Burgundy Express
Seattle, Washington
1968 ~ 1976


Cherie Ann Altier Balmer ~ Vocals
Scott Batchelder ~ Drums
John Friend ~ Drums
John Hanford ~ Guitar
Ron Herring ~ Guitar
Ricky Lynn Johnson ~ Drums
Gerard Jones ~ Bass
Terry Lack ~ Trumpet, Saxophone, Keyboards
Dean Quackenbush ~ Trumpet
Dennis Sacco ~ Keyboards, Drums, Vocals
Larry "Blue Fox" Sieber ~ Keyboards
Terry Smith ~ Trombone
Rick Soto ~ Valve Trombone, Percussion
Antoon Van Rooy ~ Saxophone, Percussion
Hank Wadkins ~ Trumpet, Saxophone, Vocals
Rick Waldron ~ Keyboards
Ken Wilson ~ Saxophone

In Memory of

John Friend
Gerard Jones  (d:  5 December 2015)
Larry "Blue Fox" Sieber

"Burgundy Express started in Sacramento, California, around 1965 and played locally for five years.  In January of 1970 the band went to Chicago and St. Paul then returned to Sacramento revamped in personnel and became musically stronger.

By May of 1970 we headed to Hawaii and became a local hit there playing at "Duke Kahanamoku's" with Don Ho for a while. That same year we opened up "The Hawaiian Hut" with Tavana and had a great local following. Most people thought that all the CTA tunes we were playing was our material because the radios were slow to bring over the top 40 of that day.

In 1972 the Mitchell brothers (owners of Pier 70 and Golden Tides) saw us playing at a packed house at the "Hawaiian Hut" and imported us to Seattle which became our home that same year.  In 74 we went back to Hawaii and opened "The Infinity" club at the Sheraton Waikiki and bounced back from Seattle to Hawaii for the next two years.

Many of the members such as Ron Herring, Gerard Jones, & Terry Lack (who were some of the original members of Burgundy Express) made Washington their home and are living there as of this day. Terry Smith resides in Bellflower and doing a lot of original song writings.  I recently received an e-mail from Dean Quackenbush, and it sounds like he's doing well in Calabas, CA.

Burgundy Express also had an alter ego group called the "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars", a 50's show we did once a week and people lined up for blocks just to get in to see our interactive 50's show, by involving a lot of our audience.  We turned the show into a comic book event as well and cut an album.

I left in 76' went to Utah a while, joined a band called Copperfield as lead vocalist. We were produced on a record by Donny Osmond.  I hit the road with a band called "Atlantis" for 7 1/2 years.  I ended up in Anaheim, California.  I had  my own bands in LA then ended up with "The Righteous Brothers" for the next three years.  Now I'm in Mesa, AZ and still doing it with my 9 - 12 piece band, playing corporate, wedding, private and concert events. We get to back up a lot of the big name groups from yesteryear which is a lot of fun."

Antoon R Van Rooy, June 2001

Burgundy Express performing at the Outrigger Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii
In the photo is Terry Lack on hammond organ, but also lead trumpet. On drums is John Friend (RIP.) He was a very solid drummer.
Courtesy of Dennis Sacco

I was the Burgundy Express leader and lead singer for 3-4 years until 1970.   I booked the band and was responsible for keeping the band working.  I also played drums and keyboards.

The band was known during the time I was with them for each musician doubling on at least two instruments.

I am now an author and have my 3rd book coming out this year called Shana.  It's fictional but loosely based around Burgundy Express starting at the Pussy Cat Ago Go in Las Vegas 1969-1970.

Denny Sacco, July 2013

If you have corrections, a neat band photo, or more information about this band, please send it to:

Last Update:  18 April 2017
Credits:  Marc Lagen, Tom Whiting, Darryl Riffero, Dean Quackenbush, Antoon (Bobby) Van Rooy, Ricky Lynn Johnson, John Hanford, Hank Wadkins, Dennis Sacco, Ric Seaberg
Band # 130