Go back to the '70s at Judd Group reunion

Looking back on it now, Scott "Scooter" Nelson still marvels at what he and fellow members of the Judd Group accomplished.

From playing small parties as high schoolers in Rochester to recording a couple of albums and touring up and down the East Coast, the Judd Group lived the rock 'n' roll dream in the early 1970s. The band never made it really, really big, but they were far more successful than most garage bands of that time.

"I don't have any regrets, and I don't think anybody else does, either," Nelson said.

Nelson, who played drums in the band, and his former bandmates will reunite for a concert Saturday at the State Theatre in Zumbrota, more than four decades after they started playing together as Rochester high school students.

Why now, after all these years?


"Good question," Nelson said. "Honestly, something fun started in 1970, and now it's 45 years later. The fact that we're all still musical. It's something we can do."

Nelson, who teaches business, commercial music and career development at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis, has operated his own recording studio, written music for the Discovery and National Geographic cable channels, and is a founding member of the Mary Jane Alm Band.

He'll be joined onstage in Zumbrota by Judd Group members Steve McLoone, Tom Williams, Dave "Elwood" Williams, Dik Shopteau, and Brian Rossi. Previous members Bruce Judd, John Thomson and Jerome Beckley will also perform.

The band was split roughly half-and-half between John Marshall and Mayo high school grads, Nelson said.

As for getting everyone back together, "Scheduling is always the hardest thing," he said. Only two rehearsals were planned for the reunion show. "Everybody can reach back and find the skills," Nelson said. "Everyone is expected to work on their own. We don't want to go out there and not do justice to the material we're doing."

That material will include selections from the band's two albums, "Rhythm and Space" and "Second Thoughts," as well as covers of popular songs from the early '70s. Judd always mixed jazz, funk and rock, and Saturday's set list will do the same.

Nelson was asked what it was that produced so much musical talent in Rochester around 1970.

"I think the thing from our standpoint is that all of our parents were behind us," he said. "They encouraged us to follow our dreams. As a parent myself, I can imagine how difficult that was."


If you go

What: The Judd Group reunion concert

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: State Theatre, 96 E. Fourth St., Zumbrota

Tickets: $26 in advance, $30 the day of the show; available through Crossings at Carnegie, 507-732-7616

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