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One of the more demoralizing events took place at the Milwaukee Arena. Because of our notoriety after winning the Sentinel’s battle of the bands, we were invited to perform at the half time of the Harlem Globetrotters Show. That same evening, after our performance, which lasted a total of about 15 minutes, we were to go to Dave Kennedy studios to record our first single produced by local WRIT deejay, King Zabornik, Excited about recording for the first time, our egos were shattered and at least momentarily, and the adventure came to a screeching halt. Upon playing for the Globetrotters’ intermission, in front of approximately 18,000 people, with our dual Showman amps--a total of six--cranking out the Rolling Stone’s Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown at top volume, the audience responded with a massive resounding “B-o-o.” Upon leaving and heading toward the recording studio, we had to redefine our sense of self-confidence, and that was a real learning experience. One of the two songs we recorded that night was an original titled It’s All Over; the other was called So Cry No More, its lyrics were written by Mary O’Brien, a girl I dated on a couple occasions back in high school. Speaking for myself, I definitely believe that what occurred after that event marked a cornerstone in my career.

Reed Composes "Hello Girl" and Becomes the Lead Singer for the Destinations

Yes, the spring of 1966 was a major turning point in the future of the band. Rick Wolfe, the Destinations’ lead singer, had led us to believe that he would attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) in the fall.

This, we thought at the time, was great news. Rick’s presence locally would allow us to remain together as a group. Finally, I graduated from high school, but not without at least some drama. Prior to winning the Sentinel’s battle of bands, our band was gaining notoriety and things were taking off. I started growing my hair longer. I kept getting warnings from the Vice Principal who said, “You can’t be doing this.” First, I started wearing bangs in the front, then my hair was getting longer in the back; and soon it was getting to be a full head of hair. The Vice Principal approached me and said, “You cannot wear long hair, and you have to leave school.” I was suspended for a day or so. My parents got involved; they were getting quite ticked off at the school. Shortly thereafter, the battle of the bands happened, we won, and guess who got to keep his long hair! The story made the newspaper; and I still have the articles and pictures.

During the summer of 1966, I wrote the song Hello Girl. What eventually would become the flip side of the Destinations’ 45, a song called With You, had already been written that previous winter, while sitting at a blonde spinet piano at Rick Sorgel’s house during a brutal snow storm.

MILWAUKEE SUMMERFEST 2007 ... PHOTO BY RICK KOHLMEYER

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