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Summer Haze to Perform at Forever 56 Foundation Benefit


January 17, 2019

Summer Haze, a local band that has been playing since the 60s, will play at Sugar River Lanes in Belleville on Saturday, January 26, 2019, as a benefit for the Forever 56 Foundation, created in memorial of Eric O’Connor who died in an accident in 2017. The Forever 56 Foundation benefits local youth through scholarships and sponsorships. The band got together to reminisce on old memories and compile Summer Haze: As Legend Has It. They hope to you enjoy the biography and see you all out on January 26th for another reunion show!

As Summer Haze legend has it…in 1968, in Dayton, WI, where the river flows, three area boys got together to form a guitar-based trio. The Red Barons were born! Brothers Doug and Duane Sies, along with their fellow Belleville schoolmate and best buddy Dale Freidig, decided to put their musical prowess and love of performing into a rock/county and western combo. In these formative years, they enlisted the percussive talents of fellow Daytonian, Rick Raught. As time went on, the boys continued to hone their rock-n-roll skills and musical chops; Doug on rhythm guitar, Duane on lead guitar, Dale on bass, and Rick on drums. Their very first gig was at the Attica Community Building for the 4-H “Music & Drama Festival” in early 1969. The boys made it through all the competition levels that spring and were awarded a performance at the State 4-H Congress in June at Ogg Hall, on the UW-Madison campus.

The first Belleville dance they ever played was a “Teen Dance” on Friday, June 26, 1970, at St. Mary’s Church Hall. All through 1971, the band’s show schedule continued to grow, including “Battle of the Bands” contests. By the spring of 1972, the winds of change began to blow. That May, the boys changed the band’s name to Appomattox Courthouse. The amps got bigger, the hair got longer, and, more notably, the band also changed drummers. Rick Raught had left and Evansville’s Scott Allen was firmly in place behind the drum kit. The band’s song list was also changing to include more current rock hits of the day from the likes of Grand Funk Railroad, The James Gang, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), and Deep Purple. By August, the band name was shortened to Appomattox, and the boys performed for the first time (of what would be many countless future appearances) at the Belleville Community Picnic. In the fall of ‘72, the boys added Allen’s schoolmate Randy Schneeberger to the band, on trumpet and vocals. During the next year, this five-piece unit began to create a buzz, playing wherever and whenever they could. The ascension to being one of the best regional rock outfits was well on its way!

There was a seminal moment in February of 1973 when the boys changed the band name one last time to Summer Haze. As the monthly show schedule ever increased, the fall of 1973 brought another change to the band; in September, Randy Schneeberger departed as he was off to college. Even as Summer Haze was growing continually stronger as a foursome, in the late fall of 1974, fellow Belleville schoolmate and musician, Franz Jaggi, was brought into the mix. Jaggi not only added the trumpet back into the Summer Haze arsenal, he also provided keyboards and an additional vocal range that served to complete the band’s sound. Historically, this new line-up of five would forever be known as the “original” Summer Haze. They continued to master an ever-increasing repertoire of songs from The Beatles, The Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wings, Molly Hatchet, Foghat and Bad Company, just to name a few. Summer Haze continued to play as often as they could, if not more!

In the 1980s, as the boys’ other priorities continued to expand due to families and jobs, the torrid show schedule began to slow down. Some of the boys moved out of the area, and scheduling shows began to feel like more of a special occasion vs. the status quo. After a number of years of sporadic show dates, in 1992 the band decided that it was again possible to go out and gig again on a much more regular basis. Scott Allen had moved out of state, so longtime fan, follower, and friend of the band, John Remy, took over the drumming duties. Summer Haze was ‘back on the road’ and experienced a very successful eight-year run of consistent shows. Both fans of old (the most loyal fanbase, ever!) and new admirers followed the band continuously, resulting in fabulous shows that were fun for all. Summer Haze officially disbanded in 2000, and all the band members continued on with other musical projects and pursuits. Still, Summer Haze has never really gone away. Scott Allen returned to the area, and fortunately for the faithful fans, the band has felt a need to continue to play its expansive song list, spurred on by intensive supporter demand. The band’s eternalness, and their love of the fans, the music, and one another, has resulted in two to four Summer Haze “reunion” shows a year since 2000. Their shows are priceless because of the pure joy and memories generated by the band, the music, and the fans…and Doug, Dale, Duane, Scott, Franz and John can still ROCK! Like fine wine (Bailey’s Run ‘Summer Haze’ wine, perhaps?), the band keeps getting better with age. Let the ROCK SHOW commence! We salute you!


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