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$10 – $15

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21 South Broadway

Aurora, IL 60505

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GNP at The Venue!

About this event

The Venue is pleased to present GNP, Saturday, October 1 at 8pm. Doors open 7pm.

Advance Premium Seating $15

Advance General Admission $10

+$5 door



Just like every kid who loved music, the British Invasion with the Beatles immediately caught the interest of Jim Freedlund and Mark Voigt. Jim and Mark were close friends since they first shared seats in the first grade all the way through High School Graduation. Jim was the more musical while Mark was interested in building a true rock band that would play in various venues in the Fox Valley area. The first trappings of the GNP starting with a core of five band members including Voigt on organ and sax, Jim and Skip Kibling on guitar, Artie Hamer on drums and Tim Paskadi, who has been our bass player from the beginning to the end and now. He also provided a chance for GNP to have more depth in vocals. The key source of inspiration for cover music was the Rolling Stones in the beginning. Voigt usually did the Stone’s vocals. Local venues were the usual playing sites in various schools, teen clubs and park events throughout the Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and Aurora area. We looked up to the Revengemen who were a bit older and had a more accomplished band. They encouraged and helped us to follow our musical dreams. They also had roots in the Stones’ music. The Rolling Stones provided a more edgy sound and a more rebellious “bad boy” image than the Beatles and other British Groups. Eric Clapton became a “rock god” for Voigt and Freedlund. All of us would see the great bands like Cream, Blind Faith, The Who and others in nearby Chicago.

The next transition of the band began in the late 60’s with an overhaul of our drummer and rhythm guitar and the addition of more horns and brass. Bruce Patzer was added as a solid drummer while Jefferson Jelly joined the group to add guitar as well as joining Roy Bailey on trumpet. The emerging musician who played baritone sax and loved Jimi Hendrix was Dave Haines (EZ Dave of Deluxury fame). Steve Gordon added another trumpet and Mike Meyer provided more percussion on conga drums. The band explored blues, jazz and soul music and expanded its song base to a very eclectic mix while still playing the same standard rock of the Stones. Cover songs such as “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by the Supremes and covered by the Vanilla Fudge became a crowd favorite. The venues GNP played also expanded both from a prestige and geographic perspective. GNP became a back up band for lead acts such as “The Flock” in many of the valley teen clubs. The group even experimented in rock video films where actual GNP music was set to a script of a short films. Freedlund and Voigt still lead the group in the music and business areas. However every band member contributed more than their fair share of new ideas and new sounds as GNP blossomed into a regional band of significance with a very strong following. Today, members of the core group that have participated in the last 4 reunion concerts still look back to the wonderful experiences we had as young musicians tying to make their mark in the GNP and reconnecting with so many friends that had such an impact on us growing up.

In the end, college, jobs, marriages and other distractions ended the GNP. Voigt, Freedlund, Paskadi, and especially Dave Haines continued their interest in rock with other bands during the next several years. Haines notably has become a recognized regional musician of extreme talent. Just to be able to capture the “old days” is a treat for all of the core members and hopefully for the GNP fans that have enjoyed this trip back in time to their high school days. Voigt and Freedlund never gave up the dream of a real rock band from the early days of practicing in Voigt’s basement hours on end enjoying listening to the great rock bands of that time. It is a special time when you can enter a “time machine” of sorts and return to the good old days of the GNP. As we all enter the “autumn” of our lives, this reunion experience has been a great life experience for all of us. We look forward to our next reunion gig in October.

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