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Peace Valley Connection

Great memories from an old friend and band mate Mark. A couple shots of our horn band from 1969-1972 "Peace Valley Connection". Most are still rocking! From John F. Rickinger

John F Rickinger: January 24, 2013 · Found another rare old band reel recording I made in 1971. Very early Peace Valley Connection with Mark Kenny (Bass), Bob Inda (Keys) Dean Joecks (Trumpet) Dean Nolde (Sax) Steve Fuller (Lead) Dan Everett and myself Drums/percussion and even has Tom Leipzig doing some vocals. Too freaking cool!

Mark Kenney: Peace Valley Connection Playing at Albi's (now Sussex Inn) in Sussex, in 1974.
Front row. Robert Fourness, Dean Nolde, Bob Inda.
Top row': Mike Truttschel, Dean Joecks, Mark Kenney, Dan Evert.


  • Amy Sue I would really looooove to see some Dark Star videos....My dad says you have a couple. Pretty please!! January 22, 2011 at 1:18pm · Like · 1

  • Dean Nolde Nice! okay, now I'm pulling out the photo album - more to come... January 22, 2011 at 1:43pm · Like · 1

  • Mike Truttschel There are a couple of videos on VHS, Amy. I'll see if I can dig some out and digitize them. January 22, 2011

    John F Rickinger via FB May 5, 2015- "Nice article... some musicians not mentioned, Dawn of Creation included Rich Piontek (guitar), Tom Sugars (lead), Greg Rewe (keys) and myself (drums)... and Mike T on occasion. We had the two brothers from Menomonee Falls High that played horn before Dean J. When we were at our highest is when we all respected each other and friends from various schools and not just Hamilton Sussex... some remain today. It's great that all came together and where a part of the PVC evolution. This year my band "Room to Move" is 36 years since I formed it. If you hear us playing somewhere all PVC members are welcome to join us and maybe relive a moment.  Here's a photo of the only band to play a special Hamilton assembly."




March 10, 2015 Mike Truttschel
    On this day in 1973, Peace Valley Connection won the "Brown Deer Battle Of The Bands" at Brown Deer High School. Members were: Mark Kenney, Dean Nolde, Dean Joecks, Dan Evert, Bob Inda, Gary Steven Fuller, Jeff Turnbull, Jay Lauterbach and Mike Truttschel. I don't recall how many bands were competing but I'm guessing around ten. It was my first 1st place with PVC because I had just joined but the other members were seasoned veterans of taking first place in other "Battle Of The Bands."
      • Dean Joecks What a great memory Mike Truttschel! Rob Edwards MC'D didn't he? Party at the "Pollocks" house afterwards then drove to Fon du Lac for coffee with Dean Nolde, Mark and Bobby Becker.
      • Michele Donahue You drove to Fondy for coffee??! Something's wrong with that picture!
      • Mike Truttschel Yeah, Dean. 30 days hath September. April, June and Bobby Becker. 'Cause every time they put him in the slammer it was 30 days. Also the red, white and blue 'Cuda would overheat at 130 mph on the way to Fond Du Lac. At least that's what you told the cop.
      • Dean Joecks Big LOL on that one Mike Truttschel! The coffee was delicious!
      • Mark Kenney You just can't beat the coffee at the Stretch motel in Fond du Lac. Happy Anniversary guys!
      • Dean Nolde The battle of the bands is a great memory! The ride to Fond du lac was, well, I never experienced that speed since. What, a 20 min ride? Thanks for the memories guys!!! PVC reunion?
      • Mark Kenney Bobby B thought it was a good idea. NOBODY disagreed with a concept that found Bobby's favor...
      • Dave Kearns I think 1973 was the first time I saw PVC at a dance at the Sussex Community Hall. You guys inspired me then and still do today.
      • Mark Kenney By the way Mike Truttschel, there were 267 bands in the battle. I don't remember all of their names, but the Doobie Brothers and Foreigner almost edged us out.
      • Mike Truttschel Dave, I believe I have recording of PVC at The Community Hall in 1973 that was lifted from an 8 track tape. No kidding! An 8 track tape.
      • Mike Truttschel Yeah, Mark, the older we get, the better we were.
      • Mark Kenney Now you are cooking with oil!
      • Dave Kearns Just imagine how good you'll be in 5-10 years.
      • Gary Hahlbeck Do you remember the set list?
      • Mark Kenney I don't remember what instrument I played or, some of the guys Mike Truttschel is talking about
      • Dave Kearns Pretty soon you'll be hiding your own Easter eggs Mark.
      • Mark Kenney Things are starting to get fuzzier Dave. I can barely remember that night in Mauston when Mike and Joe O. put a garbage can behind a cop car in their underwear! And got caught....
      • Dean Joecks Mark Kenney, you got it all wrong, the COP was in his underwear, and it was Mauston........
      • Mark Kenney Dean Joecks, I hate to disagree, but it was Mauston!
      • Mark Kenney Why did we go to Mauston for coffee anyway?
      • Dean Joecks The sugar was good there.
      • Mark Kenney Thank goodness you and I pooled all of our money together to buy that $1.67 sixer of Hamms.
      • Mark Kenney We were never allowed to ride together in the "Frito truck" after that. Good thinking Oakmar!
      • Mike Truttschel And this, folks, is what happens after years of running the amps too loud.
      • Mark Kenney Would somebody bring me up in Dean Joecks monitor?
      • Mark Kenney There may be a book deal in this for us, if we can keep our stories straight.....Maybe it was Mauston...
      • Dean Joecks The point of the sixer was two fold, a can between the brake and the accelerator - voilà - cruise control
      • Mark Kenney So, not only did it get us out of unloading the Frito truck, it may have saved our lives....Brilliant!!!!!
      • Mark Kenney Wasn't that the main reason the band dissolved? A huge argument whether the Frito truck should get a brake job, or a louder horn?
      • Mark Kenney Is this microphone on?
      • Gary Steven Fuller Having too much fun
      • Dean Joecks Funny stuff. Even Jackie is laughing. Yes Mark Kenney, we should write a book. However, we would only sell about 50 copies so pricing would be important. I'm thinking $100,000 per copy would be about right. Don't want to be greedy. We also must keep in mind that "Wild Bill" will be one of the sales.


