Sunday, March 12, 2006

Evolution - Part 1

For the next few days I'd like to take a step back, to one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place, and post a few pictures and comments about the journey I have taken as a musician.

So over the next three posts, I'm going to highlight a few of the pictures that best capture the evolution of my musical youth, starting from the beginning when I was still dreaming in my basement...

1979: Here I am at the young age of 17, the year I graduated from high school. I had been playing in this basement long enough and was ready to hit the "clubs." Unfortunately the best gig I could get at the time was playing high school dances with my friends. We must have put together 10 different bands but just couldn't seem to make anything stick. I still have to give credit to my family for putting up with all the noise we generated. I'll never forget heading upstairs after rehearsals and seeing the entire family huddled around the TV with the volume blaring, in a desperate attempt to watch their shows. Thanks everyone. Don't think I didn't notice.

Summer of 79: I had hit the "big time" - at least in my world. I managed to hook up with a local band called Sleeper and these guys were the "real deal". They had talent, equipment, experience and most of all GIGS! Here was our first picture taken as a group, in an effort to at least get some kind of picture to the clubs. We obviously didn't have money for a professional photographer - or studio.

These were the days of "tough guy" rock and roll bands. Songs from groups like Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Kansas and Nazareth required us to look the part. Ok, try to look the part. And nothing says tough like a back alley stairwell.

It didn't take long before we were the hottest act in Duluth and the surrounding area. Before I knew it we were playing every weekend and were being featured in the local newspapers. After a near total shutdown of live music in the area clubs as a result of the disco virus, this was a time of resurgence, when people were done with the mirror balls and desperate for the real thing. Every nightclub we played during this time was packed wall-to-wall with people starving for live, loud rock and roll - and we were on the menu.

[Next: Stay tuned for Part 2 where I join a professional show band and head overseas]


Mooselet said...

Very cool, dude. As someone with absolutely no musical talent whatsoever (or taste, according to my Teen), I think it's fabulous when those with talent pursue their goals.

Oh, and love the feathered hair. 80's were a marvelous time, were they not? :)

Anonymous said...

You seem to have survived the late 70's relatively unscathed... nothing too embarrassing in the wardrobe department.

I, on the other hand, could never show any photo of me prior to 1986. Far, far too horrible. :-)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Mooselet Funny you should mention hair. Hair seems to be kind of a theme for me with my bands. After this band I was in an 80's hair band and now today I'm in a band called The Receders. I wonder what band I'll be with in another 20 years?

Dave You ain't seen nothin yet, and I'm not talking BTO when I say that! Just wait until tomorrow and then let me know how you feel about my wardrobe.

Jess Riley said...

From Mick Jagger to Alton have traveled quite the trajectory, my friend. :) Very cool path, though.

(I really want to post old pictures of my husband's band days, but he won't let me.)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I've heard the Alton Brown thing before, but I really hear it now that I've got the same kind of sideburns.

Just call me "Iron Jeff"!