Pegasus


It was a dark and stormy night… actually it was in the middle of the afternoon on a bright sunshine filled day in Huntington, West Virginia, that birth was given to a winged horse with music in his veins.  Five musicians gathered around the campfire, unlit so as not to pollute the atmosphere, and waited for the marshmallows to turn golden crispy brown, which they never did due to the complete lack of heat.

While they were waiting, Roger Patton, Wally Wilkes, Fred Lacy, Alan Burge and Nolan Evans debated over the name of this new band.  One suggestion was Crystal Ship, in honor and soon to be in memory of Jim Morrison of the Doors.  Another suggestion was Pegasus, so named after a late night black and white b-grade movie (or was it a c-grade movie?) called Project Pegasus.  After much debate, the majority agreed to Pegasus, and the minority vowed to get even.  No, not really.  Wally and Nolan – the minority – agreed to see how the name Pegasus flew (pun intended) with potential new clients as all five members had previously been in one or more combos with far worse names.  Try Foremost Esquires (a motley group of four musicians and not a lawyer among them), Moonrakers (lunatics wired for sound), Grapes of Wrath, The Mods, Carnaby Street Canaries, and only Methuselah could remember what other band names were behind them.

A Circle Of Friends & Pegasus Is Born!
Fred, Nolan, Alan, Wally, Roger
With a circle of friends, the winged horse takes flight!
Fred, Nolan, Alan, Wally, Roger

But after calling themselves Pegasus for a number of practice sessions, the band was ready to expand their song list and head out to Ritter Park, also in Huntington, WV.  It was their first public appearance, and the utter and total devastation to the well kept lawn in Ritter Park will forever be a testament to the popularity of rock and roll in general, and to the crowd-pleasing capability of the flying horse for many years to come.  The first generation of Pegasus was launched into flight, and the next step was to snare that coveted first booking.  After all, you can not make a profit by paying the City Of Huntington $10.00 a day to turn on the AC power at the amphitheatre in Ritter Park.

What a band really needs is someone to pay them to play music, so the band can rush out and buy more equipment.  G.A.S., Gear Acquisition Syndrome, had already afflicted every member of Pegasus from their early exposure to rock and roll.  Like a true garage band in the classic sense, Pegasus’ first PA was built from plywood and eight (8) Quam speakers valued at an astonishing $3.99 apiece.  It was an elegant effort, and a glimpse into the future of Pegasus-sired PA systems.  At that early time, “The Voice of the Gutter” speakers were only a distant vision of two sound aficionados/maniacs, Fred and Nolan.  But for their initial appearances, the Quams would have to do.  And do they did.

There would be many subsequent generations of Pegasus, and the roster would eventually grow to include a second generation.  There were also Friends of Pegasus, those intrepid souls who stood by Pegasus through the years, supporting them in a thousand different ways, and always on standby to encourage the band through every situation.  These Friends of Pegasus are as important to this story as the music itself.  For without them, there would be no PegaFest.

$10 cash receipt from the Board of Park Commissioners, Huntington, WV, to turn power on at Ritter Park for 1st Pegasus Concert ~ May 1969

$10 cash receipt from the Board of Park Commissioners,
Huntington, WV, to turn power on at Ritter Park
for 1st Pegasus Concert ~ May 1969

 

Last Updated:
March 3, 2008

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