Thyme/Stars and Stripes


Canfield, 1968-71

Thyme was formed by a group of high school juniors and sophomores at Canfield High School. The group included Steve Domer on lead guitar, Pat O'Hara (rhythm guitar), Jim Coulter (organ), Randy Kessler (bass), and Kim Van Kleek (drums). Thyme played at high school and church dances in the Canfield area.

In '69 Thyme recorded two original songs at a 2-track basement studio in Youngstown called "Santarelli Recording" and had a few hundred copies pressed at Pama. The songs are good slices of teen garage psych played with lots of enthusiasm.

In 1970 Steve Domer's older brother Mike joined the group on bass. Mike had played in an earlier Canfield band called the Applistics. As a four piece band (Pat O'Hara was also gone) they changed their name to Stars and Stripes.

Stars and Stripes got connected with Starshine Productions and competed in the classic Sept 26, 1970 Battle of the Bands held at Loews Theatre in the Eastwood Mall. Although the group did not win (Freeman Sound did), Starshine owner Floyd Phillips invited the group to record a 45, which they did at United Audio. The 45 was released in Nov. '70 (simultaneous with the Freeman Sound, Biggy Ratt, and Travis 45s) and got some airplay on local stations like WNIO. The 45 is a good representation of the melodic hard rock sound of their label comtemporaries like Freeman Sound and Morly Grey.

Stars and Stripes played the local clubs like the Zodiac and the Apartment, as well as some gigs with the Flowers, Inc managed bands like Blue Ash.

By '72 Stars and Stripes was no more, so the Domer brothers formed a three piece band called Phoenix that played material like Grand Funk and the Rolling Stones. Phoenix lasted for a couple years. After Phoenix the Domer brothers formed, naturally, the Domer Brothers band, which played the Youngstown lounge circuit.