Frank ~ Vocals
Chuck Gregory ~ Guitar
Perry Grover ~ Guitar
Jim Helm ~ Bass
Roger Mack ~ Vocals
Rich Meader ~ Drums
Floyd Morris ~ Bass
Randy Russell ~ Saxophone
Mike Schriner ~ Keyboards
John Web ~ Keyboards
In Memory of
Richard C. Meader
1945 - 2010
YAKIMA - Richard C. Meader, 64, Yakima, left this world on Saturday, June 19, 2010 at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital after his battle with cancer.
He was born in Fargo, North Dakota November 22, 1945 to Francis and Jerry Meader. He had a great love for music. He had a band named the "Majestics" and "Rare Blood" in the 1960s. He loved NASCAR and drinking Hawaiian drivers and Bud Light with his buddies at Little Dutch Inn and Hoops. Richard worked as a journeyman painter.
He is survived by his longtime friend and companion, Patti Hipp of Yakima; his mother, Jerry Meader of Yakima; son, Scott Jefferson of Seattle and daughter, Carrie Shannon of Yakima; his sister Carole (Darrell) Armstead of Yakima; brothers, Frank (Peggy) Meader of Yakima and Fritz (Sis) Meader of Spokane, WA; and "Jazz" his favorite "buddy" as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Francis Meader.
A celebration of life was held at Little Dutch Inn, 214 N. 6th Ave. at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 26, 2010. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. To share a memory of Richard visit www.keithandkeith.com.
Rich Meader with son, Scott Drummer Boy
(Scott would grow up also to become a musician)
As I remember now, the Majestics was the idea of Perry Grover and Jim Helm, while classmates at West Valley High. I was contacted to fill the spot of drummer, and later evolved to also handle most of the business management of the band.
Perry and Jim were “A” students, with the best of equipment; good, stable players as rockers go.
The other original members were John Webb, piano, and vocalist Roger Mack, like myself completing high school at A. C. Davis, and hailing from the rich talent pool of north Yakima.
John almost lived at my house since first grade. He was considered part of the family. John first came to the band as a good guitarist, but with those spots filled he quickly taught himself piano on my mom’s upright and eventually evolved into one of best boogie-woogie and R&B piano men in the Yakima area.
I first met Roger when he was auditioning for The Flames. They practiced in a garage just up the street from my parents place. I was walking by and had stopped in to watch. Roger was a great early Elvis imitator, and could handle a ballad to the satisfaction of all the girls.
In the Majestics, we practiced hard twice a week, most of the time in the living room of Roger’s mom, learned all the songs of the late fifties to the mid-sixties. Our theme song was an original called “Blue Bird”, after the name I’d given my baby blue Pearle drum set.
Our first gig was at the Knights of Columbus Hall, one of the most popular venues of the time, just off “The Drag” (Yakima Ave.). This became our base for two years or more, and we also played all over the Valleys from Zillah to Ellensburg.
We had a very successful experience as young Rock & Rollers during those times. Roger’s mom and mine would manage the gate at our dances, and our girlfriends would go out and monitor how the “competition” was doing while we played. It was sometimes very gratifying to learn the loyalty of our fans was packing our venues even when big names such as the Wailers, Sonics and Paul Revere and The Raiders were in town.
Part of our popularity was due to showmanship we adapted. We took a cue from Paul Revere and The Raiders, but developed our own set of wild and crazy antics to entertain the fans. One favorite was when we would go off stage and come back on introduced as The Beatles, in full costume, wigs and all, and would just go completely ape; including standing on amplifiers, piano stools, drum seats, or whatever slapstick came to mind at the time.
In time, base player Floyd Morris replaced Jim Helm and pianist Mike Schriner replaced John Webb when Jim and John went into the military. And, we added Randy Russell on sax.
When Roger Mack went into the Marines, I brought in Don Frank as vocalist. Don and I had been best buds since fifth grade, and remain so to this day. We had talked about starting a band together since junior high, when we would practice on my improvised “drums” and he would sing, and play his old Fender six string. And so, we finally got the chance to play in a band together here.
Don became one of the most dynamic and exciting vocalist out of Yakima, and after the Majestics he was a member of Danny and the Seniors and The Rare Blend, playing top spots like the Spanish Castle in the Seattle/Tacoma area, and became active in recording in the Puget Sound area.
In our mid-twenties, after settling into regular jobs and careers, Don, John Webb and I would come together again out of a need to make music, and kick off a long-lived, moonlighting club/tavern band that would see us into our thirties. Along with recruiting Bob Selzler on guitar and Dave Rodriquez on base, we would become The Bare Facts, all of us Davis High alumni with roots in the old north Yakima neighborhoods.
Rich Meader, June 2008
If I had to pick a couple of the best memories of the vary many of that time in the Majestics, they might be partying after dances on warm summer nights in the parking lot of the Freezer Drive-in, one the main cruiser meeting places of the time, just a stones throw from the KC Hall.
Another was when my dad helped me get my first drum set, the used set of “Army Issues” ;-) with the 40-inch diameter base drum; and then later on, was when I was able to get my first new set of baby blue Pearls. Cool!
Of course, best of all out of all these experiences would come to be that both my son, Scott, and Don’s son, Sean, would grow up to follow in dad’s footsteps, to have their own good times playing in rock bands in Yakima and beyond. Hopefully, it will be so cool and interesting to see their pages linked here someday.
Rich Meader, June 2008