Shelley ~ Organ
Clive ? ~ Guitar
Dale ? ~ Guitar
Ken ? ~ Drums
The Trees was a budding OSU band from 1966-67. I was their organist for a brief time. At the time I joined in the fall of 1966 I was a senior at Corvallis High School.
The original founding members were campus co-op living quarter friends at OSU - Ken, on drums, and Clive and Dale on guitars. They were looking to fill out the band with keyboardist and a vocalist. I was suggested to the band by my CHS classmate and friend, Tom Hayes, organist for the Six Short Knights.
Prior to joining the Trees I was in a band that included Richie Hayes and Jim Edwards, the younger brothers of Tom Hayes and Bob Edwards of the Six Short Knights.
And prior to this I was in a band of CHS friends founded by Alan Murphy, lead guitar and vocal; Steve Locey, rhythm guitar; Brian Watson, bass guitar; and Doug Cox, drums. Although we practiced and improved we never got a chance to play an engagement. The band broke up after Alan died in an automobile accident.
I auditioned for the Trees one evening playing Gloria, House of the Rising Sun, and a few other songs of the day. They must have liked what they heard as I was asked to join the band at the audition. It probably helped, too, that I had a 1934 Ford pick-up to truck our gear around in.
At a Saturday afternoon practice on the back patio at my house, my sister's best friend, Alice Henderson, a junior at CHS auditioned to be the vocalist. The other band members were looking for a female singer in the mold of The Jefferson Airplane. Alice gave her best rendition of White Rabbit and impressed the band enough to be asked to join. But, after one practice session Alice parted with the band, probably because of parental disapproval and her tender age of 16 or 17. So, the four of us went on without a female vocalist. During our time together we played gigs on the OSU campus at such places as Beaver Lodge, Azelia House, the band's own co-op, and downtown Corvallis, playing in the lounges of some popular over 21 night spots.
By early 1967 Psychedelic music was getting to be more popular, replacing the dominant 3 chord music of the early-mid sixties. The Trees founding members wanted to go in this direction and attempted to write their own material in the vein of the Seeds, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, and other new music of the day. The first attempt at song writing was one called "Brown Helmet", a biographical song about Dale being "dumped on" by his ex-girlfriend. Alas, no one in the band had any talent for composing either music or lyrics. The school year came to and end. The band members went off to their summer jobs and other pursuits and I never heard from any of them again.
The Trees was my last band, but the memories of the bands and the members still play in my head.
Jon Shelley, September 2007, Portland, Oregon.