Saturday, August 8, 2009


Sometimes you’re lucky and find a soul mate artistic collaborator. Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Rogers-Hammerstein, Boyce-Hart --- you know what I mean.

My friend Dominic and I grew up surrounded by events and circumstances that lead to a mutual understanding that was a blast to explore as youngsters.

I remember spending evenings in the basement of Duff’s Restaurant writing our rock opera “Webster Hangover” between dish washing loads. I think the band got 4 good songs out of it. One of the songs, an instrumental called E Harmonix made it to our fist LP Distances.

As artists Dominic and I couldn’t be more at odds. This is probably the yin and yang of creativity. One of the reasons I don’t play live much is my obsessive need for rehearsals. Dominic has always been willing to expose himself, scabs and all, to anyone willing to listen. He actually learned how to play at our audience’s expense. I don’t remember ever seeing him practice.

I insisted on lots of rehearsal. The band might rehearse 4 times a week only to play out once or twice a month. What if you achieve perfection but never take it out?

One of the biggest obstacles of any budding band is finding a place to rehearse. Fortunately my dad always came through. The only problem was none of his places ever had heat. We hauled a huge oil burning heater into his basement where we practicing. One night it blew up. We found ourselves in a black cloud groping in the darkness for our equipment. Our only concern was getting it all out of the building.

He had a place down in LaSalle Park. We played in the attic. We burned duraflame logs in a Franklin stove to keep warm. These pictures are from there. We have a pose Dom and I struck every few years. There’s a view of the attic with Dom, Keith Hittler (one of our many great drummers), Tracy Wynkoop and Mark Gray. Mark was our sound man. Then there’s another view with me, Theo Johnson, Parker Yarbrough (another great drummer- who left us for Jesus), and Mark. The photo of Patti Smith to the right of Keith may be when she was a poet – before she became a musician. This was in the mid 70s.


dominic schaeffer said...

Thank you, David. A very sweet piece. I laughed out loud at your telling of our differences re rehearsals. As frustrated as i was at us not playing out more than once every other month- i thrived in the constant basement/attic sessions. I also depended on the audiences short attention span and their inherent ability to forgive mistakes (only if they weren't evident in abundance). To perfectionists like us (yeah- me too!), a wrong note is a sore thumb, whereas the audient is both too busy dancing/drinking/looking to get laid to notice. Your last line about this reminds me of the line in The Band Practice- "Why should I pull a rabbit out of my hat if nobody's there to see it?"

oh, and yes- "Indian Jerry" was indeed the Patron Saint of Earwacks/Wax Theatricks. I'll never forget the basement on Papin with the Munster staircase.

Can you email me full sized files of those pictures?

dominic schaeffer said...

oh- and the Patti Smith photo is from Rolling Stone just after Horses was released. so yeah that was 75 or 76. question- was 905 Park before the FOE hall? if so- i had this photo there, too and that would move this period up to the late 70's, no?

I am old and my brain is addled.

Doggie said...

Benet was at F.O.E. so this was before.

Anonymous said...

i remember being at many of your shows, one thing always stands out- evryone would be saying what a great show you guys had just done, and there you would be saying how terrible it was, how so many mistakes were made; i tell you, i grew up listening to you guys and i rarely(if ever) heard a fluff. Geo