    Dave Kearns I think 1973 was the first time I saw PVC at a dance at the Sussex Community Hall. You guys inspired me then and still do today.

    Mike Truttschel Dave, I believe I have recording of PVC at The Community Hall in 1973 that was lifted from an 8 track tape. No kidding! An 8 track tape

    Mark Kenney Wasn't that the main reason the band dissolved? A huge argument whether the Frito truck should get a brake job, or a louder horn?

    Mark Kenney Some of Peace Valley Connection's earliest gigs were in the early seventies beginning in 1971. It was a magical time with great new music erupting every month. We made it a goal to learn a top ten song for every community hall show. In 71, it was "Joy to the world." In 72, we learned Everybody's everything, Dancing in the moonlight and Saturday in the Park. In 73, it was American Band, Smoke on the water, Shambala. Great tunes great memories! It was a blast just trying to keep up with the changing songs. November 22 at 11:07pm

    Mike Reilly May 5, 2015 -  I gather the "Frito truck" was the band equipment vehicle, anyone have pictures of it? Dean, you goys should write a book!
    Mark Kenney Yes, Mike Reilly, we used a Frito truck to haul our stuff. We had to buy that when our Hearse died
    Mark Kenney I guess truth really is funnier than fiction.
    Dean Joecks Mark Kenney, were you with me
    Mike Truttschel 1955 Cadillac hearse. Torpedo bumpers. No brakes and a sign in the back window: "bad breath is better than no breath at all."
    Dean Joecks Mark Kenney, were you with me when I picked up those two hitchhikers in the Hearse?
    Dean Joecks Anyone remember how long it took us to find the gas cap?
    Dean Nolde not to mention the lobsters...
    Dean Joecks I still don't think we're allowed in that place Dean Nolde!
    Mike Truttschel Changing the flat tire on the side of the freeway. The jack wouldn't go high enough so we borrowed a shovel from the farmer to dig into the gravel. I wished I had a camera to capture the looks we got digging with a shovel next to this hearse on the side of the road.
    Dean Joecks And I've been in the delivery business ever since Mike Truttschel!
    Mike Truttschel You lucky stiff!


    Dean Nolde - PVC at the Community Center in Sussex — with Mark Kenney, Mark Kenney and Mike Truttschel, Mike Truttschel, Bob Forness, Dean Joecks and Dan Evert. Mike Truttschel Mark Kenney far left, Looks like Bob Fourness on trombone. January 22, 2011 FB

    Dean Nolde January 22, 2011  - on a Nitecap float in Sussex — with Dean Joecks, Mike Truttschel, Mark Kenney and Bob Inda. Year???

    Mike Truttschel That's when we had hair.

