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Sussex-Lisbon Area Music History Index

Jeff Jonas

Mike: Hello Jeff, we're gathering the music history from the Sussex-Lisbon area for our local historical society records. Mike Truttschel identified you as being in an early band with him. Would you care to discuss your early band history and what you do now? Mike

Jeff: Mike, Not sure why I just received this message sent in May. I haven't heard my grade school friend Mike Truttschel's name in years! I did play in a grade school band with him and progressed to another band with members from Sussex, and Lisbon. Around 8th gr. to high school age. Still have a faded copy of an article with photo's from the Milwaukee Sentinel about us. Progressed to a few other bands throughout my times and still play solo for events at local saloon's or parties. Sorry I received this message so late.

Mike: Thanks for contacting me Jeff. This month I will begin sitting down with local musicians, to interview more fully. This info will be saved in our archives and become part of the Museum's exhibit. Have you visited our website yet? At  there is a link to local music history index where other links indicate info I gathered earlier this year. Perhaps you could review this and send me more details from your perspective? Mike

Jeff: I'll check it out, thanks.

Jeff: 10/09/2015 8:06am - I've had the opportunity to check out your website...great stuff. Back in those days it was not uncommon for area bands to not only borrow each others equipment at times, but also band members. Many times I would borrow Mike McQuestion's (Thee Radicals) bass guitar when I was with G.T's and Reason Why. I started in the early band Blue Angels with Mike Truttschel and Rich Piontek. Went on to the G.T's with Mike Truttschel and Tom Leipzig, later joined by Bill Lonski (Thee Radicals) and Wayne Knight, this was the early version of the band The Reason Why. Continued playing music through the years, was with The Willow Creek Band in the Minocqua - Tomahawk area late 80's - 90's. Still perform solo at saloons and pubs up here in the northwoods. Am sending old photo from Milw. Sentinal..late 60's. Also 2nd from left in Willow Creek band photo (cowboy hat).

Above - old photo from Milwaukee Sentinal newspaper late 60's.

Below - early photo of Wayne Knight [Source: Wayne Knight's FB page]


Jeff Jonas - Above, 2nd from left in Willow Creek band photo (cowboy hat).

Jeff: 01/21/2016 One thing I would like to add is that being friends with Mike Truttschel in the early years is what got me started in music. He helped me out with some chords on my 1st guitar and we spent a lot of time making noise in garages and basements. I did take guitar lessons in Sussex, I'd walk with guitar down train tracks by the old Mill and cut through peoples yards into subdivision. A gentleman named Vic ? This is when Sussex was a bonified small town U.S.A. Switched to bass guitar through most of the bands, also 5 string banjo for the country and bluegrass with Willow Creek Band. I stick with the acoustic electric now, although there is a bit of banjo left in these beat up hands. Good luck with your project and enjoy your vacation.

January 24, 2016 via FB: Tom Leipzig Now that brings back some very old memories.... Good times with other old friends and musicians in the beginning...

Mike Reilly: Always looking for more memories and pics Tom!

Tom Leipzig: I wish I could help, but I lost many pictures in a fire where I was living back in the early 80's... However FYI.... The reason we got in the Sentinel was with the help of my dad who was the State and City editor for them.... Also at that time, he started the "Young America" section for them..


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