Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – Moving to Big D edition

This is probably going to be the last of the old band stuff, but I’d like to give you guys a quick rundown on my band history.

You already know about Grendel, but I should mention a few others:

Sing Out Waco – the Waco “Up With People” franchise.  This is where I switched from drums (The Flower People) to bass guitar.

Baylor Symphony Orchestra Summer Student Symphony – my percussion instructor Larry Vanlandingham who was a Fellow at Baylor got me into that one. Funny sub-story – I was looking for the Professor, and someone said he might be in Dean Sternberg’s office. I went there and opened the door.  He was there, all right – along with the Dean, and ISAAC FREAKING STERN!!!  Completely starstruck, I muttered an apology, bumped into the doorframe, and left.

El Gran Mestizo – a 10-piece Chicano orchestra (accent on the second syllable), where I learned to play cumbias, cojuntos, and other cool stuff.  I was the only gringo in the banda..

Aftershock (cover band), one of the few bands I ever quit (to join my ex-Grendel bandmate John Bednarz in a project that fell apart, but still got me out of Waco and up to Dallas).

H2O – two versions – a seven-piece with two keyboardists and two female singers (and no, we didn’t do any Heart covers)

Here’s a pic of us at the famed Agora :

This was the time of my stupidly large bass rig, “Stonehenge”.  A roadie for a band that was opening for us took one look at the massive 8′ by 7′ behemoth (two Altec A-7 bass bins, a 2X15″ cab, and a 400-watt Peavey Super Festival Series amp) and muttered : “Stonehenge”.   You notice that there’s no one on my side of the stage?



H2O reformed as a four-piece all-original group, with the keyboardist singing lead and a different guitarist. We got some label interest, went to Austin (their choice) to record a demo for them. Here’s a song from it :

My bud Steve Simels (of Stereo Review fame) posted one of the other tunes on his site here…..

The keyboardist fired me, fired the guitarist, and the drummer quit. They didn’t offer the keyboardist  the contract afterwards, so I guess the power play didn’t work out quite the way he intended.

I’ve left out some cover bands, but you’re not missing much – except maybe the Elvis impersonator Steve West. That one was fun. Only time I’ve ever worn a suit onstage.

Next Sunday – the Good Vibrations Recording Studio saga.  After my tales from the recording world series, some more recent band stuff.





One thought on “Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – Moving to Big D edition

  1. “The power play didn’t work out quite the way he intended.” They never do. The disagreements I’ve heard from groups that come together (and fly apart) just never seem to be as serious to me as an outsider.

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