1. Friday, August 22, 2014

    the year was 1994, the northridge quake rattled in january 

    greg vaine, jeff tsar and i shared a three bedroom house in atwater village

    because the boys were aspiring rock stars and they had wanted a home

    that also had a basement or a rock room, and voila greg found 3300 glenhurst.

    jeff worked at warner bros in the animation cel division, greg was in art school

    and i was the southern california sales rep for magnavox with a company car.

    but at night we were the Three Bad Roommates watching old westerns and listening to nirvana non stop because kurt cobain had just ended his life and we were more than obsessed with trying to find clues in his music that such a talented and loved man would want to do that to himself.

    but with every aftershock from Northridge we got more and more ancy so we went into the rock room basement beneath our kitchen and i would create eerie rhythms on my drums.

    daring the earth to crush us.

    earth QUAKE earth QUAKE boom boom boom, id drum

    then jeff would mimic it on bass and greg would make a melody.

    and then we’d jam defying mother nature and the angry spirits bubbling below.

    after a while we’d freak ourselves out and segue into cover songs from our favorite bands: nirvana, the velvet underground, the stones, springsteen, even the romantics.

    while jeff and greg worked on their serious projects, we kept jamming for fun and eventually we formed a covers band called Chopper One which allowed us to bond as roommates and set up a fun playground for the two actual musicians to get their ya-yas out without worrying about every note and lyric.

    when we realized we had enough songs to put on a show, we invited our friends and neighbors over, jeff threw on a david hasslehoff tapestry as a cape, greg slipped into his Elvis Presley outfit, and i put on my grandpa’s pajamas as a tribute to cobain who often wore pjs on stage

    and Chopper One rocked out in our first show.

    hard to believe that was 20 years ago, but time flies when you’re giving the biggest earthquake in a century the middle finger.