In 1982 the band started from very humble a converted Chicken House in a little community known as Double Branch, in Bates County Missouri.

In 1984, In 1984, Fred Hunt, Roger Tippie, Marcia Cook, Stephen Headley and Kirk Bjerke decided to push their musical interests further after �breaking away� from a band known as Double Branch.  Thus, the name �BreakAway.�

BreakAway�s main place to play was the Youth Building in Butler, Missouri.  Word began to spread that even though BreakAway liked to rock and roll, they were versatile and played country and oldies as well.  Alumni�s such as Miami and Rich Hill became regulars for BreakAway.  BreakAway also carried on the tradition of the 4th of July Independence Daze dance at such places as the Butler Feed Lot, the Butler Rodeo arena, and the outdoor pavilion at the Bates County Fairgrounds.  Many Bates County fans remember "Chigger Fest".

 BreakAway was excited in 1985 when they made two trips to Columbia to play at a fraternity at the University of Missouri.  However, 1985 brought bad luck to BreakAway as Steve developed Leukemia.  Roger Sellars filled in for Steve and kept the beat going. 

 In 1986, some of the highlights for BreakAway were playing at Barnaby�s in Harrisonville, the City Park in Adrian, and Fred�s No. 1 Spot on the Lake of the Ozarks, Rich Hill�s Homecoming, the El Dorado Springs Country Club and the American Legion in Butler.  We lost a close friend of the band, but kept many fond memories.

 1987 was an extremely busy year for BreakAway, playing almost nonstop on weekends during the summer.  The year started by playing Rich Hill�s Court warming.  The next date was Whiteman Air Force Base.  The highlight of 1987 was playing at the Harris House in Westport.  Other summer events included Fred�s No. 1 Spot, the Butler Fair Dance, El Dorado Springs Picnic, Bridges� outdoor party, Rockville Festival, Butler Elks Club and Bob King�s Ranch party.  We rented a house boat and cruised around Lake of The Ozarks, and none of us will forget Marcia's "Snicker Candy Bars", her favorite craving while she was pregnant. After a short maternity break, the band wrapped up the year with the 3M Christmas Party in Nevada and of course, New Year�s Eve at the Youth Building. 

Oscar Schmehl joined BreakAway in 1988 as the drummer.  BreakAway continued to play occasionally through the years, but we were "semi-retired". 

In 2005, Roger reunited the band for his oldest daughter�s wedding reception.  Since then, BreakAway has enjoyed playing various events in and around the area. 

In 2005 Daniel - Bass Guitar, joined the group.  Daniel is the 2nd Generation of Breakaway,

he is Marcia's son.  He has been "exposed" to the band from day one, and was the cause of the "Snickers Craving" on the house boat trip in 1987.

In 2006, Fred fired up the band for his daughter's wedding reception.  The 3rd Generation of Breakaway was born when Roger's middle daughter gave birth to a girl.  Breakaway had their first "band grandbaby"!! 

By 2010 Breakaway had added 4 more "band grandbabies" (2 for Roger, 1 for Fred and 1 for Marcia), 3 more weddings (Fred's son,  Roger's youngest daughter, Oscar's daughter), and another member - Brian Borum, vocals and Road Crew Manager.  We were playing summer holiday weekends at Mutton Creek Marina where we "rocked the dock". There was a sea of Breakaway T-shirts as we began selling our newest design. Shannon Bjerke, Kirk's wife, is the official photographer, set designer and merchandise manager, and she never ceases to surprise us with the skull and crossbones - Pirate items she finds.  From huge flags to towels, T-Shirts to "booty shorts" if it's out there, she finds it.  Shannon even adopted a dog found outside one of our events. Our official mascot is "Miss Tiffany" (aka Bride of Chucky) and many who attend our events pose for pictures with her. 

