A Short History of Storm
By Mark Moyer
The first version of Storm began its formation in the spring of 1972. It began as a collaborative effort between myself, Kip Haaheim, and Tom Eskridge, in the role of manager. We received some investment seed money from Tom's brother Wayne and with it we procured some basic equipment, including an electric piano for me, and we set out to figure out what we were going to do. We recruited a drummer and a lead guitarist, whose names were Bob [?] and Mel Maxwell, and started working out basic ideas.
Shortly after this, Yvonne Williams came into touch with someone or other and when we heard her sing, she was "in" (much to the chagrin of her parents, as I recall!) We put together a basic cover show with a few originals and played some local gigs in Livermore for school dances and at the recreation center. After around one year, Mel and Bob moved on to other projects. Mel went to Alaska and, last I heard, did quite well in the local music scene up there.
Vic Trigger and Jim Oliver were aquainted with Kip as I recall. They had worked in a band called RiverRun for several years prior and were free about the time that the first verson of Storm split up. I think we played with Jim first and then I vaguely remember jamming in Vic's basement on an impossibly hot summer afternoon after which he came aboard.
The additional musical firepower of these two musicians totally transformed the band. Despite our varied backgrounds and schedules, we all knew that there was something potent going on. We rented a comercial space outside of town, bought me a Hammond B3 organ, and rehearsed relentlessly for about six months, crafting a show based on two pillars: imaginative covers of really quality tunes, hopefully done in a way so that they might be remembered as our "version" of the tune, and an original show and music orientied to FM album radio.
Over the next two years, our popularity as well as our skills grew at a steady pace. We packed up the operation and moved to Berkeley, where we had a large underground studio/shop/lounge area in the basement. Here we built custom lighting systems and implemented a newer, enlarged, custom sound system.
We began booking with several agencies in the bay area and, between the commercial work they provided and the prom circuit, we managed to scratch out a bare living. Several of us lived in apartments together and others bunked in the shop end of our commercial space.
At this time, we were on our way to what I still would like to believe would have been an eventual crafting of our sound, our recording skills, and our writing styles into something that I believe would have been enjoyed by listeners who liked bands like Fleetwood Mac, Dave Mason, etc, but with a twist that I can't define, because I'm a part of it, if you will.
Unfortunately, the overall timing of the band from a music industry marketing standpoint was spectacularly bad. We were roughly one to two years away from maturing into a really serious heavy weight rock band when the great scourge hit--Disco!
To make a long story short, it killed not only this band, but perhaps many other potential really good bands.
In the end, nobody can be blamed. The fire just kind of burned out because it ran out of fuel. You couldn't work if you didn't have the blow-dried unisex look and play "get down, boogie-oogey-oogey" all night. We dipped our toes into this water and it was not good.
Meanwhile, Vic and Kip were working up a power trio concept a la Robin Trower. They went on to pursue that project. I moved to the country, where I still live.
Vic Trigger died of cancer in 1996. Kip Haaheim is now an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Kansas School of Fine Arts (see his school web page). Notes about other members of the band can be found on the forum (see below).
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