The boys are tried of drumming to the Magic Drummer Cassette tape. They interview Terry and Dale and finally come to a decision on a drummer. He has lots of experience and is offered the job on the spot.
The band kicks around some names for the band.
Terry isn't a good fit, but will Dale join the band?
This podcast is best consumed from the first episode through the latest.
Dales joins the band. There is talk of moving practice to Dale's house. Things are a little rough.
Four days after the last practice Dave gets a call from John. Is it good news or bad news?
Who is Kevin and is he any good?
This show is best consumed from episode 1 to the latest episode.
Bob has an OK drumset, a pretty good meter, and seems like he will be a good fit.
Let's the same 8 songs over and over and over and over.
Bob drops a few bombs at practice.
We not only need a drummer, we need a drumset.
The band has a fun practice, and is joined by two wives who want to share their opinions.
It's the last time in John's basement, and they decide to record the practice.
They are thinking of adding a female keyboardist.
The band moves to Kevin's basement. Kevin gets a squire guitar for Kevin. Jessie's wife decides she's going to book the band? Dave gets a new louder amplider.
John and Dave start reaching out to the local circuit. The band flips a coin and chooses a band name. The adventure is interesting as they visit different bars. The band decides to take a charity gig as a test.
What was supposed to be a charity event, turns out to be a biker rally.
December 12 Jesse Gets A New Job
At the end of a not so productive (boo-koo rock-n-roll tunes to due to some spectators) practice, Jesse announces that he has a new job at Western Auto. This is good as his second child should be born in a few months. He will be making more money. Unfortunately, he will also be working nights. He addressed this very lightly, but the band seemed to become very anxious about this latest turn of events. How can you play out at night, and work at the auto store? The other thing bothering some of the band was Jesse’s attitude about the songs. It appears that he hates playing anything that is slower than a heart attack. Dave and Kevin elect John to find out the scoop and make sure Jesse is in for the long haul. Some announcements were made: Kevin announces that he has decided to take a break from his current girlfriend (Kim), and Jesse announces the Kickin’ Country is booking for July. We need to work on a demo tape as soon as this gig is behind us.
December 15 Kevin books a PAYING Gig
Kevin gets our first paying job by singing “Anymore” completely by himself in a bar to a bar owner. It’s at the Louisville VFW It’s in a week (Friday 12/22/95). We are not ready, but decide to do it anyway (it’s only the Louisville VFW). We should get paid around 200-250. The band must squeeze in a Saturday practice. We also decide to throw in a few Christmas tunes to fill in the time.
After talking with Jesse, John concludes that Jesse is fine. Everything will work out fine. This practice marks the first successful attempt of John singing backup on the song “Good-Bye Says It All.” The band actually produces three-part harmony for the first time (successfully).
December 19 - The Blizzard
In Ohio parts of the state receive 14 inches of snow. It snows and rains ice all day. This also happens to be the only day all band members could get together to practice before the VFW gig. Bummer. Practice is canceled due to the weather. John, Dave, and Kevin will try to hook up later in the month. Many of the roadways are averaging around 15-20 mph. It’s very bad. By the mid-evening, it is illegal to drive in Medina unless it is an emergency.
December 22 -The Louisville V.F.W.
Well, John, Kevin, and Dave tried to practice the day before the gig, but it wasn’t very productive. The band is kind of pushed for time to be ready to play by 8:00. Bernie the owner lets us know we can start at 8:30. It’s still snowing, but the roads are clear. The band is greeted by a Christmas decoration on the door that plays (and sings) “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. It’s cute. Also on the door is a sign that reads:
Our first gig, and already the band’s name has been hacked.
The band sets a record-setting up their stuff. The bar is small, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Many trips are made to unload two pick-up trucks and a car full of equipment. The patrons get nervous as the group drags in two eight foot tall stacks of P.A. speakers. Each time hearing the door decoration sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas.” It’s getting a little annoying. The group is warned to keep the volume low.
After setting things up, the band opens the set without an official sound check. Dave starts the set with “The star spangled banner” that leads into God Bless Texas. Due to the size and layout of the bar, it takes the majority of the first set to get the sound right. The set included Dave going into the audience to play an extended solo. This seemed to thrill the crowd as they probably had not seen a wireless system before. The set ended with some not very planned improvisation of “Born to Boogie” where Dave explained how all of us were born (Kevin began singing, Jesse was pounding in his mother to get out, John’s fingers were going, and Dave was born with a guitar in his hand -a very painful labor). This is the bands first use of dynamics in a song. It turns out to be pretty good. The band followed Kevin back into the last verse and ended the song.
