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Local Music History Index

The Britins

with Mike Truttschel

At the Port Washington HS auditorium for Ozaukee County Sheriffs Association, April 11, 2015

Our latest CD in 2013. The Britins in the studio. 1. Bad Boy, 2. You Won't See Me, 3. Girl, 4. Oh! Darling, 5. Octopus's Garden, 6. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, 7. This Boy, 8. Martha My Dear, 9. And I Love Her, 10. She Said She Said, 11. Paperback Writer, 12. The Word

Mike Truttschel and Britins A Beatles Tribute at Cedar Community. Hwy Z August 24, 2013

The band features sounds of the early 1950s with music from such acts as Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Ray Charles. Moore said the band focuses on the piano instead of the guitar as its main instrument.


The Britins looked and sounded like the Beatles but had such non-Beatle names: Joey Salamone, Al Sherman, Rick Bertoni and Mike Cutty (Joey, Al, Rick and Mike sound like a plumber's union, not like John. Paul, George and Ringo).

The Britins are still out there playing Beatle-gigs, but Rick Bertoni is the only original Britin from 1977. source:
The Britins are Rick Bertoni (bass guitar, vocals), Jeff Gish (drums, vocals, percussion), Mike Shumway (rhythm guitar, vocals, keyboards) and Mike Truttschel (lead guitar, vocals, keyboards).

Bertoni founded The Britins in 1976, and the group began performing a year later. Shumway is a former member of Catch a Wave, a previous Venetian Festival act, while Truttschel performed with 1970s bands Peace Valley Connection and Dark Star.

Truttschel is a three-time first-place winner of the solo Beatles sound-a-like contest at the Beatlefest Convention, Chicago, and a first-place winner in the Battle of the Beatle bands competition. source:

Mike's father is William J. Truttschel Sr.

Nov 3, 2014 -

    The Rain, The Park And Other Things (The Flower Girl) by Mike Truttschel, Soundcloud on Facebook. Mike's wife Kathy is the Flower Girl from a 1971 photo.


Mike Truttschel at Sussex Hamilton H.S.


    From The Sussex Sun April, 1995

    25 years ago this week in April, 1970:

    The U.S. Postal Service was seeking a new post office in Lannon. They were asking for proposals.

    Hamilton High School held the junior prom party dance in the school cafeteria with a post-prom dinner at the Fox and Hounds at Freiss Lake. Kathy Magenheim and Mike Truttschel were the prom royalty.

    And the couple, February 14, 2011



Where it all began.... with Rick Bertoni, Britins A Beatles Tribute, Mike Mackett and Mike Truttschel. The first performance with Mike Truttschel as 'George'.

May 15, 2015: Mike Reilly - "How did you get interested in music?" "How did you learn?" "Were you involved in school music, band, church, etc?" "Were there local bands, musicians, singers, about when you were young that inspired/taught you?"

Mike Truttschel: Hi, Mike. Just FYI for the music page. All the bands I've been in: The Reason Why, We Return, Peace Valley Connection, Dark Star, Abbey Road and The Britins (A Beatles Tribute). The Britins started in 1977 and is still going today. 2 of the 4 members are local: Rick Bertoni - Sussex and Mike Truttschel - Town Of Lisbon.

Mike Truttschel Well my story started on Feb. 9, 1964 when I was 11 years old. That was The Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. I was hooked on the guitar. My parents got me a plastic full size Emenee right-handed acoustic guitar with nylon strings. I'm naturally left-handed so I had to reverse the strings. It didn't take long to wear down the plastic frets. Back then, like now, left-handed guitars were hard to come by so it was always right-handed guitars upside down. My older brother Bob taught me some basic chords. He knew "House Of The Rising Sun" which was a good way to learn open chords. My first left-handed guitar was a brand new 1976 Gibson Les Paul. My bandmate Mark Kenney had a Black Beauty Les Paul and I was so impressed by the sustain with those humbucking pickups.
I never learned to read music and always learned songs by listening to the records and playing by ear.

