Upcountry Band - Photo Courtesy of Mike Lyle
Clockwise from top left: Mike Lyle, Mike Collyer, Dick Harvey, Gary Hagan   Center:   Merle Bebe
Upcountry Band
White Center, Washington
1970 - 1985

Members
 

Merle BeBe ~ Keyboards
Gregg Easton Christenson ~ Guitar, Vocals
Mike "Maddog" Collyer ~ Bass
Gary Hagan ~ Guitar
Paul Hage ~ Bass
Dick "Tall Man" Harvey ~ Guitar
Terry "Chip" Hayes ~ Drums
David Huffman ~ Drums
Keith Johnson ~ Guitar
Mike "Mickey Mulligan" Lyle ~ Keyboards
Bob "Buffalo" Mowell ~ Guitar
Frank Pardo ~ Guitar
Bill Paris ~ Keyboards
Mark Riley ~ Guitar
Phil Robertson ~ Drums
Paul (Mac) Walkley ~ Drums
 

In Memory of

Dick Harvey
Phil Robertson
and
Merle Bebe

It Started when Dick Harvey brought his Guitar over to The Big House in Rat City...(White Center) on the corner of 18th and Roxbury. Dick was playing and we all were singing and shaking cans filled with popcorn. There was a tambourine that someone had...and soon the Jingle Jangle morning had come.  Well the next day or two later...Bill Paris had his Hammond L model organ and Leslie and they were playing in the basement.  The wine was flowing and then Dave Huffman bought a set of Ludwig drums.  The next thing we knew, Paul Hage had a bass guitar and the foundation of a band was happening. It would be a while untill there were any gigs.... but the rhythm was there...someplace.

I started playing Bill Paris' Hammond and damn I have loved that sound ever since. I have a B-3 in my Dining room now.

Then we all moved to the next Big House in Burien over by the Airport not far from 5 corners.... where Des Moines Way meets 180th.... The Shamrock Dairy was around the corner.  It is now a Rental and storage area place the House Had an out Building and Dave Huffman said....”oh yeah.... Band Room" and it was spoken.... and it shall be....

Then Butterfly Bob moved his little trailer in by the side of the House and wham the changes continued...I was working at Rudy’s Italian Restaurant...and Rudy had this old Piano that he didn’t want and gave it to me...so into the Band room went the new old Piano ...that had mysteriously turned Red white and Blue....  I guess it was in case any of those Iraqi SOB 's attacked our Band Room.  We were early but ready.

The band at this time consisted of Bill Paris and Dick Harvey and Frank Pardo and Dave Huffman and Pete Hage and a slew of tambouriners and bottle knockers...

We decided to have a mini Festival.... in our Pasture next to the side of the House brought in a flat bed truck and a generator and had a stage.... and invited a bunch of neighborhood bands...."Child " played I remember and a group called MeatBall” brought the house down as the last band... But the UPCOUNTRY BAND was born that day ...as they Played in the opening set for the First and only Upco Rock Festival

Then came another new Big House.... The Farm...oh yes were getting back to Mother Earth...The Farm in Kent.... on Frager Road right across the river from the Boeing Space Center...Best Farm land in the State and what a crop that was...Anyway there was this great big old Barn.... Huge ...big enough for a lot of cows and cold in there too.  So that was just too big for a band room but there was a little building next to the Barn with a wood stove and that was the new Band Room...

Photo Courtesy of Sandi
Mike Lyke (keyboards) and Mike (Maddog) Collyer

I had by now purchased a Hammond M-3 and that was cool.  Anyway then Maddog had a Bass Guitar too and I had moved to Hi Top and in the Basement one day Maddog moved in his new Plush Bass Ensemble, newly Black With Tuck and Roll and I said Cool, And Then Maddog proceeded to remove all the Tuck and roll covering off his new Base upright Cabinet ...and damn we didn’t have to worry about scratching or tearing that new cabinet...wow....   So then Jeanie and I and her two little girls Audrey and Sandy moved from Hi top to a big 60's kind of modern house w 3500 sq ft in Tukwila...everyone was kind of starting to live with their women.... All my old Buddies were settling down...Dave Huffman was with Joan ( Punky)

Mac Walkley was with Abbie and was playing with “Grassy Butte".  Incidentally Mac and Grassy Butte had gone to Nashville and recorded ...got a write up in Rolling Stone also the had a sound like  " The Band"...Rolling Stone said Mac’s drumming was unobtrusive… he got his 15 minutes of fame..."On the inside of the Rolling Stone."
 

Photo Courtesy of Sandi
Top:  Chip Hayes - Bottom:  Mike Lyle, Mike Collyer, Bob Mowell


 Paul Hage was with Terri up in Deming, WA up north, so Dick and Bill were playing with other guys....

Maddog Collyer and Frank Pardo and I started Jamming at my place on the Benson in Kent.  Then Phil Robertson brother of drummer Doug Robertson of "The Checkers" fame came into the picture.  Phil played drums also ...so he joined as drummer for the Upcountry band... and Jeannie came home one day and said you guys are playing this weekend at the Interchange Tavern in Kent...OMG    here we go...Fri Sat on stage...were we ready?????

And someone out there knows the rest of the story.

Wives & Friends:
Abby, Jeannie, Joyce, Robin, Candy, and Candy, Patty, Linda Johnson, Deanna, International Pam, Sandy, Audrey, Michele, Terry, Tina, Carmen, Gail, Huffmans Sisters, Jan Harvey, Punkey, Linda LaFrance....... and I know there is more.

Coming soon .....your opportunity to purchase The UPCO Bands  Greatest hits album.......  with all  your  Favorites .....like      "Poison your Husband", Mousey Mousey,  and   "All the Young Girls love Alice"
Mike Lyle, 6 April 2003


Mac Walkley played drums with Gregg Easton Christenson in “Grassy Butte” in the early ‘70’s.  Gregg returned to the Seattle area from Phoenix, AZ. in 1980.  Mac and crew asked Gregg to sit in and he continued with the group through “81.

Gregg Easton Christenson, January 2006



Upcountry Band - Photo Courtesy of Mike Lyle
Clockwise From Top:   Frank Pardo,  Dick Harvey, Mike Lyle, Mac Walkley &
Mike Lyle, Keith Johnson.  Middle is the Dinosaur Festival


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Last Update:  7 January 2006
Credits:  Mike Lyle, Sandi, Gregg Easton Christenson
Band # 1167