Part 1 :
the 2001 interview
like to know how you became
involved in rockabilly etc. Is it
something that comes from your
parents or are you a «self made»
My parents did have allot to do
with it. My Dad is a big Buddy
Holly fan and both of my parents
love the Everly Brothers. They
would sing Everly songs in
harmony together when I was young.
They also sang tunes like
Frauline by Bobby Helms, Mom
liked Ray Price , George Jones
and Elvis. After digging into
their records I started to search
out stuff myself and found out
about Gene Vincent, Johnny
Burnette, Sid King and all the
in the Shifters before High Noon.
Could you tell more about this
The Shifters was a teenage
rockabilly band (not real good )
but it was a way to start to
learn how to «play it right». I
formed the band with some guys
Is there a connection
with the Jinns?
After graduation we found out
about a band in Denver called Bop
Street. The Naulty brothers, Pete
and Brian, were the core of the
group who later formed the Jinns.
They were a big influence, they
were older and knew allot more
about the music than us. Pete
turned me on to Ronnie Self and
Ronnie Dawson to name a few. It
was through them I met Todd
Wulfmeyer (guitarist for the
Jinns and Marti Brom) and Kevin.
They both joined the Shifters
talk about High Noon. How did you
Sean Mencher was playing with a
country band called Chapperal and
they opened for the Shifters.
Kevin and I were very impressed
by his playing and song writing.
He dug the Shifters energy, so we
started talking about rockabilly
and how we thought a band should
sound. Soon after that and though
a long series of events the three
of us ended up jamming in Seans
garage. We had so much fun
playing Elvis Sun tunes and such
we all decided this was the band
we had all dreamed of.
find your sound immediately?
Yes and no. When I see old video
of High Noon Im surprised
at how much we sound the same now
as then. We did how ever evolve
and refine the sound as we went
along with becoming better
players and song writers. I think
we all had a certain individual
style that just messed real well
and produced a strong combined
How did you meet Willie
Kevin and I had herd his first
record in Denver. We were saying
«Who is this guy?» Then our old
friend Todd Wulfmeyer found him
and introduced us. Willie came
out to some shows we did up in
Colorado. We told him how cool it
would be to have a 45 rpm record
out on Rockabilly records, and he
agreed. He was the only record
company crazy enough to put out a
78 rpm disc.
There was this record
with Beverley Stauber, wich came
after your first release but it
wasnt exactly your sound.
Could you tell me more about
Man, what can I say about that
mess. We were hired to back her
up. I hate the way that thing was
recorded. It was a huge studio
with mikes everywhere. We were
just warming up and goofing
around when they recorded the
songs I was singing. I didnt
know they would put them on the
record. Beverley was a friend of
ours and we were trying to help
Then High Noon stopped.
We had been on the road for
years, making no money, sleeping
on floors, riding trains, and
missing our family. Dont
get me wrong we loved to play
music for every one who would
listen and getting to see the
world is something not every one
gets to do. But it starts to wear
on you when your always worried
about paying the bills. Remember
this was before the scene was as
organized as it is today. We had
to do every thing our selves.
Seans wife Leslie booked and
managed the band, with out her
and Sean busting there humps we
would have gone no where. Sean
and Leslie then decided to move
their Family up to Portland Maine.
It was an chance for their three
kids to go to good schools and be
close to there Grandparents. So
we just had to slow down. I dont
think any of us really look at
High Noon as ever being broken up.
We have way to much fun together
to ever say the last show was the
last. We just have differnt
prioritys and responsabilites to
take care of. We will continue to
make music together when ever the
right opportunity presents its
Could you name some of
your major influences as a
Buddy Holly, for both singing and
writing, Gene Vincent, Tommy
Duncan (with Bob Wills band) Tony
Williams (from the Platters) are
some favorite singers of mine.
And some songwriter...
As for writing Hank Williams, and
After the High Noon days,
we discovered Shaun Young the
drummer. When did you start
I started drumming when I found
some vintage drums at a local
flee market. I got a great deal
on them so I thought Id
better learn to play them. I
always dug the drums and drummers
like Gene Krupa and Dickie Harrel.
So I would get a lesson from
Bobby Trimble every time Big
Sandy was in Austin and I picked
up a gig playing with Marti Brom.
It was trial by fire, either
learn to play decent or look like
a fool. That was in 93 or 94.
It seems, especially on
the Jive Bombers recordings, that
you work hard to get the good
sound and the way you beat the
skins. Do you play on vintage
I Have or have had three vintage
kits Ive recorded with.
1940 Ludwigs, 1949 Leedys and
1938 Slingerland Radio Kings. It
is very important to me to have a
good sound when I drum. I studied
old records magazine articles and
such to try to find out how the
old guys tuned there drums. Then
I tried to play with in that
Who are your favorite
Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, J.I.
Allison, Jo Jones, Sid Catlett,
Bobby Trimble is the best on the
modern scene, too many to list!
talk about the Jet Tone Studio.
