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'60s 'Batman' band to perform in Dickinson

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news Dickinson, 58602
The Dickinson Press
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Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

"Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh dun nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh Batman!"

Such a familiar tune of the Batman TV series was comprised by musical talent Johnny Green & the Greenmen, talent that has toured with The Rolling Stones and the Beatles, will make their first appearance in Dickinson at The Evil Olive from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

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The group will also play Feb. 12 at The Roughrider Bar Steakhouse in Belfield.

Johnny Green, a native of Green Bay, Wis. began his musical venture at the tender age of 14 and hasn't slowed down since.

His music and ventures have taken him to 102 countries and all 50 states, but never Dickinson until now.

Green said the group played with The Rolling Stones and The Beatles in 1964 and was Bob Hope's manager for the last 35 years of his life.

The group appeared in 27 episodes of the Batman series as the Joker's henchmen, including an appearance in the Batman show "Surf's Up, Joker's Under" as the "crazy green-haired band on the beach," according to the band's website.

While Green's primary role in the band is bass guitar, he is schooled in several other instruments, including a non-traditional act -- fire-eating.

In North Dakota for the first time about 25 years ago, Green says he loves the area.

"I like North Dakota ... I like the people because it's safe here and they're genuine," Green said.

And the band has some local flavor.

Dickinson resident Val "Sparkles" Peterson, lead vocalist for the band, said she began filling in part-time for the band about two years ago and is now the full-time lead vocalist.

Green married Peterson's sister and when he asked Peterson to begin filling in, it was "pretty nerve-wracking at first."

"But, it was something that I really, I was excited," Peterson said. "If it wasn't for my children's support and telling me to do it I probably wouldn't of."

Prior to playing for the Greenmen, Peterson had heard of the group through the Batman TV series, as that was her "era."

Comprised of musicians across the U.S., the group plays mainly cover songs, consisting of old rock, classic rock, classic country and country -- and Peterson says it's a blast.

"We have a lot of fun, we really do," Peterson said. "We've got so many people that follow us. If we're within ... 75 to 100 miles, if they know we're playing, they're there. The people that I've met have just been unbelievable."

Peterson said Green "knows what he's doing."

The experience has allowed Peterson to travel the country and meet people such as Phil Humphrey, Freddy Fender and Joe Fantana.

"This has given me an opportunity I don't think I would ever have," Peterson said. "Johnny has brought me out of my little shell. As I say it's one more step that I've taken."

Still rockin' his signature green hair he's had since the 60s, Green has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

"Till I drop dead ... I want to play till forever."

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