In 1962, four
musicians from the northeast Ohio area formed The Angry and began an odyssey that resulted in great music, great memories
and lifelong friendships---this is the story of that northeast Ohio rock 'n'
1962: Jim Grant, of Canton, was
playing a Sunday morning live broadcast with
gospel group at WTOF Radio. Hans Stucki, of Wilmont, an accordion/keyboard
player, was appearing on the following broadcast with his brother Ray and
Harry Weaver. Jim and Hans met and talked about music, and like all
meetings between young musicians, someone said "let's start a rock band!"
"Like most any musician, I had dreams of playing in a band from early on.
Since my brother and I started out playing in accordion bands and as a duo
from about 6 years old, I was used to being in front of people and really
liked it. But, I wanted to play real rock and roll music...enough
already with the Swiss music….the Gospel music….the accordion contests
Jim had also been playing in a high school
band with Ken Stephen, of Canton. "At WTOF, one Sunday, while Hans
and his brother, Raymond performed, they allowed me to sit in with them. I
was thrilled! After their segment we packed into my Buick and went to my
house. I called Ken over to meet my new friends and we played R&R and The
Silvertones were born"...Jim. Ken was also eager to join a rock band and a
first practice session was established. "I don't think any of us ever
really wanted to get real jobs, so playing in a band seemed like the best
After a few practices it was decided to add a
six string guitar and Hans switched to the organ. Gary "Bean" Tinsler,
Hans' next door neighbor and guitar player was drafted and The Silvertoneswere born. "Actually, at our first gig we were 'The Premiers', but when
the record 'Farmer John' was released by the other Premiers we changed to
The Silvertones, which worked out well since we were using Silvertone amps
at the time. When disco arrived we were briefly the 'Go-Go's"...Jim. In a
short time Gary left the band and was replaced by Tom Potts, of Canton,
another friend of Jim's. "Sometime during this period, we either stopped
playing at the Canton VFW and started at Massillon's VFW or, perhaps,
simultaneously or alternately played them both. It was also during this
period, I believe, that Uncle Bean got married and left the group. I know
this because I recall that after we were done, we'd periodically go over to
the Serbian (or some other middle eastern) Club where Tom's dad was playing
with his group..."Hans.
A series of performances followed in the next
year with the band playing several nights weekly while attending
high school. "I remember one particular bar fight at the Massillon VFW that
started as we were playing some Beatle song. Some guy who was sitting down
and got into a shouting match with one of the waitresses, then stood up and
tipped over the table, pitchers and all, whereupon fists and nearly
everything else that wasn't nailed down started to fly through the smoky
air. More shocked than anything , we stopped and got the Hell out of there.
Shortly the fight spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of the place,
somebody smashed the glass in the front display window, the cops came, a few
were dragged off and we picked up somewhere near where we left off. I
remember the Massillon crowd as distinctly younger and redder around the
neck than the placid group at the Canton VFW. Not sure why this was, but I
recall thinking of myself as a sort of war veteran too after that
Silvertones next wound up at the Lite House Inn (or as it came to be known, the "Fight House").
At this time Chris Noon joined the group on guitar. "There were some dandy
fights at the "Fight House" too. One night when the band was on a break and
outside on the front concrete staircase a roar erupted inside. In a few
seconds, the front glass door flew open and some guy came running out and
got into his Cadillac which was parked right by the front door. About that
time, the second guy came flying out, leaned over and picked up a 50-60
pound ornamental stone next to the staircase and as the first guy "peeled
out", fired it straight through his rear window….smash!! The first guy never
even slowed down"...Hans. "Let's see, a low ceiling, a small stage, a lot
of cigarette smoke, loud music, bikers and wild women, this place was not
your local teen dance hall!"---Ken.
Silvertones transformed into The Angry and became the first house band at the
Riviera. The Riviera was Canton's newest and most successful rock club,
eventually becoming one of the finest rock clubs in the Akron-Canton area.
At this point Ken and Jim both left the band. Mike O'Brien replaced Jim on
drums, Gene Smithberger joined as the new guitar player and Chris Noon left
the band. Angry became one of the three big rock bands in northeast Ohio
along with Lord Richie and the Mariners and the James Gang (featuring
Joe Walsh of The Eagles).