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Having my own personal suspicions come true proved very disturbing. Walking into a rehearsal at Rick Sorgel’s house, I felt a very cold vibe in the air. I looked at Fred Hadler; Fred look at me, head down; he would not make eye contact with me. Yes, Judas had even won over my friend Fred. I said, “I get it now.” Then I looked at Judas, the perpetrator who had orchestrated this whole thing and asked, “So, you want this to be your band?” Judas replied, “I think it’s time for us to move on musically.” I asked Fred, “How can this be happening? Why are you going along with this? You and I started this whole thing.” Fred remained silent. I said, “OK, fine.” We had a lot of equipment I could have taken with me. Instead, I took my guitar and amplifier and walked out.

Reed Leaves the Destinations to Form Reed In His Own Write

The person who was replacing me was Gene Deuvanal; he was a member of the somewhat locally-successful band called the Red Coats. Although Gene was an excellent, flashy, agile guitar player, there was one thing that Con Merton and his newly-acquired group had overlooked in their quest for control, power, and money. This error ended up costing them dearly. I had a strong following among fans of the band. Needless to say, the Destinations died a quick death. When the band’s members tried to reclaim their spot on the Swinging Majority show, Art Roberts retorted firmly, “Without Reed, you’re nothing. No Reed, no go.” Art put the band members and Con Merton, who had conspired with Judas to pull off the routine, in a state of total surprise. He then kept Reed as a solo act.

Afterwards, Fred Hadler admitted that going along with Judas and the Con man were the biggest mistakes he had ever made in his life. Still another of the sad points about this whole ordeal involved Judas character’s brother. The brother of the power player and I were best of friends. The selfish, arrogant behavior on the part of the particular band member damaged my relationship with his brother for many years. Today, he and I have made amends and now realize how silly the whole incident was.

After getting over the shock of the this unfortunate episode of my life, I thought the best thing to do was to maintain a healthy attitude. I felt the need to forgive, forget, and move on. I went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus dance that we used to play in order to show my support for the band in the hope that we could maintain some form of friendship. I had already begun plans for my next venture, Reed In His Own Rite, and felt that it was time for everybody to move forward. Unintentionally, I created quite a stir with the audience. I found that I had some very loyal fans. But the aftermath of my well-intentioned effort was finding out that the band thought I was there to sabotage their show and distract the audience’s attention away from the performance. After displaying such a negative attitude and immature behavior, it was no surprise to me to see that the band was very short-lived after that point.

MILWAUKEE SUMMERFEST 2007 ... PHOTO BY RICK KOHLMEYER

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