We lost a great musician, and a great person way too soon!
Donnie Guinter passed away Thursday, September 5, 2013.
I first met Don out in Kent. I was playing with a band, and he was playing for another band. We used to run into each other at the gas station about 2:00 o'clock in the morning.
I believe that he used to play for the Counterpoints in Kent, and also for Larry Alltop and The Pentagons. He also played with Jack Bishop in The (Original) Flames. I also played with Jack in the Oldies But Goodies Band, and Don used to come and jam with us before he went to play another gig.
He played at Wink's in Barberton with numerous bands in different decades, which is a 50's & 60's oldies style restaurant/drive inn, and he had a car that he used to take to the car shows there. Picture of it on a Special PHOTOS page in his Memory.
"Big Daddy" Dan Minier, Doug Bender, Hank Inman, and I (Joe) play in a band called The Phantom Band. It was resurrected back in 2009 upon the instistance of Karen, a bartender at Dusty's Landing Yacht Club on the Portage Lakes. We played there many times and once for a surprise Birthday Party for me that I unwittingly went along with. Donnie was there at this party along with Jack Bishop, and Chuck Lyons. I was unaware it was a party for me, as I just thought it was a another gig for the band (As I was told), and to also celebrate Jack, Chuck, and my birthdays which are close together in September.
Donnie came up and jammed with us for a set along with Jack.
We usually play every year for the Goodyear Christmas Party wherever we could find a location for it. It used to be down at aplace called Katmandu on Market St near Goodyear. There were some very wild 'n crazy Christmas parties held there with us playing.
Donnie was very busy working at Goodyear and playing many gigs with different bands all over the state of Ohio and beyond. However, he would always stop by to hear us on his way to, who knows where, with his sax in his car. With a little arm twisting he would come up and sit in for at least a set.
We didn't mind becasue he made the band sound better.
For years after the Katmandu closed and many changes happened at Goodyear we did not play for any Christmas parties, and the Goodeyar associates that we knew and used to work with went out on their own. However, in 2006 we played at a new place (At the time) called Just One More in Gala Plaza. That was the frist time the Phantom Band was back together (Minus Dan Powell who passed away in 2005) for a long time. For that occasion we had Craig Singer on Drums, and Cheryl Clatworthy singing lead vocals. If I can remember correctly we played one set, and then the 2nd set Donnie appeared out of nowhere, and played with us for a long time. Maybe two sets.
We were struggling at the beginning since we hadn't palyed together for so long, and we had a different drummer, but Donnie made us sound great! He and his "Ray Charles" sounding dynmaic voice!
Because of the Dusty's gig for the birthdays, one of our fans by the name of Lucy, who was there when Donnie played with her boyfriend, asked us all to play for an important gig at the Cascade Plaza building downtown for an Electrician Union election party. This was a big gig for us, but business as usual for Donnie. He was tough on us for the practice before the gig, but once we started playing he was very reassuring, and fun!
Anyone who knew him, whether it be childhood friends, high school classmates, Goodyear Associates, or fellow musicians will miss him greatly. The Geezers want to extend our deepest sympathy to Donnie's entire family.
Click below for some of the pictures of him that we have compiled over the years.