Springfield Calling

February 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm (Uncategorized)

I went to school at the University of Missouri, and one of my friends there was a guy named Matt.  Matt was GM at the student radio station for a bit, liked cooler music than I did (Matt and his friends Robb and Stephanie were the first people to play me music by Spacemen 3, The Flatmates, My Bloody Valentine, and Galaxie 500, and I owe them much for the introduction.)  Matt was and is a Springfield, Missouri guy, born and raised and active in that city’s always-lively music scene.

And so in addition to some cool music from the UK, Matt also introduced me to the Morells (who sort of morphed on and off into The Skeletons), the now-legendary band from his hometown that featured Lou Whitney on bass and D. Clinton Thompson on guitar, and sometimes (if they were touring/recording as The Skeletons) Bobby Lloyd Hicks on drums.

Those Morells/Skeletons folks are still active in music, playing and producing and all that.  Lou Whitney’s engineered artists at his Springfield studio of great breadth and diversity, from the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, to Wilco, to Steve Forbert, to Exene Cervenka, to Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.  (I promise I’ll get to the point of this post in a sec, but seriously listen to this album from a year ago by D. Clinton Thompson with Whitney helping out and understand it’s the product of two southern Missouri boys, one of whom is over 70, and the other in his mid-fifties at least.  Realize that neither you, I, or anyone we know will ever be as cool, ever, as D. Clinton Thompson and Lou Whitney are right now.)

To get this back on the rails, I’ll get back to my friend Matt.  He’s still active in the Springfield, MO music scene, still playing in bands and stuff, and he’s a friend of Lou Whitney and drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks from way back when in the 1980’s.  Today he posted this:

“I just learned from Bobby Lloyd Hicks that, in 1980, he and Lou Whitney were watching The Clash at the Palladium from the wings. They had received backstage passes from the record company they were playing for at the time. Throughout the show, Clash bass player Paul Simonon was having trouble with his bass guitar, ’til he finally had enough. Took his bass off and started smashing it onstage. At that moment a photographer quickly moved them out of the way and snapped this photo”

“This photo” would be this photo:


Matt later added:  “P.S. Lloyd also said the bass DIDN’T break. Fender quality.”


  1. stumania said,

    Great story. I always that photo of Paul Simonon had a medieval quality to it – like a hunchbacked character in boots, leggings and jerkin wielding an ax, er, axe, to repel the invaders below…

  2. moodringrecords said,

    Hey cool stuff but one error, Lou has never played drums before. He has always been a bass and guitar player. The drummer for the morells was Ron “Rongo” Gremp who now plays with The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Bobby Lloyd Hicks was and still is the drummer for The Skeletons. If you are ever in Springfield they play every Thursday at The Outland.

    Eric Schuchmann
    Moodring Records

    • Chris said,

      Gah! That’s all on me, for not changing an earlier draft where I had Bobby in the Morells (which he wasn’t) but then cutting him from that sentence and not changing it to reflect one of the greatest bass players to ever walk the planet being Lou. Changed now! Thanks!

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