The name Therica was chosen for the original Pittsburgh-based high-school band by original members Rob Wesley (guitar) and Todd Havekotte (drums, vocals) in August 1969. Only recently, after the advent of the internet, was it discovered that another band was using the same name, around the same time, in Minnesota!
The band was originally founded by Rob Wesley (guitar) and Kenny Hughes (bass, vocals, guitar) in 1966, using the name "The Broques." Ken Richert was added as singer for a brief while. Shortly thereafter, they drafted Todd Havekotte (drums) from the North Allegheny high school marching band. They played standard top-40 hits as they grew and explored their musical abilities and learned how to play in a band.
Not long afterwards, Scott McCullough (lead guitar, vocals) was added. Scott brought a new dynamic, and the band began playing "underground music" such as The Who, Grateful Dead, The Seeds and other avant-garde music of the late '60's. The band changed its name to the more appropriate Psychedelic Excursion at Kenny's suggestion, as he had just returned from a trip to San Francisco where he spent time in the famed Haight-Ashbury section.
In 1968 Scott left the band, several new members (a lead-singer and a rhythm guitarist) were added and the band took a new turn, playing more pop-rock songs such as "Windy" and "Never My Love," as well as top-40 hits by the Yardbirds, the Animals and other popular rock bands. Rob became the lead guitarist.
In December 1968 the band decided that they wanted to add songs to the band's reportoire that were representative of their decisively more avant-garde musical style, and began playing songs by Cream, Jimi Hendrix and others. The band continued with a sort of mixed-bag playlist until August 1969. Occasionally Todd, Kenny and Rob would play separately from the others in order to allow for a more creative venue.
In the spring of 1969 a rift resulted in Rob playing with both Kenny and Todd in separate bands. Kenny and Rob explored more diverse experimental folk-rock, while Todd and Rob charged into harder-rock themes after Rob's experience playing one night with Led Zeppelin. They added the music of Led Zeppelin to the list which included Cream, Hendrix and others. Roger Hoffman replaced Kenny on bass with Rob and Todd.
For a few months in the spring of 1969 a singer named Jim Brown was added, and the band took on a more r&b sound, playing standards such as "Kansas City" and other soul/rock tunes. Jim, of course, was billed as James Brown for obvious reasons.
In August 1969 Todd and Rob invited the members who were added to replace Scott to see if they could find new and common ground, but these former members decided after a week of practice that their musical tastes were more conservative, and they left the band again. Kenny decided to play high school football that season, leaving Rob and Todd to begin again to concentrate on developing their hard-rock/psychedelic/blues themes. They focused on songs by Johnny Winter, Canned Heat, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Savoy Brown, Nazz, James Gang, and many other artists who represent the hard-rock, psychedelic and early headbanger days of the late '60's Woodstock era.
The threesome of Rob (lead guitar), Todd (drums, vocals, and added mouth-harp) and Roger (bass, vocals) continued into 1970. Roger departed around April or May 1970, however, and was replaced on bass by Bill Artzberger who had been bassist with Therica's competitor-band Wild Garlic, based out of North Hills High School. The threesome of Rob, Todd and Bill played a few gigs during the summer of 1970, after which the Pittsburgh-area band known as Therica disbanded in order to pursue college and other endeavors.
The band name, "Therica," was continued by Rob whenever and wherever he happened to start up a band anew over the years, and continues today in various forms with various musicians, and at times has consisted solely of recordings done by Rob himself, writing the songs and playing all of the instruments (vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums) in the studio.
Presently, Rob resides in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and is attempting to grow his own band, using son David on drums and guitar. Rob continues to write and record at leisure, when he finds time to dedicate to his music.
Apparently, around the same time, another band in Rochester, Minnesota came to the exact same name of Therica for their own band, using similar methods! The Minnesota-based band Therica still continues to play on occasion, for reunion concerts.
The name apparently goes back in history, and was used as a first-name for females. It also appears to have some use in contemporary Renaissance-Fair enactment roles. This author does not know the origin of the meaning in history.
Email about band history or name thru this page
Please include the subject line, "Therica band history"