Kansas Standard - Photo Courtesy of Ron Ellis
Rick Ellis, Steve Stecker, Suzette Gore,  Dave Childs, Ron Ellis

Kansas Standard
Seattle, Washington
1967 ~ 1970


Dave Child ~ Bass
Rick Ellis ~ Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Ron Ellis ~ Guitar
Suzette Gore ~ Guitar, Vocals
Jack Hanson ~ Guitar
Pat Hewitt ~ Bass
Steve Stecker ~ Guitar

Kansas Standard had Rick Ellis on drums and vocals, and sometimes acoustic guitar.   Steve Stecker was lead guitar and background vocals and Dave Childs was on bass guitar/vocals.  Suzette sang lead vocals and played guitar.   Ron Ellis was on guitar and vocals.  Kansas Standard was a very jug band style heavy on vocals and harmonies….funky yet also hard driving at times.

Ron Ellis, 29 Jan 2003

The name Kansas Standard was the slang for Midwest weed.  Some folks actually smoked that stuff back in the 60's.  Previously known as the Disciples, Hewitt and I began to agitate for a name change.  We did play a long engagement at Walt Wilcox's "Alley" where we went from a Beatles type band to one that played obscure blues, folk, and country tunes.  We played with many of the top Seattle bands as an opening act in most all the dance halls in the Greater Seattle area, also The Sunshine Company from California, Spookytooth from England, and Bobby Vee.

Pat now is the producer and lead guitarist for a new talent, Pala Maya, and from what I hear they are ready to break into the big time.  After Hewitt left the band we hired Dave Childs, formerly of Don and the Goodtimes, and a female singer, Suzette Gore.  We then played a lot at the UW and with Pat O'Day's twirling dancing bands several times over the next year or two in the Heck Edmundson Pavilion.

Many of the local booking agents wanted to work with us but they also wanted to have us become just like their other bands, silly costumes top forty and dance routines.  We didn't agree with that and went on with what we were doing and who we were.  We ended up doing a coast to coast show for the Colgate Palmolive Co. at the Hollywood and Vine TV studios in Los Angeles.

Upon our return we found that Suzette's roommate, Mary Bjornson, had been kidnapped and murdered and Suzette fell apart emotionally and physically. There was a huge write up over her disappearance in the Times, unfortunately it was the best publicity the band ever got. She and the roommate had been friends since childhood. She had to move home to her parents in Gadsten, Alabama. The kidnapper/murder was John Canady and he still rots in a cell in Walla Walla.

The band then hired Jack Hanson, a fabulous guitarist, and played only country music at my request.  After that  became a trio.  Ron got married, and Rick Ellis and I moved out to a farm in Snohomish county.  At that time we decided to play only original material, which went over like a turd in a punch bowl, but we were probably the only band playing a whole night of our own songs in the state.

Ron, a literature major, went on to school teaching, real-estate salesman, fathering of 2 kids, and now he is the Minister of Religion at Blanchet High.  He had studied for the priesthood in high school at St. Edward's Seminary.

I am currently working on a CD with my brother Shawn and hope to get into the studio this year.  Thanks for the web page. It's really cool to find oneself on the internet pages.

Steven Stecker, September 2003

We played the Happening many times over the years of it's existence.  We played with Spooky Tooth from England, Sunshine Company from Calf., Seattle's Daily Flash, a Tacoma band called Ice.  These were all friday or Saturday gigs.  Joe Crowley was the manager at the time we worked there with these bands.

Steven Stecker, January 2004

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Last Update:  24 November 2009
Credits: Darryl Riffero, Ron Ellis, Steven Stecker, Suzette Gore (Steward)
Band # 260