The Groobers

Post your missile poems, songs and other musings here.

The Groobers

Postby shollg on Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:28 am

Greetings,
Many moons ago - in a land far, far away - there was a group at FEW called the Groobers. They were actually a little before my time, although I remember seeing them at a "reunion tour" event at the oclub.
I copied their vinyl album - "Missile Duty's Pleasin'...?" - to CD a few years ago and still enjoy listening to it every once in a while, reminds me that there were some "good times" back then.
Anyway, just curious if their album is still being sold and enjoyed. If it isn't still in print, I can make copies of mine for anyone who wants one. Probably breaks all sorts of copywrite laws, but what can they do to me? I've already served a missile duty tour and there are double jeopardy rules....
George Sholl
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Postby Cancellier on Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:34 am

I've got a copy of the album, but I don't have the track names. Could you share them?

Also, anybody know who the members were?

Thanks!

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Postby shollg on Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:01 am

Greetings,
That's a pretty easy request. When I copied the album, I also copied the cover.

1. There are no Missilemen Down in Hell
2. Little Boxes
3. The Born Loser
4. Sat Troop Lullaby
5. The Crew That Never Returned
6. The Plains
7. The Ballad of Mean Gene
8. Home in the Hole
9. November
10. Coming Back to You (Maintenance Lament)
11. On the Line

The Groobers were: Rollie Stoneman, Butch Theisen, Malcolm McCown and Wally Odd with Eugene Hicks as the "manager". Formed in 1974, but were gone by 1978 when I got to FEW.

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Postby AE on Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:14 pm

Although I believe the Groobers was the first such group of musical missileers, similar groups blossomed shortly thereafter. Malmstrom had the Crit-ters (though no member would confess to having ever "critted" on a Standboard check), and another base (I think it was Whiteman) had the Warbletones. Other bases may have had their own versions too, I don't remember. Each gave the Groobers' songs a wider audience, in addition to writing some original missile-related songs of their own. (Somewhere, I have a Crit-ters performance on VHS, poor quality video but their songs were GREAT!). The Groobers' album pops up on eBay occasionally and usually goes for somewhere between $10-20, but the AAFM has the songs on a CD available for a modest donation (or at least they used to, I haven't checked recently). I heard the Groobers took some heat for the vinyl album and didn't have a second production run even though demand was quite high. Apparently there were threats of lawsuits for copyright infringement because even though the lyrics were all original, they "borrowed" most of the tunes from popular rock, pop, folk, and country hits. Just what I heard, can't verify. Rollie Stoneman was the Chief of EWO when I was in the 4315 CCTS. Never met the others.
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Postby Groober01 on Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:43 am

My sister-in-law in Iowa stumbled onto The Missile Forums and passed along that there were some posts regarding The Groobers. All four Groobers are long retired and scattered somewhat to the four winds. Butch Theisen is in Crestline, CA; Wally Odd in Logan Utah; and Malcom McCown and I are in Colorado Springs. To answer a couple questions, there are no more records unless someone happens to have a private stash. There was only one pressing of 4,000 copies. There was no copyright infringement issue. The entire project was privately funded and when we were reassigned beginning in 1977, we just opted to not press any more. Our "manager", Eugene Hicks was a fictional character from the song, "The Ballad of Mean Gene". None of us ever anticipated that the songs would have lasted this long so it's pretty neat to see a couple posts.

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Postby AE on Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:20 pm

GOOD songs never die! And thanks for clearing up the copyright rumor, I suppose it was an assumption someone logically made based upon the fact that nearly all the album's tunes were already classics before the record was released. But the lyrics were not only original, they were inspired--and still speak to those who do, or have done, missile duty. Thank you for helping create something that spoke for so many others. IMHO, every member of the Groobers deserves a special medal--or a trophy that ranks even higher than the Blanchard! AE
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Postby Groober01 on Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:39 am

Thanks for the kind words. Gen Russ Dougherty, CINCSAC in the 70s, provided the primary encouragement for us to record the songs. He said that when missileers were able to make fun of themseves, it was a sign that the misslie force had come of age. Prior to that we just knocked around in each others' living rooms and some squadron and local affairs in Cheyenne. Looking back, we're really proud to have been the first of several musical groups. Regrettably, we never got to hear any of the others. It's truly remarkabel that, with the exception of a few acronyms, the life of the missileer is largely unchanged.
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Postby MAF_FM on Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:17 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Groobers

Please edit this page and revise....


***Deleted by wiki for not being "important enough"
Last edited by MAF_FM on Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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groobers

Postby hockey85 on Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:39 am

I just bought the groober's cd off of ebay. there is one left on there for sale if anyone is interested.
-Cory
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groobers

Postby hockey85 on Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:43 pm

I enjoy the CD I bought. I understand most of what they sing about, but the song "Little Boxes" I don't fully understand. At first I thought they meant the boxes where the keys are, but they talk about green ones. So can anyone fill me in what they mean? Thanks!!
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Postby 3901smes on Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:33 am

The Little Green boxes refers to the below ground Launch Control Faciltiies where the launch crews resided. The capsule liner walls are all six the Wings were painted Seafoam Green.
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Postby AE on Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:50 am

"Little boxes" was a reference to what were referred to at the time as the Launch Control Facilities (now MAFs). Back in those days (prior to the force-wide renovations that actually made them look "nice"), all the LCFs were the same color (light green) and more or less the same size and shape (with allowance for a wing or two that had the "equipment building" topside rather than buried across from the LCC). To really appreciate this particular song, one needs to listen to the original version by the folk singer Pete Seeger, which was a statement about the new "suburbia" then emerging in Post WWII America, in which all the new houses being built (beginning with Levittown NY) were virtually indistingishable from each other.

P.S. ~ okay, a post popped in while I was pounding out my lengthy response. I had always thought about the LCFs when listening to the song and never even considered the accoustical enclosures inside the LCC before, but now that I think about it, they absolutely "fit the bill" as well.
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thanks

Postby hockey85 on Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:57 am

thanks for the responses. i understand now. on another note i have noticed that the songs sound like other songs made previously... makes them more interesting i think. one last thing, anyone know of any missile music groups that made songs about the 321st at grand forks?
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Postby AE on Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:59 pm

I finally found the lyrics to the original song titled "Little Boxes" that the Groobers parodied, and it's clearer to me after reviewing this why I thought the little boxes in the Groobers song were LCFs/MAFs:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

All the people in the houses
All went to the university
Where they were put in boxes
And they all came out the same.
And there's doctors and there's lawyers
And business executives
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
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Postby SAC Killer on Sat May 05, 2007 2:26 am

George Scholl,

May I suggest, and if the Groobers don't object, you make a disk image of their album and post it to a server somewhere we can all download it without pestering you for CDs.

I had the privilege of hearing the Groobers live several times. Their sound was great and they had a fine stage presence. I hope they are all doing well and that they are still making music.

I have always thought their album was worth preserving permanently, and if any Groobers still have a "virgin" album, you might consider donating it to the Library of Congress. They collect vintage Americana recordings and I believe the Groobers qualify.
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