The band starts the second set with Christmas Carols (an idea that was put in place the night before). Dave and Kevin do this “unplugged” with two acoustic guitars. In between five Christmas songs, Dave and Kevin ask trivia questions such as “What is the name of the horse in the song Jingle Bells (bobtail). The person with the correct answer got to reach in a bag of “gifts” that the band brought. The gifts included a 10 pack of pens, an ice scraper, a box of crunch and munch, and a box of candy canes. While the Christmas song idea sounded great, it took an immediate nosedive when Dave opened the set with an instrumental version of “What Child is This.” It seemed Jingle bells was the only song the group was familiar with. Even Kevin and Dave imitating characters from the holiday classic “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” dropped like a lead balloon. The band had their first “guest appearance” by Opel the drunken wench. She insisted that we sing Blue Christmas again (We had just finished singing it). We let her take on the lead vocals. Opel heard her own music as she basically ignored Kevin and Dave’s strumming. Kevin passed her a lyric sheet, but apparently, Opel couldn’t read. We cut her off after the first verse (NEXT!). The duo decided to cut Silent Night from the set and move on to brighter pastures.. In the process of moving the microphones around to do the unplugged set, the band had slightly damaged the sound they perfected during the first set. It was about this time a drunk shouted out “QUIT STALLING!!” (now there’s the Christmas spirit!)
The second set had the band slowing things down as they went into “Anymore, What Might’ve Been, And If Tomorrow Never Comes.” We did find out the vocals were a little muddy, and Dave’s guitar needed to be louder. Jesse had not been feeling well before we even started, at this point, he’s starting to cough, and not looking too well. The band takes a quick 10-minute break and gets ready for the third set.
The third set had Jesse ready to pass out at any minute. By this time many of the people we thought were into us had left. Just losers trying to pump enough booze into women to get some Christmas nooky. The third set had Jim Ries (a buddy from work, and part of the reason we got the gig) and his ex-girlfriend’s Aunt (Fay) high steppin’ on the dance floor. It also had John drawing blanks in the middle of “Good-Bye Says It All.” This was added to nights previous mistakes like Dave cutting “Mercury Blues” in half by going to the ending two solos too soon, and Kevin flubbing a lyric here and there, as well as Jesse, providing some interesting drum parts to “Lifestyles Of The Not So Rich And Famous.” Luckily, all flubs are covered pretty smoothly (technical difficulties left Dave singing back-up alone on Bubba Hyde was pretty noticeable). Kevin goes mobile as he takes the mic on the dance floor and sings “So help me girl.” The band does the mosh version of “Sticks and Stones.” The band closes the night by repeating Watermelon Crawl, and Fast as You. The last song had all members on the dance floor along with the crowd. Another extended solo from Dave helps the band fill the time to 12:00. The band loads up the equipment and takes it back to Kevin’s basement, it was all done at 1:00. We made $200. (of which we all got $50). We decided to let Jesse keep his $50 instead of putting it towards the drum set since it was Christmas and all.
All in all a much better gig than expected. The band learns that we need to get rid of all the songs that weren’t quite ready (Nothing Wrong With The Radio)by LEARNING THEM. This would eliminate last second set changes. It was much better than the biker benefit, but we now a good idea of what needs fine-tuning
December 30, 1995 -HO HO NO! (YOKO’S COMING!)
The band battles sickness (John has Walking Pneumonia). After sitting on their frustrations for a week, John and Kevin announce to Dave their frustration with Jesse. His speeding up of songs, his lack of initiative to learn the songs as they are on the record, his purposeful neglect of the recorded version, and his negative attitude are really pissing John and Kevin off. A new problem is looming on the horizon. Yoko received a keyboard for Christmas. SHE IS ALREADY LEARNING OUR MATERIAL. Hello?!?!?! I don’t remember an audition? I don’t remember anyone asking for an audition?
For Yoko to be in the band she would have to meet the same criteria. She would have to have musical talent, the same taste in music, the same vision as the bands, and a GOOD ATTITUDE. With this in mind, it is feasible to say it is impossible for Yoko to be in the band. This is without asking the obvious question: “Who watches the kidS in about two months. What a nightmare. The band has taken two weeks off for the holidays.
Dave was originally not for firing Jesse, but this new development poses a new threat. Getting a new drummer
would also open the door for possibly hiring a keyboardist which Dave still feels we need. After reaching new heights with the first gig, the band is set to derail in 1996.
January 3rd, 1996 Talking to Michael
With the band not certain about Jesse’s future, Dave talks to Michael Gorfido about the possibility of joining the band in the event that an opening should appear. Michael seems pretty interested. The fact that the band owns a drum set seems very attractive. Dave gives the general sales pitch (Sounding like the record, having fun, while being serious, etc.). Oddly enough it seems the gossip lines have been lighting up about the band. Michael already knew the band owns a drum set. Another coincidence is that Beth Daugherty (Keyboardist/Singer/Steel Player) stops into to talk to Kevin to see how things are going with the band. Dave and Kevin talk on the phone and decide the gossip line at GEI is fiber optic.
January 6th Scouting Patrol
John, Kevin, and Dave go out to see some of the local talent. They go into the now famous “Kicking Country.” There were no bands, but the owner “Shorty” has heard of the band “Six Shooter,” He would like a tape. Dave attempts to shit one on the spot but fails.
The band ventures into the “Red Dog Saloon” and sees the band “Naked Spur.” They are a six-piece band that is very good. The band's set leaves Dave wanting a keyboardist so bad his nuts hurt. Someday we will sound this good. If you were to take away the 2 members they have, it would be a much more even battle.
