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Playing Gigs in This Town…Yeah, I Know What It’s Like!

River City Metal 1981

I have so many friends that play in local and regional bands, and I hear them regularly talk about the lack of places to play in the area. I can relate…been there, done that. I started playing bass guitar in a band when I was 15. I remember our first gig was an 8th grade dance at what was then called Washington Grade School. That’s back in the day when they were all K-8. Our band was called “Skyway”. Just the three of us, who wrote several songs in our set and covered stuff like Steve Miller Band, Bad Company and the rest I can’t remember.

After that band I joined up with a couple of brothers from Harrison, Ben and Jim Galster on guitar and drums respectively to form River City Metal…another dumb name, I know.. Beth Bullock and Jay Halburnt sang. We had two vocalists because he couldn’t hit the high notes in Zeppelin, etc and she sounded out of place singing Kiss an Alice Cooper songs.

Band number 3 was a lot more serious. We got Joby Bullock, who was the brother of our former member Beth, along with me and the Galster Bros. to form Silent Partner. We did a lot of writing and recording and even made it onto a regional homegrown rock album. We gigged a lot, mostly at the Green Oasis which s now Rick’s Sportsbar at Green River and Covert.

We mixed the originals with the covers and in my estimation got to be a pretty god band. The lack of other places to play became evident as did hauling your gear out of a club at 4am on a Sunday morning got tired.

The Galster Brothers moved to Florida and kept the band going for a few years, and both still play but live in different places. Joby moved to California to design software and I kept the job I had, which is the same one I have today.

That’s my story of fizzled rock star dreams. If you’re in a band and writing and recording, worry less about gigging in the area and more about getting a management company to shop your music to labels. Even then, the realistic chances of becoming rich and famous so have a backup plan. You really don’t want to be the 55 year old dude who’s main source of income is playing cover songs in some tavern somewhere…or maybe you do!

Below is a song from my last band Silent Partner called “Dogs Of War” circa 1983.  It’s the song that was chosen to appear on the regional homegrown rock album i referred to earlier and was recorded in my friend Gary Dunn’s basement on a 4 track machine. This is before digital so they have been re-dubbed several times and sound a little more than crappy. They are merely for demonstration purposes only!

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