In 1972 The Daybreakers were breaking up…. And their singer/keyboard player was recovering from major surgery for a collapsed lung during a gig in Dayton Ohio. Within a few weeks ex Daybreaker guitarist Bob Monday had gathered together three excellent musicians from the Cincinnati area. They started work almost right away and when Hank was well enough to try singing again, they started working together in the Boomer Rd band house basement. This next continuation of the Monday-Mayberry partnership would eventually become known far and wide as SAMSON.
Samson started out as an originals only project and wrote many songs and forged a lasting friendship while confined to the basement. Now and then they would invite friends over to try and get some feed back on how they were doing. After more than a year though the band grew restless and desired to start playing out. It was then necessary to learn "club tunes" The band chose material seldom attempted at that time. David Bowie's Diamond Dogs/ Ziggy Stardust. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and also the Who. While not an uncommon choice (the Who) they also included most of the songs from Quadrophenia, A difficult task to recreate live in those days. Of course they also played the usual required tunes as well mixing in their own originals. The 5 original members of Samson were Bob "The Boss" Monday on Guitar. Doug "The Mites" Meyers on keyboards (all 5 of them) Pat "Ramona" Hurley on bass, Larry "The Beck" Becker on drums and Hank "Oh Frank Baby" Mayberry fronting the band. Tom "The BD" Hoeweller ran sound and added special effects. Jim "Crosby" Anderson ran the light show fantastic. Samson, true to their name, was a very loud- powerful, long haired, hard rocking band with a visual presence to match. The "fools" as they liked to call themselves, always enjoyed the ruckus banter between songs with the audience and themselves all at the same time. When Samson played it was a party and all were invited to join in on the fun. They played all over the tri state area and toured as far south as the Florida coast.
When Pat decided to leave the band for the love of playing piano, a new bass player was added. Michael Bany "Mr. B" became the new Samson bass player. Mike brought a wealth of new ideas and original song ideas to the band and quickly fell into his role as one of "The Fools". Unfortunately Samson could not keep a bass player (Like Spinal Tap with drummers) Mike left and was replaced with John Shin from Florida. Thankfully John would stay with the band until the final end in 1977. Samson at times enjoyed bordering on the brink of insanity, but all the while still remaining powerful entertainment and a real crowd pleaser.
Personal note from Hank:
Michael Bany was shot and killed December 29th 1995 while being robbed on the way to his car after a gig in Over The Rhine, Cincinnati Ohio. His loss was felt deeply by all of us that knew him and loved him. He was a major musicial talent, but more importantly he was our dear friend.
Samson story and pictures courtesy Hank Mayberry.