The band stumbles into the “Silver Dollar.” A bar where the bar owner has the house band. This is done in an effort to hear a band that sucks. It’s true; we could blow these guys away. Their guitarist is very good, and Dave realizes he needs to work some more on picking up some pure country licks.
The band goes to breakfast and realizes that they really need to make some type of demo tape. They ponder the thought of using “Conjunction Junction (what’s your function?)” as a sound check. By using Dave’s 8-track deck, the band could substitute a different drummer if needed by rerecording the drum tracks only. Upon leaving the restaurant, the band finds themselves in a blizzard. Poor Dave doesn’t get home until 5:00 a.m.
Jan 9th Time to Move on
Jesse again misses practice. Consequently, the band takes some time to ponder the decision of booting him out of the band. The decision is made to pursue another drummer and severe our ties to Jesse. The band will also pursue Beth the keyboard player (that was put on hold partially by Yoko). It is a hard decision, but in the long run, it will be for the best. On a lighter note, Dave plans to sneak the band's logo into a nationwide newsletter that he publishes at work.
Dave’s pager goes off at 1:40 p.m. He gets into voice mail to hear that Kevin has finally been able to reach Jesse and let him go (He was at the hospital for a false alarm baby delivery the night before). Kevin tells Jesse that the band has come to an agreement together and that they feel he is moving in a different direction than the rest of the band. He does not share the vision, and that the band is looking for a new drummer. Jesse’s first reply is, “Good.” When Kevin explains how he didn’t expect that response, Jesse asks why he is let go. Kevin explains how it’s not due to a lack of talent, but just a difference of opinion in how the band should sound. Jesse responds with, “Whatever, do what you want.” Kevin tries to keep the bridge from burning and to stop from causing hard feelings. At this point, Jesse simply wants off the phone and cuts the conversation short. The conversation and Jesse’s 18-week career ends. We are without a drummer-again.
I think its safe to say that the band has mixed emotions. The uncertainty of not having a drummer (Michael Gorfido is growing colder as a lead), the loss of our friend Jesse, and the task of rebuilding can appear large. The other side of the coin is that Beth is coming over with her fiancé tomorrow to practice. This could be interesting as the now-trio has not played together for quite some time now. We could appear very awful.
Beth and her fiancé Dan show up to audition. Kevin is slightly late due to being in the field with a technician. Dave gets to talk with the duo. Beth admits she is very nervous. Dave is also nervous (after all they’re auditioning us as much as we are them). The night is filled with tunes from every type of music. Kiss, Linda Ronstadt, The Knack, Eric Clapton, Ozzy, Bluegrass, Lynard Skynard, Funk, and Iron Butterfly. The last one had Dan launch into an impromptu drum solo. It was impressive, and his meter was tight. His meter varied a little during the night, but not enough to really alarm anyone (after all he’s never attempted the songs on a set). It takes John and a voltmeter to get Beth’s keyboard operational. While Beth’s confidence in her playing was a little low, by the end of the night she seemed to lighten up enough, and start playing some nice filler piano parts. She was able to harmonize very nicely. The band even pulled off some nice three-part harmony on Linda Ronstadt’s “When will I be loved.” The music portion of the evening seemed to do exactly what it was supposed to do: provide a chance to show off enough to impress everyone. Dan asks the question, “Hey are we gonna do this again?” Everyone agrees it was a lot of fun.
During the practice, we had a surprise visit from none other than JESSE GIBBENS. Beth (not knowing this was the ex-drummer) gives him a friendly wave. John quits playing and escorts Jesse upstairs. Kevin follows shortly thereafter. John re-explains how Jesse doesn’t share the vision of the band. Dave eventually joins the trio upstairs. By this time John is somehow throwing in a new excuse that Jesse has “too much going on.” Jesse is almost in tears. It's a very bad situation. A situation that was hard, has become unbearable. Dave wants to cut the bull and explain that time and time again he played songs the way we had stated we did not want them played. On the other hand, he wants this whole situation to be over. He’s having a hard time seeing Jesse hurt. He decides to say nothing (and regrets this later). Jesse wants his sticks back. Jesse explains how he has his schedule in place, he admits HE DOESN’T LIKE COUNTRY MUSIC but is having fun playing it. His last words were, “Whatever, have a nice practice.” I think he was pretty blown away to show up (probably expecting us to be playing along with the magic drummer) and find a drummer and keyboard player. Kevin makes a mental note, “Next practice- lock door.”
The group later retires to the living room to rap about each other's expectations. Dan and Beth seem like very nice people. There are no foreseeable problems in this department. A general “chit chat-swap band stories” session takes place. The band's vision is discussed, as well as the history of the band (what you are reading right now). The group calls it a night around 11:30.
Dave sticks around and chats with Kevin. They’re both impressed with Dan. He hasn’t played drums in a while and could sing backup if necessary. Both agree Beth did a nice job of “filling in,” but would have like to seen her “cut loose” a little more. Both agree that if she can play what is on the record, she’s fine. Dave hopes for more improvisation in the future. In general, the feeling is very good.