in the fall of 1988, i started a band called, panjandrum. the original line-up featured a keyboard player named, cliff tipton. cliff was the soundman for a group called, ezra charles and the works. through hanging out at the ezra charles shows, i met their very nice and very good drummer, darin murphy. i don't remember meeting darin, i just knew him. i can't remember if i saw darin's group, manic pop thrill before i met him through cliff, or after. i remember seeing manic pop thrill, at least once, at zelda's (fitzgerald's) in houston. their bass player was a very handsome and nice man named, mike belile. i don't remember meeting mike either, i just know that i liked him.
in 1991, just before i made the move to austin, some of my friends that went to rice university would go to the gingerman (on thursdays, i think) to see trish and darin. i went and i loved it. they were so funny and made such a beautiful sound together. i don't remember meeting trish either. i know i saw them at the pig and whistle and this place called the black forest tavern. they had a great scene going on and i always had fun at a trish and darin show.
in the fall of '91, i moved to austin and started playing around town with a girl named, michelle solberg. sometime in the spring of '92, i was trying to put a new band together and michelle suggested a guitar player. her friend, paul english. i remember meeting paul. he came over and i think i showed him some videos and played him some songs i had just recorded. we didn't end up playing together, but remember seeing him around. benjamin was in austin by then as well. he was in a very popular band then called, the duckhills. they were great.
over the next few years, touring regionally, we would all cross paths. darin moved to austin sometime in '94 and i ended up playing in his band, grover dill, for a while. then trish moved to austin. then mike moved to austin...... i don't remember meeting kyle either. i do remember being in the music lab (a rehearsal complex in austin) parking lot, smoking a cigarrette one day when kyle drove up blaring paul mcartney & wings, "1984". he stopped and stuck his head out the window and excitedly screamed out, "don't you think wings is the greatest band in the world?!?!" i knew we would be great friends after that.
then, one night in 2001, i was at the hole in the wall and i saw darin, benjamin, kyle, paul and mike loading in equipment. i ran up and said hello and asked what they were gonna be doing. darin said, "we're the k-tel hit machine. we're playing a.m. hits from the 70's. you're gonna love it.". and man, i fucking did! i went nuts! i realized they didn't have a keyboard player and suggested they could use me and my rhodes. eventually, darin asked me to play for a gig they had on valentine's day 2002 at antone's. i said yes. BOOM! here i am.