Jr. Cadillac
It looked 50/50 whether the Magnetics could hold it together long enough to get firmly on the road to Europe with the jump blues. Right in a moment of hesitation the band members of Jr Cadillac approached Steve. They were losing their current key board player, a wild man named Tommy Katica and after checking out all the key board players in town Steve was their man of choice. This came as a total surprise and an exciting opportunity for Flynn. Jr Cadillac was a hugely established, work all the time for big bucks band (well in comparison to what musicians usually make). One would not think this would be a hard decision for a musician with a family to make, but Steve was really working to make things work with the Magnetics, and so this was not an easy dicision . Then all of a sudden appeared blue sky. It became clear the Magnetics were not strongly knit and Steve was free to join Jr Cadillac, one of the best band in the entire Northwest with a distinctive sound and character all their own. As an extra bonus they worked full time and the majority of clubs were in town! Delilah liked that a lot. It was perfect for the new family! Jr Cadillac made sure Steve felt like a first class member of the club. Who could resist? The days of loading his own equipment would be over for years to come this band traveled in style with roadies and lights and sound men! They had a huge following and Cadillac prestige!

Check out the Seattle Times Pacific Magazine cover story on Jr. Cadillac

Jr Cadillac, or JC originally came out of Spokane Washington in the year 1972. The band had derived it’s name from a Norman Greenbaum song. Of the current members, Ned Neltner on lead vocals and guitar, has been in the band since the beginning. Next came George Rudiger on drums and then Les Clinkingbeard on sax. The bass and key board players changed the most over the years. Jimmy Manolides and Tommy Katica were before Steve on piano. Buck Ormsby was the original bass player (from the Whalers fame). He left for a momentary replacement by Gary Shelton (at least one year) and currently Don King.

The band is tuned up and ready for dance. Hop right in and they’ll give you a ride. Cadillac is power steered by Ned Neltner's smoothly textured comfortable vocal style, and distinctive guitar playing. The dependable driving rhythm section never lets you down. Les Clinkingbeard’s virtuoso sax playing adds the polish and shine while beneath the hood he’s working closely to embellish the notes of the guitar. Steves boogie woogie key board style will take you cruisen down bourbon street. There you’ll stop by Tipatinas for a night cap with their most recent addition; Jeffrey Beals on the baritone sax and often Brian Steiner from Kid Afrika fame, on congas and percussion.

Jr. Cadillac Photo Gallery

The band is known for doing a ton of original songs over the years mostly written by Neltner and Flynn. They don’t play covers very often of other bands' material. They play the song on the other side of the 45. This gives them an original sound quality. Steve, Les and Donnie sing a few songs and they all do background vocals. They play Louie Louie of course. Every Northwest band does that, and JC does it best! (Louie Louie almost became the Washington State anthem in 1992, Jr Cadillac recorded a 45 toward that effort.)

The month of January was when the band took time off. That first year Steve was in the band , drummer George Rudiger invited Steve, Delilah and little Laura Rose to come spend a week on the island of Maui with he and his wife Sarah Jane. Steve and Delilah loved Maui and that was the beginning of their annual January vacations there (Maui would eventually become the home of Steve and Delilah’s annual January Visionary Bellydance Retreats).

Another important character involved with JC was Rhoda Mueller. She was the girl friend of Les Clinkingbeard. She created a position for her self as The JC publicity agent and published a stylish little news brief for the JC mailing list. Where ever they played a beer drinking crowd would follow them. Later on Rhoda bought the Rainbow Tavern and became a club owner.

Those first few years with Jr Cadillac were really fun! They partied with bikers, the Love Family, politicians, rock stars and AA. Jr Cadillac was a Northwest institution. Even Mayor Royer declared July 21st, by official proclamation, as Jr Cadillac Day as a salute to their public popularity.

The Jr. Cadillac Cinema Multiplex
Be aware that all movies are very large and intended for
Broadband only! (unless you are extremely patient)

The band had produced five albums before Steve and Gary joined the band in 1983. They were anxious to record something now with their new players. Thus the recording of “All Night Long” was made into a cassette rather than vinyl (right before CDs came into the picture) in 1986. Two of Flynn’s best songs are on that Album: “Slip Away” and “Fast Eddies”. A song called “Attitude” written by Neltner was released into a 45. The art on the cover of the 45 featured the band members up against a wall with little Laura Rose standing there in a hula skirt. The recording was produced by Steven Flynn and Don King.

