Well, I’ve been in a bunch of bands through the years, and some were pretty good, and others were just good… but one common-denominator among them is that none of them ever got a good live recording!

I am trolling my old tapes, and if I find decent examples of anything, I’ll pop some MP3 links in here. Until that time, though, I’ll just provide such photos as I have, and let it go at that. Also, because I have lost touch with most of the people that were in these bands, I’m not going to provide names, unless I have good assurance that they won’t care. The other members may be lawyers or architects or statesmen by now!

So here goes. Dates are approximate... as is my memory.

Goldbricks 1969-1970
Dirtbags 1979 - 1980
No Trumpets 1980 - 1981
Pirates 1982 - 1984
Red Echo 1984 - 1986
Nudda Beer 1986 - 1987
Queegs 1987 - 1990
Brompton's Cocktail 1990 -1991
SOTJ 1992 - 1995
Queegs 1995 - 1997
White Chihuahua 2007 - 2014
No Guitar Left Behind 2013 - 2014

The Goldbricks - 1969-1970

I was in the 4th grade at the time (so the photo at right might not be entirely-accurate, but it captures essentially what we looked like. My big brother Matt and I, plus a third kid named Jim Thorne who played guitar (Matt and I had yet to learn). We played in our elementary school, and at other schools aroung PG county. Folk, nascent folk-rock, and comedy. Like pint-sized Smothers Brothers. It was fantastic... and the name "Goldbricks" came about because we'd get to cut classes so we could go rehearse in the school auditorium. I'd be in class, there'd be a knock on the door, and the music teacher would say "we need Teejay to come rehearse"... it was great!

One of our most-popular tunes was one Matt and I wrote, "Radioactive Me", which capitalized on the ever-present fears that the Cold War was gotta get real hot, real quick.

Good times!

The Dirtbags - 1979 - 1980

As aptly-named a band one can scarcely-imagine. When looking at this photo today, I shudder.

But we were also pretty good - healthy, wholesome Blues, and little else. We played lots of clubs and bars in the Silver Spring, MD area (Silver Spring wasn't Gentrified back then; there were actually bars and clubs!). We never came home with any money - we had drank our earnings during the show - but we had a good time and a nice following locally.

I left the band when I moved out of the group house where two of the other guys lived, on good terms with them. Scroungy, scruffy - but always showered and clean!

Ken's Band - 1978

An ex-schoolmate heard I had bought a bass, and invited me to come play with a band. Things were looking up... I arrived at his garage, plugged in, and was off to Stardom.

First song: "Purple Haze". The drummer counted off, and we played the ripping high-intensity intro, and launched into Verse 1. Then everybody stopped, and looked at me. Ken said: "Why aren't you singing?"

They hadn't told me they wanted a bassist who was also a lead vocalist. They all knew I could sing, so it just never occurred to them that - at this point in my learnng bass - I simply couldn't do both .

So much for the big time.

No Trumpets - 1981 - 1982

This was a coalition of various musicians, including Mike and Sandy, and some 6 or 7 others, that would get together and jam, mostly adapted Prog-Rock, on dreary weekend afternoons.

The name stemmed from the fact that Mike lived very near the WEAM radio tower, and WEAM at the time played Big Band... the sound of trumpets was always leaking into our amps.

We had thoughts of playing live, but the right "fizz" just never happened as a catalyst.

And with New Wave on the radio, the Prog Rock market took something of a nose-dive...

The Pirates - 1981 - 1982

Well, speaking of New Wave... we adapted. And we adapted pretty-well, too. So we had a group that could play a pretty-wide swath of the musical gamut, from Blues to Prog to New Wave to some Classics to some stuff older than even that (I was just getting turned on to Big Band, after hearing all that alien, interesting WEAM 1940's music leaking through Mike's PA!).

So we did our thing, and it was fun. Oh, yes, it was.

Red Echo 1984 - 1986

Red Echo is one of my past bands that was both one of the most fun, and the most infuriating that I ever worked with. Of course, my best friend Mike Masquith (at left in the shot) was with me, as ever. The four of us practiced a lot, and had quite a unique sound, and I wrote “most” of the songs we played (we were like 70% Originals), and we played a lot of gigs. But there was always this underlying tension coming from somewhere. I was having relationship issues, and Anne and Eric (bassist and drummer, respectively) were in a relationship. I guess the combined angst just started building pressure among us. Add to that – in hindsight, I think Eric was better-suited to be a punk or metal drummer. He was awesome, but always loud and fast.

But... things came to their inevitable head at Friendship Station on August 27th, 1984 (a few weeks after the gig advertised at left). For no reason that was ever clear to me, during a difficult gig, midway through the second set Eric tapped on his snare mic, and said "Oh good. It works. I quit." and walked off the stage. The shot at right was taken about 15 minutes beforehand.

He (Eric) traded FB Messenger messages with me a couple years back, and he admitted it was perhaps not his finest moment. To this day, I'll confess I'm a little cheesed: people paid money to get in and see a band. But after all this time, I'm also cool to just let it go - we're all human - and in other settings I've been tempted to do the same thing. Anne went off to other bands (I met her husband at Action Music in 2014), and Mike, my friend, passed on in 2010.

Tempest Fugit. We were there.