    Mark Kenney I hate to be picky, but one of us, either me or Mike, is playing the wrong chord. The formation is correct, but we are not on the same fret. If we were playing 'At the hop' then I was correct. If we were doing 'Smoke on the water' then Mike was right. It doesn't matter, Bob had it wrong regardless!:)

    Mike Truttschel Either way, Joecks would come over to one of us in his diplomatic way and ask "On the next one would you mind playing the same song as the rest of us?"
    Bob Inda I just noticed that this was the moment we needed more more Cowbell!!!!
    Bob Inda I think Marks hair still looks the same. must be some gray in it now

    Mark Kenney My hair hasn't changed too much, but my damn mustache turned white!
    Mark Kenney If Bob is playing the cowbell, that means that I was playing the wrong chord. Bob played the keyboard on 'At the Hop'...Rats! Hey! Who can name the Cornerstone's Motto for that float? January 26, 2011


    January 21, 2013

    • John F Rickinger I happened to find an old reel to reel recording of you, Rich Piontek and myself at an early 1969 "Peace Valley Connection" practice doing Na Na Hey Hey this weekend. As old as the recording is, the three part harmony was killer. Some things don't change.
    • Mike Truttschel 1969? Wow! That would be great to have that transferred to digital just to keep for posterity. I wonder if that practice was at your house.
    • John F Rickinger Although a lot of band practices "Dawn of Creation and PVC were at my folks house. I recorded it at Falls Drywall. So many memories of dad Piontek letting us practice there whenever we wanted too. Your folks, Rich's and mine supported us to be who we are today.


Mark Kenney May 3, 2015 - This was how Sussex bowl advertised our band during the height of the streaker craze in early 1973...and yes we had some days indeed!

Mark Kenney May 3, 2015 via Facebook: "The beginning of Peace Valley Connection was actually kind of a union of people from three Sussex Hamilton bands that were going through some changes due to members graduating and other changes. The most well known and accomplished group was "We Return" formerly known as the "Reason Why." The members of this group included Steve Fuller, Mike Truttschel, Dave Dubnicka, Tom Leipzig and Norm Gauthier.

 The second most popular group was "The Dawn of Creation." Their members included John Rickinger, Del Johnson, Rich Piontek and sometimes Mike Truttschel played with them.

The third group was "The Grindstone." The members of that group were, Steve Pulvermacher, Dean Nolde, Dan Evert, Bill Brown and Mark Kenney.

In 1971, the remaining members met and talked about uniting parts of what was remaining and even adding a brass section to form a super band. It was a novel idea that exceeded our hopes. We had our first practice in Dave Dubnicka's basement. The brass section was uncertain as members had time conflicts. Our first gig was at Waterford High school in 1971. Peace Valley Connection rocked the place with tunes from Santana, Chicago, the Ides of March that night and nobody in this area had heard the power that can only come from a full brass band combined with electric guitars and good solid vocal harmonies. The members of PVC on that first gig were, Dean Joecks, Steve Fuller, Tom Leipzig, John Rickinger, Dean Nolde, Steve Bardele, Dan Evert, Bob Inda and Mark Kenney. We would spend next two years playing at High school dances/ proms and homecomings.

We also played in numerous "Battle of the band" competitions. At one point we won 4 in a row. In November of 1972, Sussex Hamilton had a Peace Valley Connection day. We played a concert for half of the student body in the morning and another concert in the afternoon for the other half. For me, as a senior at HHS, it was the scariest day of my time at Hamilton. That the faculty at HHS would dedicate a day to honor a total non school thing like a "large garage band" was very moving, and to this day, I don't think it has been done again.

In January of 1973, Mike Truttschel joined PVC. We immediately dominated the Brown Deer High school battle of the bands on March 10, 1973. The other battles were somewhat close, but with Mike's strong vocal and guitar, this one was a slam dunk. We played at the Sussex Community hall, Sussex Bowl, HHS homecoming, Menomonee Falls and Catholic Memorial proms and weeknight gigs at the old Interns East in Milwaukee. All before June of 73.

We were rolling and all was well with the world. We had other people come and go. Bob Fourness , Jeff Turnbull, Jay Lauterbach, were good players that helped us along. Then disco hit and clubs started using deejays. Live music venues were few and far between."

Next: the transition from Peace Valley to "Dark Star." And the addition of Dave Kearns and Dave Kenney.

