Rich Giannone-Guitar, Vocals
What can we say about Rich that hasn't been said by worn out women across the country. A swinger's swinger, Rich knows how to shake it, bake it and kick it aside when the time comes. And he likes his guitars like he likes his women; highly strung with big knobs and first class bridge work. A well figured jumbo size body doesn't hurt either. But seriously folks, I joke about Rich because, well, he's not here to stop me. That's right, Rich is the guitarist, so right now he's probably off in some corner somewhere trying to nail down some obscure jazz chord, leaving me here to sing his praises, or, well, whatever else the hell I want to do. Yes, Rich loves his vintage gear. Amps up the yazoo. Old Magnatones, Marshalls, Fenders, Boogies, whatever. Rich is an amp fiend. I've seen him spend an entire Sunday swapping out pre-amp tubes in a Marshall Jubilee just to get "that" sound. Oh yeah, there are lots of guitars too, with one of his current favorites being an old Supro slide guitar which you can hear on several cuts of TBT's. What else? Fenders, Gretsch's, the old reliable Gibson SG which he's had forever. I'm not even gonna talk about the vintage foot pedals, although I will say he's still pining for the Univibe that got away. Rich did all the guitar work on the album, and also shows up on keyboard on a few cuts. I guess he'll pick up the drums and bass next. Pretty soon he'll dump us and go solo. Then he won't have time for all those women.
Oh crap, now I have to say something about Paul. Paul's a drummer. I'm afraid of Paul. You know damn well he's going to read this at some point, and that'll be it. Then I've had it. Hmm...what can I say? Gee, Paul's a swell guy, ain't he? He sure is a great drummer, ain't he? I think he's about five inches taller than me, too. And he drums all the time, so he has big, powerful arms from banging, banging, banging. Boom, boom, boom, on my head...er...the heads. But seriously folks, I'm just gonna go ahead and say what I want because when you come right down to it, I run faster than he does. Paul loves his day gig. He loves his day gig because he makes lots of cash, and Paul digs cash. Who wouldn't? I would if I had some. Every once in awhile we can still convince Paul to ditch his day gig and bang a kit, which he does with wild abandon. You think it's easy to get Paul to drum slow on something like October? You try it sometime, and see how far you get. Paul's urges drive him to speed punk drumming. He makes scary faces when asked to play a slow number. It's not good when Paul starts making scary faces. He's at least five inches taller than me.
Joe Giannone-Bass, Vocals
Hey, I'm the one who's writing these bios, so I guess I can say pretty much anything I want to about myself. I've already torched Rich and Paul (see above) a crime for which I'm sure I'll suffer for in one form or another, so I might as well go nuts here. Firstly, I'm quite simply the best bass player ever plopped down upon this poor planet. You thought Jaco was the best? Jamerson? Forget it; I blow 'em both away. If you can imagine a bass line, no matter how fast or complex, I can play it blindfolded, with one hand tied behind my back, hanging upside down by my ankles in a tank of tepid water. A pick you say? Fingers? Yeah, I can play that way. And you can't stop me. What do I like in a bass sound? Depends on the song. Sometimes you have to go for the clank, in which case I grab a Ricky or my '81 G&L L2000E, although I recently picked up a cool Yamaha Pulser Bass which is a dead ringer (can you say lawsuit) for a Fender P, which clanks almost as well as the G&L. Gotta love that maple board. Sometimes you just have to have that old school tone, so I always keep a few P basses around, as well as my '62 Jazz. Ah yes, my '62 Jazz. You know how all those guitarists have names for their guitars? Keith Richards named his old tele "Micawber". I have a name for my '62 Jazz, too. I call it "my retirement". I amp this stuff most of the time, with a '66 Ampeg Portaflex, an Ampeg V-4 with a Vox Super Bass 1-18" cabinet, or my Eden WT-800 head and whatever other cab I have laying around. Strings you ask? I keep rounds on a few basses but I'm pretty much addicted to TI flats these days. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time contemplating my place in the hierarchy of the world's greatest bass players, but I have the feeling I'll be spending most of my free time in the future running away from Rich and Paul after they read these bios. They can't hurt me too badly...where will they ever find a bass player to replace someone as freaking fantastic as I am?
And a little history...
(0r, those who fail to learn from their mistakes are doomed to stay in a Rock band)
Wha?! Who?! Look at my hair! It was beautiful! What happened to my hair?! Yes, it's true, youth, and nice hair, are wasted on the young. This shot was taken, oh, let's see, an eternity ago. Sure, we have more recent photos of the band, but we thought these shots would give you a sense of the band's history. Oh, and our hair doesn't look nearly as nice in the recent shots.
Ah, here we have a couple of shots, also from the band's early years. I'm playing a '75 Ricky 4000 which I had routed (gasp!) so I could install a neck pickup. That's right, I routed an out of production vintage bass, but Geddy Lee had two pups in his Rick, so I just had to have two in mine. I also installed a brass nut, because, well, it was the thing to do at the time. Those silly kids. Note the unfortunate initials on the inside of Paul's drum. Yeah, they say "WD" but most of the time that drum was turned so it looked like the initials were "VD". He found that drum at a small swap meet next to a building that would become a local strip joint years later, so it was actually kind of strangely appropriate. At the end of this show, we trashed our equipment, in a "Who-eske" rampage. I actually threw that bass into the air, spinning, and let it slam down onto the stage. I suppose it's a tribute to Rick quality that the bass shows no signs of that abuse to this day. Rich is playing his old SG, which he picked up over at Don Weir's in San Francisco. Not to be outdone by my route job, he decided to install a Bigsby tremolo bar, so he went to work on the thing with a drill. Long story short, the Bigsby wouldn't hold tune, so he pulled it off and replaced it with a red velvet bow tie to cover the screw holes. Hey, you can't make up stuff like this!
Here's another shot showing how freaking thick our hair used to be. Am I obsessing on this hair thing? This had to be back in the early 1980's, around the time we were recording our EP down at Hot Tracks studio in Santa Clara. I was dazzled by that studio and its Tascam 80-8 and linked Model 5 boards. Who would think that all these years later we'd be recording on digital gear that costs a hundred times more and doesn't sound half as good as that old analog tape? I see a pair of Studer decks in my near future. I just have to convince Paul to buy them...
Flock of Seagulls anyone? Breakfast Club maybe? Late 1980's? I think these last two shots are really the most important because they stand as a living testament to just how thick and lustrous my hair actually was. You could raise a family of birds in Paul's mop there. Just makes you wanna cry, doesn't it?