the Last Times / the Tymes
L-R Joe Kantzer, Don Lister (in tree), Kregg Kirts, Jack Henderson. Photo by Tony Giampietro.
Harding High School students Jon "Jack" Henderson and Eddie Baxter, two aspiring guitarists, started their own combo in late '64. They took the name '69ers but needless to say that was not a ticket to fame, so they became the Tymes. They found ace drummer Don Lister and lead guitarist Kregg Kirts (who had been in the Checkmates) to round out their Byrds-influenced sound.
The Tymes, with Kregg Kirts, Jack Hendersom , Eddie Baxter, and Don Lister
They played teen dances all over the region in Vermillion, Huron, Mansfield, and Columbus where they were scouted by Tony Giampietro. After playing a job in Columbus one night, they stayed and auditioned for Tony the next morning, and he decided to pay for the group to record several songs at Magnetic recording studio. The demo included a couple Byrds songs, and two band originals, "Don't Tell Me" and "I Need Your Love" in May 1966. Because of the hitmaking vocal group the Tymes, the band changed their name to the Last Times on occasion of releasing the 45. Giampietro pressed up 500 copies on his Togy label and got the record some airplay on Marion's WMRN.
Last Times with Joe Kantzer, Jack Henderson, Kregg Kirts, and Don Lister
Eddie Baxter quit the Last Times in the fall of '66 to attend Ohio U. Keyboard player Joe Kantzer came on and the band changed their sound to emphasize the new instrumentation. The Byrds set remained by organ-heavy sounds like Spencer Davis were added. The period of late '66 to summer '67 is considered the Last Times peak, and people like Andy Apperson started to take notice. Apperson had tried to get the band under his wing but they stayed with Giampietro (with whom Apperson shared a loose affiliation). A month or so later, the Last Times played a gig at Wooster's El Rancho Grande, with the Music Explosion, who played their newly recorded but not yet hitbound "Little Bit O Soul". Apperson had the song "Come on down to my boat" to offer to the Last Times as incentive for signing on, but the band didn't like it and no deal was struck.
In the Spring of '67 the Last Times wom their way into the Jaycees' statewide battle of the bands. As one of 10 regional winners, they competed against the Fifth Order, and the eventual winner the Missing Links. Bowling Green's Links peformed their showstopper "I've Got Rhythm" twice to snatch the victory. The Last Times were playing from behind to start, as Joe Kantzer had been drafted and guitarist Tim Fought was subbing, and to mark the occasion the band used the name Seven Bare Feet. The battle took place on the Times' local turf, the Marion Colesium, which was packed with over 3000 teens from all around Ohio.
The Last Times lasted until the summer of '67 when John Henderson got married. After Joe Kantzer got out of the service, he got together with some other Marion musical veterans to form Owen Station, a popular club band for several years. Kregg Kirtz and Don Lister joined the Strawberry Social. Kregg played in several Marion bands includingTKO.
Kregg Kirts, Jack Henderson, Eddie Baxter, and Tony Giampietro are deceased.
Thanks to Jack Henderson, Don Lister, Tony Giampietro
I Need Your Love / Don't Tell Me - Togy 52866, May 1966 (5-28-66 is either the recording or mastering date)