The Van Wert Independent
Dig into your closets for your bell-bottoms and tie-dyed t-shirts, and grab some incense: The mighty Ohio Power is back together again.
After 38 years, Henry “H-Bomb” Weck, Dave “Gink” Langstaff, Jim “Shark” McGarvey, LaVon “Harp” Harper, and John Supernavage,
members of probably the best rock band to ever come out of northwest Ohio, have reunited for Lima’s three-day Square Fair Festival. The
band will be the headlining artist on the final night of the festival, Saturday, August 2, at 10:15 p.m. in downtown Lima.
From 1968-1970, The Ohio Power was a mainstay of the Midwestern rock
scene, and played shows as small as Van Wert’s Swimming Pool and “The
In” teen center, Springbrook Gardens and The Upstairs Ballroom in Lima, all
the way up to places like The Cincinnati Summer Pop Festival, The Toledo
Pop Festival, and legendary Detroit venues like The Grande Ballroom, The
Eastowne Ballroom, and The Roostertail.They rubbed shoulders with acts like
The MC5, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice
Cooper, Brownsville Station (Weck later became the band’s drummer), Ted
Nugent & The Amboy Dukes, Frijid Pink, Third Power, SRC, The Rationals,
Bloodrock, The Turtles, and many, many more.
Special to The Van Wert independent
Power band from the '60s regroups
The Ohio Power members today (from the left)
Dave Langstaff, John Supernavage, LaVon
Harper, Jim McGarvey and Henry Weck.
Most people don’t remember, but back in the late 60’s, Van Wert was a pretty
cool little town. With the influence of Giffin College filtering down into the high
school, Van Wert developed into a little musical Mecca. With first Rebel & Tom
and later Tom & Jerry, Van Wert had pro level record hops at the Junior Fair
Building for years, drawing national acts like The McCoys, The Kingsmen, The
Chessmen, even Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon. That eventually led to “The
In”, a teen center that opened in 1968 on North Cherry Street.
Nationally known Michigan area bands made the trek south to play in Van Wert, but, more importantly, bands seemed to spring up on
every other block in Van Wert. Bands with names like The Voyagers, The Jents, The Munx, The Blueberry Syrcus, The Canterbury Bell,
The Sands of Time, Cloud, Tuloma, Thunderstone, Raw Meat, The Lords Of Sound, Harrison Street Reunion, and many others, their
names lost in time.Many individuals from the Van Wert area went on to professional careers in the music biz. Chuch Magee and Russell
Schlagbaum toured the world many times with Rod Stewart & The Faces and The Rolling Stones.
Ohio Power – the way they looked in the 1960s.
The Ohio Power evolved out of that scene, and went on to garner a regional
reputation that was pretty much unparalleled, but the Vietnam War, the
draft, and college brought a sudden stop to the band’s rise to the top.
Now, after 38 years, they have once again gotten together. So mark down
August 2 on your calendar, and come on over to see The Ohio Power
reunion concert at Lima’s three-day Square Fair Festival, as they take the
stage at 10:15 p.m. and play some old favorites from back then, and
perform some newer songs as well. Don’t forget your bell-bottoms
click here for an interview the band did at WERT/WKSD Radio).
Barry Ackom toured with Kiss, Paul Chavarria toured with Kiss and
presently tours with The Dixie Chicks. Mel Deal lives and plays
professionally in Nashville, Henry “H-Bomb” Weck was the
drummer for Brownsville Station of “Smokin’ In The Boys
Room” fame, opened his own studio, and became a producer of
bands like Blackfoot. Dave Langstaff went to England and became a
member of Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance. Brent Mason of Grover Hill
is considered the world’s most recorded guitarist. The list goes on..
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Dave Langstaff    |    Jim McGarvey       |      LaVon Harper     |    Henry "H-Bomb" Weck   |    John Supernavage