Main Page The Gestures
Mankato based group had a fabulous top 50 Billboard hit in 1964, "Run, Run, Run".
Soma couldn't keep up with the record demand and the band folded soon (about 1
Gus Dewey went on to play with City Mouse. Gus passed away in
Page down for more info on Gus.
CD: Sundazed reissue at Amazon.com
Menten voc/gtr, Gus Dewey gtr, Tom Klugherz bass, Bruce Waterston drms
Menten has released two CD's:
Dale Menten & The Live Bait Band: Huntin'
Dale Menten and the Live Bait Band: Somethin'
Dale Menten website
Run, Run, Run/Seems to me: Soma 1417
1965 Don't mess around/Candlelight: Soma
1965 I'm not mad/Don't mess around: Promo Soma 1426
1964 Run, Run,
Run/Seems to me: Apex 76939 Canadian
1965 Don't mess around/Candlelight: Apex
1st CD: "It's About Time" CD review at MnBlues
article about City Mouse
The CD can be gotten via mail order from Billy Steiner by
sending $17.00 to: City Mouse; 545 Belgrade Ave.; North Mankato, MN
56003, or found at select independent record stores.
January 5th, 2004: A voice stilled.
From a hit single
with The Gestures to his days with City Mouse, guitarist was a fixture in the
local music scene.
By Joe Tougas Free Press Staff Writer
(MN)- A unique voice in Minnesota music faded out Sunday afternoon when Gus Dewey
died at the age of 57.
Dewey had been hospitalized after suffering
an aneurysm Dec. 26 while en route to a medical appointment for his recurring
cancer. Though a legend among many Minnesota musicians, Dewey never reached the
fame that seemed promised to him as a teenager. Yet in the 30-plus years that
followed, his music shifted from radio-friendly pop to soulful blues and road-tested
rock 'n' roll. He performed and wrote music that often countered his boisterous
Although he worked a number of jobs to support himself, the
most recent being a driver for an auto parts store in Mankato, music was his main
occupation. It was a relationship that began with a stint as pop star. Born and
raised in Mankato, Dewey was a member of the four-piece group The Gestures, who
in the summer of 1964 recorded a single "Run Run Run" in Minneapolis. They were
encouraged to do so by local radio station KTOE and Minneapolis' KDWB, where disc
jockey Lou Riegert gave them airplay that spread across the country. The single
made the Billboard national charts, was played on "American Bandstand" and received
airplay on stations nationwide. Dewey and bandmates Bruce Waterston, Dale Menten
and Tom Klugherz became young local celebrities. The band broke up about a year
after the release.
From that intense career start, Dewey went on to work
with bands in Minneapolis and Mankato, eventually joining City Mouse in the late
1970s and remaining with the group for several years. His musicianship matured,
with his songwriting, guitar playing and singing - his voice was reminiscent of
Eric Clapton's - often unveiling a surprising sensitivity. "His voice, there was
nobody who sang like that, obviously," said Al Bjerke, an electrical engineer
who shared guitar duties with Dewey in City Mouse. "He's one of the guys who should
have made it out of here on that merit." Dewey was a top-notch musician, Bjerke
said. He admired Dewey's guitar style, which was less meticulous and more natural
than his own. "It was bluesy, kind of free-form," Bjerke said. "He had a feel
for melody and harmony. He didn't like to copy the record like I did, but that
gave us another balance." Klugherz said from the time he and Dewey met in 1959,
the guitarist was always pursuing unique sounds. He remembers him going for a
distorted sound from his guitar before distortion was in vogue.
and Klugherz both considered Dewey a good friend, one whose often-grumpy demeanor
faded fast. "He had that exterior, but you got past that and he was a big teddy
bear," said Bjerke. Up until this year, Dewey remained an unapologetic heavy smoker
and a steady drinker, and the singing and smoking took its toll on his voice.
His lymph nodes and vocal cords were surgically removed in September (2003). By
that point, his voice had been reduced to a whisper - he hadn't played or sang
for five years. His last home in Mankato was a mobile home near East High School,
where he lived with his longtime partner Andrea Smith. He had frequent bouts of
anger and depression that were kept in check by Smith, Dewey once said. "She's
the only thing that holds me together," he wrote in September. In early November,
Dewey entered residential treatment for chemical dependency in the Twin Cities.
Little more than a month into treatment, his cancer recurred. Two weeks ago, he
was diagnosed with aggressive end-stage cancer. And while being driven to a checkup,
his carotid artery burst and he suffered a stroke shortly after. He was being
tended to at Immanuel St. Joseph's Hospital, where he died.
get to see and visit with hundreds of friends a few months before his death. After
his September surgery, a multi-band benefit concert in October brought him together
with hundreds of friends and fellow musicians at the Kato Entertainment Center.
Dewey held court at a table in the ballroom, signing CDs and T-shirts made for
the occasion. For the event, Klugherz and City Mouse bandmate Billy Steiner produced
a compilation CD of Dewey's songs performed live and in the studio over the years.
That and a 1996 re-release of Gestures recordings are Dewey's recording legacy.
Klugherz, who lives in Mankato, met Dewey in 1959 and remained friends him throughout
his life. "In high school, I remember study hall," Klugherz said. "We were all
in a classroom, but Gus was in a small glassed-in room in the back so he could
not distract everyone else. Even then, he couldn't do things the way everyone
else did." While respected as a musician, Dewey was self-effacing about his own
abilities, claiming to hate everything he's recorded. Always known for a sharp
tongue, a short fuse and a penchant toward dark humor, Dewey nonetheless let his
softer side show to most anyone who spent some time with him, Bjerke said. That
was on display at the Kato benefit, where Dewey communicated through a notepad,
laughs and gestures.
In an interview a few days before the event, he wrote:
"Many more friends than I thought. ... These people are being so nice to me."
The huge turnout and the 10 hours of music volunteered at the event was evidence
of Dewey's effect on people on and off the stage. "He made a mark on anybody who
worked with him or saw him play," Bjerke said.
This page 6/26/2004