Cooley ~ Lead Guitar
Ashley "Chuck" Dice ~ Drums,
Ray Randall ~ Bass
Dave Sanborn ~ Bass Guitar
Dave Schelly ~ Lead Guitar, Vocals
Loren "Ralph" Tanner ~ Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
Randle ~ Equipment, Sound, Lighting
Ogre played 1968-1972 Within a 300 mils radius of their hometown of Lewiston, Idaho. They performed at, colleges, universities, the "Blue Mountain Rock Festival" at Moscow, ID, various Grange Halls, military armories, high schools, and several benefit concerts.
The music of Ogre influence, consisted of ... Neil Young; Savvoy Brown; Ten Years After; Arlo Guthrie; and many others, plus their originals. Stay tuned for updates as they happen. One may never know when a West Coast Ogre Brethren might merge with East Coast Brethren, and Spark-N-Arc.
In 1973 and 1974, Ogre played throughout the Northwest in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and B.C., as well as in Nevada, Montana and Alberta. They played a mix of originals and covers including songs by bands ranging from Foghat to Alice Cooper. They were booked by EM Entertainment in Moscow, Idaho and Head First Entertainment in Reno, Nevada.
Loren Tanner, December 2001PART I
Ogre was the culmination of some long time friendships. We all went to Lewiston High School, except for Chuck (who now goes by his middle name, Ashley) who was three years younger and was still in Jr. High when we started. In the summer of 1969 my brother Steve went off to Viet Nam and left behind a Harmony Stella guitar in his closet. With that and a Mel Bay chord book, I began to learn how to play….along with my pals Dave Sanborn and Monte Cooley. At the same time, Ralph (who now goes by his middle name, Loren) was singing & playing acoustic guitar with his buddy Ray Randall on bass; even playing some gigs together as a duo. Ray’s brother Rod got them together with “wiz-kid” drummer Chuck Dice and they began looking for a lead guitarist. In the fall of 1971 I placed a classified ad in the Lewiston Morning Tribune to sell an extra guitar. Ralph called, came to the house and purchased my Fender Coronado. We jammed a little bit and soon I was invited to “try out’ with his band. We all hit it off & practiced at Chuck’s house for a few weeks and then moved to an empty stucco truck stop that Ray’s mom owned. It was located at the bottom of the old Lewiston Grade in North Lewiston and was called the Green Gator. Conveniently, Ralph’s sister was married to a Booking Agent, Ed Coumou of EM Entertainment in Moscow, Idaho. Ray & I constructed a light show from scratch – my brother Bill made us a poster - and we were on our way. Our first gig was at Deary High School (in Idaho) in December of 1971. We drove the equipment to most of our early gigs in Ralph’s 1949 Chevy Panel truck. We played covers by Neil Young, Free, 10 Years After, Arlo Guthrie, Canned Heat, Steve Miller, The Kinks & Rolling Stones – to name a few. Half of our set was originals. Many of the early gigs ended with an “extended” version of “Southern Man”. The highlight of the summer of 1972 for us was playing the Blue Mountain II Rock Festival in Moscow, Idaho. PART II: September ’72 - enter Dave Sanborn and Monte Cooley.
Dave Schelly-August 2004
Dave Sanborn came aboard to play bass & Monte Cooley added some nimble fingered guitar playing to our sound. Ralph put down his guitar & harmonica and just sang. We began practicing in Dave Sanborn’s basement. Chuck took two drum sets, painted them black & made them into one l-a-r-g-e set. Our hair grew longer and longer. Our musical influences, as much as anything, came from local bands such as Sleepy John and the Stone Garden – and from the NW bands that came through Casey’s Dance Hall (by the way, Monte was responsible for many of Casey’s psychedelic advertisements). In the summer of ’73 we were featured in a Lewiston Morning Tribune article…and sort of reached the “height” of our popularity in the area. We were playing regularly; mostly one nighters. There was money to go around & we owned our equipment. But then the s—t hit the fan: in the summer of ’73 a fire destroyed all of our uninsured gear. We were able to replace it, but at the cost of making monthly payments.
The clear Ludwig drum set arrived. The Marshall, Hiwatt & SUNN amps arrived. Ed Coumou was still booking us (Head First from Reno now), and I had discovered Doug Brown’s Rock and Roll Promotions in Missoula, Montana. For the first time, we were playing lots of clubs. At first it seemed like a “new beginning” – a new batch of songs – new equipment – more hard driving rock. The band was “tight” & life on the road was cool. The Good Times rolled for quite awhile.
But gradually, there was more emphasis on a set “formula”: the “rock star attire” – the music being danceable – more covers. By the summer of ’74, it was apparent that we weren’t getting ahead financially. No record companies had “discovered us” and sent us into a recording studio. We played some places we didn’t really want to play. The high energy show we were doing & wasn’t really compatible with the length of time we were expected to play in the clubs.
In August of 1974, after playing Captain Coyote’s in Olympia, Ralph – the founder of the band - bailed out. As versatile as he was, I don’t think Ralph was really cut out to be a Heavy Metal “front man” which was the direction we (and especially Monte) seemed to be going in. We had left our improvisational/jamming/experimental roots. It wasn’t as much fun anymore & the financial reward wasn’t there. Ralph lost interest & we lost the heart and soul of the band.
Ogre continued on through the rest of 1974 with various line-ups and singers. I left in November which was somewhere before the very end. Eventually Monte went to LA & started a Heavy Metal Christian band & made a record. Loren and I got together and did an album’s worth of multi-track recording in the early 90s; perhaps someday we’ll figure out what to do with it. As far as I know everyone who was in the band is alive & kicking: Last I’ve heard, Sanborn, Dice & Cooley live in the Lewiston area – Tanner & Randall in the Seattle area & I’m in the Tri-Cities.
The Ogre story is filled with “what ifs” and “if onlys” – but ultimately I’ve come to realize that what we DID do was pretty amazing. And I’ll never forget some of “those” moments – like when the crowd at the Orofino Armory stomped some picnic tables flat to the floor, in time with the music, during our ‘encore’. Amen.
Dave Schelly, August 2004
Dave Schelly, Ralph Tanner
Chuck Dice, Ray Randall