Gear daddies

with King's Ransom 

friday, jULY 15  |  7 p.m.


Downtown Aitkin


Incredible music for a great cause.

Gear Daddies are Minnesota music icons with a catalogue of rock/Americana songs that includes such classics as I Wanna Drive the Zamboni, Stupid Boy, and Color of Her Eyes. They have been delighting audiences since the late 1980s, and have appeared on Late Night with David Letterman. 

The concert is a fundraiser presented by the Long Lake Conservation Foundation, a 501(c)3 that exists to support Long Lake’s mission of inspiring a deep appreciation of nature, promoting wise use of natural resources and fostering a lifelong stewardship of the environment. Proceeds from the concert go towards scholarships so students from around the state can attend nature school at Long Lake. 

For more information, contact Dave McMillan at 218-768-4653 or


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Gear Daddies is an Americana/Rock band originally from Austin, Minnesota.   Members Martin Zellar (electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals), Nick Ciola (bass), Randy Broughten (electric and pedal steel guitar) and James “Billy” Dankert (drums and vocals), played their first shows together in 1984. Between 1986 and 1992, the band released three popular albums and became an important part of the Twin Cities music scene. Many of the fan’s favorite songs (“Stupid Boy”, “Color of Her Eyes”, “She’s Happy”, “Drank So Much” and many others) are credited to the exceptionally passionate writing skills possessed by Zellar, however Dankert has also contributed some of the compositions , including "Time Heals", and “Blues Mary”.

Their most notable mainstream success was when they played "Stupid Boy" on Late Night with David Letterman in 1991.  Zellar had this to say of the experience: "I was so nervous, and it all happened so quickly.  I couldn't tell you what the hell happened. I got done, and I was walking back and said to Randy (Broughten), 'Did I sing all the words? Did I do that?' When I watched it that night in the hotel room I had no recollection of having lived it."

Arguably, Zellar’s “I Wanna Drive the Zamboni" is the band’s best-known song, having been featured in the movies D2: The Mighty Ducks and Mystery, Alaska, as well as on the television program Malcolm in the Middle. It's also a staple at hockey games throughout North America and Europe.

Gear Daddies have been mentioned as an influence on a number of bands that emerged in the Upper Midwest in the late 1980s through the 1990s, including : The Billy's, Violet, Shoot Lucy, Dazy Head Mazy, Groundhouse and Six Mile Grove.


Brainerd’s very own classic rock band King’s Ransom play everything from Johnny Cash to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Featuring former members of the band Silent Partner, Craig Englehart and Chris Dobson are joined by Bruce Backberg to provide high quality, fun, toe tapping hits. From blues to rock to surprise hits you haven’t heard in awhile, King's Ransom has it all. They’ll be sure to have you dancing and laughing all night long.

Support Long Lake Conservation Center

THESE rock starS

AS SPOnsors of nature rocks!