Secret People

Cincinnati, 1967-9

Dave Flitner provides a first hand account of his band - The Secret People - "This Cincinnati-based trio played a broad mix of material from Progressive Rock to Soul. They were among the better-known bands of the period, working extensively in the Tri-State area, particularly for WSAI events hosted by that station's personalities, Roy Cooper and Jon Summers, and sometimes appearing with their friends, the Northern Kentucky-based band, The Dingos. Dave Dominy did dual duty on organ and keyboard bass; Dave Flitner was guitarist; Gary Brichler was the percussionist. All three sang.

Dave Dominy, late of The Us Too Group, and drummer Gary Brichler, and I started laying the groundwork for The Secret People in the summer of '67. Like The Weeds, we covered four instruments with three people. We got rolling via the UC, Miami, and Univ. of Kentucky fraternity circuits and soon signed exclusively with L.P. Athens Productions, a Cincinnati agency. It got to the point where we were playing sufficiently regularly for WSAI that we'd even get free ad libbed promotional comments on-air, something which you probably know was rare in those days on AM radio. We were doing so well we didn't even have to take promo photos or make a demo tape. That's how it worked back then.

We managed to cover a lot of Top 40 Soul and Rock tunes but as time went on we seemed to cover more Byrds and Hendrix and Cream. I think it surprised people that we covered as much ground as we did, with three, and particularly with the three voices. Ivan and The Sabers, interestingly, whose trademark was an unrestrained willingness to tease other bands on the bill, never said a word about us.

We were very well received, even rating letters to the Cincinnati Enquirer's special teen section, although the letter writers never actually introduced themselves to me at performances! The only down side was the sociological reality of looking long-haired and different, in a rather conservative part of the country. Remember, this was an era when "greasers" were still in evidence (in Southern Ohio, anyway) and there were times when things got a bit dicey."

Prior to the Secret People, Dave Flitner had been in the Heywoods.

Thanks to Dave Flitner