Sunday, July 31, 2005


My four or five years following the break-up of Javelin were filled with music, but no serious bands. There was the aformentioned Ro Herim that consisted of Denny Haberkern, Bob Gleisberg, Steve Olsen and me, which basically involved us sitting around talking about playing and making up new logos, interspersed with actual playing.

I spent most of my high school years getting high and going to concerts with Denny. As such, my memory of this time is a little fuzzy, and I'm not 100% sure of some of the facts. I do know that we saw a good many bands during that time: ELO, Queen (twice), Cheap Trick, Van Halen, etc. I also was taking bass lessons from a local musician friend of my mom's, Frank Coffman. He was actually a guitar player who played in area night clubs, but he had a decent understanding of how the bass should be approached. I just wish I had bothered to study more.

Denny and I also took some music courses together at Mainland. I believe we both took Theory I and II together. But the one that stands out most in my mind was the Music Appreciation class with Mrs. Olga Buttle (or was it Tuttle?). This class basically consisted of a bunch of us just sitting around listening to music all day. I remember distincly all of us having to do reports on current artists, along with playing selections of their music. Denny did Queen and I did Kiss. But the best had to have been when Ron Mason did The B52's. The sight of Olga sitting at the piano, tapping out the chords to "Rock Lobster" along with the record is a memory I cherish to this day. A less cherished memory is when Ron came in with a cassette tape the two of us had made the night before while stoned, with him playing drums and me turning my knuckles into a bloody mess trying to emulate Pete Townsend's windmill guitar style. Hearing it the next day, it didn't sound nearly as good as it did under the influence the night before. And my knuckles hurt.

I did manage to get some actual playing done during high school. I remember one band featuring Bill Brummett on drums, me on bass and Bob G. on vocals. I believe it was Mike Oriente on guitar in this band, with us playing a lot of Ozzy and Rush tunes. Mike was a phenominal guitar player that Bob and Steve Olsen picked up hitch-hiking one day. He introduced us all to the wonders of Randy Rhodes. The amazing thing to me was that Mike was able to duplicate his lead playing without using a tremelo. He played a Les Paul guitar and, instead of using the "whammy bar" to bend the notes, he would reach up with his right hand, grab the string between the nut and his fretted finger and pull, giving it the same tremelo effect. It was quite a thing to see. I played in a couple different setting with Mike. He was partly responsible for helping me to take my bass playing to the next level.

1 comment:

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