Just as Resistor was starting to take off, Jef got a call on an old ad for a drummer that he had posted at Oar FolkJokeopus, a popular record store in south Minneapolis. That call came from Steve Kent, who had just arrived in Minneapolis from his native Duluth. As they chatted, though Jef had already secured a drummer, Tom Frederickson, it was clear Jef and Steve had hit it off.

Jef offered Steve an audition with a friend’s band, which Steve attended. The report back was, “Wow, this guy is GREAT! A real powerhouse and he can sing really good harmony!”  However, that group was still obligated to audition other drummers, so they didn’t jump on giving the position to Steve immediately.  A mistake on their part, but a score for Resistor!

At that point, Jef approached Tom about switching from drums to guitar, as that was Tom’s original intent. Jef had been holding that slot open for teen-age friend and former guitar partner Paul Westerberg, but didn’t want to let go of Tom after he so contributed to getting them started. Tom was a little tentative, but agreed to give it a shot. Jef and Tom worked out the guitar arrangements and the band had Steve over.

Tom’s drumming ability meant his strumming hand was dead on, and it freed Jef up to play more lead. Steve’s additional harmony gave the band a true three part, and it was immediately obvious to everyone, this was the band they all needed to be in.

Jef on lead guitar

Andy on bass, harmony and occasional lead vocal

Flash as lead singer

Tom on rhythm guitar

Steve on drums and harmony vocal

In almost no time they were playing regularly in Minneapolis venues such as Duffy’s and The Longhorn, rooms now forgotten, yet then prestigious. This was another indication of Resistor’s uniqueness, as no bands were supposed to play both rooms. Resistor often headlined, though they also opened for acts such as The Suburbs, Chris Osgood (formerly of The Suicide Commandos) and his band 55401, among others.

Additionally they had secured a once a month gig at the Paradise Ballroom, routinely drawing 400 people. It was there that Jef invited Paul Westerberg, having just formed his own band, The Replacements, to open for Resistor, so Jef could get a live tape recording for Paul. That was the recording that landed The Replacements their record deal with Twin Tone, and the rest of that band’s history is now well known.

For further insight into what happened next, visit “additional members” (link to the additional page), or Jef’s site: jefculhane.com (link). Currently Flash performs classic rock locally with The Wayback Whens (link), and Steve with Kinda Kinky, local Kink’s tribute.

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