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Monday, January 25, 2010

The '90s: GBP, Suspended II and more


OK, so after a while Nobody Knows just sort of fell apart. After that in the early '90s I played in a band with Paul again. He was friends with this guy Nick who somehow came into possession of a studio in LaGrange, Area 3, that was behind a religious book store. There was another guitarist Sean and a drummer, and Ray was around. The DJ Kevin Matthews did some recording there. We didn't play any gigs but we made some cool recordings, including a couple of my originals, and it was fun hanging around the place. One night I passed out there and they locked the back studio door so I had to go out through the Christian book store in front, and you could tell the book shop owner wasn't happy. That band, called Scarlet Faith, only lasted a couple months.
Later I played bass in a band with another concrete guy, Lance, and his wife, Linda Rose. We played every weekend, Friday and Saturday night, and the pace was too much for me, since Hannah was very little at the time. I realized I couldn't handle playing every weekend night until 2 then going out for breakfast and getting home around 4. I quit after 6 months or so. We played country rock, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Eagles--decent enough music but they didn't want anything to do with my originals and I only got to sing one song a night and they told me what it would be: "Tequila Sunrise."
After that I was in a couple of bands with Ron at the same time. The first was a new version of Suspended Animation, without Paul. It wasn't the same and I really wasn't into it. The new guy John was just learning guitar and wasn't very good and I didn't have the patience for that. He was a nice enough guy though. I give Rich a lot of credit because he booked us a lot of gigs during this time. We played all over, from Elmhurst way up north to the Lake Bluff area and even in the city. Rich was in a very creative period and wrote some cool songs like "Piano Head" and "Peanut Butter and Jam," and Ray was still recording us whenever he could, so that was cool. The band was also playing some of my originals too, like "Sand Castles." Rich leased this unfinished office space in Hillside where we rehearsed. We played gigs to make enough to cover the rent.
The other band I was playing with at this time was originally called Pegasus, then the George Barnes Project, after the guitarist. This was a great, loud, rockin' band. Ron just sang and didn't have to drum and loved being out front. I was having a great time playing bass, and we did some of my originals like "Excited" and "New Way Home." The drummer Bob was a wild man. It took us a while to get some gigs and once we finally did it all suddenly fell apart. My friend Hound Dog made a great recording of us, and I have some old tapes Ray made from this era. As you can see in the picture it was pretty crazy!