Fueled at the thought of this new and oh so exciting music, those records would also provoke my interest in seeking out more of the same and introdue me to the following artists who would be favorites for the rest of the decade.
On November 2, 1982, I finally go to meet (the first of three times) Iggy Pop after a show at the original, world famous, Cleveland Agora Ballroom and was able to chat with him for five to ten minutes.
I would meet several other bands in the 1980s. R.E.M., Joey Ramone, Stiv Bators and The Lords Of The New Church,
Los Lobos, Hüsker Dü, partied with The Replacements a few times, Pere Ubu, fIREHOSE, The Meat Puppets, Death Of Samantha, The Reactions, The Blasters and one time, at a show in Cleveland, I was in the restroom and in the urinal next to me was Jeff Magnum from The Dead Boys!
The artists that would become my continued favorite listening and will probably receive heavy rotation for the rest of my life are...
We used to party with The Replacements when they played in Cleveland. They were going to play for my ex-wife's
30th birthday for $1500 but by the time her birthday came, we were separated and the Mats had become a bit too
popular so I doubt I could have gotten them for $1500. In fact several of the Matts shows that I recorded are circulating
on bootlegs. Below are photos I took of my ex-wife with The Replacements on August 20, 1985.
My Replacements autographs
(click for enlargements)
1984 saw the release of the album that I'd sell my soul to have recorded. Hüsker Dü's double platter slab of raging power pop cacophony, Zen Arcade, was unlike anything I had ever heard before or since. To this day, I still wonder how these three scruffs from Minneapolis could possibly create such a masterpiece. If I've ever envied an artist's work, THIS IS IT!!!
By the way, the circulating 3CD set of Zen Arcade outtakes was mastered by me and sourced from me
from tapes I acquired from a source close to the band's drummer.
However, to me, the epitome of what "alternative" stood for and, indeed, what all REAL music stood for was San Pedro, California's The Minutemen. I was first introduced to them when I bought their 1984 double platter masterpiece Double Nickles On The Dime and soon became an eternal fan. Who needs more than a minute to say your piece?
These guys were FUN and didn't give a shit what ANYONE thought!!!
But, their voice would be silenced in January 1985...
Music had lost a true original!
On December 28, 1984, MY voice was nearly silenced. This day was my closest brush with death...
... I was a passenger in this car...
The truck that hit us.
My friend, Mike Baker (pictured in part one) and I were driving home late night after an evening of considerable drinking (and, YES, we had absolutely NO business being in a car). Mike was driving and we were listening to a great bootleg live recording of R.E.M. We were on a road that Mike had rarely driven and I assumed he knew what was ahead. Amid our conversation and loud music, Mike missed a stop sign and drove right into the path of a truck going 50-60mph (we were probably driving 40-50mph). Luckily, the truck's impact point was the front of the car. It tossed us around considerably but other than broken windows, the passenger compartment survived relatively unscathed. The truck ended up on its side several hundred feet down the road in the median ditch. Our car was scattered all over the place. If we had been just a couple of feet further on the road, it would have plowed right into the drivers' side. This surely would have killed Mike and likely killed me.
Mike didn't have a tape player in his car so he used a "boom-box" which we were playing the R.E.M. tape in. The boom-box had been ejected from the car landing about a hundred feet away. The play button was still pressed in but the tape compartment was open and the tape was laying several feet away. The next day I played the tape (which was still intact). I rewound it just a little bit. The song was "Pretty Persuasion". When it got to the point that was playing as the wreck occurred, a tiny but distinct glitch was heard. The effect on me was profound. That might have been where it all ended.
On a lighter note...
Out of the darkside of the 1980's alternative surgence would come an industrial sledgehammer forged in Chicago....
... and their frontman...
My musical visions would never be the same again. I had found my idol!!!
Strangely enough, the turn rock had taken during the 1980s had opened my eyes to an unlikely broad spectrum of music.
I soon gained a great affinity for deep blues and jazz. A lot of the rock I listened to on the 1970s was very blues related but this was the first that I really listened to pure blues.
In late 1988, the opportunity arose to play music again. However, this would only be filling in as bass player for a local bar band. The Jesse brothers' and Ralph Boyer's (all mentioned earlier in Bio Part 2) current band's bass player also played in another band which produced a conflicted schedule. Denny Jesse asked me if I wanted to fill in on occasion. I was VERY rusty but their repitoire consisted simply of oldies and classic rock. Many of the songs I already knew and I could wing the rest so I jumped at the opportunity. We played a handful of gigs throughout late 1988 and early 1989.
We played stuff like "Mony. Mony", "It's All Over Now", "Born To Be Wild", "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Give Me Three Steps". No photos were taken that I know of but two recordings were made (a rehearsal and a live performance) which still exist.
As the 1990s began, regardless of the few gigs the previous year, I was still in the same place musically. I had hardly played music in ten years but I was revelling in all the new music I had discovered in the past decade and the new music was still coming. "Alternative" had finally hit the mainstream with Nirvana and Pearl Jam leading the herd. Soon, the radio airwaves were even full of the music I listened to.
Although I hardly played any music during the 1980s I did, however, buy another guitar. My friend, Jerry, asked if I would like to buy his acoustic guitar. It was a nice guitar and the price was cheap. I used it until 1997, when I gave the guitar to my music partner, Kira, but to this day, I have no clue to what brand it is. There is no name on the headstock and the inside label had been removed before Jerry bought it. But, it's a nice solid guitar that plays smooth and sounds nice.
The "no name" acoustic
In 1992, I decided to try my hand at creating another Revolution recording. By this time, my knowledge of recording had greatly improved and I figured I could do it up pretty cool. I utilized recordings from the previous three years fed from five tape players into one. The result was far more sophisticated than the early 1970 recordings.
Revolution 1992 (Three Years, Twenty Years On)
But still... I wasn't making music. This would soon change.
On to Part Four