Head East - The Midwest's Legendary Classic Rock Band

Alumni Photos & Bios # 2

  • Mike Somerville
  • In Memory of
    Mike Somerville

    Michael A. Somerville passed away February 28, 2020, at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin at the age of 67. Mike was born in Peoria, IL, on August 15, 1952. Music and the guitar became his passions in junior high and by high school he was performing in local rock bands. He joined Head East in 1973, having been selected over numerous others who auditioned to be the band's lead guitarist.

    He wrote several of Head East's most popular songs to include "Love Me Tonight" and "Never Been Any Reason" and his unique tone and playing style helped shape Head East's signature sound.

    Mike left Head East in the spring of 1980 and over the next decade participated in numerous other musical projects, including the Somerville-Scorfina Band in the early 80's with former Pavlov's Dog guitarist Stephen Scorfina. In the Fall of 1993, Mike performed with Head East as a special guest at a concert in St. Louis, and in 1995 he rejoined the band as their lead guitarist until the Spring of 2003. Mike continued to write, record and play guitar in Northern Wisconsin which had been his home since 2000. He rejoined Head East for their 50th Anniversary Tour playing the special reunion shows. His last performance with Head East was in May of 2019 in Manistee, Michigan. Mike passed away in Northern Wisconsin in February of 2020, after an extended illness.

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  • Tony Gross
  • Tony Gross

    Tony Gross joined Head East in the Spring of 1980 at the age of 19 after meeting Roger Boyd at an after concert party in Rochester, NY. Tony played a 3-track demo tape for Roger and was soon enlisted to be the band's new guitarist, replacing Mike Somerville who left along with Dan Birney and John Schlitt when the classic line-up dissolved after their 12 April 1980 show in Kearney, Nebraska.

    Tony's stint with Head East lasted from 1980 until 1984 during which the band released two albums. Tony's song "Sister Sister" was included on the US 1 album in the fall of 1980 and both "Show Me" and "Ready To Go" were on the Onward And Upward album in 1982. He returned briefly in 1987 after a 3-year absence as the band was finishing the Choice of Weapons album but soon departed.

    After leaving Head East, Tony's interest in studio design and music production led him to form GFI Music Publishing, Inc., and to open his first full-service recording studio. Tony currently resides in the Rochester, New York area where he is the President of GFI Productions. Tony has made a couple of special guest appearance with Head East in recent years at shows in Carbondale, IL in 2015 and North Tonawanda, NY in 2018 and 2022. To learn more about Tony visit the GFI Website.

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  • Dan Odum
  • Dan Odum

    Dan Odum first joined Head East on drums and vocals in 1971. He remained with the band until he was drafted into the Army in 1972. Though Dan was originally an Army medic, he was able to join an Army Choir shortly after being assigned to Germany and had the opportunity to perform throughout Germany and many parts of Europe.

    After serving his tour in the Army, Dan returned to his hometown of Danville, Illinois where he held various jobs until Roger Boyd called him in the spring of 1980 and asked him to rejoin Head East as their lead singer.

    He remained with the band for two albums ( US 1 and Onward And Upward ) before leaving in the early 80s. Dan made a special guest appearance with Head East in Carlyle, Illinois in June 2017 and shared lead vocals with current lead vocalist Darren Walker on Take My Hand from the Onward and Upward album. Dan currently resides in Southwestern Florida where he has played drums and sang for several local bands since leaving Head East.

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  • View individual band member bios and photos
  • View vintage group photos from 1969 to 2011
  • View classic concert photos from the 70s
  • Head East 2023 live concert photos

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