Thirty years of rock & roll in the "Land of 10,000
Beaches", and still Minnesota didn't have a beach
party band to call it's own!
Bob was determined to
make rock & roll history, and so it was that the
original "Beachcombers" band debuted on
December 7, 1986, with original members
Doug "The Snake" Locken on lead guitar,
Sally "Surfboard Sal" Westermeyer on drums,
Dick "Bird Dog" Erickson on bass, and
Bob "The Big Kahuna" Burtis on keyboards, sax, and guitar.
In no time at all, they were making waves,
throughout the Twin Cities and the upper Midwest!
Bob & the Beachcombers 1987
Next summer, the Beachcombers were the
featured weekday attraction at the Valleyfair
Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota,
with their original show, "Beach Party
An ever-expanding list of special
events, city celebrations, corporate clients,
and public shows took them across the
Midwest, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to
Minot, North Dakota and Bemidji,
Minnesota, to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Bob & the Beachcombers 1988
The following year, Doug Locken was
replaced by Lee "The Sultan of Surf"
Sherseth on lead guitar, and Sally
Westermeyer left the group, with
Lauren McArthur taking her place
behind the drums.
A year and a half later, Lauren McArthur
moved on to take a position with the
"Rockin' Hollywoods" and was replaced by
drummer, Edgar "Malibu"
Bob & the Beachcombers 1990
Lee Sherseth left to play the blues,
and gave up his job to Bill "Bogus" Quirk,
joining Bob and Dick in the strongest
Beachcomber lineup yet.
Two new fully
staged and costumed theme parties were
introduced, called "Saturday Night
Cruise!" and "Rock & Roll High School". The Minnesota Surf sound
was coming into its own, and the
Beachcombers began showing up on
cable TV broadcasts throughout the
Twin Cities area and the Beachcombers
broadened their family entertainment format
to include performances at everything from
ECFE groups and daycare centers to
company picnics and "Arts In the Parks"
shows around the five state area.
"Saturday Night Cruise"
"Rock & Roll High School"
This is also the year that Bob put together his "Bob the Beachcomber & His Friends" family and children's show that soon also featured his four year old son, as "Surfer Shawn". The new program was a hit and Shawn was the star of the show as they traveled the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota performing at Kindercares, ECFE events, county fairs, schools, and concerts in the park. By the time he was five, though, Shawn had had enough and he retired to focus on his education as he entered kindergarten at Oak Ridge Elementary School.
"Bob the Beachcomber & Friends"
Bob & the Beachcombers 1993
The addition of the "Motown Magic!" theme
party show made this band the most versatile
show group in the Midwest.
It was the best
"Beachcombers" yet, but eventually Dick left
to devote full time to the "Teddy Bear Band"
and Bill retired from the group to work as a
Steve "Moondoggy" Fuller signed
on as lead guitarist and Daryl Eastburg took
over on bass.
1995 was highlighted by their
triumphant return to Valleyfair in their unique
and original show called, "Summer Magic",
along with the amazing "Magic of Dexter!"
Bob & the Beachcombers 2002
After a few more years of traveling the Midwest with the Beachcombers, Daryl Eastburg decided to retire from rock & roll and took a full time position at a Twin Cities digital technology company. His position was filled by several bass players over the next couple of years, including Mike Barnett, Dave "Fuzzy" Garnett, Brian Beauchamp, Al Schilling and Steve "Woody" Wyss (pictured with the sax).
Steve Fuller was replaced by guitarist Mike Fischell (pictured) and later the very talented Steve Paris. Edgar Murphy hung in there awhile, but eventually took a day job that limited his ability to travel and had to retire from the band. He was replaced by Mark Buelow for two years, and later by Guy "Gar" Johnson, of "Rockin' Hollywoods" fame.
The Beachcombers partied on in an entertainment market that was challenged by nineteen casinos and an aging baby boomer population. The band refocused its entertainment style, shows, and music on the corporate and special event market as well as developing a reputation for the ability to entertain families, kids, seniors and beach party guys and gals of all ages, with the addition of new songs and unique contests.
Bob & the Beachcombers 2005
When Guy Johnson decided leave the Beachcombers to join a three piece combo and get off the road, Bob wasn't sure where to go next, as the busy summer season was right around the corner. His son, Shawn (formerly "Surfer Shawn"), overheard the phone conversation with the drummer, and said HE could play drums with the band. Shawn was now a college student at the University of Minnesota, and excellent percussionist and a member of the U of M Marching Band.
Al Schilling signed on as lead guitar and Brian Beauchamp took the position of bass player, and an exciting new "Bob & the Beachcombers" was born, we decided to call "The Next Generation of Beach Party Fun!"
Bob & the Beachcombers 2008
In 2006, Brian left to work a full time day job and we were lucky to bring the amazing Jim Zackary on board. His musical skills, vocal talent, and wild & crazy on-stage personality, charisma and charm brought new life and fun to the Beachcombers show.
Bob & the Beachcombers 2010
Throughout the years, the Beachcombers have earned the reputation of being one of the top show and dance bands in the Midwest.
They won the
1990 Academy Award from the Minnesota Ballroom Operators Association
for the best 50's and 60's band in Minnesota and since that time, have
gone on to prove themselves time and time again at festivals, street
dances, city celebrations, state and county fairs, corporate events, outdoor concerts,
company parties, and national conventions.
The addition of their "Welcome to Minnesotaville!" tribute to Jimmy Buffett and their popular "Minnesotaville!" CD featuring original lyrics and recordings of Jimmy Buffett classics has brought "Bob & the Beachcombers" national attention and a growing fan base that now extends from coast to coast.
Bob & the Beachcombers 2011
In late 2010 Shawn's band "Cedar Avenue" broke new ground with the release of their CD "Someday Soon", and concerts around the Twin Cities and across the Midwest. Shawn had been a terrific addition to the Beachcombers show, but we wished him well as he moved forward with his musical career.
We were fortunate that our good friend and former percussionist Edgar "Malibu" Murphy was available and willing to return to the "Bob & the Beachcombers" traveling fun show. With his great vocals, personality, charm, charisma and inimitable drum stylings, the Beachcombers were ready for their best summer ever in 2011.
With two successful seasons at Valleyfair, appearances at the Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota State Fairs, and their new shows and ideas, the Beachcombers continue to build on their
reputation for first class entertainment, rock & roll family fun, original talent, and professional shows as they
rock & roll into the future!