Paul Wick, Bill Stixrud, Scott Rogers, Gail Van Valey, Steve Hopp, Bob Schneider, Rich Riippa, Pete Gantt
Larry & The Flames
Seattle, Washington
1994 - Present


Pete Gantt ~ Saxophone, Vocals
Steve Hopp ~ Keyboards, Vocals
 Rich Riippa ~ Guitar, Bass, Vocals
    Scott Rogers ~ Drums, Bass, Vocals
 Bob Schneider ~ Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Trumpet, Drums, Vocals
   Bill Stixrud ~ Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Harmonica, Vocals
Gail (Carlson) Van Valey ~ Lead Vocals
Paul Wick ~ Guitar

Larry and the Flames at the Experience Music Project - Sky Church - Seattle
Larry and the Flames at the Experience Music Project - Sky Church - Seattle

Band History: The majority of the members of Larry and the Flames have known each other since playing together in High School in the late 60’s. The Flames were formed in 1994, after several members got together musically at their high school reunion. All band members have a broad musical background as outlined below:


Pete Gantt Sax, Vocals: Pete started early in a band called Peter and the Wolves. He then worked his way into music from the technical side as a sound and road man for The House of Lords. Pete later moved to stage production and has made it his career. He currently is a stage technician with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

   Steve Hopp Keyboards, Vocals: Steve has played in Interstate 5 (with Bob), Northwest Passage, Thyne Hopping Snails, Home Cooking (with Bill and Paul) and  more recently with Midlife Crisis (with Bob). Steve snowboards, coaches soccer & baseball, bikes, and plays golf.  He is a lawyer and partner with Carney Badley in his spare time.

    Rich Riippa Guitar, Bass, Vocals: Rich grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar at 8 years old. Since that time he has played in over 15 different bands, toured the country, and played in groups which opened for the likes of Heart, the Ramones, and Lee Michaels. Rich is a technical manager with an advertising company.

    Scott Rogers Drums, Bass, Vocals: Scott traveled the country playing for four years with The Dick Fisher Band and Liberty in the 80’s. More recently, Scott played with Gopher Broke in venues around Seattle. Scott’s vocal range and versatility is often the key ingredient to the Flames more difficult vocal arrangements. Scott founded and operates a contracting business.

   Bob Schneider Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Trumpet, Drums, Vocals: Bob is a versatile musician who has been involved in music his entire life. He has played in Interstate 5 in the 60’s, Sundance, a folk music trio, in the 70’s, and Midlife Crisis,a similar rock group to the Flames, in the 80’s. Bob is a CEO in New Jersey.

   Bill Stixrud Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Harmonica, Vocals: Bill has a long career in music as a hobby having played in The Best of Everything (with Paul), Fresh, a folk duet, and more recently, the Millionaires, a barber shop quartet. Bill is a neuro psychologist and has a thriving practice in Washington D.C.

 Gail (Carlson) van Valey Lead Vocals: Although Gail has sung her entire life, it is hard to believe the flames represent her professional singing debut. She enjoys her new hobby entertaining, and brings an energy to her songs which livens every performance.

  Paul Wick Guitar: During the Kennedy Administration, Paul played “Wailers” in the Breakaways (with Pete); during LBJ, played “Liverpool” in several bands (with Bill); and endured Nixon, by playing “Woodstock” tunes (with Bill and Steve). Paul is a printer/writer/welder, and currently does some carpentry.

Band Style: The band uses its instrument and vocal versatility to play a broad range of dance songs primarily from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. (If it’s not danceable, we won’t play it!) With six varied vocalists all capable of lead singing, and with the ability to play songs requiring sax, trumpet and trombone, the band’s repertoire includes songs not often performed live by groups such as the Beatles, Chicago, Linda Ronstad, Jefferson Airplane, the Eagles, Elvis and many others.

Interesting facts: The band got together just for the fun of playing and “backed into”  a regular playing schedule. Since it is an avocation, the band limits its engagements to 8-10 per year and focuses on the “fun” jobs. The band will play at least two to three charity fund raisers per year without charge and has raised a substantial amount for various worthy causes. Bill Stixrud commutes from Washington DC to play with the flames.  Bob is Chairman and CEO of a company in New Jersey.

Venues Played: The band has been gigging for 7 years and has played for as many as 1,500 people in venues around Seattle. They have had the opportunity to play twice in the Sky Church at EMP.

Some of the other Pacific Northwest music groups represented in this band include Peter and the Wolves, House of Lords, Sundance Company, Interstate 5, Northwest Passage, Thyne Hopping Snails, Home Cooking, Midlife Crisis, Gopher Broke, The Dick Fisher Band, Liberty, Sundance, The Best of Everything, Fresh, The Millionaires, The Breakaways, U.S. Males,  and many others NW bands.

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Credits:  Bob Schneider, Paul Wick
Last Update:  18 February 2011
Band # 1523