The Atomics, and David Loehr’s 1998 James Dean Birthday Party

The Atomics, and David Loehr’s 1998 James Dean Birthday Party

     Updated 25 April 1998. URL is

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The Atomics Play for James Dean




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Each year archivist David Loehr of the James Dean Memorial Gallery holds a dinner-dance for James Dean’s birthday.

The 1998 Birthday Dance is over. Were you there? If not, you missed a great meal and a killer band. Curt Whirl sported a sharp porkpie hat. Lenny did black leather. There were some great 50’s outfits and especially good makeup on the women.

We feasted on another grrrreat meal from the last year’s friendly chef. Dinner was Ortense Winslow’s meatloaf, creamy cole slaw, buttered mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and banana parfait. Well, okay, Ortense hadn’t made the meatloaf; it was her recipe. I hope they keep that menu next year too. That was the best meatloaf I ever ate.

Phil Ziegler‘s poem about the 1950 has become a tradition for our birthday dinners! It’s good of Phil to let us share his original work here.

The band was The Atomics from Virginia! This band has been wildly popular at the Rockabilly Rebel Weekends. Not only did they play great music, but they took requests and visited with us before and after the show. They had driven 600 miles yesterday and played Fountain Square last night, but they still put on a perfect show for us.

The band started ten minutes early and played for about an hour and a half straight. Unfortunately, two women arrived after the show, having driven for five hours from Illinois. The band offered to play again, for them, but they said no. The Atomics felt really bad that anyone drove so far and yet missed hearing them. Ladies, please come back next year.

More pictures are on a second page here.

Deron is married to Thommy’s sister.

Jennifer, a swing dance teacher in San Diego (Dollface, email sent this shot of Deron at the 1996 RRW. They didn’t bring Patsy to the birthday party.

Thommy Burns, lead singer of The Atomics

Thommy is only pretending to cut Deron’s throat.

The Atomics bass player, Chris Filbert, at the 1998 birthday party. During dinner is a good time to schmooze with the bands. David puts on a tremendous party.

Chris in 1996.

Chris in 1997

Another picture page of this party is available now! Things are hectic at Otto.

Here is Otto’s index of music pages.

Here are some of the James Dean pages in Otto

To the Big Bad Basses

To the Dang Good Drummers

A page of photos from the 1997 birthday is on-line.

Otto’s home port is Otto’s Cover

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Otto is published by Terry L. Miller, email

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