Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wheelhaus on Pacific Avenue

Found a copy of this 7" about a month or two ago and really dug the sound, sorta reminded me of a cool laid-back mash up of the Dead and Big Star! Hailing from Omaha, Wheelhaus was comprised of the Van Fleet Brothers, Larry and Gary, and their buddy John Cannon. I called up Larry and spoke with him about the band which was a short-lived outfit playing the usual home-town gig circuit of bars and regional festivals. They recorded this one single at Pacific Ave. studios, and were able to get it some local airplay and in the juke-boxes. I was hoping they may have had an LP I had never heard of before, or even just a few more 7"s, but alas this is it! Can't say I'm complaining though, as this 45 is just about perfect... that rare combination of mellow 70s groove and an almost effortless power-pop sensibility. Musicianship is really high too, just dig the shimmering guitar explosion at the end of "Room at the Top"! That song has been stuck in my head for weeks, something about it just catches the vibe of kicking around in the summer twilight so perfectly, the bliss of having nothing to do. It's a love song though, too, slyly winking at that girl who'll never quite come around... melancholy, but free. My gut tells me these guys would've put on quite a show! You can check out Larry's further career in music here, he's still very active in the Omaha area. He kindly sent along these clippings. Looks like great times! Thanks, Larry!

Room At the Top

You've Got to Give her Rock'n'Roll to Keep Her Home



  1. Awesome, got a bit of a skip spence guitar vibe too!

  2. This was written by my older brother,I was about 18 or 19 when we cut this,I`d been playing drums for 10 years and teaching for about 2 years. This was like playing with John Mayer when you were 18 I was so blown away by his talent.We Played many,many nights and had some great times playing,funk,jazz,cover rock and top 40 it was a trip and a privalige I`ll never forget,we really had some fantastic moments through the years. Gary the drummer

  3. I am digging this deeply! Thanks for another one of your great finds!

  4. Larry's Daughter Laura!April 26, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    I am honored to be a part of the VanFleet family and couldn't be more proud of my father and my uncle, they have always been dripping with talent and still are, enjoy the music and share it with all you know!

  5. I had the honor of playing in a band with Gary for the last couple of years. Considering that he had been used to playing with his very talented brother Larry, it always amazed me the great patience he has shown dealing with someone of my very limited abilities.

    Thanks for posting the clips, very cool. Rick.

  6. Totally grooving to these tunes! Yum!

  7. Gary and Larry are my cousins. . . .the whole Van Fleet clan is talented, one way or another!!

  8. jesus, J.
    going thru the archives (that i've downloaded in the past)
    and this just slays me, man. real rock gem. the 2nd track is My Jam.
    thanks again.

  9. The first time is always a special experience. I heard myself playing music on the radio for the first time when these songs were played. Thanks Larry and thanks Gary for a great memory, and some great expereinces playing music together. We had some good times for certain.

    John, the bass player