BACHS & NULL SET- (1960s)

Original Members: Bruce Christensen: rhythm guitar, vocals
Doug Christensen: lead guitar, vocals
  Gerry Rahill: bass, vocals
  Art Battson: drums, vocals

From Art Battson: “The first group I helped form was ‘The Null Set’ with Bruce and Doug Christensen in 1965. Dad had just brought home a set of Pearl drums from Japan in June of 1965, so I spent the summer banging on them pretending I was Ringo. In the fall of ’65, Bruce was doing some bitchen air guitar work in Mr. Burgess’s English class, so we got to talking. Then we got to playing (an instrumental version of “We Can Work It Out”) and finally to singing (“Surfer Bird” – assuming you can call that singing). We were so bad that I was actually the lead singer for what seemed like years (it was actually months, but the neighbors still swear it was years). Bruce Christensen was a great rhythm guitarist and Doug managed a good lead guitar. Bruce was also excellent on backup harmonies. Gary Maltby joined us in late 1965 or early 1966. Gerry Rahill later joined us on bass although I’m not sure we ever played in the same key together. (Gerry re-emerged as part of the Pre-Fab Four for our 40th Reunion Tour down Orange Avenue in 2006.) I have some video of the Bachs if you are interested. The Bachs were literally the new packaging container for the Null Set. Back in those days we had to continually change our name to get another gig.

By the time of summer of 1966, Bruce and Doug left the band and were replaced with Robert Mansueto and Richie Heinz. That’s when we became the West Coast Iron Works. By this time, I was delegated to singing Ringo songs and told to come up with a name for the group while they plotted to have me learn some Pete Best tunes. (OK. I made that last part up.) Actually, I was the one who found the name West Coast Iron Works in the GTE White Pages. This was no small task since I started with A’s and worked down to the end of the alphabet. Had I not been so patient we might have been called Art’s Auto Supply. (I toyed with the idea of changing Gary’s name and calling ourselves Rusty and the Iron Works, but it never worked out.) The West Coast Iron Works just seemed perfect for the time and place.” (Art and Gary were original members of the West Coast Iron Works.)

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