The Stompers

The aptly-named Stompers cut one of the wildest rock records of the ’60s, “I Know”. The drummer slams the cymbals while pounding the toms, a great intro that they come back to after each chorus accompanied by intense screams. The rhythm of the guitars is ferocious and the lyrics are delivered in clipped phrases of a few words at a time. “I Know” was released in February 1965, with a cover of Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby” on the flip.

It took me years to find a copy of “I Know” after hearing it on Root ’66: The Frozen Few where they were mistakenly thought to be a Minnesota band because of the Studio City label. The Stompers were actually from Mount Vernon, Iowa, a town east of Cedar Rapids and 300 miles away from the studio in Minneapolis where they recorded.

It seems like every state in the Midwest has a rock music association to formally recognize the great local acts of the ’50s and ’60s. The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame inducted the Stompers in 2006.

The Association’s website gives this intro to the band and is the source for the photo:

Inducted Members:
Donald A. Bradford, Steven M. Edwards, Bill Bauman, Greg Harman, Randy Harman, Brian Harman, Michael S. Sexton, Scott Bascom

In 1963 … Steve Edwards exposed southern-oriented R&B to the small-town, upper-Midwest ears of Greg Harman, Randy Harman and Bill Bauman who at that time were immersed in Beach Boys/Surf music. By 1964, the Stompers’ sound had become heavily influenced by British R&R (especially the Beatles and the Rolling Stones). During this time, the Stompers played a regular circuit of ballrooms (Danceland, Dance-Mor, Highway Gardens, The Col) and other eastern Iowa venues. They opened for the Everly Brothers, Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids, the Hondells and backed Chuck Berry at Danceland in Cedar Rapids.

In the fall of 1964, the Stompers recorded their first record in Minneapolis which featured “I Know” b/w “Hey Baby”. “I Know” was an original song written by Greg and Randy Harman which gained a notoriety long outliving the band. “I Know” made it as high as #19 on a number of regional charts.

The summer of 1965 brought the release of a second record “You’re Gone” b/w “I Still Love Her” (two Greg Harman originals). “You’re Gone” peaked at #24 on regional charts. The Edwards, Bauman, Harman, and Harman version of the Stompers ended in the fall of 1965 with the departures of Edwards and Bauman.

Version Two of the Stompers included Greg and Randy Harman and the addition of Scott Bascom, Don Bradford and Mike Sexton. The Stompers’ venues expanded to include several Chicago-area clubs. The Stompers opened for Eric Burdon and The Animals at Danceland Ballroom in Cedar Rapids.

Later that spring, Randy Harman and Don Bradford made contact with Nathan Weiss. He told Randy and Don to send him a tape and he would give it a listen. The tape was recorded at Fredlo Studios in Davenport and sent to Weiss. He invited the Stompers to come to NYC. Weiss produced a record-company-exec showcase at The Scene in Manhattan with the Stompers featured. Present at the showcase were Brian Hyland, Tiny Tim, The Cyrcle, and The Tokens. Weiss helped the Stompers get a gig as the house band at the Village Purple Onion. In the fall of 1966, version two of the Stompers disbanded.

In 1969, Steve Edwards, Greg and Randy Harman reunited and with Brian Harman opened a show for The Paul Butterfield Blues Band at Vet’s Coliseum in Cedar Rapids. This turned out to be the precursor to a series of annual reunions that continue to this day. In September of 2004, Edwards, Harman, Harman, Harman, Bauman and Kansas City keyboardist Everett DeVan recorded a group of original songs by Steve Edwards for distribution among friends. Individually, many of the Stompers continued their much varied musical interests.

The Studio City label shows “I Know” written by Stonie Beecher and Randy Harman instead of Greg and Randy Harman. I hadn’t heard their second 45 on their own Stomp label, “I Still Love You” / “You’re Gone” until November 2011.

This 45 doesn’t match their name, as both sides are very calm originals by Stonie Beecher. They’re excellent sides, especially “I Still Love You” which reminds me of the Zombies.

Thank you to John Owens for the scans and transfers of the Stompers second 45.

20 thoughts on “The Stompers”

  1. Why don’t you give scott bascom a call? he’s still in cedar rapids (if he’s still alive) and might have a copy of this 45.

    1. I don’t understand why there would be all this animosity. This is the kind of BS generated by the battles of the bands of which we either one or you guys. That hurt Cedar Rapids musicians for years after that. Or again maybe it was just the fact that your egos were bigger than ours.

