IV Ring Sircus began as Guardrail, backing up the inimitable Johnny Holiday. When Holiday decided to retire from his early 1970s funky phase, the members of Guardrail renamed themselves IV Ring Sircus. The band was managed by Nick Boldi and recorded two 45s for his Bold label. They changed their name to Moon by the time they issued the two 45s.
Former band member "Phrogge": "I am responsible for putting together "Guardrail" for Johnny Holiday. I found Randy Ross in Richwood (we were gonna put a Savoy Brown type blues band together but I convinced 'em if Johnny was payin'....we should be playin'). Brian Conklin (keyboards.vocals) was from Galion with Eddie Benetti on bass/vocals (also from Galion) (ed. note: Conklin had been in the Ohio Express and Benetti had been in the Flower Conspiracy). "
"We first recorded "You Don't Need A Lot Of Money" at Peppermint Studios in August of 1971.....sponsorship from the National Safety Council seatbelt campaign. We returned to Peppermint and recorded an LP "Rock On" with Johnny. One side was high energy old rock n roll and the other side was everything from Deep Purple to the Ohio Express. Eddie Benetti left after that recording and was replaced by Chuck Tomich (ed note: formely of the Hazards and Blue Amber) on bass and vocals. Shortly thereafter Randy Ross was replaced by my best friend Dave Jones on guitar and vocals."
"When Johnny hung up his "blue eyed soul brother" routine we changed the name of the band to IV Ring Sircus with a performing list of over 1000 songs - everything from barbershop harmonies and top 40 to Broadway, comedy routines, and 'show sets' like our 'Beach Boys show'. "
"Chuck Tomich was replaced by Bob Andrews and we changed the name to Moon.after a standing joke of me shooting the moon in Gypsy, WV during a live show with Sircus....I used to close our night on stage by saying "don't forget to shoot the moon" through an Echoplex that repeated "moon, moon, moon" over and over."
"Nick Boldi had been Johnny's manager and brought a idea to us about those air brushed vans and crushed velver seats. Originally it was some gu y doing a Dylan type song on acoustic guitar, we retired to Dave Jones' garage and came up with a Moody Blues type song with synth bass and a string machine with a straight drum beat called "Man in the Beaver Van" with me on vocals. As we started playing more successfully (thanks to performing concerts in every school we had attended). The B side was "Live and Love While You Can", a 'bubblegum' song Brian Conklin had written while he was in the Ohio Express (but never recorded). We did it on the "Rock On" LP. "
"We appeared on a local cable access show hosted by Mark Milner and going to break we played this funky lil ditty, and Mark added horns to it (the Wild Cherry horn section) for our second record "Shoot The Moon". B side was "Magic of the Mind". Both "Man in the Beaver Van" and "Shoot the Moon" were recorded at Agency studios in Cleveland (above the Agora)."
Man in the Beaver Van / Live and Love While You Can
Shoot The Moon / Magic Of the Mind (Nov ’76)