In 1979 Frank Wiewel had recorded a number of tracks when his wife Denise convinced him the songs were good enough and insisted they be sent out to the major record labels.
Interest was shown by Columbia Records A&R man Paul Atkinson, a former member of the 60’s British band The Zombies. "Tell Her No", one of the Zombies’ hits, had been recorded by Wiewel. Akinson heard it, liked it, and sent it to Gregg Geller, head of A&R at Columbia.
At about the same time, Captial Records A&R man Bobby Colomby (formerly the drummer for Blood Sweat and Tears) expressed interest for Capital. Both Columbia and Capital wanted to see the band live. The only problem – there was no band – just a collection of studio recordings at West Minist’r Sound in Otho. So Hawks was formed. The name came as an acronym formed by the first letters of the last names of the band members: Dave Hearn, Larry Adams, Frank Wiewel, Kirk Kaufman, Dave Steen.
Hawks was put together to play showcases for both Columbia and Capital Records in the Studio. The band signed with Columbia in 1980.
Columbia’s Greg Geller said, "To my knowledge Hawks is the only act ever signed to Columbia on the basis of an unsolicited demo." Geller signed Many acts while at Columbia including LaBelle, Elvis Costello, John Hiatt, Minnie Riperton, Nick Lowe and Rockpile, and Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as the Hawks.
Tom Werman, producer of Cheap Trick, Ted Nugen, Molley Hatchet and numerous other successful artists, was enlisted to produce the first album "Hawks." Ironically, "Tell Her No" didn’t make the cut.
The self-titled debut album "Hawks" was cut at West Minist’r Sound, mixed at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and released in 1981. Two singles from that album charted. "Right Away" was #63 on Hot 100 Billboard 1981. "It’s All Right It’s OK" hit #32 Billboard Mainstream Rock 1981.The second album, "30 Seconds Over Otho," was released in 1982. A third album, "Perfect World Radio," was released in 2003, not on the Columbia label but on ‘Not Lame Records.’
Dave Steen is a successful songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Ringo Starr, Maria Muldaur, Coco Montoya, Soloman Burke, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Son Seals and many other blues/R&B artists. He lives in Lincoln, Neb.
Kirk Kaufman is owner and chief engineer/producer at Junior’s Motel Recording Studio (formerly West Minist’r Sound) in Otho.
Frank Wiewel is founder of People Against Cancer, an international non-profit public interest group to help people with cancer find the best cancer treatment worldwide. He also lives in Otho.
Dave Hearn is owner of Silhouette Multimedia, a company that delivers his services as a performer, composer, arranger and produce of music for film and video. Dave lives in Fort Dodge. Larry Adams is a drummer and contractor in Leander, Tex.
For the quality and success of their body of works, The Hawks enter the IRRMA Hall of Fame with the 2007 class.
Source: Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association