After that came:
• Jr Cadillac 20th Birthday Party Live, released in 1990
• Rock and Roll House Party a 3 CD set, released in1995
• For Sale released in 2001

The Biz
Jr Cadillac played the Rainbow Tavern, Pier 70, Parkers, the Seattle Mural Amphetheater, and the Jolly Roger, a lot in those days. They played Bumbershoot, all the fairs, festivals, Christmas parties and corporate picnics in town. They could reach across the board and speak to every generation the longer they stayed together. There is hardly a person alive who has been living in the Northwest for the past 33 years that isn’t familiar with Jr Cadillac.

The band is rockin’! They've backed up Merilee Rush, the Wilson sisters from Heart, opened for Bo Diddly, John Lee Hooker, Played for President Clinton, Mayor Royor, and almost Princess Diana and Prince Charles. They played the opening of Seattle’s “Experience Music Project”. They won the Jimmy Hendrix Music Award and back up Chuck Berry whenever he comes to the Northwest.

Chuck Berry has a reputation about being pretty particular about a number of things, but in fact Chuck appears to kind of like playing with Steve. When Chuck hits the stage he sends everyone packing. He just wants a drummer, a bass, and the key board player up there with him. He let’s Steve solo and they both play the piano together. Ned calls Chuck the Poet Laureate of Rock and Roll.

Steve won the Seattle Music Awards first title of Best Keyboard Player in Seattle and was regularly getting mentions in the news papers. The band was always winning the Seattle Weekly's Best Of Contests for Best pop band, musicians or some such tribute.

Rocking Behind the Iron Curtain

Seattle has one of the first and strongest sister city relationships with Tashkent Uzbekistan within the Soviet Union’s borders. They were coming up on an anniversary celebration of the two cities' successful relations and planned an international conference that Seattle’s mayor Royor and his wife Roseanne were intent on attending. A member of Seattle/Tashkent Sister City Association (Laurel Gray) suggested to Mayor Royer to bring American Rock and Roll to Tashkent as a good will gift . What better choice than Seattle's longest lasting and most popular rock and roll band than Jr Cadillac! This was in the year 1989, when the Soviet Union was still the Soviet Union.(The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and 1991 everything opened up.) So Jr Cadillac went to Moscow, Tashkent and Leningrad. Things were just beginning to change for the soviet citizens. Visiting the Soviet Union was an eye opening experience that not many people had been privy to experiencing. This was like going to another planet for a close encounter for both sides. It was truly an amazing and surreal experience.

Official Seattle Mayoral Letter for Jr. Cadillac's Tashkent/USSR tour
Seattle-Tashkent Sister City letter for the USSR trip
A group of high rollin’ Seattle business entrepreneurs got behind the idea and before you knew it the radio station KXRX 96.5 FM got involved and signed up to join the mayoral delegation. They got the bright idea to send a couple of radio hosts, Gary Crow and Mike West, over to relay a live feed broadcast back to Seattle every day from their Soviet Union trip. During the day they would do live interviews with Russian youths on the streets of Moscow, Lenningrad, and Tashkent about music and life, and then they would talk to citizens in Seattle over the air. This special 10 day program would reach its climax on Memorial Day Weekend with a special Jr Cadillac rock and roll show. The goal was to broadcast it LIVE over satellite from Tashkent Uzbekistan in the Soviet Union to Seattle, Washington, in the USA!

Vlodia, aka Vladimir Vladimirov
The band visited Lenin's tomb, dealt with KGB and flew Aeroflot. They met Soviet rock musicians that so tenderly valued every lick of their musical equipment that they kept every microphone and amplifier in their original protective wrappers. The rock and roll cultural exchange was a life altering experience in the history of the band. While in Uzbekistan JC made a friend for life in comrade musician Vlodia. His home had always been Uzbekistan though he was of Russian heritage. Vlodia had a band called Sado who sat in with JC on the live sister city concert. They sang a song called Seattle Tashkent. Vlodia had his own recording studio in Taskent. He is an amazing bright and talented individual with a heart of gold and amazing power of focused intention (he eventually immigrated to the Seattle area and has a family). He loves jazz and his life long dream was to play jazz guitar with black musicians.

