Destroyer (approx. 1977-1985)
The story of Destroyer starts in the late 1960s and early 1970s when brothers Bob and Kevin Ferrie and stepbrother Gordy Gunderson fell in love with the harder rock music of bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and early Grand Funk Railroad. Their band ‘Wicked World’, named after a song from Black Sabbath’s first album, performed at such iconic Sioux Falls venues as the Mocamba Club, being the first and only band playing heavy rock music there, and they packed the place! Unfortunately, Vietnam and military service brought an end to the early Rock and Roll dreams of the brothers with Bob and Kevin both joining the military.
Younger brother Geoff, who had been watching and idolizing his older brothers also fell in love with rock music, jamming on the instruments in the attic of their house on north Summit Avenue in Sioux Falls when left unattended. Geoff was eventually contacted by Evan Jones in 1974 and started the band ‘Shadowfax’ and recruited big brother Bob as their lead singer and frontman, which brought Bob back into the music scene. The younger Geoff and Evan eventually broke off to form 'Wakefield' (inducted in 2017) with WSHS classmates Jeff Koller and Danny Paul. Bob kept the name “Shadowfax” and brought Gordy and Kevin in to again bring the three original brothers together. Shadowfax eventually dissolved and 'Destroyer' was formed with original members Bob Ferrie vocals and front man, brother Kevin Ferrie on bass, Ron Jacobsen and Steve McFarland on guitar and Ron Bartikowski on drums. Gordy went on to join Rox band (inducted in 2021).
'Destroyer', inspired by the Kiss album of the same name, played a mix of heavy rock music from the time including Kiss, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, and many others. Guitarists Mike Freidel (who passed away in 2013) and Jeff Thomson and Drummer Tom Jaynes (Jeff and Tom from the original band Z-Brick)joined the band and Destroyer became the heaviest band around at the time and always rocked the stage putting everything into their shows with flamboyant moves and stage energy and flashy clothes. They became a local favorite at many regional venues but Destroyer shined when they were able to play big stages in front of large enthusiastic crowds such as State B tournament concerts and outdoor festivals and biker rallies. When Destroyer played they gave it their all running around the stage and rocking out as hard as they could, and the crowds loved it.
It was around this time that Bob Ferrie earned the name “Rockin’ Bob” which he was affectionately known by for the rest of his life. Bob promoted several shows under the name “Rockin’ Bob’s Rock and Roll Show” and was a huge fan and supporter of local rock bands and known by many as “The Godfather” of the Sioux Falls rock scene. Other members of Destroyer were Kevin Gross (guitar, passed away in 2014) and Mike Donovan (bass guitar, passed away in 2008). More recently the 4 musical brothers Bob, Kevin, Gordy, Geoff, along with Kevin’s son Josh (drums) performed together as 'OpalzzBoyzz', in honor of their mom Opal who put up with and encouraged their early musical endeavors. Unfortunately, Gordy passed away in 2010 and Bob passed in 2021 so future reunions with all 4 brothers aren't possible.
Destroyer’s heavy rock playlist and energetic and colorful stage presentation influenced many bands to follow. Not the least of which are several bands with Kevin’s son Josh, who has become one of the best rock drummers to come out of Sioux Falls.