Show Biz Kids of Aberdeen, playing at Sam Benn Park.
Kris Vanucie (Schneider) drums; Jody Bogdonovich, singer; Gary McKinney, piano; Carey Schurr, bass and Brad Beck, lead and vocals

Show Biz Kids
Aberdeen/Montesano, Washington
1977 ~ 1980


Brad Beck ~ Guitar, Vocals
Jody Bogdonovich ~ Vocals
Gary McKinney ~ Keyboards
Rich Nixon ~ Bass
Greg Moore ~ Keyboards
Paul Sagen ~ Keyboards
Cary Schurr ~ Bass, Vocals
Gary Schurr ~ Guitar, Vocals
Steve Schurr ~ Guitar Vocals
Chris Vanucie ~ Drums

The Show Biz Kids (sometimes called the Autistics or Sir Real and the Dada-Daddy-os, at by me on stage) were a Grays Harbor band that started sometime after I moved to Aberdeen after college for my first professional job.

The core of the group was Chris Vanucie on drums and the Shurr Twins (Cary and Gary) on bass and rhythm guitar. (I'd recommend twins for harmonizing with any time; real tight.) The first incarnation added Steve and me on guitars and vocals. (Don't think I've played in a three guitar band since.)  I played with Steve Shurr earlier in the Smiling Castle and a few one-off gigs (including an interesting one at Fairhaven College in '71). We mostly played at the Playhouse, an archetypal NW roadhouse: right outside the Montesano city limits, a gravel parking lot on all sides, the inside walls paneled (if you can call it that) in split logs with the bark still on them, and a dance floor that bounced wickedly when the dancers really got going. (The first night I played there, I saw someone thrown out the front window... and it was 4 feet above the floor. Ouch.) We played at a few other clubs in Hoquiam but the Playhouse was our main gig.

That first incarnation of the Kidz ended after a gig at the South Bend Chamber of Commerce.

We restarted the group, sans Steve but with Jody, a few months later, and that was the basic group until I 1980 when I returned to Seattle. We had one final gig in Ocean Shores sometime that Fall, I think.

There were a number of auxiliary members. Show Biz Kids #1 had Paul Sagen and (less frequently) Greg Moore on keyboards. Show Biz Kids #2 had Rich Nixon and Gary McKinney (yeah, from Boss Tweed, Chakra, Kid Chrysler and Zoot Rudy) on keyboards. I seem to remember that John Bender, Rob Bender's cousin and Kurt Cobain's erstwhile baby sitter, sat in every once in a while on harmonica.

Playing at the Playhouse is a great memory (it's now a Moose Hall or something). Montesano is a small town and everyone knew everyone else. You usually had at least one divorced couple in there dancing with their new boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, usually on opposite sides of the dance floor. I remember seeing the police report one Monday in the Aberdeen World and reading that some neighbor complained about the Playhouse: "The noise was terrible." Heh, heh.

Our set list was a mixture of old rock, New Wave, Steely Dan, Beatles and Stones, and country. Tasteful and danceable.

Brad Beck, June 2003

You couldn't have picked a worse spot to be a musician...and in some cases a better spot.

Back in the very early '70s in Hoquiam Washington, there was this group of musicians I guess I'll call, for lack of a better term, the "Paralandra Mafia" . A bunch of broke-assed hippies as I remember.  Jeez, we were all so broke!

The Paralandra was this old community center that the musicians managed to take over. It was a place where all the musicians went to play, or in my case learn. Everybody could play and learn, create and inspire. It was an amazing place.

There were the Schurr Bros, Gary McKinney, Rick Nixon, Brucie Hughes and too many others to mention. They gave so many musicians their inspiration and start, or in the case of Steve Schurr, selling his guitars to me, so I could get started.

Steve..know what your '61 Epiphone Wilshire is worth today?  I hate to think.  I broke it years ago.  If you could hear Steve play Jeff Beck back then, you just knew you wanted to be a musician!  He'd show you everything he knew, for as long as you wanted! You always remember that first time when someone from the "good band" asks you up on stage to play with them... that was Steve.

Gary McKinney had everything it took to make that place happen.  I still dont know how he did it, but I'm glad he did.  Gary and the brothers would have these incredible jams in the front yard while traffic was passing by. I think he had great musical & organizational talent.

Rich Riipa, Rick Nixon and myself  would sit there amazed at this band, and "someday--someday" yeah! we are gonna be that good, and we'd get motivated!  Bear in mind that we couldn't be much further from the music centers of the world.

Bruce Hughes did the same thing.  He gave many people their first gig in the meanest toughest bars around. He always had your back, and always gave you the shirt off your matter what!  This was a tough existence back then, and Bruce took more crap from life than anyone I know, yet he just kept going!  He'd just get up on stage and play and sing his ass off.  I remember many times I told him I had quit his band to go with something else, but my car would never start.  Bruce would actually get up at 7:00 am, drive his clunker 10 miles to my house in the snow just to jump start my dead battery so I could drive to auditions in Seattle or something!  He did this repeatedly!   By the way, he might still have a mint '63 John Lennon Rickenbacker, and a coffee shop in McCleary, so buy a cup and listen to him.

I can think of a lot of great musicians, but I can think of very few who made it possible for everyone else like these guys did.

Maitland Ward, March 2006


Show Biz Kids of Aberdeen, playing at Sam Benn Park.  Members shown above:  Kris Vanucie (Schneider) drums; Jody Bogdonovich, singer; Gary McKinney, piano; Carey Schurr, bass and Brad Beck, lead and vocals

Jo Vanucie, June 2010

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Last Update: 24 July 2012
Credits: Brad Beck, Steve Schurr, Kris Vanucie, Maitland Ward, Jo Vanucie, Rick Nixon
Band # 556