Ok so as the ball keeps rolling so do the musicians in my life and soon the well started drying up as Nilo and the other players were now all gone. Although the band format wasnt happening right now, the song writing side started getting tighter more diverse songs. A lot of the songs written are the WHO SAID THERE’S TROUBLE! AND BLACK GUITARS BLACK EYES albums.
As I mentioned before, pre interent you had to go and physically paste adds to message boards LOL. At UGA there was the Tate center and that was where most people put their ads. One day I get a call from a drummer named Fred. We get together and click almost instantly. Over the next few weeks he learned many of my songs, but then in another time waster of massive proportions, guitar and equipment problems. Well being a really broke musician and for some reason not really doing what I needed to, me and fred ended up not playing for almost 9 months until I finally got me another rig set up. We kept in touch in the interim but the second I was ready, so was he and we started without missing a beat.
On a side note, most of the bands I had played with I never had a person who actually could give me great input and ideas for my songs and new ones I was writing. Where as when I write a song I know pretty much what I want everyone to be doing and like a machine Fred was laying down all the and we amassed a ton of my songs. Basically a good 50 or so originals were done. We were having a bitch of time finding other musicians though, bassists dont fall off tress and good vocalist are really hard. Basically if you find a player that clicks with you and actually feels your music, DO NOT LET THAT PERSON SLIP AWAY. Its really hard to find people on the same page with you.
SO LETS DOUBLE SIDE NOTE RIGHT HERE: at this point Fred and I should of taken full control and done the vocals ourselves and just tried to go with what we had. This is a major flaw of mine as you hear bands say we had 4 songs and started gigging. Well We had over 50 and werent gigging and I always felt that I had to have a good 2 to 3 sets of material ready to go before playing out. SO DUMB, basically any bands reading this, GET YOUR SHIT OUT THERE NOW and then get it fine tuned cause you can sit in the woods of THE BOONIES stroking yourself all you want but ITS JUST WASTING TIME and now at 47 trust me, its true TIME IS LIMITED.
But instead of taking the bull by the horns, I needed it to be a 4-some, it had to have a Van Halen look. So I recruited a guitarist, David Hale (who btw plays much better than me) and Lusk to be our vocalist. Lusk was my best friend at the time and Fred was my best music friend at the time but goddamn could these 2 worlds be farther apart and I remember time trying to hang out with Lusk and Fred with playing and hanging and the connection was me, So I decided to connect these worlds and brought lusk in as the singer. To this day Im not really sure if he hated my songs, hated my lyrics and wanted to change everything but even though we starting getting some gigs out this band, Lusk never really dove in 100% and many times seemed like he wasnt ever gonna learn the songs. I do know though once he changed Southside into Southside Girl, that was one of the songs he could nail but for the most part It wasnt on the same page. I dunno dont put really good friends in your band if they arent 100% into your drug so to speak.
David on the other hand was a complete surprise and then a bad surprise. At first the guy learned all the songs so as a band we had close to 50 songs ready to go. He was reliable at practices and was reliable for gigs until the LIVE ODYESSY GIG of 92. For some reason he chose to quit playing while remaining on stage playing, so I dunno what he was playing. Then he deserted the gig at some point. I guess the final straw with David and when he started going behind my back to Fred to bitch about my songs and stuff. So that marked the end, The thing is I guess with both Lusk and Hale is that I dunno what they expected, I had my style, sound etc and they came in knowing that, so dont fuck with a product that is finished. I also dont know if either ever had intentions of getting out Athens to tour. I do know some recently told they thought they wanted to do something at my expense.
But the Dirty Duck years were really good. We got tight as far as cool stuff to add to the songs and stuff. We starting doing some gigging out. If anyone knows Athens, we played at Pippinos, Club Fred, Odyessy, Nowhere Bar, New YEars First night and many other gigs. Another kickass thing about Fred was that he worked at the local paper and was able to get us a write up also and that felt really good. We went out to do photo shoots. It really felt like we were doing something but we werent.
I also started going thru life crisis here and THIS SHOULD BE A LIFE LESSON TO PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT TO DO MUSIC. I started going to DeVry and after graduating immediately moved to Charlotte for my life in corporate America. This was like a death nail into doing music as a job even though I didnt realize it at the time. I started making some money and fucking dropped the ball, so what Im saying is FUCK EDUCATION and all that shit if you want to do music. Figure out the path and try to make it work somehow. If you never have money you never really get trapped by having money. Meaning you can figure out how to survive on nothing if need be but once you start making money its really hard to say Im going to give the money up and start perusing the dream I should of never quit on. This is something in hindsight, I wish I would of just hit the road and tried to tour.
OK KIDS – Make you sure you discuss this type stuff with your band
. Fred and I would have discussions on the music, the image, logos and all that stuff. BUT NOT ONE TIME DID ME AND FRED EVERY REALLY SIT DOWN AND DISCUSS what are we doing. To this day (and trust me If I ever get in contact with Fred again I will ask him and blog the results) but to this day, Im not sure if Fred wanted to be in a touring band meaning did he ever have any intentions of leaving Athens to tour. Then the questions comes to me, DID I. Neither of us know this answer cause we never discussed it. We had a song catalog that would work in a lot of settings and so many songs we could always have new sets but WHAT WAS OUR GRAND PLAN. Makes me sad to this day cause Im not sure and we had so much going for us at the time. But cant look back everyday and think WHAT IF … cause that moment in time is gone and there is no way to recreate it, esp in 2017.
The Freddy Dean years represent 91-93 as far as actively playing and gigging. During late 93, after David starting going behind my back to Fred about my songs that I decided to dump Hale and Lusk and try to figure out where to go next. Of course I was deep into school study now and getting near graduation also.
So after Dirty Duck (BTW I hated that name as it represented a lot of that shittier late 80s metal that ruined the shine of the early 80s metal), we tried it out hat at being a 2 piece Acoustic and tambourine playing band. Just to show we were ahead of the NU METALERS of the late 90s. We were doing covers of Faith also LOL. We would goto parks and play our acoustic sets and even re-worked some of my songs but really nothing ever became of all this. Two things happened after we got rid of the DUCK. I was already knowing I had job in Charlotte and had to focus on moving (Graduated on Friday started work on Monday type deal). Fred wasnt as hyped about everything either now that we didnt have a full band. It does suck knowing you have to start from ground zero with new players.
AHEAD OF OUR TIME, I remember telling Fred around this time that we should pre-record the bass for the songs and just play as a 2 piece band and remember those floor stand up’s of full size people but were made of cardboard. I was thinking of putting a bass on one of these beer girl cutouts and have them on stage with us, so it would give the illusion of a bassist. Look as silly as ideas seem, as long as you’re getting your product out there, you are at least doing something positive. I mean goddamn if I known I could of gotten 5-6 guys and where crazy masks and just make noise (aka slipknot mushroomhead) and become a musical force. Some ideas work.
So lots to learn from this, but basically make sure everyone in the
band is 100% on board and GET ON THE ROAD.
The Dirty Duck years repersent the WHO SAID THERES TROUBLE, BLACK GUITARS BLACK EYES, WHICH R U!, CANDY CANE, and all the ideas for future albums and also learned a lot of stuff from the first 3 albums. YES WE HAD A LOT OF ORIGINAL SONGS, Just sucks to know very few people have ever heard any of the stuff
On the NEXT BLOG, Me and Freddy Dean hit the studio, then hit a wall, and I go back playing bass for another band in Charlotte.