Strutzfest dedicated to Mike Turner
August 28, 2008 · Updated 5:25 PM
ARLINGTON Toby Strotz has a mission. He wants to save the reputation of past rock festivals in Darrington, which his band opened for six years for then coordinator Patrick Robison. Two years ago, new management made the news by not paying its hired bands.
Luckily Strotz's band Strutz had removed itself from the event in recent years under new management and now he and some rock-n-roll friends have launched a new event to restore the rock fest's good name.
The Arlington classic rock tribute band is excited to offer a new rock fest where the public and bands alike can enjoy great music in a beautiful venue with a lot of camaraderie.
To that end, Strotz and friends Kirby Lundberg, Darren Hakenson, Deann Vanwinkle, Denise Turner Young, Quinton Tanner, Steve Wangsmo and Doug Diel, have collaborated to establish the Mike Turner Memorial Foundation in whose name the proceeds of the event will be dedicated to some good causes. Strotz is working with Pacific Rim Talent and talent manager Craig Cook to present a showcase of Northwest talent at the Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater, Aug. 1 and 2.
Strotz, an Arlington business man who is partner with Kirby Lundberg of Roads West, is excited about the line-up for the new Strutzfest, which includes his own band as well as other classic rock tribute bands such as Rail, Magic Bus, El Loco, Shyanne, The Penguins, Whiskey Creek, Jimmy Wright Band and Guy Johnson and Devils Food.
Strotz said they are dedicating this new tribute to classic rock to a dear friend, Mike Turner, a fellow musician who died March 29, 1987.
"He was a wonderful giving man who loved music and life," Strotz said.
"He had generous spirit that touched everyone he met."
The organizers of Strutzfest have established the Mike Turner Memorial Foundation, which will donate proceeds from the classic rock fest to Children's Hospital of Seattle and The Susan G. Komen Foundation, among others.
The event begins at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1 with three tribute acts. "Devil's Food" honors Alice Cooper. "El Loco" is a tribute to ZZ Top and has appeared in national events from Las Vegas to Sturgis. Closing the first night will be "Whiskey Creek" hailed as America's number one tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Continuous music by The Davanos and others will entertain the crowd between acts in the beer garden.
Saturday, Aug. 2 begins with "The Jimmy Wright Band" and "Shyanne."
"It one of the best classic rock bands you will ever hear," Strotz said.
"The Penguins" offers a real Vegas-style act with class and brass. "Magic Bus" features three veterans of the Paul Rogers Band, providing a true mind-bending rock and roll experience.
Saturday's line-up features "Strutz" at 8 p.m. followed by Rail, but many other bands will be playing all day long.
"You just have to see this phenomenal act to believe it," Strotz said.
Strutzfest is presented in scenic venue created for bluegrass and country music, just 25 miles east of Arlington and three miles west of Darrington, which is owned and operated by the Darrington Bluegrass Association.
With a thousand campsites available and full service food and beverage vendors, rock fans will enjoy a splendid time at the foot of Whitehorse Mountain.
Along with Strotz's company, Roads West Inc., sponsors include The Tulalip Resort & Casino, Oso Lumber, Turners Bar & Grill and Guitar Center.