‘Blasts Of The Pasts’ is a series of articles brought to you by the Inland Empire Musicians Hall of Fame (IEMHOF), a group that documents and recognizes the musical tapestry of the Inland Empire. The IEMHOF hopes to preserve the musical history of the IE by building an archive of recordings, photographs, and memorabilia that begins with the 1940’s, a collection which would be accessible by any musician and researcher.
Riverside’s Terry Wade was fortunate that both his parents were music lovers. When he was 10, they bought him his first drum and encouraged the boy to save money for a full kit. At twelve, he got that drum set and not long after, partnered with guitarist Rick Palmer and a forgotten bass player, to form a trio called Rick and the Ramrods. The group practiced in Terry’s living room and started playing private parties and eventually frat parties at UCR. Terry was eventually hired by a Colton band called the Driftwoods.
The Driftwoods had a fuller sound featuring a rhythm guitar, saxophone, and keyboard. The band played most weekends around the IE, thanks to the promotional efforts of the proud parents. Terry was improving as a musician and gaining knowledge about the business end of the music industry. When Terry realized the Driftwoods were not progressing, he formed a new band called the Mustangs.
The success of the Mustangs helped cement Terry as a solid drummer who knew how to keep a band on the right beat. His business acumen in promoting and booking kept them busy playing Southern California gigs. The band even had a regional hit titled “That’s for Sure.”
Music changes and so must the musicians. The Mustangs made the transition from a young surf band to a hard driving Rock and Roll band, taking on the many groups of the “British Invasion.” Although very fulfilling and exciting, Terry realized that being in a Rock & Roll Band might not provide financial security for future endeavors.
Terry enrolled in classes at UCR and graduated several years later. Soon after graduation, he found that the job market for his degree had almost vanished. Not sure of what to do, Terry pursued the opportunity to join a band on a national tour. For three years, he lived the life of a Rock & Roll drummer until the Mustangs decided to separate, but the members of the group continued to hone their musical craft.
It turned out that their hit had legs, and in the 80’s, “That’s for Sure” began to appear on some compilation CDs. In 2005, Ugly Things Magazine, which covers the vintage music scene, assembled most of the original Mustangs for a group interview. A few hours after the interview, one member asked, “I wonder what we would sound like today.”
Indeed the youthful passion was still there. Now reunited for many years, they are playing just as “tight” as they did in their youth. The band today consists of Dennis Lisonbee, Ted Trujillo, John Travagilone, Allen Wald, Bruce Tucker, and of course Terry Wade. Very little has changed, one exception being that they are now known as the Legendary Mustangs. Why Legendary? Why not? The Legendary Mustangs have survived and are thriving. Follow their website, www.mustangsrock.com.
This article was written by James Salsted, member of the IEMHOF.