Chester Ellingson III

Drums 1973-1975

Chet was born in 1950 in Pittsburgh, and moved to Edina, Minn. in 1960, where he met John Collins, attending the same elementary school, riding the same bus and playing basketball together in driveways. Chet played in numerous high school rock bands, as he says, "none that amounted to anything."

In 1970, Chet joined the military and spent 1971 in Vietnam. While there, he spent 60 days touring Vietnam with "Fresh Aire," a Command Military Touring Show that entertained GIs with rock & roll and country wherever the "big" shows wouldn't go. Chet was shot at and mortared more during those 60 days than any other time during his year in Vietnam, leading him to believe that "the Vietnamese didn’t like our playing."

Chet spend another couple of years in college, playing in and auditioning for various bands. While auditioning, he heard about some band in Bemidji with an odd name looking for a drummer. In 1973, he joined Podipto, reuniting with his childhood friend.

In the 1990s, Chet played in a band called Dakota with Karen Lund, and Started Kittyhawk Records, a 24-track digital recording studio. There he produced albums by many artists, including Dan Lund and John Collins.

As a man of many passions, in the 2000s Chet lost interest in everything music, and bought some fast cars and went racing.

Currently his artistic interests include photography, much of it at the Minnesota Zoo and around MN. Chet is also on the Minnesota Zoo Foundation Board, and runs a little manufacturing company.