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A little `moonlight rocking’

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You could say Ron Mortimore and Cody Steggell rock out at work.

Steggell does drive a dump truck for the streets department as part of the asphalt crew. Mortimore maintains lines for the collections division in wastewater reclamation.But the real rocking comes into play at night and on weekends.

That's when Mortimore and Steggell pick up their instruments and become part of Straight Jacket the band, playing soft rock, classics, a little country and a little current music borrowed from groups like Matchbox 20 and the Wallflowers.

The 46-year-old Mortimore plays bass guitar and the harmonica. Steggell, 26, plays the drums.

Richard Nielsen from Spanish Fork handles the keyboard with Neil Vrandenburg, also of Spanish Fork, on lead guitar. All four do vocals.

"He's kinda deep, I'm kinda raspy. The guitarist does the ballads. Our keyboard player sounds like Rod Stewart," Steggell said.

"I've jammed with Cody for the last four years and enjoy having a drummer that knows how to keep a steady beat," Mortimore said. "I've known Cody since he was three. My son and he used to play together."

The two public-works employees have kept in touch over the years. Mortimore has played in one band or another for 25 years.

"I quit once but made everybody around me so miserable," he said.

"I do it because I love music. That's what I love," Steggell said.

Mortimore and Steggell were even in the original Straight Jacket band that used to play at LeMar's in Provo. The band broke up when two members moved and reformed after the keyboard artist and guitarist returned to town.

Now, they're back in business, performing most weekends and holidays for clubs all over Utah.

They've been invited to play at the 1998 Utah State Fair on Sept. 17 between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. They're signed to play for the Ute Stampede in Nephi and they're working on a collection of songs to release for sale.

"We really enjoy it," Mortimore said. He handles all of the bookings for the band and serves basically as the band's leader. (Straight Jacket can be reached at 785-6959 in Pleasant Grove.) The band's name comes from everybody who knows the characters in the band.

"They said we're crazy and ought to be locked up," Mortimore explained.

In the meantime, they're keeping their day jobs in Orem and enjoying a comfortable amount of ribbing about their moonlighting.

"We've performed for our co-workers," Mortimore said. "They actually hear us and they're always totally dumbfounded."