News Column

Alterior Motives reunite after 2-year hiatus

August 10, 2014

By Tim Schrag, The Hutchinson News, Kan.

Aug. 10--Alterior Motives drummer Jack Mullen to kicked off a reunion concert at the American Legion Saturday night by making an announcement: rock 'n' roll was not dead, nor were the musicians who supplied for the better part of the 1990s to Reno County.

"The Motives are back," he said. "Good men never die, they just get older."

Known for playing classic rock, blues and even a little jazz, the band played like they always have: off the cuff and unrehearsed. Those in the audience said they picked right up where they left off for more than 100 people who were in attendance to hear the group play. They started the show with no set list and told they audience they'd take requests. The group said they like to live in the moment when they play.

"They're classic Reno County musicians," said Dennis Perrin, who came to hear them play.

As they began to play, some people got up from their chairs and made their way to the dance floor.

All week the members had been getting phones calls and texts from people asking if they were really getting back together.

"Whenever the band plays they have such a large fan base of friends and family it's basically a good time," said Laura Ediger, a longtime friend of the band.

Their last gig was almost two years ago, performing at a private party in Mount Hope. The idea to perform another set came when lead vocalist, Benny Ferguson, told his fellow band members he was moving from his home in Columbia, Missouri, to Chicago. Ferguson felt it might be good to do a show while he was still relatively closer to Hutchinson.

"There no such thing as a final show," saxophone player Ralph Brown said. "We're famous in our own minds."

Over the course of the band's 24-year history 28 different people have been involved with the group in varying lineups. Saturday night's lineup of Motives featured what Brown called the core group featuring Mark Casebeer on trumpet, Vince Stephens on bass, Mullen on drums, Brown on saxophone, Freguson for lead vocals and guitar, Gene Williams on guitar, and Ed Curiel providing percussion.

"They haven't played (together) for so many years, yet they'll play tonight and still have that spark," said Juanita Brown, who is married to Ralph. " They're a fun band to listen and dance too."

Stephens said reflecting on their history is always fun, but there are too many memories to even begin to find a favorite.

"There's a different band story from every night," he said.

Stephens said he and Mullens started the band after a conversation in 1990. They both wanted to play the songs they grew up with, the songs from the '60s, and from there the rest is history.

There was a time when the Alterior Motives played 50 of the 52 weekends each year. Over the course their tenure the band played all over central Kansas and even a gig in Las Vegas. During a HutchFest celebration in the mid '90s they opened for Buckman Turner Overdrive ... and were even asked to tour with them. That was 20 some years ago. Of course, back then Bill Clinton was in the White House, Jerry Seinfeld had the most popular show on television and the demand for live music in this area of Kansas was greater. As time went on and tastes changed, the Motives gigs became more and more sporadic.


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Source: Hutchinson News, The (KS)

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