Dean, Keith, Ric and Don
Dark Horse Band
Seattle, Washington
1970 - 1972


Keith Backman ~ Drums
Ric Hall ~ Bass, Vocals
Dave Kennedy ~ Keyboards, Vocals
Dean Richie ~ Guitar, Vocals
Don Roan ~ Keyboards, Vocals

Dean, Keith, Don and Ric

Our basic sound was pop rock, funk, and latin rock a la Santana. In the process of gigging, we all became pretty tight and eventually evolved another rhythm-oriented sound that we called "The Wambezi Stone Band".  We would sometimes hang around the club after our regular work hours were finished and just jam for hours with the audience.  That was sooooooo cool!

We recorded two singles that were pretty successful at the time and got a lot of airplay on KJR and KOL. The first was recorded in 1970 at Seattle-West Recording. It was called "Listen to your Heart" b/w "Day After Day" (originally recorded by Shango).

The second single was also done at Seattle-West and was called "Love Needs Care" b/w "Look at the way she dances". The "Love Needs Care" single was released in conjunction with a series of concerts performed by The Dark Horse Band, included the biggest one at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.  Iron Maiden and Ohnizer also played at that one.

We did a lot of gigs at the Mural Amphitheater and the Northwest Band Shell at the Seattle Center. Some of the regular gigs we played were at clubs that now reside in that "great boogieland in the sky".  They included The Camelot Tavern in Lake City, The Owl Tavern in Lynnwood, The Amore in Seattle, The Flame in Burien, and The Spot Tavern in Mountlake Terrace.

After the group broke up, I went to L.A. to do some recording work and came back at the end of 1972. I formed "City Lights" some time after that and "Seattle Transit" in the early 1980's.  In 1985, I relocated to Taipei, Taiwan and, in addition to teaching ESL at National Taiwan University, I got involved in the music business there. I ended up recording two solo albums and writing some music for local recording artists as well.

My knowledge is not very up-to-date on this but the last I heard Dave Kennedy was in the S.F. area. Keith Backman was playing drums in a c/w band called "Montana Al and the Mutton Punchers", and Ric Hall was playing singles in steakhouses around the area.

Dean Richie, February 2002

Don packed up his Hammond B3 and left the group in 71. Shortly after he teamed up with Bob the Drummer and singer Sandy Bruno to form the show group "First Impressions" After awhile he did a single act, then left the music scene.

Later in 72, Don turned a new direction in life and moved to Snohomish County where he joined and became co-owner of an emergency ambulance service. Don drove the Aid car from East Everett to Stevens pass, was involved in the EMS system and became one of the first EMT's in the State. He also served as a volunteer fireman with Snohomish Fire District 4 at the time.

After a couple years, he entered public service as a Communications Officer with the 911 System. During his public service, he also graduated from Police Academy and served as a Reserve Officer for several years. Don was also involved in many community affairs, serving also with Department of Emergency Services during the Disasters and Flood Events, was a Certified Crisis Counselor with Volunteers of America, certified and experienced CPR and First Aid Instructor. He also found time to even take on grass root politics, and carried several districts unopposed.

During the summer of 2003, Don suffered a major medical trauma. After a dramatic life flight and major surgery to save his life, he was in an extended coma At Harborview Hospital in Seattle, After a number of weeks, a miracle occurred, and Don began to recover and spent an extended time in a Care facility.

He is currently retired, active in his local community and living in the great San Juan Islands. Don still plays his smaller keyboards at home and does some writing. Although he loves music and says "It is the melody of Life", his greatest gift is living enough life to have 4 wonderful children and 6 beautiful grandchildren... "you can't replace them!!"

Don Roan, April 2005

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Last Update:  9 August 2011
Credits: Dean Richie, Don Roan, Phizzone Ziegler
Band # 726 <>