The story behind how progressive rockers Kansas formed seems like it could be a scene out of the Forrest Gump movie.
When Kansas kicks off the national acts portion of the National Cherry Festival Bay Side Music Stage on Wednesday, July 6, not only will they be bringing their hit songs Carry On Wayward Son, Point Of Know Return, Dust In The Wind, Hold On, and The Wall -- they will also bring links to some obscure moments in rock music history.
The origins of the band date back to the late 60s though the band uses their 1974 label deal with legendary Don Kirshner as their official formation year.
Formed in Topeka, Kansas and morphing out of the band White Clover, Kansas would rise to the top of the rock scene in the late 70s and early 80s. When their self-titled album debut was released in 1974 the group wrote on the back of the album jacket: From the beginning, we considered ourselves and our music different and we hope we will always remain so.
That being different according to founding member and drummer Phil Ehart stemmed from the groups early influences and experiences. Just out of high school, the members of White Clover in a one-year period were jamming with Jim Morrison and The Doors, hanging out with Jerry Garcia, being told that Santana was opening for them, and having Janis Joplin come up to them and tell them you guys are pretty good. But it was the circumstances of these chance encounters that put the group in some of rock and roll musics most obscure moments.