Sunday, August 25, 2002

WHAT I CAN REMEMBER 1.

I was finally out of school! I had been given a new drum set (the old white Tama Swingstar kit) by my father as a graduation gift. I was given the choice of the drums or a car. I sometimes wonder if that wasn’t the biggest little decision of my life. Anyway, my graduation present and I were playing in this glam rock band called Damage Inc. or “Damn It I’m Constipated” as many including myself would come to call it…ha ha. It was a really bad name for a band that did a good job of doing some schlock music. It was the brainchild of guitarist Steve “Wolf Boy” Blevins. The rest of the band consisted of Mark Eads on guitar (went on to do Scull Soup…a rock ass band of the best bunch of people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting), Pat Malone on bass (later to do Punchin’ Judy), myself, and Steve’s right hand man Bobby-----(brain laps) on vocals. One day Pat came to a rehearsal and said he’d heard of a new dance club that was having an all ages night once a week. It was called Club Venus and was located behind the Italian Pizza Pub. We went down one night to check it out and knew immediately that this was the place for us to play. It was filled with our target market… young girls. The Guy running the club (not Burt but the other guy…help me if you can remember) seemed both apprehensive and quite shady. He had never had a band in his club and didn’t understand how he could make any money off of it. That was until he saw the attention we garnered from the girls in the club. He agreed to let us play the next week. We played a couple of shows to great crowds…of young girls…and had a lot of fun, but it wasn’t my bag.

I had always been the guy who liked that weird “punk-new wave stuff”, you know…no need to list them as all of you were me. This led me to want to play with a another act at the same time to satisfy my jones. It was a geek rock outfit made up of friends from high school band. We called it Beat Your Mother With A Putrid Herring. It was literally the first name that came out of my mouth. I said it stumbling to tie words together…a joke. Russ loved it. It was a working title at best I thought. The members changed almost every show, but Russ Onks, Mike Hilliard and myself were the constants. Wolf Boy and Bobby didn’t understand why the hell I was so interested in doing this comedy act with tunes like “Doctor Ruth” and “The Time Warp”. Pat and Mark however got the joke and appreciated it for what it was, a lot more fun. Lets face it, who would you rather spend your time with, Mike Hilliard or Steve.

BYM wanted to play out. I had been to this listening room of a bar called “Down Home” the previous year with my late friend John Chandley to visit with Ed Snoderly and catch an acoustic show. I told the guys that they had a writer’s night for unknown acts to come play original material. We arranged a slot on the next show and practiced till the cows came home. We were unsure how a venue with a bluegrass/folk vibe would react to a rock band. Our only hopes were pinned on the fact that we had heard about Brian and the Nightmares, a rock band that had been playing there to a good response. We were a little nervous…full of piss and vinegar…and ready to dork out hard.

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