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Sugar Creek / Headstone Circus / St. James Doorknob / Infinite Doorknob

Athens, 1967-70

Ohio University in Athens produced a rich local music scene in the outputs of Appalachia. The biggest band in the OU/Athens scene was Headstone Circus began their career there before moving to the east coast and nurtuing the talents of Johanthan Edwards. 

The band was started mainly by brothers Malcolm and Todd McKinney and Edwards. The McKinneys were from the Plymouth, Ohio area, and Edwards was from Virginia. The original band name was the St. James Doorknob. After trying a few musicians, they got together with Joe Dolce and Gary Gans who were in another OU band, the Finite Minds. The band was completd with drummer Gonchi Sifre. Dolce was from Painesville while Gans' and Sifre's hometown is not known to us. The new band adopted the name Infinite Doorknob.

The band quickly became the top local band in the scene. They played many shows at the Appalachian Lighthouse, the Athens version of clubs like the Fillmore, with special light shows and psychedelic vibes. After a couple months they changed the name to Headstone Circus. John Beattie replaced Gonchi on drums. 

The band was the big fish in a small pond, and so they decided to relocate to the Boston area, early 1969 or so, and see if they could get a break and a recording deal. They played show on the Boston/NYC corridor and got a record deal with Metromedia, a label that tried to go big on the underground rock market By the time the band recorded the LP, they were down to four with the McKinneys, Edwards, and Gans.

The LP sold a few copies but Metromedia didn't release a 45 and the band disbanded within a year. Jonathan Edwards settled in New England and started his still active solo career with a bang, his debut 45 "Sushine" reaching the top 10. The McKinney brothers moved to Nashville and made a LP in the mid 70s. More on Joe Dolce under his name.