way from Las Vegas, and told Tobin and I forgot who the drummer was with us, that he was leaving for Vegas!!We were happy for him, but had no bass player for the upcoming Friday night East High dance gig. I had a Farfisa Combo Compact back then and it had an octave of bass keys ,which I tried playing bass keyboard on for that gig.I had seen Ray Manzerek play bass keyboard,so I thought I’d go for it.To this day I am playing bass keyboard in Rocker,which I formed in 1974. I do remember going to see Dennis Pharis, Mike Giese, and Tobin Kraft when they played at a campground way way back and really being impressed with everyone!!A little unsure of the exact years I was with the Journeymen, but lots of good memories, and Larry Eastman(Buzz’s brother) was a very very good friend.Guess I’ll have to look some of these people up so we can sit around and swap stories…Doug Cayer-Green Bay

    1. you say buzz eastman passed away? And mike giese too? Was mike from the oliver giese family? I left NEW back in 1973 but I grew up with VanCalster at washington and east thats a long time ago.I knew toby too. these were some great guys i must tell you. Cayer is in a group with my cousin…small world.

      1. Hey Tom this is Bob. I’m not computer literate, and am using my son’s e-mail. He visits me all the time, so he’s letting me use it.. And I was just telling him about the history of us. Give me a call.. We can catch up. 1-920-405-8236

  9. WoW! This picture brings back fond memories. I had a great time singing in various groups in Green Bay including the Epics, Society, and Chestnut Tree Café. I think the Journeymen was the only group that I left voluntarily. All the other ones I was fired! All in all it was a great experience I will never forget. Thanks to all the bands that gave me a chance to perform. I left Green Bay in 1969 and joined the Navy and had a great 25-year career.


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