BiografieIn the early 70´s, the band Kansas went through three large transformations. The sound of the band changed along with the the group members. The band the world came to know as Kansas was actually the third version of the band. Proto Kaw is the renamed, reformed second version.

Formed in 1971 and disbanded in 1973, "Kansas II" played mostly original material written by Kansas composer/guitarist Kerry Livgren. Kerry composed nearly 60 songs during this period. Nine of the songs from this period songs were professionally recorded in the 70´s and became the material for the critically acclaimed CD, Proto Kaw:Early Recordings from Kansas 1971-73.

The following is a more detailed history of this version of Kansas as written by Livgren...

The second Kansas band was started immediately on the heels of the first Kansas band´s demise in early 1971 by myself, Don Montre (the former Kansas I keyboard player, saxophonist and flutist), Lynn Meredith (the first lead singer of Kansas), and Dan Wright (the other keyboard player). To complete the band, we needed to find a drummer and a bass player. Zeke Low, the original drummer for Saratoga, (the band that immediately preceded Kansas I) became the drummer for Kansas II. For our bass player, we decided on a musician from Lawrence, Kansas named Rod Mikinski. We also added another saxophone player because I had come to like that instrument very much, and it became an integral part of the type of music I was writing. So we hired John Bolton, a saxophonist and flutist from Manhattan, Kansas, Lynn Meredith´s hometown.

Musically Kansas II was really a continuation of Kansas I, at least initially. The musical style eventually changed and matured appreciably, but our economic circumstances did not. The others who decided to reform White Clover had a better financial time of it than we had. We continued to be as unconventional and blatantly original as we could possibly be. Our instrumentation, my composition, and Lynn´s unique voice all contributed to making one unusual band.

This was a very prolific time for me; I seemed to crank out songs nonstop. Some of them fell by the wayside and were never performed. Others we played for a while and then dropped because I wrote at such a fast pace that we simply couldn´t perform them all. The music and lyrics for some of these songs have survived, but many are lost and forgotten. They weren´t always very good (i.e. Juniper Bison, The Ent Song), but I would have to say that they were always different.

It was during this period that I was beginning to seriously get into various forms of mysticism and Eastern philosophies like Zen. These influences became increasingly apparent in my songs; the music and lyrics were growing more mystical and ethereal. The compositions were also becoming increasingly complex, frequently with multiple time signatures, tempos, and often long sections of experimentation and improvisation.

We were so poor that I vividly remember renting outdoor shelter houses at Lake Shawnee for the evening and rehearsing ´til the wee hours.

The second Kansas band managed to stay fairly busy, and we were able to eke out a living with our music. But we seemed to be making little progress, and success kept eluding us. On a couple of occasions, representatives of small record companies came to hear us and expressed some interest in signing the group to a recording contract. These incidents were great sources of hope for us; they became the cohesive force that bound us together.

We all had high aspirations, but nothing much ever came of them. There were no contracts, and we were being stifled by insufficient interest in the Midwest in our kind of original music. It appeared to be a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Quelle: - Early Recording From Kansas - 1971-1973

2004 - Before Became After

2006 - The Wait Of Glory



Before Became After - Cover
Schon manchmal seltsam, was im Rock’n’Roll - Zirkus alles passiert: da findet irgendjemand die alten Demotapes der Originalband KANSAS, die sich 1973 auflöste und seitdem als verschollen galt.
The Wait Of Glory - Cover
Mit etwas Zynismus und Boshaftigkeit könnte man aus der Höhlenmalerei auf dem Cover das doch schon etwas höhere Alter der Bandmitglieder herauslesen, aber so gemein sind wir ja nicht, hähä!