The Rocking Roadrunners

Lead Guitar - Russ Hamilton

Russ outside the Criteria Studios in Miami Fl       When The Rocking Roadrunners initially banded together, forming under the name The Showmen in late 1964, there were four members in the group. The lead guitar position was filled by a sophomore from Deland High School in Deland, Florida , Russ Hamilton, who may have picked up his love of music from his father, Russ Sr. Playing bass in a country band at night, Russ' dad spent his daytime hours as a Aviation Ordnanceman in the U.S. Navy, in nearby Sanford, Florida

     As a sidenote, the first bass guitar and amplifier used by the group's bassist Dave Morris, were borrowed from Russ' dad.

      Here's a photo of Russ standing outside the door of the Criteria Recording Studio in May of 1966, when The Roadrunners recorded their first record. Russ was about 18 at the time, and utilized the group's newly purchased Vox Phantom 12-string guitar on the recording.

Beau Charles of 'The Knickerbockers' shows Russ some lead guitar licks
     When the Dick Clark "Where the Action Is" Cavalcade of Stars came to Orlando in 1966, Russ spent some time backstage with Knickerbockers lead guitarist Beau Charles , getting the guitar licks to some of The Knickerbockers hits. Russ was later able to do the same thing with The Young Rascals lead guitarist Gene Cornish. This may be the secret as to why The Roadrunners were able to cover so many different songs and sound like the recordings themselves. But, we won't tell anyone how we did it!

Russ loads some equipment into The Roadrunners equipment trailer after a practice session       Here's a photo of Russ in early 1967, loading some gear into The Roadrunners' equipment trailer. The paint job on the trailer was provided by The Music Mart on East Colonial Drive in Orlando . This was the music store where The Roadrunners purchased the bulk of their gear, and was the store that was responsible for insuring The Roadrunners always had working Vox amplifiers for their performances.
...on to 1966