Nudda Beer – 1986 – 1987

After the demise of Red Echo, Mike and I still wanted to play. We rallied and pulled in Michael Albaugh (aka “Sedge” Cantori) as drummer. Sedge and I were room-mates at the time, at Casa Goofy. (Each of my group houses had a name.) Sedge remains one of my closest, dearest friends, although I haven’t seen or spoken to the man since circa 1993. I hope one day he’ll see his name, and reach out to contact me.

But anyway – Sedge was one HELL of a drummer. He had an electronic kit, and he devised this rig that let him drum standing up – like an old Rockabilly drummer – but using modern kit. It was awesome. Via City Paper, we recruited Sherry, on bass.

Oh, we rehearsed and rehearsed, and had the finest of times, and would have killed the Stage – but we never got to the stage. There were a bunch of personal upheavals in each of our lives (no details; I don’t know if the others would want those details known), and we just had to break up for awhile. And of course, "things happened"; we never got back together. Had Nudda Beer started playing out, we would still be playing for money today. We were THAT good, and “owned” Classic Rock. The FUN Classic Rock – not the druggie stuff.

To the Left: Hmmm. Later in 1980, through the course of a dozen gigs, I did a statistical analysis of the audience: "who was hanging out with whom?".

I determined that "Disco Was Not Yet Dead", and decided to change my Image.

That paid-off, with Dividends.

My first foray into Marketing and Sales.

 

To the right: a shameless plug for my Big Brother's band, The Resistors. Matt Riedl front & center, Mike Dolfi on bass, Gerry Rolfe on drums, and ___ on guitar.

As fine a Punk band as ever was.

1962

"Dammit, Mom! I'm ready to rock the House! Give me a Microphone!"

But we had fun, too: Mike has one of the first Roland guitar synthesizes, and would play these Tasty piano and B3 parts on it. Between sets, people would come up to the stage and say "That's so cool! But where's your keyboard player?!"

Mike, with this beautific look of innocence, would tell them "He's ugly, and doesn't like to be seen on stage. He's in the Mens' Room." And they'd walk back to look!

To the Left - Sedge and I, onstage with another band ("Secret Tongues") at Wilmer's Park in 1988, opening for the Grateful Dead. There's another thing I can check off my Bucket List - opening for the Dead. The fact that there were 17 opening bands on 3 stages is a purely ancillary pointt. In this case, there was another band we knew, booked for this show, and their guitarist and drummer were injured in a car accident. They didn't want to miss this Bucket-List gig, so they asked us to fill-in for their missing members.

Note Sedge on the drums - that's not a riser: he's standing up!

At left, above - a couple of my 1982 Promo shots.

To the right - Mike Masquith and myself, sitting on my 1976 Gran Prix (known as the "SmoothMobile") betwen jamming and hanging out.

I sure miss that guy.

To the left - tracking bass at home, 1981, from one cassette deck to the other!

At right: a completely-unflattering shot of me in 1982, in Jeff Stalling's basement. Jeff was very kind to me, and let me use his TEAC to track a couple of tunes before I could afford my own multi-track.

The Queegs - 1987 - 1990
To the right - tracking with Nerve Ends, during a jam session at Glen's house. Glen Kellner (of Nerve Ends) at left, me in the middle, Mike Masquith at right. Not seen is EL Copeland on the mixer and recorder.

To the Left - Myself, Mike, and Sandy, in Mike's basement in 1982, with the full sum of our musical arsenal. We pooled all of our resources, including the Frisbee in the center, and made some decent dound-on-sound recordings: because with three of us actually playing something (sometimes four, if I was singing on that pass), we cut the number of overdubs by at least three.

Unfortunately, I do not have the tapes of the stuff we recorded: I do recall the first thing Mike and I recorded was "Sombre Reptiles" (Brian Eno's tune), and it was really pretty good, considering our resources. If I ever find that tape, I'll post it here.

We all switched-off in the instrumentation, but mostly it was Mike on lead guitar, Sandy on flute and bass, and me on Vocals and rhythm guitar.

5-piece sonic mayhem! This band was run by my brother Matt - about 50% his songs, 15% songs from keyboardist Jeff Stallings, a couple from Dale on lead guitar, a couple from Mike and I, and a smattering of covers.

At left, a videographer captures my blistering performnce while Mike Masquith holds the fort on bass. To the right:the Light Side and the Dark Side - me and Matt in the same frame!

IInterim Projects, 1987 - 1992

To the Left - After the Wilmer's Park event, we played at a party in the basement of Casa Goofy. It was a good party - we had to forcibly-eject people by 5:30 AM!

My 1988 Promo Shot
Mike and I, doing Mixdown on "After the Crush"
Tracking "After the Crush"

Dennis Jay and the Confidentials - 1986 - 1990

I worked with Dennis Jay Olson and his band as sound mixer. Dennis Jay and the Confidentials were a VERY good rockabilly/country band, performing original songs by Dennis. Very, very polished stuff.

After mixing a couple early gigs, Dennis asked me to be their "offcial" mixer... which I was happy to do. Knowingtheir material so well, I knew exactly when to roll in reverb or delay, or tweak the midrange... it was a lot of fun just MIXING for a change! I was not a "sit-back" guy: I played the mix board like an instrument.

For me, the hard part was after load-in, awaiting the doors to open. The band would roll-off to dinner, and I'd be left in an empty room, guarding the rig. So I passed the time by drawing. Here's the rig at The Bayou in Washington DC, Feb 16th, 1987.

And, as this page is running rather long, we'll end here for now. Please move on to the "1992-Present" for the rest of the evolution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(c) 2016 Teejay Riedl

ck.