Is it true that this name comes
from an airport wich was near the
studio, and sometimes you had to
stop recording while the plane
Jet Tone Studios was my extra
bedroom. My wife Kristi and I
lived right be the Airport and
yes we did have trouble with low
flying planes ruining recordings.
Would you like to produce
artists like Sean Mencher do?
Yes, I love to. Any body need a
Jet Tone Studio/Jet Tone
Boys : how did you meet Marti
We met Marti at the local flee
market. Her husband Bob just walk
over cause he saw a greaser
looking guy. I told him I had a
band and Marti should come and
sit in with us so people would
find out about her.
Then The Jive Bombers.
Could you make a short story of
The Jive Bombers came to be out
of a band I played drums with
called the Big Town Swingtet. It
was a Swing combo (Two trumpets,
trumbone, tenor sax, guitar,
stand up bass, drums and a great
female vocalist named Dana
Dattalo.) We played gigs just for
fun and had a good following.
After Sean moved, High Noon wasnt
playing locally much any more so
some of us decided to become more
serious. We formed the Jive
Bombers and then the swing craze
hit. We played all the time and
made good money while having a
lot of fun. We werent
really a swing band but more of a
Jump blues band. Then Dana got a
good job offer in Hawaii and left
the band. I didnt think it
was worth it to replace her so we
As a member of a Jump Blues/Swing/
Jive band, what do you think
about those so-called Swing band
that jumped on the success of the
There wasnt to many good
ones. I dig swing and when I say
swing I mean Benny Goodman,
Fletcher Henderson, and Count
Basie. I never head any new bands
that sounded like them.
Do you still play
rockabilly as a singer/guitarist ?
I still gig as Shaun Young with
The Horton Brothers and drummer
Buck Johnson backing me up along
with guys like Leroy Biller on
guitar and T Bonnta on piano when
ever theyre available. We
play rockabilly and country
tunes, a few new songs Ive
written, but mostly covers. We
hardly ever rehearse and play
purely for the fun of it.
What about Shaun Young
and the New Blue Moon Boys ?
The New Blue Moon Boys is a group
that gets together twice a year
to play an Elvis tribute show at
the Continental club. The band
includes: Bobby Horton on guitar
with brother Billy on up right
bass, Lisa Pankratz on drums, T
Bonnta on piano, and the Lowels (Bill
Bailey, Mike Heil, and Roger
Wallace) singing back ups We
start as a trio doing Sun stuff
and then add drums and piano to
play early RCA tunes. We end up
with the Three backing vocalist
singing the Jordanaires parts.
Its a fun show to do.
What are your
My main projects of late have
been building cars. I just
finished a 31 ford model a Hot
Rod and a buddy of mine in my car
club, the Kontinentals, is
customizing my 51 chevy. Im
having fun taking a break from
playing music and mess with cars.
Its something I Havent
had time to do for a while. I do
have a new solo record in the can
and almost ready for release.
Look for it on Goofin
Just want to say what a thrill it
is to be part of something like
High Noon! Thanks to everyone out
there! See ya down the road.
Part 2 :
the 2006 interview
last time we talked, you ended
the interview saying "I'm
having fun taking a break from
music and mess with cars".
It seems that things have changed
this last few years...
Yes, Ive become very busy with
music again and it feels great
after a bit of a break. Ive been
doing some different things,
playing electric guitar, writing
new instrumental tunes as well as
new vocal songs. Playing a bit
more with the Horton Brothers
backing me around Austin and
having a blast with the new Surf
band The Thunderchiefs!
played some gigs with High Noon.
How was it to play together
It is always great to play with
High Noon, its heaven! Its kind
of like riding a bike; we played
for so long together that you
just kind up pick up right where
you left off. I just get swept
away by the feel of that band.
With just the three instruments
it seems the music has a rhythm
all it own.
The other great thing about
getting to play with High Noon is
just getting to sing those songs.
I think weve really written some
nice songs through the years and
I wish I got to sing them more
Noon's return at Green Bay
coincided with the release of
"What are you waiting for?"
your first release together for
years. Was it important for you
to come with new material?
Yes very important. The last
thing any of us want High Noon to
turn into is a reunion band
playing all the old hits from the
early nineties. You have to have
fresh stuff, new songs, and new
challenges. If youre going to do
it, do it right. Thats the motto
we try to live by.
did a great show at the 10th
Rockabilly Rave. Sadly Kevin
couldn't make it and was (greatly)
replaced by Jimmy Sutton. A word
Most folks probably all ready
know about Kevin getting hired by
Dwight Yoakum. Its a great
opportunity for him, the big time
and he deserves it! Sean and I
are so proud of him. Well when
Kevin got the call from Dwight we
were all ready booked at the Rave
so we had two choices. Either
cancel or play with a fill in
bass player. Playing with a fill
in player isnt something we would
normally even consider but when
Jimmy Sutton said hed play my
mind was at ease.
