SHELLEY – After 40 years of performing, Vision returns to Shelley to rock their alma mater in a pre-Spud Day extravaganza.

Some may argue U2 is the longest-running band in history, while others say it’s the Rolling Stones.  But, step aside Bono and Mick, Vision has been rocking the stage as long as the four Dubliners.   

Vision, you may ask?  Who is Vision? Well, it is one of the classiest rock bands from the early ’80s. It includes three individuals from Shelley High School’s Class of 81 who rocked its assemblies, events, and pageants between 1979 and 1981. 

Listen to a cut from Vision’s concert.

After high school, the band continues in one form or another for 40 years. 

Dan Backlund, John Hanson, and Ken Shumway all hail from Woodvillle.  The trio lit up the stage in high school with songs from Queen, Journey, and the Eagles.   They met up with Brett Hart at college, who joined the band. The four continued to perform together for years. 

“The four of us played together until the late 80’s when Dan left the band,” Ken Shumway said. “But, John, Brett, and I, along with two others, continue to perform until today.” 

After Dan left, the band had several guitar and keyboard players perform with them through the early part of this century.   All three remaining band members settled in Utah between Orem and Bountiful.  They continue to play at various events throughout the greater Salt Lake City area.

“In the early 2000s, we got a new guitar and keyboard player who stayed with the band until today,” Hanson said. “But, Brent, Ken, and I have been together since 1981.” 

The band has played all over Utah through the years. They usually play at different summer concert series, like Draper and Bountiful. They have played at the Dixie Center in St. George as well as at political events and other venues.  In the early days, they played at 49th Street Galleria in Salt Lake City and were a residence band at Lagoon.

“We continue to play 70’s and 80’s rock,” Hanson said. “When we return to Shelley, we will play a lot of the same music we played when Dan was with us.” 

Dan will return to be with the band for the first time in twenty years. He currently lives in San Bernadino, California, and is a registered nurse there.

“I left the band to go to graduate school on the east coast. I completely gave up playing the guitar at that point,” Dan Backlund said. “I picked it up about two years ago for therapeutic reasons. We’ll see how well I do at this concert.”

Vision will perform Friday, September 17 (the night before Spud Day), at 9 p.m. in an open-air concert at the Shelley High School parking lot. The general public is encouraged to attend.  Community Pioneer is sponsoring this concert.  

John Hanson, Ken Shumway, Brett Hart and Dan Backlund – Vision in the1980s. Vision Photograph

“I am excited to return (to Shelley), but I hope we will be ready,” said Shumway. “Dan has not played with us for many years. He plans to come up from California several days before the event so we can rehearse.”

Hanson is an electrical engineer by trade. In his first job out of college, he designed guitar equipment, which he would use while performing in the band. “It was great to be able to use this equipment in our performances,” Hanson said. He currently lives in West Jorden, Utah.

Brett Hart, Ken Shumway & John Hanson – Three members of
Vision today. Vision Photo

Shumway is a software engineer and lives in Orem. He said the reason the band has stayed together so long is that there are no egos. Everyone sings, and they like performing together.

“In the early years, the band played for free, but they only play for money nowadays,”  Hanson said. “It just takes too much time not to get paid.”

Hanson and Hart also play in another band named “Toast.” It is a tribute band to the 1970s band “Bread.”  They have performed with that band at the Colonial Arts Theater in Idaho Falls.

So, where did they get the name Vision? “That is a good question. It is another one of those; what do we name the band? It was back in 1981, our first year in college,” Hanson said. “I think we took it from a show called Vision Quest.”   

This is a great way to start your Spud Day celebration. We invite everyone in the community to come out and enjoy this concert.

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