The 60's to 1970
Bonner ~ Drums
#Scott Eberhart ~ Saxophone
*Gary Grove ~ Bass
-John Hynes ~ Bass
#Dean Jackson ~ Bass
*Dennis McCarthy ~ Piano
-Tom McMeekan ~ Guitar
Chris Oswald ~ Drums
Dennis Schaffner ~ Vocals
#Vance Shirley ~ Keyboards
Rich Smith ~ Drums
*#Tim Woodward ~ Guitar
Del Chapman ~ Manager
# First Gigging Lineup
- Joined in 1964
The 80's to Present
Campbell ~ Bass, Vocals
**Don Cunningham ~ Bass, Vocals
**Lawson Hill ~ Drums, Vocals
Bill Liles ~ Bass, Vocals
Russ Martin ~ Lead Guitar
Dave Owens ~ Drums, Vocals
Dennis Schaffner ~ Bass, Vocals
Mike Wallace ~ Harp, Vocals
**Rico Weisman ~ Lead Guitar
**Tim Woodward ~ Guitar, Vocals
The Mystics Website
In Memory of
The Mystics, 1965, on the fire escape to their Saturday-night haunt, Boise's Fiesta Ballroom
Justin Bonner, John Hynes, Tim Woodward, Vance Shirley
Records Recording Artists
Universal City, Calif.
"The Mystics of Boise were together from 1961 to 1966. They made a record, "Weekend People," that was a 5 to 1 hit on an L.A. station and were asked to tour with the Golliwogs (who became CCR) in California, but by then the group had broken up. The members at the time of the recording were Tim Woodward, Vance Shirley, John Hynes, Rich Smith and Dennis Schaffner. They played at halls in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. The band reunited in '81 and is still playing in the Boise area."
Mike Wallace, 29 November 2000
The next version of the Mystics came about after an early lineup of the band regrouped in 1981. After several very successful reunion shows over the course about five years, three members decided that they couldn't devote the time/energy to continuing on, even though the group was only performing at the occasional event, perhaps 2 or 3 per year. Only founding member and rhythm guitarist Tim Woodward and bassist Dennis Schaffner remained.
Woodward, who had become a popular columnist for the local daily newspaper had become acquainted with, and had written a column about a local band called DownTime. DownTime happened to play many of the same songs that were also in the Mystics' repertoire, so Woodward and Schaffner hatched an idea and approached DownTime's lead singer, Mike Wallace with a proposition...Wallace, along with DownTime's drummer Dave Owens and lead guitarist Russ Martin would replace the Mystics who had left at the occasional Mystics' performance. After consulting with his bandmates except bass player Greg Dennett, Wallace offered a counter proposal... the three would join the Mystics on a permanent basis, but only if the Mystics would become a regularly gigging band once again! Woodward and Schaffner finally agreed. This version of the Mystics went on for a couple of years until Wallace the band left sometime in 1987.
A lot of players have come to and gone from the Mystics over the years. By Woodward's count, Wallace, Owens and Martin were Mystics #31, 32 and 33.
Mike Wallace, January 2009
The Mystics began in 1961, when 15-year-olds Tim Woodward and Justin Bonner began practicing with a $50 Silvertone guitar and a beginner's drum kit in Justin's back yard in Boise, Idaho. They soon added piano player Dennis McCarthy and bass player Gary Grove. This group was short-lived and never played outside of McCarthy's basement.
The first Mystics band to stay together more than a few months and play publicly was Tim, Justin, bass player Dean Jackson, piano player Vance Shirley and saxophonist Scott Eberhart. They played at teen dances from Prineville, Ore. to Pocatello, Idaho and were Friday night regulars at Boise's Trocadero ballroom. They drove a 1956 Chrysler Crown Imperial limousine painted cherry red with the name of the group painted on the side and a U-Haul trailer full of gear bringing up the rear. They were together a little less than two years.
With the advent of the British Invasion in 1964, Woodward, Bonner and Shirley formed a new Mystics group with bassist John Hynes and guitarist Tom McMeekan. They reopened and operated the Fiesta Ballroom in downtown Boise and played to large crowds there every Saturday night. McMeekan presently left to start his own group, the Quirks, eventually recruiting Bonner to join them. They were replaced by drummer Rich Smith and vocalist Dennis Schaffner. These Mystics played at the Fiesta in 1965 and 1966 and recorded the band's only record, in 1965 in Lodi, Calif., for the Frantic label. Written by Woodward, the A side was titled "Weekend People," the B side "I Get So Disgusted." "Weekend People" was a five to one hit on a Los Angeles rock station's hit-or-miss segment. That led to the group's being asked to tour California with a band called the Golliwogs, who later changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival. By then, however, the Mystics had disbanded due to college, marital and military commitments. The record, though, acquired a mystique of its own. So few copies were made due to the group's breakup that it became a collectible. Only four copes are known to be in existence. They now command a price of up to $1,000, depending on condition.
In 1969, Woodward returned from the Navy and joined Schaffner and Smith at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. Shirley joined them in a group they called Hope. They played weekly at a club called the Alley and at college dances. Drummer Chris Oswald replaced Smith after a year. The group disbanded when its members graduated.
That was the end of the band until 1982, when many of its former members were living in Boise again for the first time in a decade and decided to go on the proverbial mission from God and put the old group back together. What began as a one-night stand in a packed church basement has become nearly three decades of playing at functions from biker rallies to the governor's ball. Many players have come and gone during this time, with most of the early members being replaced by professional musicians.
Bill Liles, Lawson Hill, Tim Woodward, Russ Martin, Sandon Mayhew
The Mystics, 1990s
Longtime Mystics since the group reunited in 1982 include Woodward (the only remaining original member), Lawson Hill (20 years), Russ Martin (15 years), Bill Liles (11 years), Rico Weisman (10 years), Dave Owens, the late Robb Campbell and Don Cunningham (all about four years). Others have included well-known Boise musicians Sandon Mayhew, Dave Robinette and "Dr. Joe" Baldassare. The most famous person to play with the group (two gigs) was renowned jazz player Curtis Stigers.
The current lineup (2010) is Woodward, guitar and vocals; Hill, drums and vocals, Cunningham, bass and vocals and Weisman on lead guitar. They play at parties, reunions, wedding receptions, festivals and other events. The group can be reached at email@example.com
Tim Woodward, February 2010
Don Cunningham, Lawson Hill, Rico Weisman and Tim Woodward
The Mystics in 2010