High Noon is its own weird
special thing and its hard for
anyone to step in and play. Not
that the music is complicated or
no once else out there is good
enough to fill our shoes or
something, Im defiantly not
saying that! Its more like the
three of us have been screwing it
up for so many years together it
makes it difficult for some one
to step in and groove like the
band normally does. Does that
make sense? Any way, weve know
Jimmy for all most as long as
High Noon has existed and of
course we are BIG Jimmy Sutton
fans so I felt like yeah, we can
pull this off. Well Jimmy did
more that just fill in and pull
it off. He took it over and made
it his own! That set wasnt High
Noon with Jimmy Sutton filling in
on bass it was High Noon period.
you plan to record new stuff with
You know, we do have some
tentative plans that Im trying to
I wish I could tell yall more
than that cause there may be some
exiting things in the near future
for High Noon. Is that big enough
of a tease? Ha ha.
saw the release of your newest
solo output "Wiggle Walk".
A word about the "genesis"
of this record.
Wiggle Walk! That was a fun
record to make! It was great to
finally record a record with the
Horton brothers, Dave Leroy
Biller Buck Johnson and T Jarrod
Bonta, the band that Ive been
playing gigs with in Texas for
ten years. Weve been gigging with
that lineup ever since Billy and
Bobby moved to Austin but other
commitments have kept us form
doing a record until now.
I had a bunch of songs written
that Bobby and I had been getting
together and arranging. Bobby is
my right hand man when it comes
to fleshing out my song Ideas and
Billy is a great producer and
engineer in the studio. How can
you go wrong with a line up like
that? I cant say enough good
things about all those guys and I
have for pinch myself to make
sure its real when Im singing in
front of that group of top notch
People seem to really like that
album and we really appreciate
all the great things folks have
said about that one.
of the band you're involved with
are the Thunderchiefs. How did
you come with the idea of a surf
Its a funny story. I used to play
lead electric guitar when I was a
teenager back in Colorado. Kevin
and I had a band called the
Shifters. We were a typical
teenage rockabilly band, loud
fast and not that good! Ha ha ha.
Well I had to play lead because
we didnt know any other
rockabilly guitar players.I was
an ok guitar player but when we
met Sean Mencher I thought heck I
dont need to mess with this
anymore, hes got it down! So its
been like 15 or 16 years since
Ive tried to play any electric
lead guitar. Well about six
months ago I bought a Fender
Stratocaster and started to
relearn a bunch of old
instrumental guitar tunes I used
to play as a kid. Typical stuff
like Walk Dont Run and Pipeline.Well
I was telling my buddy Joe Emrey
I thought it would be fun to
start a Surf band and play some
of these tunes just for fun.
Joe I a great Surf guitar player
who had a band called Death
Valley here in Austin back in the
early 90s. High Noon used to play
show with them quite a bit back
then. He is now the singer and
guitarist for a KILLER garage
rock band called the Ugly Beats.
Any one who digs 60s garage rock
needs to check out the Ugly Beats!
Well Joe says that sounds like
fun, I want to play bass!
I thought that would be great
since Joe has never played bass
in a band before and Im not the
worlds greatest guitar picker so
this will work well. I figured If
I just found a group of guys that
wanted to mess around and learn
as we went I wouldnt make any
good players bored with my screw
Well, that whole plan went out
the window when Bobby Trimble
heard about it.
Bobby is one of my closest
friends and we always wanted to
play in a band together. Were
both big Surf music fans. Bobby
just moved to Austin from
California this past year and its
great to have him living in Texas!
Any way when Bobby got wind of or
little plan he told me DUDE, Im
playing drums!!! I thought well
heck if Bobby is going to play
the drums Id better get good fast
or Im going to start to stick out!
So we got together over at Joes
house for our first rehearsal and
had a ball. We new we need to
find a second guitar player to
fill things out.
Well, thats when Mike Guerreo
called Joe. Mike Is well known to
Surf music fans as the incredible
lead guitar player of the Austin
Surf trio The Sir Finks. Their
Boss Guitars of the Sir Finks
album is one of the best modern
surf records ever! Mike hadnt
been playing much since the Sir
Finks, spending time raising his
family and such. Mike tells Joe
he wants to play guitar with us.
When Joe Told me that I about
fell on the floor! Thats like
starting your first rockabilly
band and having Cliff Gallup call
and say he wants in the band.
So suddenly we had a very good
Surf band put together. All of us
have been writing original songs
for the group and we start
recording our first album next
month. It will be out on Wormtone
Records This summer. Any one whos
interested can check the band out
also play with the Limelights...
The Limelight guys have been busy
with other things so I havent
been playing with that band for
quite some time now
It was a fun band to play drums
in, very Bill Haley and the
Comets type of feel.
all those bands, do you still
find to build cars?
Not as much as Id like! I still
take time to mess with my cars
any chance I get.
I love my hot rods. Working on
them, driving them, taking the
roadster and racing at the drag
strip are my big escapes from the
stress of life!
Thunderbird um I mean
Just a thank you to all the fans
who like what I do. Im still in
shock that any one even cares
about my little music projects
and I really appreciate all the