Sometime in ’91 I ran into a guy I went to highschool with named CJ at the grocery store. He was the best drummer in town and had played in a string of cool local bands over the years, most recently I think he had been with a group called Broad with ex-Reptile House guitarist Joe Goldsborough. CJ knew I was trying to get a band together and mentioned that there was a classified for a Punk guitarist looking for folks to jam with that appeared in the Owings Mills Times. That’s really local, and so it was odd that someone so close could be into similar music and we had never crossed paths before. I had to call not only because the ad looked interesting, but because I really had a lot of respect for CJ as drummer and so I saw his suggestion less of an idea and more of a commandment. So I called and chatted with a guy named Tim who turned out to be a couple of years younger and he attended the other local high school. That explained why we had never come across each other before.
We got together a half dozen or so time and just played guitar – him on 6-string and me on bass. Tim’s a really talented guitar player who has lots of metal “tricks” down but is able to play a variety of different styles. He’s really fluid with the notes, basically the opposite of me. I can keep a steady rhythm on bass and that’s about it. But really-good-guitarist + passable bass player = a time-honored tradition in rock and roll so I wasn’t feeling too useless. It was fun, I remember covering songs like “Hungry Child” by Corrosion of Conformity, “Right Brigade” by Bad Brains, and “Crash Course in Brain Surgery” (until my fingers would give up) by Budgie – although to be honest we were listening to the Metallica version at the time. Side note: if you like Black Sabbath-style 70′s Metal and don’t know Budgie, do yourself a favor and pick up their self-titled album from 1971.
After having enough practice to learn a few covers as well as a very Metal-sounding untitled original Tim had written, we were ready to find a drummer. Tim found a guy in the classifieds who lived in the next county that had his kit in his basement and was willing to host practice. Not ideal, but we had a willing drummer with a practice space so good enough. I can’t even recall his name; he was a nice fella but he wasn’t really into the Metal/Punk stuff that we liked so I remember us constantly telling him “faster, faster!” when we were showing him our handful of songs. Needless to say, it wasn’t really working out that well. It probably didn’t help that for some reason both Tim and I thought it was hilarious to growl and yell “worship satan!” while playing as we giggled through our tiny-but-heavy set. Here’s what I’m talking about, that previously-mentioned untitled original:
It wasn’t long after we made this boombox recording that we discovered a guy I had known for years was actually a pretty decent bass player, was very into the music we were into, and was seeking to get a band going. Since I kind of suck of bass anyway I was happy to hop on drums and the three of us got a new band going. But that’s another post.