A Look Back: The Mob
June 1, 2011


If you are a fan of the music of the 60's and 70's, and you get an opportunity to experience a reunion of one of the greatest show bands to ever come from the Midwest, you know it will be a show not to miss.

Such was the case when I learned that the newly formed South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was to include in their 2011 induction, the legendary show band, the Chicago based the Mob!

Not only was the S.D. Hall of Fame including the Mob, their induction class would also feature Pipestone, Minnesota's The Pilgrims, and the late Steve Ellis's Starfires. Incredible!

I only had one opportunity to experience the Mob, and that was at our very own Pla Mor Ballroom.

The Mob were unquestionably the Midwest's most successful show band. I know you will say, "But, what about the Fabulous Flippers?". I guess the easiest way to answer that question is via numbers.

The Mob played 30 of the U.S.'s 50 states in their career. They had over 66 record releases, many world wide. Some of their biggest selling records were in Europe and South America. They were monster head liners in Hawaii and Las Vegas. Top draws. As much as I respect the Fabulous Flippers's career, the Mob were more nationally successful!

So why South Dakota? Located in Sioux Falls during the 70's was the renown showroom, called the Macomba Club. A virtual who's who of top acts played this room. The Mob were the most booked act and the biggest draws that the Macomba Club had, so thus their induction into the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

What was so amazing about this mid April induction, the boys in the band all said they needed to reform and give their fans one more show. What a show it was!

Original Mob members Big Al Herrara, James Holvey, Jimmy Ford, Mike Sistak, Bobby Ruffino, Little Artie Herrara, and Lil' Albert Maligmat came from across the U.S. to give a show of a lifetime!

I know in talking with some of the guys in March and April, they were concerned that they didn't have "it" anymore. Only Lil' Albert and Jimmy Ford were still performing on a regular basis.

After seeing the show that they did, there wasn't much to worry about. I was thinking, I wasn't looking for a band that was like they were 25+ years ago, as they are older as well as I am. I was just looking to recapture some musical moments that I could harken back to and rekindle a few memories. They delivered such in spades.

One of my favorite pieces of memorabilia that I saw at this reunion show was a poster for "The Battle Of The Brass". It had the Mob as one band on the show, and the Fabulous Flippers as the other. All for a whopping $3.50 admission at South Dakota State University. Where was I when that show happened?

All to often I'll see an "oldies" artist just going through the motions to get the check. It is always rewarding seeing artists such as The Mob bringing it back to the stage one more time, because they want to and for the love of their fans.

One of my favorite songs the Mob released was "Tear The House Down" on MGM Records. Well, they did just that!

I know I for one will be selling and telling the Iowa Rock & Roll Music Association's Board of Directors, that The Mob NEED too be their next "out of Iowa" inductee.

I'd be remiss not to mention the incredible shows that the Pilgrims served up. This band was one of the most often booked bands at our local ballroom circuit here in Fort Dodge as well as Dakota City. What a treat to see these entertainers take the stage one more time.


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