Some additional details on a couple of groups from the Mile High State
Alpha Centauri (Greeley)
- Randy Thompson (keyboards)
- Garth Hannum (bass)
- Kurth Smith (drums)
- Jess Redmon (guitar)
The following was submitted by David Monahan:
(Randy was) Born in Denver Colorado, Randy was one of the founding members of Alpha Centauri, and remained in the band for their entire 12 year run. Keyboard player, lead vocalist, songwriter, Randy’s talent always came through even though he was surrounded by a mountain of keyboards. After the breakup in 1983, Randy continued performing with drummer Kurt Smith in another Colorado band called “Eyez” After the breakup of “Eyez” Randy ended his career as a full time musician, and began perusing a career in electronics. Randy still resides in Greeley, and is employed as an electrical engineer for an international electronics manufacturer.
(Garth was) Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Garth grew up in Wyoming, where he began playing in bands in 1969. After majoring in advertising in college, Garth worked in several photography studios in Phoenix and Minneapolis, before joining Alpha Centauri. Bass player and songwriter, Garth proved that bass players didn’t have to stand in the background, and was a vital part of the energy that the band projected. He resides in Texas where he is Sr. Videographer and Photographer for a large international company.
(Kurth is) A native son of Greeley, Kurt began playing drums at the of twelve. As one of the founding members, he played with Alpha Centauri for over 10 years, and continued to play in various bands after the break-up. Kurt laid down a “thunderous” drum beat that was another reason the band had such a hard driving rock sound. Kurt has maintained a successful business in Greeley, where he continues to live with family.
Jess was another early starter, picking up the guitar at age seven. Jess joined Alpha Centauri in 1971 and stayed with them, for the most part until the end in 1983. Jess was a quintessential Hard Rock Guitar player and a driving force that helped captivate audiences, where ever Alpha Centauri played. After the band broke up, Jess started his own recording studio and label called Blue Zephyr. In 1988 he received the “Best Songwriter of the Year” award from the C.S.W.A. The most musically active member of the Alpha alumni, Jess lives in Pierce, Colorado with his family.
LP – Salt Audio 003 – “Alpha Centauri”
CD – Pacemaker – “Alpha Centuari” – 1995
The Lee Arellano Trio
- Lee Arellano (drums)
- Less James (guitar)
- Andy Arellano (bass)
- Sam Piano (keyboards)
Lee Arellano Jazz Trio – formed at Denver’s Metro State College in early 1970’s. They made their debut performance in July of 1967 at the Club Seville in Denver where they recorded several tracks over multiple sessions.
In 1968 Andy Arellano is replaced on bass by Jack Dujo, also from Pueblo, Colorado. The trio would experience several personnel changes before recording their second LP in 1969 on the Denver label Premiere. Sometimes the Arellano name appears as “Arlano”. They cut four tracks on the Sonobeat record label.
Keyboard player Sam “Poni” – is actually Sam Pannunzio and he would go on to perform under that name.
In 1976 Lee joins with a large combo called “The Denver Affair”.
who today remains an active performer based in Pueblo, Colorado. By 1976, Lee has joined big band The Denver Affair. Lee passes away on October 1st, 1982, at the age of 48.
Sam Pannunzio started off his musical career in the early 1960’s as a member of the NORAD military band stationed in the Colorado Springs area and then joined with Arellano right out of high school. He continued on later in his career working and performing in Pueblo and also in Colorado Springs working at the Broadmoor Hotel’s “Penrose Room”
45 – Sonobeat 501 – There Will Never Be Another You” b/w “Meditation” – 1967
45 – Hector 2775 – Harper Valley P.T.A.” b/w “Drums” – 1967 (with Lee drumming on B side with Byron Petersen Combo) – 1969