Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pre-StrangeLand history; or when I started playing bass

Since this blog was intended to be my running diary of life with the band, I should probably be posting about that. So, I've decided to put my story about the band, on the blog. The whole story - from starting the band, almost 6 years ago - to today.

Prior to starting the band, I had to start playing bass again. I was working in a social service agency as a clinical supervisor, overseeing several programs and a handful of therapists. We dealt primarily with sex offenders and their victims, but we also had some 'regular' clients that were just there for therapy. I had been there a couple months when I got a call from a very good friend, and my brother-in-law, Doug.

"Hey, lets buy guitars, practice and start a band."

Wow, ok, cool. Now, I *used* to play bass. Back right after high school - I used to jam with some buddies - like Justin Robbins - and even got good enough (relatively speaking, of course) to play in the church praise band. I remember buying an old bass to start with - I honestly don't remember what it was - but my first new bass was a Washburn, with bright red crackle paint, 4 strings, and active electronics. I didn't know much back then, but I knew a pretty bass when I saw it.

I then sold that bass to get an amp, with a 15" speaker, and a different bass. This bass was ugly. It was a kind of steinberger knock-off - cricket bat (boat oar) body, black, headless, and had 4 silver tuners on the end of the body, under the bridge. I think it was called a Jack bass - maybe by Kramer. Real ugly. But - it worked, and now with bass and amp - I was ready to rock!

It wasn't long before I was in a band - after all, I didn't need chords to play rock and roll! The name of the band was Ballyhoo (meaning: loud noise). We did covers - everything from Def Lepperd to John Cougar Mellencamp (he still had 3 names back then). The only problem with the band, besides the fact that most of us could barely play - was that the guitar player always wanted to put these ripping solos in every song. Even the John Cougar Mellencamp songs - > where they did not belong.

After a couple months of practice, we got a gig; a high school dance. I don't remember what school - but it was fairly small. We played for a couple hours - and only took breaks when the guitarist danced with his girlfriend, who had hired us. Ahhhh, politics even then.

After the dance, the guitar player decided that he sucked, and was quitting the band as soon as we could find a replacement. I didn't stick around to see if that happened - I quit too.

From Ballyhoo, I went on to play in my church band, with Wade actually, and shortly after I joined, quit to go into the military.

While on active duty - I did play in a pick up band. We did a couple AD/DC songs on base at Lowry AFB Airman's Club. It wasn't too long after that gig, that I sold all my equipment.

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