…what and when things changed


Cirkus grows out of a progressive rock band called Jubal.

Members include:
  • Kelly Craven - Drums
  • Mike Phlagler - Guitar
  • Randy Lee - Bass
  • Don Parker - Guitar
  • Steve Quinney - Vocals
At some point, Mike Phlagler is replaced by Bob Stallings. Bob's stint lasts one week in Columbus,GA. Gavin Frisbee is hired. It's primarily a Top 40 type band, playing covers of Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, and even Andy Gibb.

      — 1978 Itinerary


Gavin Frisbee is replaced with Sean Carmichael. Don Parker is replaced with Bob Knight (the singing soundman!). Late in the year, Randy Lee is replaced with Eric Bennett. (Most of us still don't know why—only Mason knows for sure.) The songlist starts getting heavier with the addition of Sean and Bob. Some of the lighter fare is replaced with more covers of Ted Nugent, AC/DC, and Van Halen. The band learns its first couple of original songs. The satin look is gone to be replaced by designer jeans and sneakers.

      — 1979 Itinerary


Early on in the year, Bob Knight is replaced with Steve Long. The band continues in the tradition of playing the hits, as long as they are deemed heavy enough while still being danceable. The band breaks up briefly and loses its original manager. They write more songs and are surprised to find that folks like them. They begin to be a major draw in the clubs, to much satisfaction.

      — 1980 Itinerary


Steve Long is replaced by Rodger Bennett. This proves to be the most powerful incarnation of the band.

The members include:
  • Eric Bennett - Bass, vocals
  • Rodger Bennett - Guitar, vocals
  • Sean Carmichael - Guitar, vocals
  • Kelly Craven - Drums
  • Steve Quinney - Vocals
The music continues to get heavier with covers of The Scorpions, Whitesnake, more AC/DC, and more Van Halen. We're now doing some new wave/punk such as the Ramones, the Vapors, and the Clash. Drawing power is still on the upswing. A new manager is taken on and a fateful showcase for a record producer is done.

The band spends a week in Jacksonville, Florida, to record a demo with the well known producer. The band is hugely dissatisfied with the results, and personally disappointed with the producer (can you hear the bubble pop?). The details are best left unsaid to protect the innocent and to prevent possible lawsuits. Let's just say we might be lucky that the producer didn't show up at the scheduled meetings in LA with the record company big-wigs to present the demo and pitch the band. Let's also just say that, to this day, if we saw that well known producer walking down the street, we'd kick his ass. The project dies a horrible death.

      — 1981 Itinerary


Probably the best year overall for the band, in spite of all our problems. Friction began to intensify between the band and their manager and his booking agent. Cirkus is voted one of the top 5 local bands by listeners of a Charlotte radio station, WROQ, (even though Cirkus was based in Raleigh, not Charlotte), and appears at the concert given by the radio station at Carowinds. (Sadly, WROQ is no longer a kick-ass rock station.) All performers are recorded and an album is issued with each performer getting two cuts. Cirkus mixes their tapes in total in the hopes of releasing an album of their own, which never happens. They remain a top club draw, even as efforts are being undermined by management. Towards the end of the year, management ties are severed and Rodger leaves the band. Auditions are held for another guitar player, but no one suitable is found so the band decides to go forth as a three-piece power trio with a front man. Eric leaves the band and is replaced with Squire Lilly.

      — 1982 Itinerary


Squire brings in a fresh outlook on things, along with lots of original material of his own. The band has dropped some songs due to arrangement problems with only one guitar, but has added an arsenal of new originals that hold a fair amount of promise. MTV and the disco scourge has taken their toll on club bands, though, so now people want to go see a band playing the MTV hits of the day (A Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran, et.al.). After much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, Sean decides to leave the band and the band decides they've had enough, too, playing their last date on March 6.

      — 1983 Itinerary


Fat, Bald, and Ugly rears its fat, bald and ugly head. Eric, Rodger, Steve, Sean, and Kelly get together for a fine afternoon of jamming for the first time since 1982.

      — 2001 Itinerary


After a time pondering FB&U, and how much fun it was, we decided that it we couldn't just leave it at that. We decide to really go about an play somewhere just to prove to the world that we still had it. This thought became a rousingly succesful accomplishment when Randy, Steve, Sean, and Kelly played the Lincoln Theatre on July 19th. This lineup had not played toghether since 1979. To say it was like old times is an understatement.

The New Cirkus

      — 2001 Itinerary


Cirkus 25th Anniversary Show at The Brewery

      — Beyond Itinerary


Steve's Birthday and Cheating The Reaper at The Brewery

      — Beyond Itinerary


Michael Gardner Benefit at The Lincoln Theater and LIVE Bar in Greenville, NC

      — Beyond Itinerary


The Last Show Ever at The Southland Ballroom

      — Beyond Itinerary


  "And that's the way it is."  
  Uncle Walter