By Lorri Whiteside -
When forming Studebaker Hawk, Dan envisioned a band and a setlist that was geared toward concert type gigs. In the ‘90s, Arrow93FM was a very popular rock and roll oldies station in L.A. They had all the top DJs and a great playlist. The band was still new, but up-to-speed and ready to fly. Dan solicited ARROW with an email offering to become their “house band.” As fate would have it, ARROW had decided just the day before to hire a band to help with their promotions. Talk about perfect timing! An audition was arranged at a rehearsal space in the valley. Several ARROW folks attended and the band kicked ass. How could ARROW refuse?! They didn’t. And they didn’t even consider any other bands. It was serendipitous!
The very first ARROW sponsored show was at CityWalk promoting the L.A. Grand Prix. It was blisteringly hot that day but the boys put on a great show. Other shows followed including the L.A. Grand Prix (see separate blog post), Best of L.A., Taste of Newport, the grand opening of the Block and the Staples Center, ARROWFEST, and other similar events. They opened for bands such as Kansas, Joe Walsh, REO Speedwagon, Rick Springfield, K.C. and the Sunshine Band and others. The band interacted with many of the ARROW jocks; Uncle Joe Benson introduced them at the Taste of Newport, and Maggie McKay introduced them at the opening of the Block in Orange. Danny Martinez loved them and even talked about them on the air and when Dan and I ran into Bob Coburn at a Styx concert, he gave Dan a big bear hug although we had not met before. A great thrill for us (and our friends/families) was hearing their demo played over the L.A. airwaves as part of ARROW’s event advertising. Not bad for a cover band!
My favorite show was probably the Taste of Newport, but one of the biggest shows was ARROWFEST, out at the Irwindale Speedway on Father’s Day, 1999. This was the show where Dan almost knocked Kansas’ Robbie Steinhardt off the stairs as Robbie was ascending and Dan was descending and when Ric leapt off the stage over a cement barrier and into the crowd, ripping his brand new pants in the process. When he tried to go back over the barrier to the stage, security almost didn’t let him pass until he showed them the microphone in his hand. Lol! Backstage, Kansas’ Steve Walsh asked Rick Kraft’s young stepdaughter to play him a tune on her harmonica and he laughed when she obliged. This was also one of Chris’ first shows and one of the few shows where Studebaker Hawk performed with six members, 2 guitars, bass, keys, drums, and of course, Ric on vox. The guys put on a great show that day to a very appreciative crowd and made some great memories.
ARROW is no longer on the air, but what a grand time it was!
The cover shot features ARROW's Uncle Joe Benson introducing the band. The shots below feature Dan at an ARROW sponsored show, Taste of Newport '98 and '99 and ARROWFEST '99.