I feel fortunate that I was active during the era when American Hard Rock was a thing. The glam metal bands of the Sunset Strip 80’s era get a bad rap in the media, but those who weren’t in it have no idea just how fun it was to compete with MTV and just go out and have a great time on stage. I played with a lot of Boston area musicians, got on stage with a lot of bands and performed in a lot of clubs for a lot of people. Nothing could have been better than that. While finding any tapes from those bands is hard, I have managed to wrangle up a few from bands that included people I played with, and some of the songs I got to bang out under club lights on late nights. This was heaven to me.
1996: Company of Strangers
Company of Strangers was the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter Dave Simmons in the Boston area. Dave’s multiple incarnations of Company of Strangers included two singers and three bassists, with me performing with the band through 1996, though the recordings below feature another bass player. The vocalist, Drew Carey still performs a solo acoustic act throughout central Massachusetts.
War Pigs – Live
Heroine – Live
With COS I played through an old Kustom bass amp, something I acquired after seeing an old Creedence Clearwater Revival concert video. I played the Yamaha Motion Bass III and my first Spector bass.
Fun, loud, way after the game had ended for glam. Played shows in Rhode Island and Mass and enjoyed it.
Stop Messin’ With A Broken Heart
Shootin’ From The Lipp
Nothing really changed here in the gear department. When you aren’t making money with the band, you don’t really buy new gear.
1990/1991: Outta Bounds
With a 2-song demo recorded with Bob St. John, Outta Bounds played the local concert halls around Central Massachusetts, opening for major label acts. Here are a few tunes from the band. We had 22 tracks but I only have a few left for prosperity.
Can’t Fight Love
Payin’ The Price
At the time, around ’89-’90 I came into a couple bucks and bought one of my all time favorite amp set-ups, the Crate BT-350 head and cabinet stack, of which I only ever used the 2-15 cabinet, because it was heavy and the 10’s just weren’t necessary. I also somewhere acquired a Yamaha Motion Bass III that mysteriously disappeared recording a singer under the name Silhouette in the late 1990s. That bass would be worth almost $179 today on reverb!
A great story over coffee, it was Dan Brady, the guitarist in Airborn whom, after a studio writing session, had handed me a cassette of a band called Bittersweet – who 13 years later I launched Retrospect Records with. In the meantime, as a band, we had near 20 originals, 14 recorded in Brady’s “Studio 7” in Framingham, MA and we performed everywhere and anywhere. When we departed, we had three new songs in the works, two of which are below – recorded on a single mic during rehearsals. I can’t apologize enough for how bad the demo sounds after years of degrading on a cassette.
I Need A Woman (degraded audio)
Bull in a China Shop (degraded audio)
Call of the Free (degraded audio)
Stuck In The Middle (rehearsal live)
Long Way (rehearsal live)
During this band I used the Yamaha Motion Bass III and a Fernandes early demo “Space Bass” (cannot find an image) and the world’s most perfect amplifier, the SWR RedHead.
Gathering old demos, as I mentioned above, is hard. Half the people I played in my teens and twenties are either figuratively or factually dead and only so much music followed me across the country. Most of the music from my early years has never been digitized. Below are some sound files from bands or artists I played with coming up the ladder. Some I can’t find included:
Shake the Cage
.. and one offs with a host of live performances.
Here’s music from former musicians whom I performed and/or recorded with, off really old and degraded cassettes.
Need You Tonight
1989: Deuces Wild
Love and Sin
Fresh Flesh Fantasy
Hard To Let Go
1988: Wild Vein
Scene of the Crime
Come to Me
Long Way From Home
Hold on to Tomorrow
Show Me The Way