2011 was a great year for Breakaway, we were booked solid all year, and over a year in advance for holidays.  We began appearing at The Archie House, Archie Mo. and continued to play Mutton Creek and Orleans Trail Marinas at Stockton Lake.  Daniel married the band's favorite groupie - Tricia, on 11/11/11.  Yes we played the wedding reception, with Marcia doing double duty on keyboard Bass so Daniel could dance with his new Bride.

2012 started out with a bang, with a sell-out crowd at The Archie House.  This begins our 30th year together, and we are all thankful that we are healthy, happy and have become closer, and stronger as the years have gone by.  We added another "band grandbaby" (Oscar's) in January for a total of six.  We wonder if they will become the next Breakaway Band? 

Check out the press coverage -

The group has stood strong together through all of the good times, have helped each other through the bad times, have supported each other no matter what issues we have faced, and have carried each other through the sad times when we've lost friends and loved ones.  Fred Hunt, Roger Tippie, Marcia Cook, Oscar Schmehl, Daniel Cook, Kirk & Shannon Bjerke and Brian Borum continue to enjoy playing a wide variety of music together.

2012  was a big year for us. One of my favorite quotes from the year came from Roger -"I never thought I'd be playing Freebird in a hospital parking lot".  Yes, we played a celebration at Bates County Memorial Hospital, in Butler, in the parking lot, on one of the hottest days of the summer.  We all have close ties to the hospital, several work there and some of our kids were born there. In fact the band's youngest member, Daniel, was born at BCMH and Oscar's wife Jennifer was his nurse.  We added another "band grandbaby" when Oscar became a first time Grandpa. Fred had a second grandson in 2012 and Roger added another granddaughter in 2011, for a total of 7 "Band Grandkids".

2013 has slowed down a little for us.  Probably a good thing as those late nights are getting harder to recover from as we've all aged.  But we enjoy playing as much now, 31 years later, as we did the first time we ever played.  Follow us on Facebook and check our website to see where we're playing next.


Breakaway  has played all across Missouri.  Some of the most notable events are

The Archie House

Harris House - Westport

University of Missouri - Columbia - Fraternity Events

Butler Saddle Club ( numerous events )

Clark's Place - Harrisonville

Sheriff's Sports Bar - Harrisonville

Mutton Creek Marina - NO Wake Cafe - Stockton Lake

Orleans Trail Marina - Stockton Lake

3M Christmas - Nevada

Wedding Receptions from Columbia Missouri to Olathe Kansas, and most cities in between -

including the weddings of Fred's daughter, Marcia's son Daniel, Fred's son and Roger's daughters.

Rich Hill Alumni

Miami Alumni

Rockville Festival - Rockville Mo

Rockville New Year's Eve - Rockville Mo

King Ranch Annual Festival

Leister Pasture Party

Fred's #1 Spot - Lake of the Ozarks

Independence Daze aka Chigger Fest- Rich Hill Mo

Political Fundraisers - Bates County Area

Bates County Memorial Hospital Christmas

Amsterdam Rodeo

Clinton Country Club - Clinton Mo

Clinton Elks Lodge

Butler Country Club - Butler Mo

American Cancer Society - Relay For Life Fundraiser

Amoret Community Hall

Birthday and Anniversary Celebrations across the state of Missouri

Bucksaw Point Marina - Truman Lake

Holiday Inn - Clinton Mo

Bates County Beef-A-Thon Championship BBQ - Butler Mo

Bates County Fair ( numerous events )

Drexel, Butler, Adrian, Miami, Rich Hill, Ballard, Appleton City Schools

Stockton Walnut Festival

Plunkett Bowl

Cherry's Sports Bar

Wheatley  Wedding

LeNeve Barn Party

Bates County Memorial Hospital, Meaningful Use Celebration

Mutton Creek Marina, Stockton Lake

Orleans Trail Marina, Stockton Lake

Luck of The Draw - Butler Mo

Pot-O-Gold - Benson Center, Clinton Mo

Cook-Friederich Wedding

Downtown Kansas City Mo - overlooking Sprint Center

Show Of Wheels - Butler Mo

Rich Hill 4th of July Celebration




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