  2. The Stompers did not open up for The Animals at Danceland Ballroom in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Animals opened up for The Untouchables and The Stompers didn’t appear at all

  3. That show was broadcast on the radio and it was I playing bass for The Untouchables and I have the photos and newspaper ads and clippings to prove it. You guys always hated us, but this is just a bold faced lie or your memory is shot. The Animals went on first and we followed them. Nobody “opened” for them. In fact, Eric let me sit in with the original group that are still alive at his 60th birthday party.I won’t tell you what Chuck Berry said about you guys backing him up at Danceland. He said it right to my and Dick Douglas’ faces as we were eating with him after the show.As Bo Diddley said, “What a bunch of shit”.

  4. I was at that show in Cedar Rapids in 1966 and The Stompers were definately NOT on that show. The Animals played first and then The Untouchables followed them. I know the Harman Bros and Don Bradford played rhythm guitar for The Stompers. Greg Harmon, AKA Stoney Burke played bass for The Stompers, so your story doesn’t hold water. I was also friends with Darlowe Olesen who owned Danceland and The Untouchables were the only band he used to tour with the big acts like Dave Clark Five, Paul Revere and The Raiders and many more and coming on here making up stories from 46 years ago is pretty pathetic.I have a picture I took of The Untouchables and The Animals that day. Bradford was out buying a plaid shirt or something. I’ve verified this with my friends who still remember The Untouchables as being the top band in the area and had a real two-sided hit with “Stick Around” and “Come On Baby”. I still have that 45 too, and recently saw a copy for sale on E Bay for $600 and was hailed as “The Holy Grail of Gagage Punk”, even by the IA R&R HoF. I think the site admisistrator should check the facts before putting misinformation up.

  5. I may be getting old, but I lived in Cedar Rapids in April of 1966 when The Animals and The Untouchables played and we thought The Untouchables were better. The Stompers (I remember them too) were not on the show and the band was called The Animals at this point, not Eric Buirdon & The Animals,as Alan Price had just left the group and Inside Looking Out was their current release. I remember Tom Hankins as well and he is telling the truth. Why not put The Untouchables on your site? They were the #1 band in Iowa in the mid-1960s. I work in the music business in Los Angeles now and still remember The Untouchables. I remember Dick Douglas from the band too. His guitar playing put The Untouchables over the top. Whoever wrote this bio is pulling a fast one and got caught.

  6. I was at that show ( and almost every single show at Danceland in the 60’s, Darlowe the owner was a friend of my Mothers) The Stompers did NOT open for the Animals. As everyone who was there knows The Animals played..then The Untouchables. Simple as that. The Stompers had a following but were really not up to that level at that time.

  7. I was a member of “The Stompers” and we opened for the Animals that day maybe you guys got there late. My brother remembers sitting on the stage and watching the whole show 5 feet from Eric Burden.

    1. I was at this show the stompers played first it was not in the add, then the animals played then the untouchables played after that, I think what happened the stompers played earlier billylee JANEY

  8. I was at the Animals at Danceland and don’t remember The Stompers or the Untouchables playing. Strange, as this was a year before my first doobie. I do remember that I loved both The Stompers and the Untouchables and I thank you for the good times.

    Jay Bader aka J. Remington Wilde
    Nashville songwriter

  9. I was at the Animals show and can’t remember who played with them.. I do know it was a great show, they always were great and “Danceland”wasa sweet place to coast… I can remember always seeing Paul Finn at the shows, we used to be great friends……..

  10. The Cedar Rapids Gazette of Friday, April 29 1966 has the ad for the concert held at Danceland Ballroom, on Sunday May 1. For those who couldn’t make the entire show, the billing reads:
    —• SUNDAY 2-5 P.M. •— BIGGEST SHOW OF THE YEAR!! Direct from England, THE ANIMALS, PLUS LOCAL STARS • THE STOMPERS • AL’S UNTOUCHABLES, 3 Hours on the Air DAVE SCHNEIDER M. C. ADM. – $2.

    I have a PDF of the entire Gazette page if anyone would like to have it for the scrapbooks.

  11. I would love to have a PDF of the gazette page about the Stompers. I’ve never met you but am related on the Harman side of the family. It’s always nice to read good things about the band and people in it. Thank you for your kind offer to send it.

    Sincerely Laverna

  12. Me and my friend Joe had a band in high school called the Telstars. We knew the Stompers well. They were the best local band around. We loved when they played the Gardens.

      1. Hi Scott…

        Happy Holidays !…..
        Chicago for 26 years now….
        here w/many, tour offers still….
        guest appearance also on occasion….
        hope all is well…
        “hi” to Miles when you can…
        my best to you and yours….

        Doug

      2. Scott’s still alive. He’s my brother-in-law. The Stompers are actually performing a at the Ellis Rockin’ Reunion in Cedar Rapids. It’s an annual concert of the oldest acts in the area….most of whom have been recognized by the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association. The show is 5-9pm in Ellis Park, Sat, Sep 2 2017

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