Purple Haze - the Story
Purple Haze was formed in the Fall of 1976.
Frank Leister, just beginning college, lived next door to Terry Rieker, in High Residence Hall, on the campus of Lock Haven State College (today, known as Lock Haven University) in Lock Haven PA.
Terry was a Senior, Art major, and a "RA" — Resident Advisor — charged with the task of keeping numerous students, mostly freshmen, under control.
In the room next door, Frank's guitar playing (of Jimi Hendrix licks) caught the attention of Terry's ears. They met and quickly talked about the prospect of jamming.
Soon enough, they found, by word of mouth, a bass player named Jimi Harris, another Hendrix fan, who was excited to learn of a new guitar player on campus who could play Hendrix stuff. Jimi also sang a little and sounded like... well, Hendrix. Jimi lived in Smith Residence Hall.
With the core of the band being avid Hendrix fans, naming the band was easy: "Purple Haze."
The trio — Frank, Terry, and Jimi — jammed and soon found, again by word-of-mouth, a Freshman vocalist living in Smith Residence Hall named Ted Andlauer. During the initial meeting, Ted mentioned doing theatre work in high school in New Jersey, including the play Guys & Dolls.
The band rehearsed in the basement of High Hall. The room was known as the "Utility Room" — with concrete block walls and a tiled floor — loud and lively acoustics, needless to say. As the band rehearsed, students would drop in to listen and a buzz soon began growing about a new rock band on campus.
The only recordings were made with Frank's Dokorder 7140 reel-to-reel tape recorder. (The actual tape deck is shown here, on the right.) Portions of two different rehearsals were recorded. Visit the music page for clips.
The band played several gigs, most noteworthy the following:
November 18, 1976 in the High Hall lounge... the first gig. See article on the Press page. Pictures of Frank, Terry, and Jimi on this web site were taken at the gig by Ron Sager (a student who graduated from LHSC in 1980). Many more pictures were taken, but Ron eventually lost the pictures and negatives.
February 19, 1977 in Bentley Hall lounge. Bentley was packed to capacity — about 500 people. See posters on the Press page.
March 19, 1977 in the TKE fraternity house (just off campus). This was a Saint Patrick's Day frat party, complete with green beer flowing from the kegs.
September 1977 in the Phi Mu Delta fraternity house basement. This was a reunion gig, as Terry had graduated the previous May, but returned on his motorcycle, driving all the way from Lancaster PA in the driving rain. Ted did not return to college, so this was a power trio gig, with Frank, Terry, and Jimi.
September 1977 in Bentley Hall lounge. Again, just the power trio: Frank, Terry, and Jimi. Among other new songs, we did "Crimson and Clover," by Tommy James, with Frank on vocals.