The Torquays
Federal Way, Washington
1959 - 1961


Denny Knutson ~ Electric Piano
Gil Larson ~ Guitar
Rick Nelson ~ Drums
Bob Wilkinson ~ Saxophone
Chuck ? ~ Guitar
? ~ Bass

Hi my name is Gil Larson. I was a guitar player (Les Paul standard which I wish I still had) and a member of the Torquays from Federal Way. Our band had 2 guitars, one bass guitar, Sax: Bob Wilkinson, Drums: Rick Nelson, Keyboards: Denny Knutson.  We, The Torquays were the band that opened the Federal Way Skating rink  We were the first band to play there.  It cost us $20 to rent for the first night we played.

We were then invited to play a couple of songs to help promote our band by the Intricates of Auburn. We played two songs.  One was my version of Louie Louie where after the song was sung through as normal we started up with just a bass guitar then bringing in the drums, keyboard, and finally all the guitars and continued with just an instrumental version of Louie Louie. They went crazy and wanted us to play more but we turned it back to the Intricates who so graciously invited us down.

We played the following week-end at the Federal Way roller rink and about 400 people showed up! We had to hire two cops after that because of the crowds.  Bonnie Guitar got me interested in playing and was going to help promote us when our lead guitar player took off for parts unknown.  We never heard from him again and after that the band dissolved. We were told at Five Mile Lake, which I also started, that we sounded better than the Wailers!

I wish we could have gone on and made records as I had written some songs which went over great at one of our gigs. They kept asking us to play them over and over. It was a thrill for me I just wish I had known more about managing because I think we would have had a real good chance of being successful. Denny Knutson went on to write some songs for Buck Owens and was a close friend of mine and Bonnie Guitar.

Just a bit of trivia... I suggested to Don Wilson of the Ventures to put in a trumpet solo in the song' High Wall' which he did.  I was suppose to play the trumpet but was sick with the flu when it came time to record so they had to  use another trumpet player!  I didn't have too much luck back then... ha ha

Gil Larson, April 2003

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Last Update:  20 April 2003
Credits: Gil Larson
Band # 1190