Playing a wild mix of rock & roll, garage rock and surf, the Hesitations were a popular band in Southeastern Michigan during the early '60s -- when the flame of rock & roll was allegedly extinguished, they kept the torch burning bright and inspired other local musicians, namely Cub Koda, to pick up that guitar and play.
Based in Adrian, Michigan, the quintet was led by vocalist Donnie Sweet; he often ad-libbed lyrics to current hits during live performances. Guitarist Don Ables was well-versed in James Burton and Chuck Berry rffs. The remainder of the band featured rhythm guitarist Ellie Pipkins, bassist Larry McAnnaly and drummer Larry Chase. The group worked the Southern Michigan circuit between 1963 and 1966, earning dedicated followings with their concerts at clubs, resorts, high schools and dance halls. They quickly earned the reputation of being one of the best -- and the flashiest -- rock & roll combos in the area. In 1963, they cut their first single at United Sound Studios in Detroit. "Wild Little Willie" / "Remember" was released on D-Town Records in 1963. They chose "Wild Little Willie" over "Surfin' School," and Pipkins is convinced that if they released "Surfin' School," they would have rode to the top of the charts on the wave the Beach Boys created. "Wild Little Willie" turned out to be their only single, yet they continued to record in basements over the next few years; these recordings remained unreleased until the 1998 release of Go! Go! Go! to Surfin' School. The Hesitations broke up around 1967, with the members drifting into various occupations; none of the members had a career as a professional musician.