Pictorian Skiffuls


Dayton, 1964-71,'74-5

The Skiffuls were one of Dayton's most popular purveyors of the "British" sound, first as a Beatles styled band, then as a Stones styled band, and finally as a heavy Led Zeppelin styled band....and then took a turn to the South(ern), while staying at the top echelon of the local scene.

The original band was called the Vondels, which was lead by namesake Vondel Moore. The lineup included Roger McIntosh, the rhythm guitarist and the 'soul' of the band, Jim Higgins on lead guitar, Steve Smith on bass and keyboards, ans Ron Skinner on drums. All the members were students at Belmont High School. When Vondel Moore started to become unreliable, the group brought in Greg Harbaugh as front man.

This lineup became the Pictorian Skiffuls and just like the name, they tried to look and sound British, playing the usual selection of Beatles, Stones, etc songs at the local teen dances. Roger and Steve had been writing some songs so their part time manager, Miamisburg resident John Hey, encouraged them to record a couple songs. The group recorded two McIntosh/Smith songs, "In Awhile" and "You've Done Me Wrong" at Film Associates in Dayton. John had the records pressed at Rite and the group got the record onto WING radio thanks to Sonny Ledet, who took a liking to the record and the band, eventually becoming their manager.

The 45 also got them an appearance on WDTN TV teen show where they lip synched "In Awhile". The record sold well and the group, specifically Roger, tried to contact some people in Nashville to get distribution or a record deal. While travelling to Music City they got stopped and rebuked by the local cops for long hair.

During the 1966-7 time period, the Skiffuls slowly shifted to a Stones-heavy combo, with Greg Harbaugh playing the Mick Jagger role to the best of his ability. During a show with the Newbeats at an ice rink the group followed up the Newbeats version of 'Satisfaction' with their own, and blew the butter right off the Newbeats' bread. The group had tried performing originals, mostly written by Roger and Greg, but nothing ever got recorded. In '67 Roger left, apparently spurred by the death of his brother in the Vietnam War.

As the group continued to play, Jim Higgins left and was replaced by Dave Markham. Steve Smith joined the Army and was replaced by Randy Moorehead. Markham's time in the group was short lived, as the group had recruited Ira Stanley (formely of December's Children) to play lead guitar. Ira (who had received some playing help from Jim Higgins) spent some of the summer of '67 honing his skills and learning the parts before joining. The Skiffuls had decided to move in a Hendrix/Cream direction and needed some like minded players. The group also changed drummers, with Mike Holvoight taking over for Ron Skinner. Jerry Edwards came on to play rhythm guitar.

The Skiffuls hooked up with the A.Jaye booking agency (after A.Jaye caught them at a gig in Miamisburg) and started to focus more on the greater Cincinnati area. Mike Rosculp (formely of the Post) joined on bass. With this lineup the group recorded 3-4 songs at Bob Tauber's studio in Bellbrook. Through A-Jaye the group got a steady gig at the Pickle Barrel in Cincy and toured, mostly college campuses (the staple of A-Jaye's operation). They got as far as Alabama and Daytona Beach! Greg continued to push the band and would always be trying to find the best combination of people and material. Greg would partner up songwriting with someone for a while, until he felt like making a change. The Skiffuls continued to move in a harder rock direction, adding a Led Zepplin metal flash to their sound, but by 1971 the group could go no further. Greg left, tired of not being able to perform more original songs. The final Pictorian Skiffuls lineup included Greg, Ira, Mike, Sam Morrison (keyboards) and Jerry Barnhart (drums).

After Greg left, some of the remaining members decided to continue in a new group. They adopted a "southern rock" sound and the appropriate name of Dixie Peach. Dixie Peach played all over the southeast US and while on tour recorded an LP that was released in '73. They opened for many touring rock bands at the Hara Arena including Blue Oyster Cult, Spirit, and the New York Dolls.

In 1974 Greg decided to give the Skiffuls another try. Steve Smith, Ira Stanley, Mike Rosculp, Dave Markham, Jerry Barnhart were involved with the Skiffuls Mk.2. Again Greg worked really hard to write and perform original songs but the music scene in '74/5 was just not that open for bands that played original music. After 18 months or so the group called it quits for the last time.