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A BRIEF HISTORY 1977 - 2007

The band that is now 'Rukus' was started in 1977 by two Rock 'N' Roll fans, Bob Dalziel and Rod Arundel. Bob and Rod met in 1970 over a few beers at the old Century Inn and, sharing a love for authentic 50's Rock 'N' Roll, they talked about getting together with their guitars for a jam. Though Bob was always impressed with Rod's 'Scotty Moore - Elvis' type guitar licks, life went on and it was a long time coming.

Ironically, the real beginning of 'Rukus' began with the death of their mutual favorite, singer Elvis Presley. Rod called Bob up on August 16th, 1977 and after a lengthy telephone conversation, it was decided that life was too short to keep putting the guitar jam off. So a week later they got together and banged away at some old Rock 'N' Roll. They played mostly in the 1950's rock-a-billy style, covering most of Elvis's early Sun recordings as well as songs by Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and Ricky Nelson, to name a few.

They developed a repertoire of 20-25 songs and played at parties and a few 'live' shows which were shared with other acts or canned music. After a year or so, the music was starting to get stale and they made a souvenir long play record of twelve Elvis songs which they called 'Mystery Train' and it sold 300 'limited edition' copies. After that they stopped playing for a year.

In 1980, Bob ran into an old acquaintance and bass player, the late Bob Richardson. They arranged to get together, and thus spawned another year of Tuesday night jams. During that time, friend and drummer, Dave Paul, was repeatedly asked to join the boys, but put it off until early 1981.

The first real gig they had was videotaping seven songs for a local CHEK-TV show, 'Daybreak'. The band now needed a name and so Bob asked the guys for their input. On the day of taping, May 16th, 1981, the band met at Bob's house. Rod had come up with 'Rockhouse' and Bob thought of 'Raucous'. So when asked, they called it 'Rockhouse Raucous'. During one of the broadcasts, the emcee of the show, Bruce Payne, introduced the band as 'Rockhouse Ruckus'. It was mutually agreed to drop 'Rockhouse' and just call the band 'Rukus' without the 'c'.

Shortly after they acquired an old friend, Phil Issacson to help out with rhythm guitar and vocals. Phil had been in various bands and brought with him both experience and showmanship. After a six month rehearsal period, the band was really on its way. In 1982 and 1983, 'Rukus' rocked around Victoria until October 29th, 1983 when they played their final dance at the Princess Mary Hallowe'en party. It was a crazy night with three live bands and about 2000 people.

'Rukus' disintegrated that night until longtime supporter Stew Thompson got them back together to play at his 40th birthday party on November 19th, 1988. After that, 'Rukus' went through a five year rebuilding period that went in many directions and with a constant change in personnel. Through these years, they did manage to keep playing 'live'. It was the love and dedication of keeping the true spirit of authentic Rock 'N' Roll alive and well that kept the band together. During the 1990's, the 'Rukus' personnel read like a 'who's who' of Victoria musicians but kept going. In 1991, Dave Kissinger brought his many years of rock and roll guitar experience to the band.

The current 'Rukus' lineup is the best yet.  Keyboard player Marty Adams joined the group in 2001.  The late John Lorenzo left the group due to illness in 2003 and and was replaced by Victoria Rock "N" Roll Hall of Fame drummer, Barry Casson.  In September 2007, Bass player Fred Herfst retired after 7 years and was replaced by Steve Hansen.  

'Rukus' has been performing Golden Oldies for more than 25 years. Since 1981 they have played to enthusiastic audiences of all ages playing in almost every venue in and around Victoria. Highlights through the years include opening for Buddy Knox's 60th birthday party bash in 1993, winning the 1999 'Battle Of The Bands' competition out of sixteen bands, working with Rock "N" Roll Hall of Fame disc jockey Red Robinson on three different occasions and setting the attendance record for the Government House "Music On The Lawn" outdoor concert series in 2006.  Rukus has also played on shows with Tommy Sands, Bobby Curtola, The Coasters, Susan Jacks, Randy Bachman, as well as Buddy Knox.  With five members they are able to re-create a wide variety of the sights and sounds of the Golden Age of Rock 'N' Roll, from Elvis to the Beatles and everything in-between.

If you are planning a dance, birthday, retirement, wedding or reunion and want the best of authentic 50's and 60's Rock 'N' Roll dance music...call 'Rukus'. Boasting an almost unbelievable 200 years of combined stage experience, they promise a fun night of dancing and entertainment.

'RAISE A RUKUS'!!!

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dedicated to US and Canadian Musicians from the period 1954 -1979 ........and their bands from 1980 to the present 

This page last updated Oct 18, 2012
 

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