Ken Arnold ('65)
Original Band Members
Barcellona Olsen Weinand Leibowitz
Rosica and I, Ken Arnold, both lived
1960, at the age of thirteen, while riding our bikes around the neighborhood,
Jimmy asked me if I wanted to take up playing the guitar with him.
Rock and Roll was just taking off at the time and we both enjoyed
listening to it. We bought our first
guitars soon afterward, started taking lessons from a guitarist named Hy Rosen
and began listening to guitar based groups such as Duane Eddy, Johnny and the
Hurricanes, the Fireballs and especially The Ventures.
We would sit around Jimmy’s stereo Hi-Fi for hours and try to figure
out the licks, note-for-note.
having learned a few songs, we would play for our neighbors and friends.
On one clear summer day, we brought our Silvertone amps into my backyard,
which happened to face
the time there were other bands like ours in the Hillside Terrace area.
Some of the other local musicians were
Bobby Leo ‘65, Jeff Altman ‘64, Vito Marrone ‘66, Jimmy Lhotan
‘65, and Johnny Barcelona ‘65.
Vito Marrone Jimmy
our two-and-a-half year existence in ninth, tenth and eleventh grades, we played
as the Dynamics at many venues in and around
of my fondest memories was playing at the High School “
Steve Swanson Jimmy
Gorman John Werthessen
was after Tommy’s wild singing performance that we realized instrumentals were
fun for us to play, but we had to include singing in our repertoire to keep our
edge as a band. So, we found some
Beatles wigs and refocused our efforts by adding Beatles, Stones and others to
our play list.
disbanded as a group in our junior year in HS.
After that, Jimmy and Johnny Barcelona started another group called
Johnny and the Jaywalkers who did quite well in the night club venues.
graduating High School Jimmy, my brother Roger and a HHS English teacher, the
late Neil O’Doherty, who was a family friend, started singing Beach Boys'
songs together. We would go to
a great echo!
thought we sounded pretty good. So
with Mr. O’s new Chevy Wagon, two guitars, a tambourine and a tent, we took
our show on the road across the country; all the way to
was the trip of a life-time. Nothing
beats singing “Sloop John B” to a diner full of skeptical Southerners and
having them give you a round of applause. We
had a repertoire of about twenty-five songs and sang in the car, in campgrounds,
and even stopped alongside the
along with five other graduates of
now over forty-five years since the Dynamics was formed.
I still play guitar regularly as a hobby and occasionally get out and
play in public. The last time was
with Bobby Leo in a tavern in
has a music business, which is called “The Very Cool Music School.”
We still socialize and occasionally play Ventures’ tunes together.
B. moved to
is world renowned as a flautist and even has a flute model named after him. The
last time I saw Johnny was in the year 2000 when he flew in from CA and invited
Jimmy and I to a family gathering on
still see Bobby Leo on a regular basis and we play guitar at the annual October
Ventures' Fan Jam in
recently, Vic Olsen contacted me in early 2012 and is attempting to organize
musicians from our band and others of that era to play at our 50th reunion in
2015. It will be great fun for
me to see acquaintances from the past and be able to relive my youth playing
rock and roll with "old" friends.
am now retired from teaching and live with my wife, Joanne (
John, Jimmy, Ken