Since the Roof Garden was built in 1926, music has been at theheart and soul of a visit to the shores of West Lake Okoboji. In their fifth book together, Tim Tourville and Rebecca Peters continue to capture this musical story with their recently released “Rockin’ The Green-The Music Of Arnolds Park Amusement Park-1989-2019.”
The book showcases over 1,700 rock artists who have appeared at Arnolds Park Amusement Park between 1989 and 2019. The 124-page book documents close to 1,000 shows performed, as well as shares countless photos, autographs, stories, quizzes, and music facts. There are over 360 images in the book, many rare and never before published. The book also covers the diverse musical offerings held at the Park, from rock to country to blues to pop to funk.
“Music has been a major part of many experiences at Lake Okoboji, whether you came for your vacation or if you just drove to Okoboji for a day,” Tourville said. “The number of Okoboji clubs that have had live music over those years is incredible. Now, the Park has carried on with this tradition and has added so much to our lives.”
The reason for the dates selected for the book was the iconic wooden Roof Garden Ballroom came down in 1987-1988, which prior to this time had taken care of much of the area’s entertainment needs. In 1989, Arnolds Park Amusement Park began overseeing the musical tradition of the area.
“Rebecca and I looked at how the Park started their entertainment efforts and how it was built over 32 years. We decided that this book was the next extension after our Roof Garden book, ‘Remembering Okoboji’s Roof Garden Ballroom-The Rock & Roll Years.’ That book is in its fourth revision/printing,” Tourville added.
In this new book, Tourville and Peters highlight their “Top 15” shows performed at the Park, as well as the story of Jerry Lee Lewis’ only show at the Park. The authors look at recent concerts like: “Soul Asylum,” “Uncle Cracker,” “Locash,” “Kip Moore,” “Josh Turner,” “Smash Mouth,” “Los Lonely Boys,” and Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees.
“Rebecca and I looked at 32 years of shows and choose the ones that had the most impact on us individually over this period,” Tourville shared. “We also looked at shows where the artist has had such a major impact on music globally (Journey-Beach Boys-Pete Best from the Beatles). Some people might not know an artist like James Solberg, who we believe is one of the best blues guitarists to ever live. James is a three-time Grammy nominee. It was great fun to develop our list.”
Both Tourville and Peters thoroughly enjoyed the writing process and have a passion for music. Tourville grew up in the 1960’s in Southern Minnesota and always had a strong love of music, while Peters is the former Executive Director of the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association.
“I was never a musician, but I have been in the music business for many years and put myself through college as a music booking agent. I have taken my love of music and written 31 books on Midwest rock music,” Tourville said.
For any music lovers or local history buffs, “Rockin’ the Green” will definitely be a book to read. Then make sure to attend a concert at Preservation Plaza this year, as Arnolds Park Amusement Park carries on the rich musical tradition for the Iowa Great Lakes area.
"ROCKIN' THE GREEN"
ON THE STREET
ON THE STATE PIER
ON THE QUEEN II
IN THE MAJESTIC PAVILION
IN THE OLD METAL ROOF GARDEN BUILDING
ON THE GRASS UNDER THE ROLLER COASTER
ON THE GREEN SPACE
AT PRESERVATION PLAZA
ON IRRMA'S PATIO
IN THE NEW ROOF GARDEN SPACE
ON THE GRASS IN FRONT OF THE QUEENS COURT SHOPS
ALL OVER THE IOWA GREAT LAKES AREA