Steve Westpfahl and the Blue Flames are Members of the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Class of 2016
IRRMA Induction Spectacular
Iowa Rock N Roll Music Association
Sunday, September 4, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 11:55 PM (CDT)
Arnolds Park, IA
Steve Westpfahl made his mark in Oelwein music history as the drummer in the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee,The Blue Flames.The Flames were based out of Oelwein and played throughout northeast Iowa for 30 years. The band played the Hotel Winneshiek Tap (Decorah) every Tuesday night and the Melody Lounge in West Union Iowa every Wednesday for many years. This along with supper clubs, shows, weddings, anniversaries and fireman dances allowed them to average 16 to 20 nights a month for many years.
The band played 50’s and 60’s rock, old and new country. With a half dozen or so off the charts at all times. Over the years the band worked up over 1000 songs. They always featured three way harmony from day one until the end.
The combination of Bill Reints (bass), Don Stohr (guitar), and Steve Westpfahl (drums) worked together for the final 25 years of the bands 30 year life. Read their story here.
Article below, “In Steve’s Own Words”, was generated from communication with Steve Westpfahl during May and June 2016.
- First band was with Craig Davidson, Don Stohr & myself we were called The Blue Countrymen. This was about 1971. We played for about a year.
- Then I played with the Country Swingers–Wayne Earl, Don Vargason & myself, then after about 1 year we hired Butch Gage to be are lead singer.
- From there I also filled in with different bands such as Duane Lamphier and The Country Squires, Perk Shannon (singer and bass player) and with Rick & Johnny Clendenen.
- In about 1973 or 1974 I stated with The Blue Flames–PeeWee, Bill Reints & myself. I stayed with them until I graduated from high school in 1975.
- From there I went to college and played some weekends with a blue grass band around Waterloo & Cedar Falls.
After school I got married to Shyla Pfiester, and started back with The Blue Flames again. That time I stayed with the Flames for the next 23 years. I think I played with PeeWee for about 2 or three years before Donny Stohr came on the band.
I also want to mention, Tom Kammer & I grew up next door to each other. I played drums and so did he, but he was playing in a band with his brother so he helped me with my drumming skills. Tom had more natural talent, so I was always learning from him. Thanks, Tom!
I am now the Body Shop Manager at Birdnow Motor Trade in Oelwein, plus I am a Locksmith, so I keep busy.