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So Scott met Jesse first and they were in a band together with a different drummer and a different singer. Then that band fired that drummer and hired Rich who was dating that singer. A while later, and regretfully, that band fired Jesse and hired a different bass player. Eventually the whole band went to hell in a hand basket much to the dismay of everyone involved, especially Scott. Music fans were sad too. And it was all very sad because they were very, very good. Meanwhile, Teisha, completely unaware of both the band and its suffering, was playing in a band of her own. No one was fired from this band except for one time but that bastard deserved it, unlike Jesse who was in his own way, a band martyr, a sacrificial lamb.

One rainy Tuesday night, with nothing better to do, Teisha ventured out. Scott was playing with his friend Warren Pash (who, interestingly enough, wrote that song "Private Eyes" for Hall & Oates). Over a half pint of light colored beer, Scott and Teisha struck up a conversation. Scott sent Teisha a CD of the aforementioned defunct band (The Flatirons, there I said it). She became another of the late comers to hear and love the band that was but wasn't. It was exciting. Scott came to hear Teisha sing. A sense of musical compatibility grew. But, like so many things, it was complicated. Things would take awhile. It was the summer of 2000.

These two spoke on the phone and occasionally got together to play music. Scott finished a few songs. He helped her buy her first guitar and taught her to play some chords. They went to a Tom Petty concert. They became friends. They played a wedding in a small church which required them to stand too close to the bride and groom and made them nervous. They played a fancy corporate gig at a fancy hotel in Seattle and knew in their hearts that neither of them had any real business being there but the people were happy and at the end of the evening they ate big plates of shrimp and forgot their troubled and guilty minds.

All this while, Jesse and Rich are playing music with many other bands. Touring around the west coast some. In his spare time, Jesse is listening to old Frank Sinatra LP's (the actual LP's) and wearing nice slacks. Rich is listening to everyone who every coughed up a note and drawing elaborate, well-crafted tattoo designs.

Fast Forward. Skip tracks. Moving along. These four fun loving but slightly troubled bizarros begin to play some of Scott's songs agreeing amongst themselves that they are pretty songs and deserve to be played. They played. They had, like every self-respecting band, big and small dreams. They drank light beer. They played again. They fought. And made up. They fought some more but they didn't really mean it. Scott and Teisha scraped up some money to make a record.

Which brings us to Mike Coykendall. Mike comes from Kansas but you wouldn't know it unless he told you. You'd think Liverpool or Dublin. He's humble, he's solid. Mike has great taste in everything. Posters and books. Furniture and magazines. Houses and kitchen tables. Mike knows things about us we don't even know about ourselves. He soaks you up a little bit at a time, never letting on and it wouldn't matter because you totally trust him. And he too is funny, which is critical.

The band went to Mike's on weekends and in the evenings. Scott went more than anyone because this was really his record to mold and the studio can be disheartening even to the bravest of souls. Sometimes he and Mike were like little boys playing with mud. Sometimes there was no play. Just plodding through. Mike is good at that part. Keeping everyone moving ahead. Finding ways of helping us find ways to keep going on. He likes it in the way a firefighter likes a fire. Strange in a way but then entirely understandable.

It came together slowly. There was much speculation. Various combinations of people staring at the floor like despondent motorists kicking flat tires by the side of the road all the while wondering how you're going to get yourself out of this mess. The car is solid. The engine runs. The road is fine. The tank if full. But the tire is flat and you haven't got a spare. Eventually someone, or in our case, something, comes along to save the day. This is when there is dancing in the street.


Jesse is from Portland but you'd never guess Portland unless he told you. You'd think San Francisco. He's a gentleman. He doesn't own a car. When I first met him he owned a grey Porche with only one headlight. Not a new fancy one, an old, battered one that broke one day and was never fixed. Jesse is a musician with a day job strictly in support of his music habit and hopes of spending as many days as possible behind bass, guitar, keys or, lacking any of these, a cold bottle of cheap beer, preferably, Pabst. He's disheveled but neat. He dresses. He does not kiss and tell. He knows Portland like the back of his hand and remembers it the way it used to be in the 70's and 80's. Sometimes we reminisce about places we remember.


Teisha is from Portland. She has curly hair and her dog also has curly hair. Her dog is an ambassador of goodwill sent here to warm the frozen hearts of poodle haters everywhere. She is goodness and light and loves to be loved and is loved; I speak here of the poodle. Teisha wants to be just like her dog sometimes. She wants to be non-shedding and eternally optimistic. She wants to be ready for a long run day or night. She wants to be keenly aware of sounds and smells but always in a friendly detachment manner. She wants many things she cannot have, I speak now of Teisha.


Scott is from Montana but you'd never guess Montana unless he told you. You'd think he was from Seattle or Northern California or somewhere less rural. He loves the rain. He wears warm hats. He has a skateboard. He watched a lot of Eddie Murphy movies as a kid and is, consequently, a rather funny guy. He is decidedly not the outdoorsy type which lends itself to the notion that he could only have been so at home in the hills of Helena. He generally keeps his friends. He considers himself to be somewhat of a music aficianado to be and does possess a certain sharpness of the ear but I found a Lionel Ritchie cassette tape in his basement once, so he's human.


Richard is from Springfield via Los Angeles but you'd never guess Springfield unless he told you. You'd think Los Angeles. His mom is Irish and his dad is Mexican. Rich doesn't speak Spanish which can be an embarrassment sometimes but that's no fault of his and we do not hold it against him. He's gentle unless provoked. A veritable musical library. Richard is wickedly funny and can make funny faces but I'm not sure he'd want you to know this and I know for a fact he won't be making any funny faces for you because he doesn't even know you and he'd have to know you to do a thing like that. Let's just say, he has his scruples.




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