On August 31, 1967 Steve Ellis, leader of Steve Ellis and the Starfires, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Highway 23 just south of Pipestone, Minnesota. His death came as a shock to everyone in the local music community. How could someone so vital, so alive, die?
Two weeks following Steve's death, Tom Rambler from KISD radio assembled the three remaining members of the Starfires -- Barry Hansen, Mike Mulligan, and Dean Senthner -- for an interview to remember Steve. The interview was made into a half-hour radio program that also featured the band's music.
The program aired on KISD in late September 1967. I recorded it off-the-air on my Wollensak reel-to-reel tape deck. You can hear the program, plus how KISD sounded back then, at:
Lost & Found Sound: KISD Tribute to Steve Ellis (click this link and press "play")
Portions of Tom Rambler's interview were later included on the IGL release "Steve Ellis and the Starfires Songbook."
This is perhaps the last known photograph of Steve Ellis and the Starfires performing in June 1967. The location is unknown.
Band members left-to-right are Mike Mulligan (bass), Dean Senthner (drums), Steve Ellis and Barry Hansen.
In 1966, Steve Ellis and the Starfires released "Walking Around." The song, which is included in the KISD radio program, made the Billboard chart and received considerable radio airplay.