Stuart Sides figures he was destined to play in a rock band.
“I played ‘Red River Valley’ on the ukulele for a Dan D. Rogers Elementary PTA function when I was 8. I was terrified and all I remember is staring into a spotlight and tapping my feet. I guess it went okay – mom still talks about it.”
Today Stuart is part of the popular Lake Highlands band the Lupners. Band loyalists, called Lupnerheads, follow the group on Facebook to catch their gigs around town. They’ll be at Lone Star Roadhouse this Friday, May 2 to kick off Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“Our first gig was at Enchilada’s on Greenville in January of 2007,” remembers Bill Maselunas. “I had played in the contemporary worship band at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church but never been in a rock band. We were a true garage band – our first practices were in our drummer’s garage, no matter how hot or cold it was outside.”
“There’s no buzz like it,” says Bill. “The joy of working with amazing musicians, of putting a song together on a whim and having it really work -I love it. The Lupners have been famous for throwing a new song out there during rehearsal. Someone will play a riff from something, and the rest of us join in whether we really know it or not. Nine times out of ten it works. There’s always that moment where we all look around afterward and are like, ‘heck, yeah, that rocked.’ Like any good buzz, I always want to repeat the feeling as soon as possible.”
“My first ‘rock’ band was in 6th grade Northlake Elementary,” recalls Gary Krumbholz. “Rusty Mays sang, Tony Miller was on drums and I played guitar. Our gig was the 1976 Northlake talent show, and we played 2 songs – ‘Beth’ by KISS and ‘California Dreamin’ by Mamas & the Papas. The first real band I was in was a country band called Texas Pride. Interesting fact: fellow Lupner Tim Bird was the drummer in that band, also.”
“The best thing about performing live,” said Tim, “is when it comes together, the feedback of the crowd and the euphoria of making music with good friends for good friends. The worst thing is definitely the load out after the gig.”
Charlie Jilek grew up listening to his dad’s collection of old Chet Atkins records.
“I just loved the way Chet played, truly amazing. Fortunately for me I had an opportunity to meet Chet – lucky me.”
Charlie’s mom played piano and his dad wanted to play the guitar.
“He was left-handed and thought it was impossible, so he never learned.”
From the time Charlie learned to play guitar at age 10, “Dad was always supportive.”
Charlie says he can’t remember the name of the first band he played with in high school, “but our first gig was a lake party, and I think the gas-powered generator was louder than we were.”
The Lupners playlist spans from early Beatles to the latest Maroon 5 and includes Elton John, Eddie Money, Kenny Loggins, the Eagles, the Clash and much more. If you’d like to catch the Lupners at Lone Star Roadhouse Friday, you can call 214-341-3538 to reserve a table. Lone Star is located at Northwest Highway and Jupiter.