Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One degree (and 25 years) of separation

As I have mentioned before, back in the 1980s Padre Mickey and I formed a band called The Wonders Of Science. It was just the two of us who recorded our first EP The Record Of The Same Name, but when we decided to go on stage we added some members so the music wouldn't just be the two of us and a drum machine. From left to right in the picture, we have the Good Padre, yours truly, the crooning Travis Hunt and Lexi, our drummer. We recorded two records on our own dime, made a music video, but we were a local band playing mostly in the South Bay Area from San Jose to Palo Alto with a few gigs in San Francisco.

When I left the combo in 1985, the rest of the guys recruited a lead guitarist, Steve Swayzee, and made a major change in musical direction. Instead of a synthesizer band, they were now a guitar combo and changed the name to A Cruel Hoax. They also put some of their songs on vinyl, and their gigs ranged further afield, from Chico in the north down to Hollywood. But still, A Cruel Hoax played their last gig in 1989, local heroes who never got a recording contract, much like The Wonders Of Science.

You might think the story of two garage bands that played back in the Reagan era would just be a fading memory, but one of our contingent, our young drummer Lexi, later changed his name to Lex and gained some national recognition on the first major reality show Survivor. His blond swoopy hair was replaced with dark spiky locks and he went for several piercings and tattoos. He was still drumming with bands, and in 2005 hooked up with some guys from the band Smash Mouth, a San Jose band that had a couple hits in the late 1990s. The new band is called The Maids Of Honor, and their songs have been heard on the network TV shows Mercy and Dirty Sexy Money. Their first album was released last month on the Halfway To Hell label.

Best wishes to The Maids Of Honor on their record release and especially to my old band mate Lex. Nice to see hard work and persistence pay off.


Padre Mickey said...

The members of Maids of Honor were all members of First Strike bands, too (First Strike was the musicians' collective we started in SJ after the release of San Jose Is Ground Zero: We're Number One!). Lex and Kelly were in the Frontier Wives, John Barret was in the Social Club, and Greg Camp was in the Heroic Airmen.

Matty Boy said...

Very cool! More San Jose rock history 'splained up good.

Tara Mobley said...

Does this mean I may have met one of the members of Smash Mouth in my youth?

Padre Mickey said...

Tara, you may have met him at one of those First Strike picnics at Vasona Park many many years ago.