Talent Show, Scottsbluff High School, March 28th, 1961

The talent show was sponsored by the Student Council Foreign Exchange Committee. The proceeds benefitted the foreign exchange student fund.

Scottsbluff Star-Herald, March 26, 1961

Rehearsals for the show on Monday, March 27th at the school auditorium (see school schedule on the left). A photo from the 1961 Scottsbluff High School yearbook (right) shows Randy and classmates, John Ankeny and John Roberts, during this rehearsal session. Ankeny was Randy’s bandmate in two of his high school bands: The Deacons and The Drivin’ Dynamics.

More 1961 yearbook photos (Randy is not pictured):

Little Moon Lake, Torrington, WY
December 9th, 1961

Scottsbluff Star-Herald, December 9, 1961

On December 9th, 1961, the band played their first paid gig at Little Moon Lake, which was located about 30 miles northwest of Scottsbluff on the Nebraska-Wyoming state line.

Guitarist Larry Soto recalled the excitement of that first dance at Little Moon:

“That concert went so fast it was like it was over in a split second. The excitement level was incredible as the people were screaming and hollering and wanted to dance. Dances at Little Moon were big.” (Gering Courier, July 25, 1991)

This dance was the start of what became a regular job, in which the band performed at least two weekends a month. Twenty years later, Randy remembered how his parents drove him to the dances:

“Our first regular job was playing at this dance club that was about 30 miles away. I think we earned about $12.50 a night. My mom and dad would drive me out there, sit through the entire dance, and then take me home.” (Teen magazine, February 1981)

It was at Little Moon Lake that the band developed as performers, especially Randy. 

“The dances at Little Moon Lake were responsible for us learning to play as a group and also as individuals. Randy and I had a hard time playing our guitars and singing at the same time. I was very shy, afraid of playing in front of a crowd. Randy, on the other hand, was a pure showman, playing in front of people made him perform better. He had the knack of feeding off the crowd. He was always on a different level than we were, which later on, helped him with his career.” (Larry Soto,The Drivin’ Dynamics: A Rock And Roll Retrospect Of The Early Years, 1996)

The Dynamics in their first performance at Little Moon Lake:
Drummer John Ankeny, guitarist Larry Soto, bassist Randy Meisner, and guitarist Richard Rohnke.
(via The Drivin’ Dynamics: A Rock And Roll Retrospect Of The Early Years by Larry Soto, 1996)