Tom Leipzig Mike... You forgot to mention your on stage debut during the St. James Christmas gathering when we were in 7th grade ... Lol... And yes, 1964...

Mike Truttschel I'm a little fuzzy on that one, Tom Leipzig. LOL. I just sent a message to Mike Reilly. I'll copy and paste it here....
After seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan I knew that what I wanted to do was play guitar in a band. My brother Bob was in a band and I thought that I would like to do that. It was an evolution of sorts. Rich Piontek and I lived across the street from each other. After a couple of years of both of us learning guitar, he and I formed a band called The Blue Angels just because we thought the name sounded cool. At St. James Catholic School, I got together with Tom Leipzig, Duane Coshenet and Jeff Jonas to form a band. I don't even remember the name. We performed in front of our 7th grade class in the classroom and it was terrifying but cool at the same time. We only knew a few songs. I'm shy by nature and it was always difficult to get up in front of people to give a speech but to perform music is a type of expression that's hard to describe. I guess as long as people are willing to listen, it's worth performing.

Tom Leipzig I can't remember who was the other guitarist, but we used Bobby Longdin' s brothers amp (The Vikings) and we did wipeout and Father Finnegan made us play a Christmas song (unrehearsed)... No recall..??.. Lmao

May 16, 2015 - Dean Joecks That's a great story guys! Never heard that one. I think you kept us Lutherans out of the loop.

Mark Kenney I remember that! You guys played for the school as well. Dean Nolde and I were in fifth grade. You guys were the greatest thing I ever saw live at that point! My first exposure to live rock and roll!!! Wow! Great memories for sure!

Mike Truttschel I can ask my brother about details for his band. The Blue Angels was just Rich and me as far as I can remember. In those days it was all practice and no gigs. Maybe a neighborhood party or something like that. It was more just honing one's chops hoping for better days (and maybe trying to impress the chicks along the way.

    • Tom Leipzig We were the "GT's" back then... "Great Tones"... Fuller, Doobie, Shnorman came out of that to become The Reason Why..

    • Mike Reilly Tom Leipzig Ok tom, you just mentioned another band! The "GT's" or "Great Tones", where does this fit into the other bands Mike Truttschel mentions? And who were Doobie and Shnorman ? Fuller is Gary Steven Fuller? I need you guys to list your bands w/members in chronological order with dates if possible?

Mike Truttschel Wow Tom Leipzig! I forgot about us being the GT's! (Great Tones). That band evolved into The Reason Why. I remember a band practice at Tom Leipzig's house and we kept blowing fuses. Tom's dad got tired of changing the fuses and told us we should be called "The Fuse Blues."

    • Mike Reilly Did any of you ever think of becoming rock stars?
      Mike Truttschel Mike Reilly, at age 62 I'm still thinking about it.
        • Mike Reilly Tom Leipzig Ok tom, you just mentioned another band! The "GT's" or "Great Tones", where does this fit into the other bands Mike Truttschel mentions? And who were Doobie and Shnorman ? Fuller is Gary Steven Fuller? I need you guys to list your bands w/members in chronological order with dates if possible?
          Tom Leipzig Heck, I need some time to think on my end.. I'm not 60 years old anymore! LOL

      Mike Truttschel Doobie is Dave Dubnicka. Schnorman is Norm Gauthier. Fuller is Gary Steven Fuller. We all called him Steve. I guess The GTs was the band that we played in grade school @ 1966 for St. James too? Not exactly sure but members I think were: Tom Leipzig-drums, Jeff Jonas-bass, Duane Coshenet-vocal and percussion and me on guitar.

      Christine Goralski i remember all of it- and i had more than one crush- mark- i was classmates with Dana Coshenet and would go to her house just to spy on her big brother- going out to hear live music tonite- a born groupie-

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