The Early Years
In the early years Duke played original Rock/R&B instrumentals, which featured their signature dual lead-guitar sound. The band was playing clubs in the Upstate NY area and gradually expanded their territory.
With the release of Sweet Cheeks, their first album (1978), Duke started touring with national acts. Some of the bands they toured with during their 13 year career included; ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Bowie, Bob Seeger, Robert Palmer, BB King, Toto, Sea Level, Huey Lewis and the News, Reo Speedwagon, Foreigner, Blue Oyster Cult, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Outlaws, John Lee Hooker, and countless others
Two additional albums were recorded on the Mercury Record label. Earl Jetty left the band in 1977 and was replaced by Dave Hanlon. Jetty died three years later due to a serious illness.
The Middle Years
The first major change occurred in 1980 when the band left Mercury Records after three albums and sought a more streamlined rock style. Dave Hanlon (Duke's 2nd drummer) and Don Maracle (guitar) went on to other ventures, and drummer Dave Corcoran joined the band.
The band signed with CBS affiliate Coast to Coast and recorded two excellent records - the curiously named Duke Jupiter 1 (considering it was their fourth album) and You Make it Look Easy.
Tragedy struck in early 1981 when George Barajas contracted a brain tumor!! After a very difficult year George died in August 1982. Rickey Ellis came on board as bassist.
Duke's local popularity peaked in June 1982 when a record throng jammed Ontario Beach Park, causing what may have been the greatest traffic jam in the city of Rochester's history.
Some 5,000 fans were expected - but over 25,000 showed up. Traffic was so intense that police and fire officials called it a public hazard and Monroe County officials banned rock concerts at the beach.
End of the Road...
After Coast to Coast Records went under, Peter Morticelli, the band's manager, got Duke a two album deal with Morocco Records, a short-lived feeble attempt by Motown Records to tap into the rock market.
After 13 great years the band decided to call it quits. They had accomplished what they set out to do and it was time to move on. After a while the road takes its toll. So... with a smile on their face, and a tear in their eyes, Duke Jupiter played a farewell concert in their hometown of Rochester, NY in 1986.