Grilling a Fine Kettle of Fish

DeWayne Bartels
From left: Tony Glass, Mike Boyer and Mike foster.

For 50 years, under one name or another, Mike Foster and Mike Boyer have kept the music in them alive.

Foster, a Metamora resident, and Boyer, a Washburn resident, have been playing or working together in the local music scene. Most recently they have been working toward this milestone anniversary as members of “A Fine Kettle of Fish.”

When their musical partnership began both were Spalding High School students in a band called “The Tempests.”

“We played high school sock hops and university fraternity parties. Later in high schools we played clubs. The majority of our work, though, was private parties,” Boyer said. “It was like a job. We made pretty good money.”

Boyer said he went on the road for a year with the band after high school then the draft came calling.

Fifteen years went by before Boyer and Foster found each other again. They were both playing but not together.

When their union was re-established they formed “A Fine Kettle of Fish.”

“It’s fun and relaxing when we play,” Boyer said. “Music has always been a part of my life.”

Boyer said he cannot say after 50 years that playing is more fun now,

“I’d have to say the experience has changed. I can’t say it’s more fun. Some nights are magic, but not all,” Boyer said. “The desire to play, though, has never left.”

Foster, a retired journalism and English professor at ICC also spoke to the Woodford Times about this anniversary.

Q. You were the public relations guy in your early days with the Tempests?

A. “I was the manager. I’d write down the lyrics for the band. I went to gigs and sat on the piano bench. Then after the show was over it was my job to collect our $35 fee from the fraternity brothers.”

Q. When did The Tempests become a Fine Kettle of fish?

A. “We adopted the name in 1978. We tried a couple of other names that really sucked.”

Q. How do you feel about such a milestone?

A. “We weren’t counting at first. Then it was, ‘Oh, boy.’ It’s made my life more interesting on Thursday nights (when the band practices at Boyer’s home) and a couple of Sunday nights a year (when the band performs in public.)”

Q. How did the band make it this long?

A. “Boyer. He’s about the nicest guy in the world. He’s the reason this band has stayed together. He’s the king fish.”