Miscellaneous Rumbles

Past-Blastin’ Band Pics: post’em if you’ve got’em.

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At the end of the year, 'tis traditionally the season for reflectin'-n- reminiscin', auld lang syne and all that.

I've just come across some personal historical photographic artifacts, which I hereby share in order to invite others' old band pics. The more embarrassing, the better - and the more detail you provide, the more interesting they become.

I'll start...

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1977 (probably): Easy Nights. Top-40/rock-pop-n-disco cover band with ambitions to record original material. Named for the Boone Farms wine (but not by me).

Based in southeastern Ohio. Original members, L-R: Greg Imboden (Les Paul/Fender Quad slinger, master blues-rock Allmanbrothery gravel-voiced phenom); Freddy Bolles (mild-mannered country-rooted golden-voiced bassman); Keith "Haystacks" Burgess (enormous drummer, Buddy Rich crossed with Spike Jones, band business manager and wheeler-dealer deluxe); moi.

The monkey suits were de rigeur for the agent who'd just picked us up, who was determined to book us into "nicer places": fraternal organizations who still had pretense to class, supper clubs, country clubs, hotel bars. We were likely candidates for these venues because we knew a lot of chords and could work up reasonably sophisticated contemporary pop.

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I would just like to verify through the bowtie to head ratio being practically 1:1, this is historically accurate.

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Must be 1978-79, Easy Nights.

The band has evolved, swapping out Greg Imboden on guitar for Gregg Shively, thus becoming considerably less country rock and more R&B/funk/disco/slicker rock. This picture captures so much of that version of the band and our gear.

First, matching denim-&-patchwork leather outfits, very Commodores. As Gregg was enamored of all things funky, we shopped for them at Mr Lee's, a funky boutique clothier who supplied all things Saturday-night-splendiferous to the short east side of Columbus (meaning, uh, per the current euphemism, urban).

Good shot of Gregg with his Kramer 350, and my rig: the Bandmaster for guitar, twin Peavey 212-210-piezo columns for keyboards, the Melody Maker, and my Arp Explorer, Roland String Machine, and Yamaha CP-30 electric pianner - all when they were new(ish) and pristine. We see a little of Stacks' white Rogers kit and our new gray-carpeted Cerwin Vega cabs.

You can't see the DynaComp, but it would have been on the floor and engaged. We'd just attracted a "backer" who gave us a 10,000.00 budget for gear and recording. The Cerwin Vegas (and a Biamp mixer and trimmin's), CP-30, String Machine, DynaComp, and outfits all came from that stash - as did our eventual recording sessions at Jeree Studios in Pittsburgh.

We did not make the big time.

Pic was taken in the upstairs "ballroom" of an old downtown hotel in either Marietta or Gallipolis, OH: "easiest" load-in was via two LONG fire escapes around back.

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I would just like to verify through the bowtie to head ratio being practically 1:1, this is historically accurate.

Well, exactly. Who would fake such an image?

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1981-2(ish), Whiskey Stick.

You can't make this stuff up. Gregg and I had become business partners with Jim Paskins (cowboy hat, middle) in Magic Bean Recording, the Tascam-based 8-track studio we built from the ground up (well, Jim the stone-mason did most of the building). Easy Nights' prospects had faded in the hotrod country miasma of the early 80s, and we had to go with the work.

Jim was the conceptual leader and most-song-picker for this band (named not for whiskey itself - though that was appropriate to the genre - but for his tradesman's term for a level). He was the genuine country thing; the rest of us - Stacks, Gregg, and I - were opportunistic draftees, going along with various degrees of good humor. (Note the dress code...which seems to fail at the perimeter of Jim's personal space.)

I think Gregg must have played bass in this aggregation - a waste of his guitar talents. (He frequently and disgustedly said "anyone who can't play bass is stupid" - and that applied to me at the time, so he was stuck.)

Whiskey Stick did the requisite material of the era: Waylon and Willie, Alabama (YUCKPTUI), Hank Jr (ditto), plus whatever rock & roll and country rock we could remember. The band had a regular Saturday night gig one winter at a club in Logan, OH - and, for whatever reason, some of the sets were broadcast on local radio.

We did not make the big time.

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1984-ish?, Satin Touch...

When we three Musketeers had survived as country boys about all we could stand, we built a contemporary pop-rock thing around a girl with utterly fabulous pipes, suitable for Pat Benatar, Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac...truthfully she was wasted on most of that, but you do what you do.

Again Gregg was stuck on bass, and I was hung out all alone on guitar or keyboard - my first experience trying to hold down a trio position, and when we got past carefully rehearsed stuff, I wasn't much good at it. Good thing Gregg and Stacks were a Unit.

Lots of local nightclub gigs with this band (and others similar to it), with no pretension beyond weekend warrior status. The big time continued to manage without us.

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1988.

