No For An Answer at CBGB, the Hawker Records "Free For All" show, Photo: Ken Salerno
Gavin Oglesby continues to enlighten and entertain with some NFAA history. When will it end? Soon? NOOOOOO!!!!!
I would have liked to have rerecorded the demo, which became the seven inch, but it probably would have sounded about the same today. It's hard for me to listen to because it's never as good as I'm hoping it will be. To me, it's pretty much me learning to play guitar and not quite pulling it off. I love that about some other bands though - I think it adds charm. Even though I had little to do with the look of the record, I like the way it looks. I don't know if Dan just wanted to do the cover over me or what, but he presented it to me as "I thought I should take care of this since your mother's dying" type of thing. Aesthetically, I think it works and was consistent with the band at the time.
I remember the cover being Dan's idea. I recall being somewhat indifferent when Dan told me his face would be on the back cover and inside but I'd be on the front. As I write this, I'm thinking I really like that picture and the fact that it's me. It was taken at practice and aside from the X on my hand, is just as it appears. I'm not sure if it was before or after the picture was taken, but there's a bracelet I still wear from that era that was my mother's key ring. She was a teacher and always seemed to have way too many keys for not being a custodian. It reminds me of her and I guess is my version of a tattoo.
The guitar was actually my second. I bought it from the same guy who sold me the amp that caught fire (another friend of John Bruce) - he might have been in Kiss hence the theatrical nature of the amp. It was a pretty mediocre guitar in good shape when I bought it, but wood grain which seems kind of rock and roll to me at the time. The stickers "punked" it up a bit. I would ideally have played a Les Paul, but aside from being out of my price range, a Les Paul seemed like way too much of a commitment for me. I doubted I'd be doing it very long. I have no real significant memories of it.
I do, however, remember practicing at Casey's ex-girlfriends house long after they had broken up. I don't know how we managed that, but it was a real nice house in the hills of Tustin. I'm tempted to say her parents didn't know, but I remember them bringing us candy and soft drinks. You can't say Casey isn't likable! Somehow we practiced there after Casey left the band too. I really don't know how we managed that.
Anyway, the parents were late getting home one day, so we were waiting in the driveway in front of the house. It was a long driveway so, nobody was likely to drive past so we got our stuff out of the cars and just waited. Soon after the parents had gotten home and let us in, John still hadn't arrived. When his massive late 70's car did finally pull up, he ran over Rob, (our second guitar player's) brand new guitar. We added Rob to fill in for me while my mother died. He really thickened our sound, and he wasn't Jeff. I didn't mind his guitar getting crushed because he was a lot younger than me and a better player. He might have been more mature too.
No For Answer at CBGB, Dan O gets assisted out of the crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno
When Dan and I decided to return No For an Answer to a four piece, we tried to cushion it by getting him into Hard Stance. We also told him we were going to break up the band, keep the name, all of the songs, and keep playing with John and whatever drummer we had at the time. Rob was too nice a guy to call us on this. I think he'd rather have been in Hard Stance anyway and they became great with him playing with them. He went on to start Farside, and did State of the Nation too.
Whenever it came to band business, Dan was always the guy. As you may have heard, he's a good talker. He's also got a pretty dominating personality so, when he suggests something, if it's not that important to you, it's just a hell of a lot easier to go along with him rather than to fight him. With this in mind, whenever we'd play in Northern California, he'd always want to drive overnight and sleep the next day before the show. It was usually me, Dan, Mike Murphy, Anthony, sometimes John, and some of the equipment in his mother's Chevy Celebrity wagon that "slept five comfortably with equipment" as Anthony would often say. Dan is or was claustrophobic also so, no matter how cold it was outside had the window open and, I don't think ever used the heater. This usually meant at least four really tired, freezing cranky guys driving though the night to sleep and then play the next day. I don't know how our drummer's and other equipment ever got anywhere because they never seemed to be with us.
The first time up to Gilman Street, we were going to stay at the Maximum Rock N Roll house. I'd guess we arrived about 6:00 AM - way too early to knock on someone's door, particularly someone who's letting you stay with them. After some discussion, we decided to sleep in the Chevy Celebrity that "slept five comfortably with equipment" with a window rolled down. I don't remember sleeping much, but I do remember my eyes burning, nausea, and rage I felt when somebody at Maximum mentioned they didn't go to bed until about 7:30 AM while we watched each others breath outside in that stupid car with the window open. Every band trip was like this - tired, hungry, annoyed and a window open. I don't think any of us ever slept during the day like we always said we would.
On our third or fourth trip up there, after having played and all of us at about hour 36 or so being awake, we had to take some guy home to get us a check or something. He seemed really excited to be in our presence and felt real bad about forgetting whatever it was he forgot to get us So, Dan and I were to drive this guy home. Dan drove and I sat in the front seat while this guy sat in the back seat leaning forward and grinning the whole time. He pretty much just listened to us talk or bicker or whatever stage we were at that night only occasionally interrupting to give direction on the "twenty minute" drive. An hour or so in Dan and I kept falling asleep and swerving into other lanes while this guy sat between us and grinned. It seemed like a good time to stress the importance of not letting the two guys in the front seat fall asleep, so we both started yelling at him. He had been elevated to legendary status with us. He seemed wide awake and to be having a great time - all the way home with the window open.
No For An Answer at CBGB, boots fly as Dan gives a sing along, Photo: Ken Salerno
Monday, September 22, 2008
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 8:09 PM