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Damon Gehlen's memory lives on at Stayton High School

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When Damon Gehlen was a 16-year-old sophomore at Stayton High School in 1980, his brother’s country/rock band needed a bass guitar player for a summer full of gigs. Gehlen had musical experience in choir, drama and as a saxophone player in the band at Stayton, but had never played the bass before. Still, he quickly accepted. In two weeks, Damon Gehlen learned how to play bass and joined the band to play covers of songs like “Peaceful Easy Feeling” throughout the summer. “That was just a testament to who knows where he could have gone as a musician,” said Steve Gehlen, Damon’s older brother who convinced him to play in his band.