Primitive Ritual

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Primitive Ritual (PR) began in the Fall of 1986 in the infamous basement of the Seerley House, longtime college abode of Betsy Wheeler, bass player for the band. The idea was to form a band to create music based on the rythyms and dance utlized in ancient mythological celebratory rites-or something. Its original incarnation included Amy Rawhouser on drums, Barb Schilf on bass, Betsy Wheeler on guitar, Scott Ripplinger on keyboards and Maria Fleuette and Mike Swanson on vocals. At its inception, the majority of the members of PR were in the very nascent stages of learning to play their respective musical instruments. In this incarnation, Primitive Ritual played one disastrous show at Dean's Parkade Lounge; a drunken fiasco after which Barb (figuratively speaking) ran far far away, screaming, arms over head, going on to join Dave Deibler and Dave Berg in forming the historical House of Large Sizes. On the positive side, there was a pretty cool rendition of 'Sentimental Journey' at that show.

Realizing they had to regroup (read: get their shit together) PR then buckled down in an effort to actually learn how to use musical instruments. Michael Moeller, a new student to UNI was then recruited to join the band as the guitar player after he was spied in the Maucker Union bopping around with his curly Mohawk. There was tension however in the band, caused by conflicting personalites that culminated with an onstage spat in which Rawhouser threw her drumsticks at Fleuette. The pesonality conflict, however, was quickly aleviated when Amy Rawhouser left the band...she was then replaced by Mike Nyman, who came with an actual (albeit rescued from the dumpster) drum kit, adding to the oil drum and various other metal objects heretofore used for percussion.

In the abscence of Rawhouser, PR was able to form a cohesive and supportive group and while never achieving anything near musical greatness (or mediocrity), being led by a group of English majors, this concept band went on to perform several shows, incorporating cutting edge elements of performance art into their shows. In the summer of 1987, with the graduation of leader Betsy Wheeler and her and Ripplinger's subsequent relocation to Minneapolis, the band died a peaceful death.

Band Members

Set List (partial)

  • Just Say No
  • I am Marilyn
  • King of the Road (Swanson Version)
  • Lady Lazurus
  • Steam
  • Two Deaths
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Society is a Hole (Sonic Youth cover)
  • Dead End Street

Band Photos