This guest post is by Tom Cooney of a.tom.called.cooney.

Lakeside is a funk band that was formed in the early 1970’s from many former members of two bands, The Nomads and The Young Underground.  The two groups played together in musical venues in the Tri-State (Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky) area.  Soon after, the two bands combined to form the Ohio Lakeside Express and eventually “Lakeside”.  After some bickering between members of the two bands, guitarist Steve Shockley, keyboardist Norman Beavers, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist Otis Stokes, lead vocalist Mark Wood, background vocalist Tiemeyer McCain and background vocalist Thomas Shelby decided to pack their stuff and head west.  They landed in California in 1972.

Although they struggled to land gigs in the beginning, through word of mouth they were becoming an huge underground success.  After about six months, they were playing the best venues, e.g., “Whiskey a Go-Go”, “Starwood Theatre”, and “The Roxy.”  In no time at all, the band soon found their groove after years of playing together.  Often times they dressed in costumes on their album covers and were one of the first funk bands to follow a theme for their albums.

They reached the pinnacle of their success with the release of Fantastic Voyage in 1980. This album exceeded all expectations and the title track “Fantastic Voyage” went to reach number one on the R&B charts.

Since then, “Fantastic Voyage” has been sampled by such hip hop artists as Coolio, Potna Deuce and B.G. Knocc Out and Dresta.  The song has also appeared in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas playing on radio station Bounce FM.  Other hits include: “Its All The Way Live” and “Raid”.

Growing up, I remember hearing this song and being fascinated by the opening lyrics.  It took me less than a week to memorize them.  I have to admit, when I first heard Coolio completely sample the entire beat I was not happy.  But over time I could see why he used it…it was, and still is DOPE!

Several members of the group are still playing together and just finished a show in New Orleans on October 29, 2010.  Lakeside is currently available for booking.

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