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The Quidons
PHOTO GALLERY
MEMBERS
Barbie, Ron - Bass
Deuel, Dan - Guitar
Kellogg, Dave - Saxophone
Kokrda, Ken - Drums
Sheffield, Doug
Sheffield, Rod - Guitar
Trupp, Dave - Drums
Windolph, Dan
BIOGRAPHY
The Quidons with Ken Kokrda, Dan Deuel, Rod Sheffield, Ron Barbie, and Dave Kellogg formed in Grand Island, NE in the very early 1960’s. In the beginning, Kokrda and Ron Barbie joined together with classmates Dan Deuel, Dave May and Bob King to start their first five member rock and roll group, the Shades. In an era when rock and roll was beginning to take the country by storm, the Shades became a local teen favorite, playing at school sock hops, on a local radio station, KMMJ, and at KMMJ sponsored sock hops. As with many young groups at that time, members of the Shades eventually went their own way.

Kokrda wasn’t ready to put his drumsticks away, so he, Barbie and Deuel decided there was still a great deal of music to be played. Deuel had spent time teaching a long-time friend, Rod Sheffield, to play the guitar, consequently when the budding young musicians said they were looking for a rhythm guitar player, Sheffield was up to the task. A drummer, two guitarists and a bass player didn’t give the group the sound they were looking for, so one night after a Grand Island Senior High football game, the guys cornered sax player, Dave Kellogg, as he was leaving the football field after marching in the high school band’s halftime show. Kellogg agreed to grab his sax and join the group and the Quidons were born.

The group practiced in basements and the guest house that belonged to Deuel’s sister as they worked their way into playing the top 40 rock n’ roll hits along with their own version of choreography at local sock hops held at the National Guard Armory and the Ilanda Ballroom. It wasn’t long before the group had developed quite a following and were booking dance gigs which took them to surrounding communities. The group purchased a four-door Buick, a trailer for their equipment and hit the road.

The Quidons soon began playing at Kearney’s 1733 Ballroom where groups featured on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand often played when they were making the trek from the east coast to the west coast. The Quidons joined other groups like: The Flames, The Flairs, Teen Beats Rock N’ Roll, Don Sohl and the Road Runners, and Myron Lee and the Caddies as regulars at the 1733.

In addition to Kearney’s 1733, the group played on local television stations, at countless county fairs, fraternity parties at UNL and Kearney State College (now UNK), the Pla-Mor in Lincoln, Oscar’s Palladium, and Micky’s clubs in Omaha. In addition, anytime a well-known group, like Jerry Wallace, was booked for a local performance, the Quidons were often asked to open the show for them. During the summer of 1961, the group went on tour and played jobs across Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin. When Kokrda left for college, Dave Trupp (later with Lincoln, NE’s Eccentrics and played drums on Zager & Evans’ Multi-million seller In The Year 2525), joined on drums. They cut a record on Eyeball label which was becoming a favorite on the west coast when the draft and the Vietnam era stepped in to put a stop to most of their dreams.

The members of the group all went their separate ways, until one fateful evening in 2005, when Ken Kokrda stopped in Grand Island on his way back to his home in Chicago. Looking to kill some time, Ken decided to see if any of his old friends were still in town. An early evening phone call to Dan Deuel, led to several sessions of sharing fond memories and, of course, the desire to dust off the instruments and play again. The Quidons attempted to get all the members of the original group back together to play for the forty-five year reunion of the Grand Island Senior High Class of ‘61. Barbie and Kellogg were unable to make the trip to Grand Island, but high school friends/musicians Doug Sheffield and Dan Windolph were able to step in to play the reunion gig. The group had such a good time, they decided they couldn’t stop with playing just one more job – which led to another job this past May playing for my rock n’ roll retirement party. As the wife of one of the Quidons – I know that music has been their lifeblood for a very long time. Most recently Kokrda has spent time visiting with Myron Wachendorf (of Myron Lee and the Caddies), Ken sent Dan a copy of Myron’s autobiography and enclosed a note that managed to sum up the feelings of the group when he simply said, 'I miss playing!'

With that note in mind, the group is looking for excuses to get together to play. It doesn’t make any difference that Ken and Dan Windolph split their time between their homes in Chicago and Colorado, or that Doug Sheffield lives in Colorado – just say the word and the guys are playing and singing the old rock n’ roll hits of the 50’s, 60’s and on into the 90’s. At my Rock and Roll Retirement Party – the school district’s instrumental music teachers were there and only had one comment which was, 'Good God, those guys sound tight. What an amazing sound for a group that hasn’t played together on a regular basis for the past 40 years.'