Randy Meisner’s early bands in the 1960s included the Deacons/Thunderbirds, the Invaders, the Dynamics/Drivin’ Dynamics, and the Soul Survivors/The Poor. (After the Soul Survivors moved to California, they had a very brief period of calling themselves the North Serrano Blues Band, and they then changed their name to The Poor.) There is also a separate post for The Poor. The Dynamics in Scottsbluff, NE officially began November 23, 1961, and they later changed the name to the Drivin’ Dynamics. The Drivin’ Dynamics recorded three songs at Sully Records in Amarillo, TX in 1965, and two of those songs were released. The videos of those two songs are near the bottom of this page and also some others of Randy and Larry Soto singing lead in the Dynamics/Drivin’ Dynamics.
The Drivin’ Dynamics were very popular in Nebraska and surrounding states.
From the archived Ken Sharp interview in Rock Cellar Magazine:
“At around 12 or 13 I got an acoustic guitar and took some lessons. I played some PTA meetings out in the country. Jimmie Rodgers’ ‘Honeycomb’ was one of the first songs I learned. Then I went to town school when I was fourteen and a half. I met some guys in town and I started a group with Grady and Doug Wall called the Deacons and then it was the Thunderbirds. We couldn’t find a bass guitar so we ordered one out of a Sears catalog. We got one guitar that was really sturdy and put four strings on it. We played through high school. Met up with my guitar teacher and we started a band called the Dynamics. We did a lot of Beatles and R&B songs. I think I was about seventeen. We played a Battle of the Bands in Denver. We did pretty good but we didn’t win anything.” *Rock Cellar Magazine – Nov. 10, 2016
*There are several typos throughout the interview. Ken Sharp misspelled the last name for Grady & Doug. It should be ‘Waugh’ instead of Wall.
Randy was born in March 1946, so he was 15 when the Dynamics were formed in November 1961.
The Battle of the Bands contest in Denver where he met the Soul Survivors was in 1966 when Randy was 20 years old.
Audios/Videos on this page:
- “So Fine” (Randy on lead vocal)
- “Hurt Me” (Larry Soto on lead vocal)
- “Do You Wanna Dance” (Randy on lead vocal)
- “Kansas City” (Randy on lead vocal)
- “You Send Me” (Larry Soto on lead vocal)
- Nebraska Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Aug. 19, 2000
Randy Meisner’s Early Bands
The talent contest took place on Sunday, Sept. 17, 1961, and the Thunderbirds won 2nd place. Randy was 15 years old at the time. This contest was shortly before the Dynamics were formed in November 1961.
This talent show was in Randy’s junior year in high school and just before he turned age 17. Grady Waugh was also in the Thunderbirds with Randy, and Paul Asmus was in the Dynamics. The talent show took place a little over a year after the Dynamics were formed in November 1961, so it’s possible the “Invaders” was merely a name this particular group of boys chose to use just for the school talent show.
Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Feb. 12, 1963
The Dynamics/Drivin’ Dynamics
Randy Meisner’s first band practice with the Dynamics in 1961
Larry Soto, Richard Rohnke, Randy Meisner, and John Ankeny
The Dynamics at Terry’s Arena located between Gering and Scottsbluff – 1961
Richard Rohnke, John Ankeny, Randy Meisner, and Larry Soto
The Dynamics publicity photo – 1962
John Ankeny, Randy Meisner, Paul Asmus, and Larry Soto
The Dynamics played at the Sidney Nebraska High School Christmas Cotillion held Dec. 14, 1963 at the Fort Sidney Motor Hotel
“For the first time at a semi-formal dance, a teen-age band, the ‘Dynamics’ played. By the following comments, it was obvious that the students enjoyed themselves.”
The Dynamics played at the Stomp Inn Jan. 28, 1964
L-R back: Randy Meisner and Bobby Soto
L-R front: Larry Soto and Paul Asmus
The Drivin’ Dynamics performed at Terry’s Arena (located between Scottsbluff and Gering) on New Years Eve 1964.
Benefit Dance at Scottsbluff National Guard Armory on Jan. 23, 1966
The Dynamics at an unknown venue
The Drivin’ Dynamics at Scottsbluff National Guard Armory in 1965
Paul Asmus, Dave Margheim, Bobby Soto (on drums), Larry Soto, Randy Meisner, and Steve Cassells
Dave Margheim, Paul Asmus, Randy Meisner, Larry Soto, Bobby Soto (on drums), and Steve Cassells
Randy had an interest in livestock as well as music when he was young.
He was 14 years old in 1960.
Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Mar. 13, 1960
Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – May 8, 1960
Randy Meisner’s early bands newspaper articles and announcements for teen dances, formals, banquets, and proms that the Drivin’ Dynamics played
Morrill Mail (Morrill, NE) – Mar. 22, 1962
Morrill Mail (Morrill, NE) – May 3, 1962
Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald – Oct. 20, 1962
Alliance Times-Herald (Alliance, NE) – Mar. 26, 1963
“Woah, lonesome cowgirl look what I can do
I can rope, I can ride, I can brand hides
Even do a trick or two”
Keith County News (Ogallala, NE) – Aug. 1, 1963
Scottsbluff Daily Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Nov. 17, 1963
Iris Besaw owned a dance studio in Scottsbluff. Notice that the band is called the Randy Meisner Combo and not the Dynamics here, even though the Dynamics were formed in 1961.
Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – May 24, 1963
Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, MT) – Dec. 23, 1963
Scottsbluff Daily Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, NE) – Sept. 12, 1963
Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – June 20, 1963
Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – Oct. 17, 1963
Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – Nov. 7, 1963
Tribune-Sentinel (Grant, NE) – Dec. 12, 1963
Keith County News (Ogallala, NE) – Sept. 12, 1963
The Tribune Sentinel (Grant, NE) – May 21, 1964
The Crescent Ballroom in Grant, NE
The Dynamics played at the Crescent many times.
Grand Island Independent (Grand Island, NE) – Jan. 10, 1964
Dawson County Herald (Lexington, NE) – Nov. 9, 1964
Chadron Record (Chadron, NE) – Oct. 15, 1964
The Antelope (Kearney, NE) – Nov. 20, 1964
The Antelope (Kearney, NE) – Dec. 18, 1964
The Antelope (Kearney, NE) – Feb. 19, 1965
Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – Apr. 23, 1965
In August 1965, the Drivin’ Dynamics signed a record deal with Sully Records out of Amarillo, Texas. They recorded 3 songs: Randy Meisner sang “One Of These Days” and “So Fine”, while Larry Soto sang “Hurt Me”. Even though “One Of These Days” was recorded, it was not actually released with the other two songs according to Steve Cassells (Drivin’ Dynamics keyboard player from 1964-66). He said it was scrapped in favor of “So Fine” and “Hurt Me”.
“So Fine” (Randy on lead vocal)
“Hurt Me” (Larry Soto on lead vocal)
“Do You Wanna Dance” (Randy on lead vocal)
“Kansas City” (Randy on lead vocal)
“You Send Me” (Larry Soto on lead vocal)
Alliance Times-Herald (Alliance, NE) – July 6, 1983
The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – July 25, 1991
Nebraska Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Aug. 19, 2000
Bobby Soto died a few days later on Sept. 6, 2000
From the nebrocks Bobby Soto memorial page
The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – July 12, 2001
Larry Soto is still in the Drivin’ Dynamics, and the band is still active.
The newspaper photo was taken when the Drivin’ Dynamics played the North Platte (Nebraska) High School Prom in 1964.
The Gering Courier (Gering, NE) – Oct. 23, 2014