Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The MOB—From Chicago, IL to Sioux Falls, SD in 30 years or less: Overture

Second in a series of “How The MOB (one of Chicago’s first horn bands) landed in the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” in April 2011.


What’s in a name? In music, it’s not everything. Sometimes it’s the only thing. In music, fans and friends remember your name and associate with that name who they believe you to be, individually and collectively. Presently, there are four different ‘bands’ known as “The MOB”. So, when you hear that The MOB was recently inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame, did you know which one it was? The MOB, yes, but which one?

No, it’s not:

(1) the latest version of The M. O. B., with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Steven Tyler and Jonny Lang (just some rock superstars, collectively for a single recording). The collaboration reportedly occurred so these four could record “Sharp-Dressed Man” for a ZZ Top Tribute Album (ZZ Top: A Tribute from Friends”, set for release October 11th)

(2) Then, there’s the Orlando, Florida-based band calling themselves “The MOB” (, who play classic 60s, 70s, and 80s (3 guitars and drums, no horns). Since the recognition to the ‘real’ The MOB, the Floridians might best be thinking up a new name.

(3) Add in The M.O.B. from Rice University (as in Marching Owl Band, the ultraclever academic set who creates musical and media havoc every fall football season, ( By the way, they don’t march “ever”. They’re not going to change their names, but they’re too funny to watch to ask them to find a new name. No confusion when it’s a band with a (great) attitude for poking fun at their competition compared to a band with a great attitude having fun playing music.

So far, that’s three, and it’s still not THE “The MOB,” who took Sioux Falls, South Dakota by storm in April as they received an honor some 30 years in the waiting. Don’t even go trying to sort out the choices of their band on YouTube (without a guide where to search). Confused? Not if you know who you’re looking for: no, no, the real The MOB and their music. A beloved band of Chicago natives, formed in 1966, bringing together members from more than three professional bands. The group played for 14 years, toured as faithful road warriors, and amassed a large fan base who, seemingly, forgot all about them after the music ended. Or so they thought. Members of The (Real) MOB from Chicago (see photo and hear one of their classic songs in a tribute video, attached) and their stage names by which they introduced and identified themselves:

Mike Sistak (Mike Paris)

James Holvay (Jimmy Soul)

Jimmy Franz (Jimmy Ford)

Gary Beisbier (Gary Stevens)

Bobby Ruffino (Bobby Cheese)

Tony Nedza (Tony Roman)

Arturo Herrera (Little Artie)

Al Herrera (Big Brother Al)

For fans of the horn band that was created in Chicago in late 1966, you’d be hard pressed to forget their best work. Now you know their names, and CORRECT identity of which version of “The MOB” was celebrated this past April, in Sioux Falls, SD, with more than 2000 people had the privilege of hearing The MOB in person, in their first reunion in 35 years.

Check out Part III of “The MOB—From Chicago to Sioux Falls, SD in 30 years or less”. And remember the words of Alan Schrank, “The party’s not quite over.”

No comments:

Post a Comment