Liquid's classic lineup, rocking a sports bar somewhere. Guitar: Zak Claxton. Drums: Dante Silva. Vocals: Randy Harmon. Bass: Phil Gilbreth.
How many of my friends who read this blog are even remotely aware that for years before I launched my solo singer-songwriter career, I spent the majority of my musical life playing in rock bands? Well, it's true. Starting in 1982, when I was barely a teenager, I played in a number of bands throughout the 80s and early 90s. Starting in the mid-90s, I took time off music entirely, focusing my attention and time on my career. However, in 2002, my old friend (and drummer in several previous bands) Dante J. Silva contacted me. He'd met some guys who he felt would be a good fit for my style of playing, and wondered if I had any interest in getting together to jam with them. Well, it was the right time for me to try and do some live music once again, so I accepted his invitation and was introduced to singer Randy Harmon.
We knew it worked right from the start. We did have one weak link with the original bass player, who was a super-nice person but had some trouble remembering his parts in the songs. After awhile, we had to make a switch, which is when we found bass phenomenon Phil Gibreth, and renamed the band Liquid for no particular reason (though it was an apt description for both the fluid sound of the band and the alcohol-drenched bars and pubs where we tended to play).
Liquid generally could be found playing live at seedy sports bars and Irish pubs, most often around LA's South Bay area (though we occasionally had shows in Hollywood, Orange Country, and elsewhere).
Liquid's glory years were from 2003-2006. We did a ton of shows. It was rare that a month went by that we weren't setting up in a bar, at a street fair, at wedding receptions, and other events where people wanted some straightforward rock tunes being performed live by a good band. And make no mistake, we were good. While none of us were young enough to expect anything to happen with the band beyond doing what we were doing, we all had fun, made some money, and enjoyed the adulation from our small but fierce group of fans in the area.
An added bonus in having Randy sing for our band was that his daughter Amanda could also sing her ass off (it must run in the family), and she'd join us from time to time at shows for some female-sung songs.
Unfortunately, in 2007 we ran into a wall. It was getting tougher to schedule practice and gig times. Unlike bands people have as teenagers, Liquid was comprised of guys who at the time were in their 30s and 40s (now 40s and 50s), and we had jobs and families and other responsibilities beyond rocking out. Also, as is common in cover bands, we started burning out on the material we performed. Combined with the fact that my personal musical interests had moved toward doing my own original stuff, Liquid evaporated that year. We parted amicably, the other guys got involved in different bands, and I've obviously kept busy since then, recording a solo album and performing hundreds of shows in the virtual world.
July 23, 2011: We're Baaaaaaaaaaaack
Last weekend, Randy dropped me a note on Facebook. It turned out that he'd run into Phil at a club, and sat in with his band. Had a great time. He mentioned this to Dante, and the end result was the idea of a one-off reunion show. While I have no plans of committing myself to being in a full-time band again, the idea of getting together with these great musicians (and fun, cool people) for a special show sounded great. Therefore, in my long-winded way, I'm here to tell you that Liquid is reuniting for one night only. Hopefully some of you LA-based friends can come watch us get the Liquid rock machine running one more time!
One Night Only... LIQUID reunites!
July 23, 7-10PM
1434 Marcelina Ave
Torrance, California 90501
Click to enlarge.