The first band I was ever in was called Sweet Rage. I was the lead singer and later also became the bassist. I was about thirteen years old. It was basically just me and my best friends at the time trying to be cool, not much different than what I'm doing today! (Note to myself: I need to grow up).

Our first gig was at our junior high talent show in Colorado Springs, CO. Now, this was not the worst gig in the world. There were going to be about 1,200 pumped up little kids going crazy to hear us, even if it was at 10:00 a.m. (when we normally had recess). In my mind, if we did well, a record deal would not be far off.

We were only given time to play one song, so I knew we had to choose it carefully. We contemplated doing an original song called "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em", but scrapped that idea since none of us had even kissed a girl yet. Since that was the only decent song we had really written, we needed to consider doing a cover song. After serious contemplation, we decided to play "Heaven's On Fire" by Kiss. 

Finally, the day of the show arrived. I really wanted to sound good, but it was just as important that we look good for "the ladies". Unfortunately, we all ended up looking like really ugly chicks. Man, we were wearing eyeliner, base, rouge, lipstick...the whole deal. I even temporarily dyed my hair black. We were a cross between Spinal Tap and Marilyn Manson.

As we started the song, our drummer's tempo was erratic, the guitars were out of tune and I was hitting bad notes...just like in practice. So far, so good. Just as I was really getting in to it, the unthinkable happened. My guitarist Mick,  tripped and fell on his ass in front of the whole school! He squirmed around on the ground acting like this was all part of the plan, but the damage was done. Even though the crowd loved us, this was the fall that cost us a record deal that day (or maybe we never got a deal because we sucked).

The worst thing was that I had to finish the rest of the day looking like a freak. The kids were cool but the teachers were in a "raised eyebrow" mode all day. The janitor even laughed at me!

Special note to the janitor: I was the one that peed all over the bathroom floor that day!

The guitar player Matt was my best friend as a kid. During our first year of high school, he ended up moving to the East Coast.   After about 8 years of loosing contact, he got a hold of me in March of 2000.  We picked up right where we left off.  I am so excited that we have regained contact.  He sure has been busy.  After serving three years in an Alabama prison for stealing watches at Sears, Matt got a job as a pin monkey at a local bowling alley in 1995.  Today, he is lead pin monkey and lives in a studio apartment with his long-time companion Thad.  Just kidding!  He is doing just as great as I thought he would.  He is a family medical doctor now.  He is way into weight lifting and recently got married.

Although Sweet Rage broke up soon after the show, my career in music had only just begun. My next band was called Salem Spade.