Gear Daddies – Saturday, July 12 at 5pm
Martin Zellar – Guitar and Vocals
Nick Ciola – Bass
Randy Broughten – Electric and Steel Guitar
Billy Dankert – Drums and Vocals
The Gear Daddies got their start in the late 1980’s out of Austin, Minnesota and built a solid regional following until breaking up in 1992. The band released three albums during that time period, starting with Let’s Go Scare Al in 1988 on a small label before being picked up by Polygram Records and being re-released in 1989. The songs on this album ranged from very tongue-in-cheek and loose (“Drank So Much (Just Feel Stupid”) to very serious (“Strength”). After achieving moderate success, the band went back to the studio and in 1990 released their most successful album Billy’s Live Bait. A song buried after the final track would soon make them known at ice rinks everywhere. “I Wanna Drive the Zamboni,” a song about wanting to drive the machine that smoothes out ice-skating rinks is not even listed on the song list but comes after the last song “One Voice.” This catchy, fun track would soon be played at hockey games and a few years later would even be featured in the hockey movies Mighty Ducks 2 and 3 and Mystery, Alaska. The band also released the EP Color of Her Eyes in 1990. The band was even invited to play the Late Night with David Letterman in 1991. However, after releasing the live album Can’t Have Nothin’ Nice in 1992 on Crackpot Records the band called it quits. Lead singer Martin Zellar and bassist Nick Ciola went on to form Martin Zellar and the Hardways and have released 5 studio albums and 2 live albums. Gear Daddies have occasionally regrouped to play reunion concerts and have played several sold out shows the last couple years in the Minnesota area. Right now the band is scheduled to play two shows this summer, one at the Minnesota Zoo on August 1st and the other at Moondance Jam. This will be their first appearance at Moondance Jam.
Setlist from 2001 in Minnesota
1. Little Red Corvette
2. Blues Mary
3. Cut Me Off
4. Drank So Much
5. Heavy Metal Boyz
6. This Time
7. A White Sport Coat
8. Dream Vacation
9. Iguana Man
11. Gonna Change
12. Wear Your Crown
13. Goodbye Marie
14. Minnesota Polka
16. Don't Look At Me
17. She's Happy
18. Stupid Boy
19. Color Of Her Eyes
20. Time Heals
21. Don't Forget Me
Did You Know?
The band covers Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” on Can’t Have Nothin’ Nice.
Martin Zellar and the Hardways perform several Gear Daddies’ songs during their concerts and on their live albums.
They re-released “I Wanna Drive the Zamboni” in 2007.
Guitarist Ricky Broughten is a 6th grade PE teacher in Eagan, Minnesota at Dakota Hills Middle School.
The Color of Her Eyes EP contains a cover of Blondie’s “The Tide is High.”
Let’s Go Scare Al and Can’t Have Nothin’ Nice are now out of print.
Let’s Go Scare Al was originally released on Steve’s Pizza Music label.
To tell the truth I knew absolutely nothing about the Gear Daddies until they were signed to Moondance Jam. Somehow I didn’t even know the “Zamboni” song. I now have both of their studio albums and have become a fan. They remind me a lot of Cross Canadian Ragweed, one of my favorite bands. Both have a country sound at times but put on a great sounding live show that is more rock and roll. Each also can go from light and humorous to heavy and serious from one song to the next and pull it off with ease. I also assume they both would have trouble being accepted on most mainstream country stations because of their sound and their occasional dirty lyrics. After listening to them so much the last couple weeks I am really sorry I missed out on their heyday in the early 1990’s. I bet their live show at that time was an event not to be missed. I especially like “Heavy Metal Boyz” and “Strength,” which to me is their best song. I am excited also because I think their appearance at the jam this year will bring in some new fans to the festival. It seems they have a strong regional fan base and regularly sell out their reunion shows. After first hearing of their signing, I thought this could be a show I might miss since I didn’t know who they were. However, their set is now one I am really looking forward to. This is one I definitely will be heading to the front of the sand pit to enjoy. I think it would also be great if they could somehow play a set on the Saloon Stage during the jam. That would be something to see.