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Reign / Raintree / Rain

Cleveland, 1970-7


Raintree, original lineup

Reign was a popular band in Cleveland's college bar scene, playing clubs like Agora and the Utopia. The original band was named Rain, and founded by Tom Kent (of Ice) (lead vocals, guitar) and Roland Solomon (of the Baskerville Hounds) (bass), with Rich Head (guitar), Doug Jones (keyboards), and Bob Dillinger (drums). Tom, Roland, and Bob had all been in the City Squires, although not together.

Rain was brought into Otto Neuber's management stable (along with Freeport) and when Mainstream Record's Bob Shad came to town scouting talent, Neuber got both bands recording deals, and off to Critera Studios in Miami they went. Rain recorded a whole LP for Mainstream, but for some reason, the recordings were never issued. During this period the band discovered Rain was already taken for a national recording act, so they became Raintree - until, again, another recording act was discovered with that name! So they became Reign.

Over the next few years, the band had some personnel changes, with Doug Jones replaced by Bob Pelander, Jeff Beers replaced Dillinger, and Roland Solomon left and was replaced by Tom Hunter. This lineup lasted a year or so before Bill Schwark (formerly of Damnation of Adam Blessing) joined as the drummer (replacing Beers). At this time, Reign was a pretty much a cover band, playing harder rock songs like Led Zeppelin, etc. In June of 1973 the band went to NYC for a month to play shows and audition for record companies. The band had some interest but no deals happened. The band also did some addtional recording at Agency.

Reign continued to play the local clubs through the mid 70s, but after trying to scale the rigid wall between a cover club band and an original recording act, they called it a day. Bob Pelander joined the Michael Stanley Band. Tom Kent continued on in some other bands.