Growing up, Cliff didn't have any musical inspiration at home.
The family entertainment consisted of a black & white t.v. with no phonograph or radio.
Somewhere around the fourth or fifth grade ('61 or '62), he can remember getting a transistor radio and thoroughly enjoying the music going on at WHB, which played early rock & roll and surf music.
The "British Invasion" started in '63, inspiring his life-long love of music. For Cliff the urge to perform music had not yet kicked in. It was around this time in Chanute that garage bands started forming. He can remember going to street dances as well as the gym dances and being in awe of the band players. To him it looked like so much fun to entertain people.
Among his group of friends, some of them had already bought guitars and organs. He got his first set of drums and began some serious "wood shedding". He is completely self-taught with the exception of a summer's worth of snare lessons from Pat Blanchard at Evans Music.
Cliff joined Rono Bowyer, Neil Leverenz and Bob Ennis to form "Rapid Transit Authority." They did a lot of garage practice and took the band to the Top Hat and The Pub, needing parental permission slips to perform in those establishments. Cliff's musical influences at that time included The Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Doors.
His time with the "Common Few?" began in the fall of '69 when their long-time drummer, Mike King, had to face the draft. He was a junior in high school and auditioned for them in their practice house. He was nervous and a little unsure of his ability to impress a bunch of "older guys" who in his mind, were the epitome of cool.
Being accepted into the band was one of the high points of his "drumming life." He performed more in the next two years than he ever dreamed possible. His musical influences then were BS&T, Chicago, Sly & Family Stone, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave and The Temptations.
After the "Common Few?" parted ways in 1971, he stopped playing until 1978. At that time he joined David Cramer's Drifters out of Parsons, playing country until 1981.
Moving to Garnett in the spring of '81, it was not long before he began playing music again with several different groups, including another country group, a blues rock trio, and finally a very popular rock group called Breakin Point. Cliff "retired" from the band business in 1990 and as of this date has accumulated a music collection of almost 1000 titles.
He was excited when David Orr contacted him in '05 about the upcoming Ides of March concert in Chanute. That of course led to the reunion of the "Common Few?" and their own performances, including their induction into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in January of '06. He's thankful for David's drive and inspiration as well as all the friendship and "brotherhood" the band's reunion has brought.
He currently is a sales/service rep for the Sara Lee Bakery Group in Garnett, serving three counties. He's married to Rhonda, who is a court reporter for the State of Kansas, assigned to the Fourth Judicial District. He has two daughters from his first marriage. His oldest is Melissa who resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida. His youngest daughter is Angie who lives in Edwardsville, Illinois. Angie is married to Joe and they have two children, Jake and Layla. Cliff's parents are now in their late 70's, living in Chanute and doing well in their golden years.
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