Combo Audio's roots lie in the midwest. Since the late 70's, John Kellogg had played in various hard rock cover bands all over Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. Weary of the bar scene and playing the music of others, John moved to Champaign, Illinois to pursue writing and recording his own music. At that time, Champaign had a vital, healthy music scene which supported and nurtured original artists.

Rick Neuhaus had also played around the midwest, eventually landing as the drummer for Chicago's Off Broadway for a few years. Upon his departure from Off Broadway Rick also gravitated to Champaign. He and John knew each other but had never worked together. John approached Rick at Putt Putt miniature golf course, where Rick was employed at the time, and suggested a collaboration.

Soon John and Rick were writing and arranging John's songs after hours in a stereo store where John worked by day. From this came the name of the project and eventually the band - a combo formed in an audio store or Combo Audio.

John had recorded a few demos at a local studio which caught the interest of Dana Walden, a local writer and producer who suggested they go into the studio, work on the material together and see what happens. (Dana eventually went on to success as the writer of the hit "How 'bout us" and "Try Again" with CBS recording artists "Champaign.)

A four song demo was completed by John, Rick and Dana. They sent them to local radio programmers. Much to their surprise, local stations picked up the songs put them into rotation and began to get requests for them.