What can I say? Obviously this is a studio pic, but I do not remember having it done, nor why I would have. I had recorded my "solo album" Passion vs Sleep in 1987, and might have thought this was a promo shot for it. What Was I Thinking?

That's actual dead snakeskin on the Westone Corsair, which was a "gift" from St Louis Music for being the unintentional catalyst for their snakeskin guitars. While working at the music store, I'd bought a B-stock Westone with cracked headstock, repaired it, and had a leather buyer for the local shoe factory cover both headstock and body with Asian water-snake skin. SLM liked the idea and did a sizable run of snakeskin-wrapped guitars (which were sent from St Louis to Lancaster OH for the work) for introduction at NAMM in 1985...but soon after ran smack into the save-the-snakes organizations of the world, after which the project was dropped.

Anyway, I got one. And I bought the genuine snakeskin shoes at NAMM in early 1988 to make the outfit complete. Dweezil Zappa was in line in front of me.


The inset picture shows a later gang of miscreants at a computer trade show.


And, mercifully, that's all I got. PLEASE dig yours up and share them. Don't leave me hanging out here alone.

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This is Sharkattack!!, my surf power trio in New Orleans, circa 2016. I'm the one playing p-bass on the right (sorry for the dark photo).

Unfortunately I had to leave this band when I moved out of statefor work, but they're still together and you can listen to them here: https://sharkattacknola.ban...

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And the Big Bad Wolftones in the studio, indie/dance/funk/blues ensemble of Austin TX circa 2013. I'm the one with the white Tele in the back

You can listen to the songs we recorded here: https://thebigbadwolftones....

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Great band names, Otter. Good pics, too. Thanks for joining in.

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This band was called Sparks Plus and the Funkaroos, we played covers at house parties in college, Nashville 2008-ish. Luckily no recordings were made.

My band in highschool was the Louisiana Purchase, but that was in the weird limbo time between film and digital cameras, so I don't have any pictures.

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I only wish I had pix like that at this point. There was one dork-pix from 1978 that was so of-the-era hideous I got rid of it easily 10 years ago. Even I couldn't stand to look at it.

So nothing to offer here -- but Thomas Vox types can go check out this part of www.voxshowroom.com -- this is all 60s dorkology and plenty of cool Eko Vox guitars and Thomas Vox amps

http://www.voxshowroom.com/...

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I’ll have to do some real digging to find the embarrassing stuff, but here’s a couple...

The Pacifics relaxing poolside at the Funtastic Dracula Carnival. Somehow our brand of chaotic beat music is popular with European types and we get invited to play these mad festivals. We can hardly get arrested in Dublin

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The Surfin’ Surfers relaxing pubside in between sets... a band so hopelessly disorganised we never got a proper photo done. I don’t think I’ve ever drank more on stage than with this band. We sweated so much it hardly seemed to make a difference. Really the band was an excuse for a fun night out.

We only got it together enough to make a recording because our bass player was emigrating, and the band sputtered out after that.

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The Surfin’ Surfers also had alter egos, who formed the renowned wrestl’n’roll band the Faux Kings

This band was a total mess. A riot though. I played drums. I can’t play drums for love nor money, especially not for money.

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I would just like to verify through the bowtie to head ratio being practically 1:1, this is historically accurate.

Well, exactly. Who would fake such an image?

– Proteus

Not I.

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This picture of 70,000 Tools was the third configuration of this band.

We started out as a trio, ended as a quartet, adding Debster to our roster.

Our original bass player quit due to personality conflicts with the drummer, and subsequently, so did everyone else. Deb called up on a live radio interview saying she was a bass player and that's how she got in. She never played before, so we gave her two months to get it together, and she was awesome.

We played the punk circuit in the tri state area for a few years before we imploded as bands do.

After this band I went onto other things...

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I was in College through the late 70's...and our Dormitory-converted Dining Hall became the "Pub on the Hill" on Thursday Nights, and regularly had a band like the "Easy Nights".

Beer, Wine, then all the usual sundries...and in the morning...Breakfast, again!

Classic Song..."She's a Brick House"

Never less than 1,000 paying patrons, some nights 3,000.

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The Love Chunks.

A Philly based band who opened for the Dead Milkmen and Nirvana amongst other gigs.

Super fun, where we all had a stage name. Mine was Menachem Rockem.

Never recorded, and that's probably a good thing.

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I always loved the story behind that fish

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I always loved the story behind that fish

– Otter

One of Rock's great tales.

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1989. I was in a band named “Karla”, after the goil sing-ga whom her record company had built her band around. That ludicrous-looking drummer, of course, is my now-different-yet-still-equally-ludicrous-looking self. The guitarist’s name is Craig Miller, subject of an article in Guitar World magazine lo’ those many years ago and is now DR. Craig Miller, vascular surgeon, twice NY Times bestselling author, a fine, fine example of humanity, and still one of my best friends on earth. And still one scary@$$ guitarist.


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