Plaid Faction

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As I mentioned before, each player in Plaid Faction sees the conception of the band at a different place.  This story is my version.  As you will learn if you choose to read any or all of my stories, this will be quite the rambling affair.  While some of the events laid out here are technically unrelated to Plaid Faction, it gives you some pretext on from whence we came.  And here we go...   


Some Background

This was quite a while ago.  The dates have definitely escaped me, but I am guessing it was somewhere around 1990 or so.  J.C. had gone off to San Marcos, Texas to South West Texas  University (which has since been renamed to Texas State University) and had like pretty much everyone else in our gang who had gone down there; failed out after the first year.  He returned to our home town of Waxahachie and we prompted started partying and playing music together.  J.C. had been in a band down at San Marcos and for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it now.  Like most bands of the late 80's and early 90's, it was a cheesy, glam rock type band with a name like Fallen Angel or something like that. 

Here is a side note I have to throw in there:  I remember somewhere in this process J.C. was in possession of the really freaking nice 1973 Cherry burst Les Paul.  I remember visiting him at his dorm room and playing it through his little Crate amp he stowed in his closet and thinking, dang this old guitar sounds awesome, but it just wasn't as good a guitar as the rock stars played like a Charvel or something...  So at some point in there, J.C. decided to trade the Les Paul even for a cool, new Charvel or Ibanez or other $400 rock guitar du jour.  I remember at the time we thought this was completely logical, but now realize how bad a move this was and no doubt there is some guitar store owner still telling that story down in the San Marcos area as well.


The Pre Faction

Anyway, so J.C. is back in town.  While J.C. was gone, I had a local garage rock band thing going.  It was kind of an evolution that had started back in High School.  We had players rotate in and out.  It started with my manager at Domino's Pizza who was named Steve as lead guitar, but I can't remember his last name now.  When Domino's suddenly went under due to some questionable business tactics, Steve soon left town and returned to Lubbuck.  Another side note, we ran into Steve on a Plaid Faction gig in Lubbock, but that is another story entirely.

As I was saying this garage band had been going for some time and players were rotating in and out.  We had a good drummer to start with in Jeremy Angel, but he died tragically along the way.  (I will put up a separate story about that entitled "My Kingdom for some Underpants" which again is not directly related to Plaid Faction, but has many Pladalicious elements and is a must read for various reasons)  Big Bad Bill was in there on Bass.  We had some goober singer from Cedar Hill whose sense of direction was tied closely to the Busy Bee located near his house.  There was also a replacement drummer in there from Desoto who was technically the first drummer for Plaid Faction, but for the life of me I can't remember his name.

The guitar player at the time of J.C.'s return was my hetero life mate, Jay Young.  I met Jay through a mutual friend, Frank Cawley, while Frank was attending Baylor University.  An awesome musician in his own rite, we had been playing in this lineup for a while but had not played out.  At this point the only song I remembered us playing was that Journey tune which again... I can't remember the name of.  (I'm sure Jay is screaming the name at his computer at this moment)  Hopefully Jay can email me and fill in some of the details of my obviously damaged memory :)


Axing Jay

Ok, getting back to Plaid Faction elements, J.C. was back in town and I was playing in this garage band.  J.C. and I started playing guitar together during the week while Jay was at school.  As mentioned before, we quickly found we had a Ying/Yang type relationship when playing together and writing music.  I think it was based on this fact that we came to conclusion, Jay had to go and J.C. had to replace him on guitar.  Being in the band, I was the person who had to tell him.  I remember feeling incredibly guilty and apprehensive about telling Jay. 

In those days, everyone gathered in my parent's garage apartment on the weekends.  In retrospect, the garage apartment was basically a refuge for the losers that didn't go off to college after high school to congregate, play music, get drunk and hit on high school chicks.  It's only now that I realize I was Matthew McConaughey's character from Dazed and Confused back then.  Ouch.

As the weekend came and the congregation began to forum, I knew the task of telling Jay was at hand.  As a nineteen year old loser, I dealt with this the only way I knew how.  I got drunk and when Jay showed up I treated him like he had done something wrong.  Of course Jay's reaction was WTF?  Finally after a few hours of this and being the more mature person, Jay cornered me and asked what the deal was.  I finally blurted it out that he was out of the band and J.C. was replacing him.  Jay's reaction?  Something like, "Ok, cool.  Let's go bong a beer!"  Which completely alleviated my anxiety, but didn't help much for my guilt.  We continue to be great friends to this day.  I email him periodically that he needs to more back to Dallas so we can get the band back together :)


So finally J.C. is in the band

We started working up some songs which ultimately turned out to be Passion and Sweet Liberty.  At that time, we had heard no one writing music like that.  Heavy riff, groove oriented stuff.  Not bad for a couple Waxahachie losers.  After one evening of writing tunes and jamming, we took a break and hoped in the car and drove around Waxahachie.  I think it was around one in the morning.  We something to drink and just drove for miles.  We got to talking about life, the future, how we see things turning out.  At the time we both had crappy jobs, were "attending" community college, partying in my parent's garage apartment on the weekends, and most importantly we were in what we considered to be a burgeoning rock band.

As we drove, we continued to talk about dreams and aspirations.  We talked about our musical chemistry.  How easily we wrote songs together.  How much everyone that heard them were blown away by them.  It was J.C. who finally said that we needed to do it.  To chase the dream.  This would be the only time in life that we would be able to.  That we would eventually be so weighted down by responsibilities that we could not chase it at that point.  He suggested we quit college and make the band full time.  Find a great singer, record a demo and make it happen. 

After many miles and much debate, he convinced me.  A life altering event.  The road less traveled.

Plaid Faction was born.