SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Ron Keel, known as the metal cowboy, has traveled the world and could live anywhere, but he chooses to stay in South Dakota. Events like the Sturgis Rally make that easier.
“What I love about the whole experience, the Sturgis experience, it’s a ten-day camping trip with my best friends, and we get paid, and we get to play music,” said Keel.
The band has become a fixture at the Full Throttle Saloon. Sioux Falls native Jeff Koller is the drummer.
“Being kind of a local boy, being on the stage at the full throttle is kind of like hitting the top level, you know, in a way,” said Koller.
Koller says playing in front of large crowds is fun.
“It gets your adrenaline going, and it’s an honor to represent Sioux Falls, South Dakota, or being a local guy who’s hitting these big shows. I mean to me, it’s a complete blessing,” said Koller.
The band has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in metal, and they have been coming to Sturgis for eight years. The last three have been at the Full Throttle.
“During the rally, everyone gets a minute to just kind of unwind and let go of all of the things in life that stress you out, said lead guitar player Dave “DC” Cotherm. “And we get to just come out and share the brotherhood like I said.”
Geno Arce, is the bassist for the Ron Keel band and says the crowds are amazing.
“They’re always big. They’re always full of energy. I don’t think we’ve had a bad show since we’ve been out here,” he said.
Keel says working the rally is a grind, six shows in seven days, but he wouldn’t miss it.
“This is the home of the biker culture, The American working class people that wait all year long to come here and celebrate freedom, love, music, and motorcycle with us, so we are proud to be a part of it,” said Keel.
Keel first came to South Dakota to live when he was recruited by Chuck Brennan to front the house band at Badlands Pawn. He and his wife liked it so much that they decided to stay.