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The Early Bands
Not every band starts out at the top...

These are some of the bands I played with over the years. They all had their moments that make me miss them.

The Tequila Mockingbirds was a band that formed from some mutual associations. Time and certain band member's shitty attitudes made us rethink the whole thing. We had added guitarist Ray Holmes and were gaining popularity but the bad seed in the band was keeping us from our goal. So our drummer Jeff Hesketh fired the problem child in the band and we renamed ourselves ICU.
We consisted of Ray Holmes on guitar, myself singing and playing bass, and Jeff on drums. Jeff had replaced Bob Thornburg as the drummer for Tequila Mockingbirds and fell in quite nicely. Sadly, he left the band and was replaced by Dan Calkins. Dan and I wound up working together for the next seven years. You recall hearing some of this on the home page.
That led to the Wutmony job and ultimately the Equinox gig.  

Me (young)         Jon Schon     Joyce Sampson

   Me and Jon working out the rough parts
These are the people who I first joined up with as an actual band. There were others that I worked with but these are the first band mates.
We called ourselves YellowJacket, it was fun and we eventually lost Jon so Joyce and I moved on to form WhiteHorse which became Nuthin' Fancy. Another band from the same area use the last name now but are unrelated. You can visit Joyce at her band's site on the links page.

          Me                     Bob Thornburg       Jeff Hesketh       James Harrison

This band spawned from a short lived group named SRS. We had some trouble with one of the members (not pictured- go figure). We were called The Tequila Mockingbirds and played our area a bit. This picture contains two drummers, the keyboard player and me the bassist/singer. The dumb ass guitarist got himself fired for being shitty and was replaced with Ray Holmes.

  Me                           Ray Holmes           Our stage setup

Ray and I went on to form ICU with keyboardist James Harrison and Jeff Hesketh on drums. We did the club circuit for a while and then Dan Calkins replaced Jeff on drums. We did the circuit thing again and James left the band. We decided to hire a bass player so I could front the band, that was Bill Reboli. The four of us played a number of shows together. In fact, Dan and I continued to work for the next seven years together.
Bill left the band it was a three piece after that until our last show.
The pic of the stage setup is where I first met Dan. We were introduced and he said "I play drums", I barely gave him a glance and said, "So what?" Funny that we wound up working together longer than any other bandmembers.
You can check out Ray and band on the links site.

       l-r    Bill Reboli      Ray Holmes      Me      James Harrison      Dan Calkins

Our first official show as ICU at Seymour Johnson AFB in NC we played while a formal dinner was going on next door.
The menu got top billing at the show.

The next series of bands was the last while I lived in North Carolina. I went from ICU with a few modifications to playing as (briefly) Bleu Steele and then back to ICU. We used guitarists Larry Bade and Jimi Lee as well as hiring a lead singer named Eric Schreffler, we called him 'Mouse'.
The ICU thing played out and Jimi went on to form Wutmuny with Mike Carmel and Troy Schank. Jimi hired me in as the bass player and that led me to the job offer from Dave Sabal to join Equinox as their lead singer.

Dave Sabal         Pat Hays                      Ryan Webre

These are the guys I next worked with.
We started working on songs and played several places. We went into Cue Master Studios to work on a demo. I suggested we get some help with the backup vocals and brought in Nikki Branum. The music clicked and all went so well that we invited Nikki to join the band on a permanent basis.

Nikki turned out to be a great asset to the band and she wound up head over heels for Dave. I was asked to be the best man at their wedding and gladly accepted.

Jimi Lee and friend at the first Equinox show.

The rig I played through for most of my bands. Lost to a pawn shop.

After Desert Storm I returned home and that very night there was a band playing at the club. They were doing an AC/DC song so I invited myself up to sing. Amazingly, they let me. That band was Staxx, and that started a tradition of me singing with them whenever they played the club. Thanks Kip for all the memories!
I got an email from Rusty (the shirtless wonder) about a Staxx reunion show. I missed the show but he did send along some pics.



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