Wilderness reuniting for benefit concert

Most of the original members of Wilderness gather for a Monroe County Rock Reunion at the Waterloo American Legion in 1991. Pictured, from left, are Kurt Haberl, Jim Whelan — the “sixth” member who will be joining the band on Sunday — Tom Kish, Tom Weilbacher and Kevin Kelly. (submitted photo)

In the 1970s, people bought music on vinyl rather than iTunes. Fans couldn’t download singles; they purchased the whole album in a store.

Auto-tuned vocals didn’t dominate the radio waves. Music was simple then.

Waterloo has a chance to go back to those simpler times this Sunday when Wilderness, a late 1960s and early 1970s local rock band, reunites.

Tom Weilbacher, Kurt Haberl, Eric Johnson, Steve Kish and Kevin Kelly are getting back together for a multitude of reasons. The band played all over Monroe County and in Missouri.

Talk of a reunion started because Kevin Kelly’s mother, Jeannette, celebrates her 90th birthday this month. She enjoyed the band and liked to watch them perform. The guys started talking about possibly playing for her.

From left are Tom Weilbacher, Eric Johnson and Steve Kish during their high school days as part of a musical. (submitted photo)

Then, they thought it would be a good idea to do the concert as a benefit for the Monroe County History Museum in memory of Deb Johnson, Eric’s late wife. Her family requested donations to the museum.

“It was a little bit hard to find time in our schedules…>>>





Read the rest of this story in the August 5 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here, or pick up a copy at any of these locations.

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