They Call Him Flipper

Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 at 9:19 am
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They call him “Flipper”

A couple of months ago I picked up Lance “Flipper” Steen’s new CD, “Take Me to Paradise” and have really enjoyed it! Although I haven’t met Lance in person yet, we have exchanged several e-mails and have found out that we share several common interests (Trop Rock music and ukuleles being two of them). I have enjoyed getting to know Lance and his music and look forward to ending up at the same music event some day to get better acquainted in person…

Lance Flipper Steen









Bio: Lance “Flipper” Steen is a 20 year veteran of the Parrothead Circuit, playing percussion, first with “Mark Northey and the Phinheads” in ’93, then spending 12 years on and off and on again with “Phins.” He is currently playing with Terry Beck and Jerry Turnbow in a venture called T,JF, as well as getting his solo start playing ukulele, while promoting his new CD “Take Me to Paradise”

1) Where is home for you at the moment?

“O’Fallon, MO (Suburb of St. Louis)”

2) What were your earliest/and current musical influences?

“Earliest – I love to tell the story about my folks loading up the car back in the 70′s and taking the family to Village Inn Pizza Parlor every weekend to see a local band “The Travelers” playing current hits of the time in a blue grass kinda mix. Great thing is that Terry Beck, the lead singer, filled in for Paul Roush a few gigs at the end of “Phins” and Jerry Turnbow and I play with him regularly now….
“Current – I listen to a lot of Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown (but I hear ukulele in everything…). “

3) When did you start playing the uke?

“About 6 years ago, Dennis Arnold (then President of the St. Louis Parrothead Club) asked me to start taking some group ukulele lessons with him.”

4) What ukes are you currently playing?

“I still play “Lucy”, my first uke, a Tenor Black Kala Arch-top that reminded me of B.B. King’s “Lucille”.

“I also play a Tenor “Cedar” Kala Arch-top, appropriately named “Desi Lu” (currently tuned with a Low G), though my main uke is a Kala Concert, with electronics and built in tuner (not yet named).
“Lastly, I have a Kala Concert, bare bones basic uke, that I call “Loo” because…. well, I keep it in the bathroom… ”

5) Any current musical projects you would like to tell us about (tours/CD’s)?

“I recently released my first CD (“Take Me to Paradise”) apart from the band Phins, and am working on my set list,
with limited dates booked at this time. Check it out on or I-tunes.”

Take Me to Paradise








6) Any question that you wished someone would ask but never has? With answer of course

“Why do you name your Ukes?

“Well, just like my kids, if I’m going to ask someone to pick one up for me I like to call them by name. I’m always telling my boy, “Go get Lucy out of my bedroom.” “Go grab Desi-Lu outta the dining room” or “Go grab Loo out of the bathroom…” … Like my kids, I also try to never put them in cases, they were meant to be played… (the ukes, not the kids…)”

They call him flipper

7) One more, how did you get the nickname “Flipper”? 

“Long story – in my 20′s, my brothers and I did some professional wrestling. A couple years later, I was working at a piano bar, as a bouncer. After hours, several of us were partying, guys were asking about it and before long, I was tucking my chin and showing them a front ¾ flip flat to my back. Somehow that evolved into part of the show, one piano player would play the theme to Flipper, while the other would hold a hula hoop, for me to jump through. So I have been Flipper for about 20 years now… ”

Thanks “Flipper” (can you still do those ¾ flips??) for sharing your love for uke and music…

Beaches and blessings,

Bry Harris

Kala Uke Artist Bry Harris





Kala Uke Artist


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