Dean Nolde January 22, 2011 · PVC in action! — with Mike Truttschel, Dean Joecks, Bob Forness, Dan Evert, Bob Inda and Mark Kenney. May 1974

Mike Truttschel Me, Dean Joecks, Bob Fourness, Dan Evert, Dean Nolde, Bob Inda, Mark Kenney playing Fourness' bass. Mark would switch to guitar and Fourness would switch to bass on non-horn songs. The gold Kustom speaker cabinet was used as a monitor side fill so the band could hear the vocals. Albi's Sussex 1974 is my guess.
Mark Kenney Hey Mike! Is that a red light on your twin?

Mike Truttschel That must be the original jewel lens that came with the amp when I bought it in '73. The blue one was probably put on not that long after this photo. The twin I own now has the blue jewel. Quite an astute observation Mon Sewer!

Mark Kenney Thanks! It seemed a little odd, because I switched to medium picks in 1974 and you can clearly see that I am using a thin pick in this picture.

Bob Inda Do you guys know the date of this photo?

Mark Kenney Why yes Bob. It was obviously taken in May of 1974. Probably on the second Saturday. I recall that you had Pam leJune and her friend Cathy Schroeder come and hear us. Tom Orth had invited 2 girls to meet with us and things got a little dicey when they all showed up. Seeing that I was spoken for at the time, you were kind enough to take Pam, her friend and 30 or 40 other girls with you after the gig. That left Tom and the two "Beauty challenged" young ladies to get away from. I remember telling them that I had just come down with a slight case of leprosy and rickets. So Tom was kind enough to take them home. We had an instant replay the following week at the Orchard Inn. By that time I was overcome by the rickets and you , once again came to the rescue. You always were a good buddy!

Mark Kenney Dean, I believe it was the Lions daze parade in 1974. We were on the Cornerstone float.

Dean Nolde Summer of 1974 seems right based on hair length! ...
Mike are you trying to tell us something?

Mark Kenney I have to correct myself. It was the Nice Cap float. Sponsored by Dave Bartelt.

Dean Joecks Mark Kenney, where exactly was this picture taken? The background looks like an ocean? Just funny there's nothing back there.

Mark Kenney Dean Joecks, judging by the intense focus of the band members (all looking forward and slightly to the left) I would surmise that we were approaching a bar. The only main street bar that was open during the parade was the Sussex VFW. Again I have to take a clue from your posture. You are sitting with your shoulders slumped and obviously depressed, which means that we were at least 3 blocks away from getting your beer re filled. So that puts us exactly in front of the Equitz house. Dean Nolde was looking at the camera, which means he had lost hope of getting a re fill.

Dean Joecks Very funny as usual Mark Kenney, but you could have just been honest, and quite a bit quicker, by saying that you have no freaking clue !

Mark Kenney Unless it was Mauston...then that would change things a bit..

Dean Joecks Lol......again

Mark Kenney: Peace Valley Connection performing at Ma Joeck's birthday party. Joeck's house in Lannon WI. The good old days for sure!!


Shannon Koller: I loved, loved these Joecks house parties! source: FB January 30, 2016

Dave Kearns: Is that Micky Schlaugette's Marshall amp behind Dean Nolde. I think Mark had the bass plugged into it and Micky was worried about his speakers blowing.

Mike Truttschel
: Dave Kearns it is Mickey's. I remember Mickey sat in on few songs playing lead and then he started hot doggin' it like Marty McFly. That might be John (Pinky) Reuter on trombone. That would put this in 1973. If it's Bob Fourness it would be 1974. Those trombone players all look alike.

Phoebe Joecks
: I think this was 1976.

Mike Truttschel
: Yeah, Phoebe. It could be.

Bob Inda
: Looks like Bob Fourness on trombone. Those where some fun times.

Dave Kearns
: I recall that Bob Fourness was there. I knew Bob from Hamilton Jazz Band. I can't say we were friends after I took over playing bass in Jazz band during my junior year and he moved over to trombone. We really needed a trombone player and he was a really good one and featured as a soloist. Even so, I think he felt slighted. I think it was later than 73-74. Wasn't Jeff Turnbell playing bass for PVC then? I recall PVC playing a dance at the Sussex Community Center when I was in 8th grade which was '73 and Jeff was on bass.

Mike Truttschel
: The bass Mark is playing looks like Bob Fourness's (no strap?). We replaced Jeff Turnball in late '73 or early '74 with Bob Fourness and he wasn't too happy about it. We were playing at the Orchard Inn in 1974 and he showed up with his mommy and the cops because Fourness was underage. Bob had to call his dad to come and chaperone so he could finish the gig. Looks like Dan Evert's drums. Didn't Dan leave the band @ '74 or '75?

Bob Inda
:  Accurate in my memory Mike. Totally forgot about the cchaperone thing.


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