Don Conka

Last Update: 26. september 2006

Thanks to Norman J. Hauge for permission to use his photos. Copyright: Norman J. Hauge.


Norman J. Hauge:
I met Don somewhere around 1962 when he showed up at a party at my house. We hooked
up with some friends of his and formed a band called the Cherokee's (named after the
street in Hollywood where one of the guys lived). We played at private party's
around town. That group broke up and I hooked up with some different guys and
formed what became the Interns. Our drummer was Jim Voight who left us to play with
The Peanut Butter Conspiracy. At that point I asked Don to join our group. Don was
a far superior drummer. The best I have ever seen. His meter was excellent and his
arms were so strong that he never got tired. He played a set of red Ludwig's with
dual tom tom's. We played private party's, High School dances and at rec centers.
The Interns broke up in May of 1964 when I went on active duty for the National

The Interns.
Front row Don on the left and our tenor man Rick Rupp. Back row Norman J. Hauge on the left. Karl Sevareid on bass is currently with The Robert Cray Band. Tom Trujillo was lead and later toured with Charles Lloyd.

Don was living with his mother in Hollywood and he sometimes stayed at my place in
Highland Park. We were good friends and I am sorry that we lost touch with each
other. His mother and I were friends also and had dinner together a number of times
years later. When I returned from the army I became a stockbroker downtown L.A. I
figured I had a better chance of making some money that way, as I was not the
world's greatest guitarist. Don was off and on dating a girl named Pru who had gone
to Hollywood High with him. She had been part of a child sister act singing. They
recorded under the name of "Patience and Prudence".

When I first met Don he did not do drugs but did have an addictive personality. He
was literally hooked on Coca-Cola and Hostess Twinkies. He started smoking pot when
we were with the Interns. We had to play the first set without a drummer a couple of
times because he "had to get drugs". He obviously went on from smoking grass.