The Fruitful College Years...

Such a scary punk I left Sr. High and POD behind to go on to St. Mary's College of MD (SMC), where I unpacked my Jag copy and Marshall amp and began to annoy my dormitory with my band less Punk Rock guitar playing. I spent my first year of college locked in my room, writing and playing songs to and for myself. At the end of my first year, with my birthday fast approaching, I made a desperate plea to my family - "I need more power!". Lucky for me, my parents were far enough away from me that they didn't know about my Punk Rock songs so my prayers were answered. A used Marshall 100W Half-stack and Cort Fender Srtatocopy were my new toys, so my saxophones were quickly gathering dust as I spent the summer playing guitar with some ex-school chums of mine in a band called AT WITS END (AWE).
That summer went too fast, and before I knew it I was back at SMC with my new toys and no band again. In my search to form a band I found one thing out - SMC was not home to very many drummers. That fall my musical career took a sharp turn. One of my skating buds, Andy Duck was a drummer but he was too busy skating to play drums. Being the friend he was, he offered to sell me his entire drum kit for $40. I always wanted to be a drummer, and $40 later I was one. I don't think I've ever practiced as much as I did those first few weeks, and before long I was pretty adept at the Punk polka-beat. Once I built up the stamina to polka for a couple of songs at a time, the greatest band ever to hit SMC was born. ANARCHIST WOMEN, comprised of myself on drums, Maximum Guerin on fretless bass and Edward Van Felix on guitar then began a search for a vocalist. The search didn't last long as we were soon able to convince my roommate, Darrin Danner, to throw down his guitar and pick up a microphone. ANARCHIST WOMEN took SMC by storm. Drumming with Anarchist Women
Rastaman vibrations Throughout my lifetime as a career student at SMC I was involved in many bands. Most of these are chronicled in a much more creative manner by Ted Felix. I am trying to remember what I went through back then - it was a terrible blur! I can tell you that there were Punk Rock bands, New Wave bands, Ska bands, Disco bands, bands that should best be described as "Experimental", and the occasional Classic Rawk bands.
Here are a few bands I can remember being a part of:
  • Punk/Ska Bands:
    • At Wits End - 1987
      Anarchist Women - 1987/88
      See Dick.../Let's See Dick - 1988
      Null Set - 1988
      Big Toe - 1989-1991
  • Experimental Bands:
    • The Ailment - 1987
      The John Irvine Project - 1991
      The Kevin Roth All Stars - 1992
  • Rock/Pop Bands:
    • The Apathetics - 1988/89
      Classical Ugandan Music - 1988
      Lobsters of Soul (special guest) - 1989
      Without a Doubt - 1991/92
      Floral Majority - 1992

I don't think I ever figured out what kind of music I liked back then...

Definitely the longest running band I was in while at SMC was the ska-tacular BIG TOE. I joined up with the band after they had already built an underground following of Toe-heads. For the original lineup of the band, I was on drums. This was the classic ska Toe, old-school style. Big Toe!
One problem BIG TOE had was that, for personality reasons, creative differences, or whatever, turnover was terrible. No sooner had the Toe-jam gelled than Alasdair Brooks, founding member, principal songwriter and lead singer quit, taking with him most of the horn section. This left the band in a kind of flux, not sure where to go next.
Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for us, a new dawn was rising on BIG TOE. We enlisted several new members in an open lineup that changed depending on the weather. I moved around from drums, to guitar, to sax, finally ending up on bass. One new staple in the band was Heather Flower on vocals. Heather was more professionally trained than Alasdair so this new talent helped spearhead the new direction the band would take; that of a college party-rock cover band. We had to say good bye to all that ska angst and say hello to free beer and a drunken rugby team (who were particularly fond of us for some reason?).

On to the next era
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