Over 40 years later, Bonnie Henry, wrote the story again in
The Arizona Daily Star.
Tucson, Arizona Saturday, 20 January 2001
2 teens made a name in rock, helped by one Pete Ronstadt
By Bonnie Henry
'Rock Around the Clock" was the top song in the land the
day they started high school in '55.
By graduation day four years later, teen-agers Ray
Lindstrom and Burt Schneider had their own rockin'
"Zoom" was its name, home to such stellar bands as the
Night Beats, featuring future Tucson Police Chief Pete
Ronstadt as lead singer.
Oh, to be 17 again.
"We were the first rock 'n' roll generation," says
Lindstrom, who started his career in, of all places, a
classical radio station.
"There was this old woman who lived in the Foothills who
kept calling to say we were mispronouncing the names."
His partner was Schneider.
Unfazed, the two teens also broadcast records at
Catalina High School during lunch hour.
"We'd say, 'Live from the janitor's closet, it's the
Burt and Ray show' and you could hear a groan over the
entire cafeteria," says Schneider.
In their senior year, they formed Zoom Records.
Then they found a recording studio in Phoenix. "I bet
the whole thing didn't cost $250," says Lindstrom.
Swell. Now all they needed was a band.
"We went to a high school dance and saw Jack Wallace and
the Hi-Tones," says Lindstrom. "Jack kinda sounded like
Three hours in the studio and the teens had their
record: "I Think of You" and "You Are The One."
Lindstrom and Schneider rushed the acetate copy to
"They played it as a KTKT exclusive for an entire week,"
Sales were strong enough to pay for another record.
This time, they picked the Night Beats, five fellow
students at Catalina, who recorded "Lonesome Road Rock,"
along with their theme song, "Night Beat."
"Lonesome Road Rock" did well enough to hit the
Billboard charts, says Ronstadt.
"The thrill of my life was going down Speedway one night
and hearing it play on KOMA in Oklahoma City."
Zoom also recorded the song "Scandal" by King Rock and
After high school graduation, Schneider visited
Australia and met a singer Down Under who had brought
out the song "Doreen."
"We brought it to the States and Pete recorded it," says
Flip side: "Crying All Night," written in 15 minutes by
Ronstadt and a fellow band member suffering from a
"That was in August of 1959," says Lindstrom. "It was
the last thing we ever did."
Everyone went off to college, where Ronstadt veered
toward folk music.
Then in 1965, Lindstrom learned that a Pittsburgh DJ was
using "Scandal" as his theme song.
The song became requested enough for Lindstrom to press
Eventually, Zoom Records started showing up in bargain
basement bins in Europe.
"I'm in Berlin and I find three of my recordings on
their old American rock 'n' roll LPs," says Lindstrom.
"Then a few months ago, I'm in London and I find a
compilation of old American songs called 'Rockabilly
Hoodlums Go Maximum.' "
And yes, there's Pete Ronstadt and the Nightbeats doing
"Lonesome Road Rock."
Today, former police chief (and hoodlum) Ronstadt
occasionally appears on "Prairie Home Companion" with
his daughter, Melinda Ronstadt Gordon.
Lindstrom, who got rich making get-rich video tapes, now
owns "the world's largest watch store in Laughlin, Nev."
And Schneider is back in broadcasting, working part time
for KUAT radio, sometimes as its classical music host.
"I still have trouble with the French names," he