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Aerovons 'coolest name for a rock band I ever heard,' band leader says

The Aerovons arrive in England in 1969 to spend three months at Abbey Road studios recording what would become 'Resurrection.' The recording sat in a vault at EMI for more than 30 years until it was released this past summer. (click for larger version)
The Aerovons, a popular band at St. Louis night spots in the late 1960s and early 1970s actually was the third group with that name.

Aerovons was a corrupted pronunciation of the name of a loudspeaker manufacturer from New York — Aerovox.

"I first heard the name when I was in Florida,'' said Aerovon band leader Tom Hartman from his home in Pompano Beach, Fla.

Hartman lived in Affton when he and his band recorded "Resurrection'' in 1969 at EMI's Abbey Road studios in London. "It really doesn't mean anything.''

The group broke up shortly after returning to St. Louis from the London recording sessions and the recording sat in a vault at EMI for more than 30 years. It was released last summer on RPM Records because it had become one of Europe's most popular pirate music titles.

The name was first used by a band in New York that used the Aerovox equipment. The second group to use the name was a Beach Boys' cover act in Florida.

It was there that Hartman heard the name and became a fan.

"We spent a lot of time in Florida when I was a kid,'' Hartman said. "When I heard the name, I just thought it was the coolest name for a rock band I ever heard. I asked their band leader if it was all right if I used it for my band in St. Louis and he said: 'Sure.' We've become good friends since I moved to Florida.''

Lemay Fire Protection District Board of Directors Chairman Jim Stonebraker remembers Hartman's attraction to the Florida-based Aerovons.

"He had a big poster of them on his wall in his room,'' Stonebraker recalled. "They had the striped shirts that the Beach Boys wore and everything. Tom's band covered the Beach Boys, too. But, they were known for their covers of Beatles tunes.''

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