July 15, 2008

Double Troublemakers This Weekend

By Pam M. Smith, The Sun, Yuma, Ariz.

Jul. 15--Troublemakers is the name of the band.

Rock 'n' roll from the '60s to the present and lots of originals are in their music.

Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., the Troublemakers will be live at the LZ Bar and Grill, 2175 S. Harley Drive.

Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight, the band will help The Pub celebrate its first anniversary at 179 E. 1st St. with giveaways from Miller Lite.

For both these gigs, the audience must be at least 21 years old to attend, and there is no cover charge for either.

About these musicians:

- Jeff Magin, known as Tommy Trouble, admits he started singing in the shower when he was just 10 and now vocalizes with the band. He taught himself to play guitar in college, inspired by the Beatles, Springsteen and others.

In 2001 he said he was a garage closet rocker with Yumans Don Harden and Gary Ricker. "Harden encouraged me to start writing our own music."

Magin has been a teacher and administrator in Yuma for 30 years. He retired as principal of Yuma High School in June and will be principal of Central High School in El Centro, Calif., this fall.

- Gary Ricker, dubbed "Platinum," started playing bass guitar in the early '90s. "I got a lot more serious about it when I started with Harden and Magin in 2001. My idols are Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Aerosmith, ZZ Top and RCPM."

He has lived in Yuma since 1972, is married and is manager of Tipton Automotive.

- Kim Guthrie, lead guitar, joined the band in 2004. He had played with three cousins in a small Illinois town band, where his dad had more than 20 Chet Atkins albums to encourage his playing. After moving to Yuma in 1968, as a junior at Kofa High, he was in a band with Roy Harper and Rusty Griffin, later with Hilda and Becky Chavez, John Underhill, Randy Wright and Mike Green.

His "day job" is teaching environmental science at Cibola High and is a department chairman.

- Suzie Alka and Ervie Isom-McMasters got together with the group in 2005.

A vocalist, Alka said she has performed for audiences since she was with the Choralairs at Yuma High School, where she is now an administrator. Alka said she has been influenced by many female singers.

Isom-McMasters not only sings but plays keyboards and electric piano. He attended Kofa High and has degrees in music, instruments, voice and piano from Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.

He has instructed choir at both Yuma High and Yuma Catholic High School. Currently he is a business consultant.

- On drums and vocals, since 2007, Gary Eschenbaum has been several places as a musician. His percussion education was with Gary Chaffee of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and he earned a music degree from Western Illinois before moving to Los Angeles to play and record until 1990.

After a teaching band and choir in Illinois, he moved to Globe, Ariz., teaching for three years. From 1995-2006, Eschenbaum taught band at Kofa, then transferred to Vista High School where he now teaches.

About the band name:

Guitarist Magin said, "Tim Terkelson, a local certified public accountant, kiddingly called my wife a 'troublemaker' and, after a good laugh, it was decided the band should have the name of 'Troublemakers' and that's what we're called.

"Our first public appearances were in backyard parties, then played at The Pub in 2007 -- where we'll be Saturday."


Pam M. Smith can be reached at [email protected] or 539-6856.


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