Our Epic Journey

This is just a overview of what we set out to achieve, a brief insight to the trip and the highlights of our journey.

 The Venues For the trip !

St Louis
Oklahoma City
Laguna Beach

We even made it on the front cover of a Magazine!!

Our Cover

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Introducing The Quest

The Quest got together for the first time way back in 1997, founded by Larry Sleight, now landlord of The Port William Inn, Trebarwith Strand, near Tintagel in Cornwall. Up until August 2008 Larry was the landlord of The Drum Inn at Cockington, near Torquay, Devon. As you might guess, Larry is the drummer in the band.

Whilst on holiday with friends in South Africa, Larry had the idea to form a band that would be drawn from musician friends he had played with over the years - and then take the band “on the road” as a one-off event. This simple idea turned into something very special the moment Larry considered that the ultimate  road trip would be to gig the rock’n’roll highway, Route 66 - the legendary “mother road” of America. This strip of concrete and tarmac is 2,652 miles long and is, of course, forever immortalised by Bobby Troup’s classic “(Get your kicks on) Route 66”, the song recorded by the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and literally dozens of other rock and roll greats down the years.

The idea to form a band that would stop off and play `60’s British R&B in bars and clubs stretching the breadth of America from Chicago to Los Angeles, became an obsession for Larry – his own mission, his personal quest! Later the idea was to become reality and a dream would be fulfilled. 

Larry spent 18 months planning and working to solve all the logistical problems that such a trip to the US posed – arranging contacts, securing the bookings for the gigs, hotels and accommodation, transport for the band and, of course, procuring the necessary equipment. The project prompted endless letters, transatlantic phone calls, and e-mails. There was also the key task of putting together a competent band! Nevertheless, after 18 months it was done. All the arrangements were made and “The Quest” were practiced and ready for the ultimate rock’n’roll adventure. 

In October 1998 The Quest flew into O’Hare Airport, Chicago to begin the 4 week trip of a lifetime. Travelling in their tour bus, a 52-seater 1954 Greyhound Scenic Cruiser, 8 Brits with their 2 newly acquainted American drivers were ready to take the States (or at least 7 of them!) by storm. Later, they were to learn that they would be the first band to gig the full length of Route 66 since Glen Miller. 

Gigs were played in Chicago-Illinois St Louis-Missouri, Oklahoma City-Oklahoma, Amarillo-Texas Tucumcari-New Mexico, Grants-New Mexico, Williams-Arizona, Hackberry-Arizona, Kingman-Arizona, Los Angeles-California…..all legendary towns and cities along Route 66. (Actually, whilst Hackberry is a legendary Route 66 community it only has 32 residents. All 32, and more from neighbouring communities, turned out to welcome The Quest.) The Brits had arrived and the Americans loved it!  So much so that the “Route 66 Association of America” featured the band in their national magazine, sold on news stands the length and breadth of America. From the germ of an idea whilst on a holiday, The Quest were now being featured on the cover of an American glossy magazine. (Some of us still think they muddled us up with Status Quo!) 

At the end of the trip the band were privileged to meet Bobby Troup, the great man himself, just after his 80th birthday, in his Encino, California home. What a thrill when he insisted on playing to us Nat King Cole’s version of “Route 66”, the song of the road that had inspired our journey of a lifetime. Imagine it. There we were, in Bobby Troup’s front room, with his wife Julie London (of “Cry me a River” fame), drinking coffee and listening to his songs!  

Sadly Bobby Troup died just four months after our visit. We are greatly honoured that The Quest has been mentioned in a new book written about his life as a Hollywood-based musician and songwriter. 

Since the Route 66 adventure, The Quest have continued to play on a regular basis and in 2003, by special invitation, returned to the US to play at an International Route 66 event near Amarillo Texas. 

The Quest continue to play music that has a strong 60’s rhythm and blues influence with great vocals and plenty of fine guitar work. They mostly play covers the audience will know and appreciate and others for the audience to discover. Certainly if you like 60’s Animals, Yardbirds and The Rolling Stones you’ll love The Quest. 

The Quest are available for bookings and because they play primarily for the love of the music their fees for a 7 piece band are surprisingly modest! To book The Quest, or to find out more about us, contact larry.sleight@route66thequest.com. Either Steve or Larry will be only too pleased to talk to you about The Quest and Route 66 - a unique band who have journeyed and played their music along a unique road.

  Email: admin@route66thequest.com