sometimes i... 1989-1993

 
 

Almost a year after I retired from The Rhyme, I got the urge to try something new. I wanted to put together a band from scratch, and try writing and recording some original music.


I put up “Wanted” ads on the bulletin boards of a couple local music stores in Beloit, Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois.

It didn’t take long before I got a call from John Graves, a keyboard player from the Beloit area. I remember meeting John for the first time at a local restaurant in Beloit and thinking, “Damn, this guy looks like a rock star”, with his spiked blond hair, he looked just like Howard Jones. John was into bands I had never heard of, like New Order, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths and The Cure to name a few. Since I liked to explore and expand my musical horizons. This was good.

















John is a MIDI genius, and he had a lot of song ideas ready to work on. We worked on  a couple ideas that would become “Sometimes Love”  and “Run With You”, with me writing lyrics and fitting them into his songs.  This was going to be good.


We soon got calls from a very talented bass player from Beloit, Russ Wallace, and an equally talented Swedish guitarist from Rockford, Jan (pronounced Yon) Andersson. Jan was working at Guzzardo’s Music store in Rockford, and his melodic, David Gilmour style playing was beautiful.
















We still didn’t have a drummer, but we had a drum machine and gathered in my parents out-building (garage) to jam and record our original songs. It didn’t take long to finish “Sometimes Love” and “Run With You”.


Things were sounding good, when we finally got our drummer, Bob Zopp. (Another handsome rock star) Bob had a background in Heavy Metal and was looking for a change. Not only could Bob play, but he could entertain as well. Bob was fun to watch playing the drums. Somewhere along the line, the band bought some Simmons electric drums, so we wouldn’t  sound (or look) like any other local band. And they sounded cool, and were easy to record with too. 


















The band was set. Not only did I happen to find very talented musicians, they are all some of the best, nicest people you’ll ever meet.  So far, luck was on my side. This band has the potential to be HUGE. And no cigarette smokers! I really hate the smell of cigarette smoke.


The band was dealt our first stroke of bad luck when Jan’s job moved him to Minneapolis. We were out one awesome guitarist and great friend.

Where the heck are we going to find a guitarist to replace Jan? Out of the blue, I thought about Rob Bradley. I hadn’t seen Rob in a while, but he’s one of the best guitarist in the area, it can’t hurt to try calling him. Rob played on my “In Earth Nights” album, jammed a little with Eternal Void when we were in High School, and I recorded him when he was playing with (Uncle Purple’s) Superior Funk band with Tom Sutton, Jeff Fasula and others.


Good luck was back on our side. Rob wasn’t in a band at the time and decided it was time to get out playing again.


With Rob, Russ and Bob having a history of playing clubs in the Rockford area, they were ready to practice and get back out playing. John and I really wanted to work on and record new original songs, but we also knew that learning cover songs and playing gigs in the local clubs would tighten up the band and develop a good working relationship.


After a long time trying to come up with a name for the band, we were kinda working with the name Ex-Why-Zee or XYZ when Jan was in the band, we settled on Bob’s idea, “Sometimes i...” I remember, we went with that name, because it was the only name none of us completely hated, though I don’t recall any of us really liking the name that much either.


As expected, with a band with this much talent, we sounded good. Real good.

Our first gig was April 29th, 1989.


We played roughly 2 to 4 times a month, until our last gig with Bob behind the drums. On August 31st, 1990, Bob Zopp performed brilliantly standing behind the Simmons Electric drums, and sometimes i... put on a rocking show for the “On The Waterfront” Best Of Rockford stage crowd. 

Before Bob left, we did finally record another original song “Baby’s Back”, a tribute to our favorite Rockford band, Right Mind.


We only had a short time off before Russ brought in rock solid drummer Todd Greenwood to take over the drumming. Todd was in groups with Russ in the past, so the two of them were tight.  And once again, we got an outstanding musician that was also a great guy.


We continued playing thru 1991, but were always too busy learning new cover songs, and never recorded any more new songs.


We were scheduled to play New Years Eve 1991 at the Pitcher’s Mound in Beloit Wisconsin, but our keyboard player, John tore a tendon in his thumb, canceling the gig. In the time it took for John’s thumb to heal, interest in the band faded, and we would not play again, until a “re-union” gig at Craig’s wedding in 1993.


When I got married, I thought it would be great to “get the band back together”, and we got to play 5 or 6 song’s in the garage on October 9th 1993. It was a short, but fun gig. We didn’t rehearse, and Jan came down from Minneapolis and jammed with us. It was a good time.


In 2005, we tried to revise sometimes i... for a couple reunion gigs, but after a month of rehearsal, things fell apart. We were all too busy with other things in our lives and the timing just wasn’t right.


A few weeks later, Russ would call me (Craig) to sing with another band, that would become Zesty Rainwater.