They got all the way over there and the Taskent concert almost didn’t happen because they couldn’t get enough electricity to put the show up. Then someone got the bright idea to unplug a little kiddies carnival down the street for a couple hours so they could draw enough juice for the show to go up. It went up in the nick of time and Seattlelites found themselves listening to their beloved home boys; Live from behind the Iron Curtain. It was truly an amazing moment! “You don’t know how lucky you are, boy’s back in the USSR/CCCP”

Shortly before their trip to the Soviet Union they added Lily Wilde to the act. She was sensational. She wasn’t the first female to jump in the Cadillac, Nancy Claire sang with them for a while way back. They played two sets and brought Lily up in the middle of the evening as a special guest. Steve and Lily wrote a song together called “Dead Boy Blues.” Lily sang it. The lyrics were all about this nymphomaniac that loved her men to death. It was wild for sure.

Over the years the band has written a lot of really wonderful songs, Ned and Steve being the most prolific. They can’t play all the material all the time so many favorites over the years have been shelved. A song often requested by fans is a spooky little song called “In Rhoda's Back Seat.”

Book ’em!

Buy ’em! (Steve's music too)
How to buy the music


Tacoma news article by Rick Nelson

• In 1985 Jr Cadillac recorded the song, “Santa Claus is back in Town” on Classic Album #1 Christmas in the Northwest,to benefit Children's Hospital

• A favorite gig they do every year without fail is Stanley Stamm Children's Hospital Camp where they play for the kids. This is truly an amazing endeavor that gives children an experience of camp which they wouldn't otherwise enjoy. Camp is for disabled and chornically ill children 6-14, includes horseback riding, fishing, swimming, and other camp activities. Fully equpped infirmary where Children's Hospital medical team takes care of campers'special needs. (206-526-2267)

• They’ve done lots of Green Peace, World Peace, AIDs and hepatitus benefits as well.

Jr. Cadillac Today

Brian Steiner of Kid Afrika, front left, pictured with Jr. Cadillac members: front row, Les, Donnie and Steve; back row: Ned, George and Jeffrey.

Current members are Ned Neltner lead vocals and guitar, George Rudiger drums , Les Clinkingbeard on sax, Steve Flynn organ and piano, Don King on bass, Jeffrey Beals on baritone sax, and sometimes Brian Steiner on conga percussion. Lots of musicians sit in from time to time: Freddy Hubbard, Julienne Priester, Rube Tubin, Robert Cray, Richard Cousins, and Northwest music celebs.

The band is still rockin' and has no desire to stop. Today everyone has a pretty wholesome life style. Ned lives part of the year in Mexico. He‘s a part time radio host on KPLU and a few other gigs on the side. He has a son named Richard. George sells real estate and is married to Sarah Jane and has a daughter named Sady Jane. Don King has a recording studio. Les has a day job and is married to Sally who is an absolute hoot. He has two daughters, Jennifer and Julie. Not sure what Jeffrey Beals does all day. Just kidding! Jeffrey owns Thunder Quest Records. Brian Steiner sells real estate and has two boys. Steve and Delilah have Visionary Dance Productions and their two daughters, Laura Rose and Victoria. Rock and roll has been good for everyone.

“So people can dance and carry on”
“Toot if you love Jr Cadillac!”
“Nothing can be lackin when you’re out there Cadillaccin”

Jr Cadillac
Updates (starting 2003)

February 1, 2003
Muckelshoot Casino staged the debut of the Jr Cadilac All Stars . . .

a new version of the band created to keep Northwest fans happy during the months Ned Neltner is residing in Mexico, or when any other official member is out of town.
The first gig featured:

Steve Flynn
Don King
George Rudiger
Les Clinkingbeard
Jeffery Beales
Pat Tennis
Berry Kennelli

The band layered most all the songs Jr .Caddilac performs with a few different arragements and vocal changes plus the addition of some new material featuring the new players.

If you love to dance and want to see Jr Cadillac, try to catch their act at the Muckelshoot Casino. It’s one of the best showrooms in the state; great lights, sound, stage effects and a great big, beautiful dance floor.

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