Thursday, May 22, 2008

the story of pancho and lefty (part 1)

going waaaayyyyy back
to the late '90s
back back back
back past the "we steal music" generation
and cell phones
back past
and myspace
i mean waaaaayyyy back man
spring or summer of '98
the dark ages
you got it
back when your granny still had the moves
and america wasn't blowing the rest of the world up
(ok - i'm not sure about that one...)
back in the hazy days i get a phone call from a guy named daniel
yeah this was real caveman stuff
no email yet
him and his friend rip rowan
had been in a band called the bad haskells
we'd all traversed much of the same ground over the years
but never really crossed paths
he said they'd heard nothing but good things about the MF
(i wonder what press he'd been reading!)
as their band had recently broken up
they were looking to start up a new musical partnership
rip had a recording studio in the front room of his house
and daniel wondered if we'd be interested in coming over sometime
i said "sure"
the MF was on it's last legs anyway
bill shupp the last of our combustible drummers
number 14 i think...
ok - i'm exaggerating now
i guess it was more like number 7
F had been grumbling at me (and rightly so)
for a couple of years now
that we needed to get into home recording
rip happened to already be doing this
we sorta hit it off from the get-go
lot's of similar taste in music
daniel was a lefty too
just like me
they played us some of their recordings
they sounded GREAT
daniel was a world-class talent on guitar
i also knew instantly that rip had a special knack for recording
and playing music
his main instrument was drums - mine bass
with faris and daniel on guitar
we had a ready made band
done - bam
good to go!

F didn't trust daniel from the start
and i must admit
at times
he was a bit hard to handle
i think my brother reluctantly agreed to come over to rip's a few times
but soon afterwards said "no mas!"
i vaguely remember tracking a couple of late MF tunes at rip's with shupp
we did "stupid girls anonymous" and "party girl" (see a trend there?)
i'm not sure what else
but daniel played guitar not F
soon afterwards my brother instigated the purchase
of an 8-track minidisc recorder
that would eventually yield the nourallah brothers recordings
we worked on those in the fall of '98
but i'm not really sure what happened with d.h. (not hopkins!)
and r.r. while we did
what i am sure of is that i bonded especially with rip
i was not only drawn to his musical talent
but i also just plain liked hanging out with him
he seemed to have almost no ego
which made him really easy to create with
he also carried no muscial baggage with him whatsoever
so sans F
rip daniel and i soldiered on for a bit
unofficially dubbed rockingham by daniel
(remember oj?)
i think i was simultaneously recording with them
and F
i have notes that sight october '98 as the date of writing
"coming attraction" one of r-ham's last tunes
oh my poor hazy memory
i wish i could extract more...

rockingham finished about 10 songs
and F and i worked on what would eventually turn into the NB cd
i believe my brother was hurt by my collaboration with d.h. and r.r.
i'm sorry he was but i guess i felt my recording project with them
was worth pursuing
it all came to a head though when F quit the moon festival
and shortly thereafter
the nourallah brothers 10 year run
of playing music together
came to a screeching halt
this was sometime around the start of 1999
(as well documented on this blog and other places)
we split to pursue simultaneous personal melt downs

i immediately formed the happiness factor (version 1.0)
with bill shupp on drums
ex-MF guitarist tommy roberts
and david deshazo splitting bass/songwriting and vocal duties with me
we played one gig
after 2 or 3 months of rehearsing
we opened for blondie
then broke up in the spring of '99
because shupp want d.d. all to himself in stereo rookie
i understood
d.d. was brilliant
but i was crushed nonetheless
so i decided to quit music
and tried to re-build my fractured life

when i was finally ready to make my musical "comeback"
almost one year later
guess who the first person i contacted was?

you guessed it...
or did you?

rip rowan (a.k.a. pancho)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't remember you ever telling me you were a lefty. This is big. I don't know if I can get over it. What other secrets have you been keeping?

10:22 PM  
Blogger Rip Rowan said...

there's a nice little side anecdote there. daniel & i found out about MF because we were tracking some demos at crystal clear, and we asked keith rust what bands he'd recently worked with that were any good. he mentioned two. one was the 97s, who had just wrapped up "hitchhike to rhome", the other was the MF. that's how we found out about both of you. ten years later, we're all making records together, thanks to keith.

8:22 AM  

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