The Normandy Invasion was formed in 1975 when two high school buddies, Dan Norman and Al Ficke, got together after Dan returned from the Army. They decided to make a pact to never play anything but original music. This was not a problem with Dan cranking out song after song. Al said this was an exciting time laying down a new bass line every two weeks or so.
Mike Wiley, a drummer, was added and the Normandy Invasion became a power trio with an edgier sound. Dan’s brother, Walt, became the fourth member playing rhythm and lead in 1979.
In the late l970s and early 1980s, it was tough to get a gig in Omaha (just like it is now). Playing original punk and new wave rock was a tough way to go. Never the less they soldiered on and got some gigs. In l980-81, they made a 45 and EP and got some local radio time. One of the songs on the EP, Ain’t no Rock ‘n Roll in Russia, was a crowd favorite and has since been changed to Ain’t no Rock ‘n Roll in Bagdad.
During the late l980s and early l990s, Dan and Al were busy raising families, but they kept playing and recording. Dan said they must have sent out hundreds of demo tapes to labels and producers in the hopes someone would cover one of the songs. The band got a bite on a song called Sleep Without Dreams, which the band still performs today, but the producer wanted them to put up money to record it, which wasn’t an option with young families to support.
In the late 1990s, Paul D’Angelo, a drummer, came along and gave them a good shot of energy and enthusiasm. A good fit and a good guy, Mr. D (as his students at Boystown call him) was chomping at the bit to get out and play again.
They are still true to their cause and only perform original music. The music is still fresh and songs are still added to the play list.
If you come to one of their shows, you’ll see three guys having a great time playing some blues, rock, country, punk, jazz and everything in between.