The Dave is Awesome!!!

When I was in the 6th grade I tried out for beginner band like a lot of students. I wanted to play the saxophone more that anything in the world. I loved its sound, shape, and the way it felt in my hands. Everyone looks cool playing a sax! The day came to try out instruments and decide which one would be best for me. Of course, I tried the sax first and was thinking, “let’s get this over with.” I already had my mind made up. I was going to play the sax no matter what anyone said. I spent a few minutes of experimenting, then the band director said, “that was okay, let’s try some other instruments to see if there is anything you would like better.” I protested that there was nothing better that the sax, but had to try the other instruments anyway. I tried the flute, clarinet, trumpet… well, you get the idea. Finally, I tried the drums.

Now, I know that you are thinking I tried the drums and fell in love. I wish I could say it happened that way, but that would be more romantic than the truth. I went into the room with the drums, grabbed a pair of sticks and played the rhythms he wanted me to play. All the while I’m thinking saxophone, saxophone, saxophone! Then something happened that I never expected. The band director said to me, “You really aren’t coordinated enough to play drums. You should probably play the trombone or something.” Well, in Whoville they say the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes in one day. I felt like that, but with my ego instead. My thoughts went from sax, sax, sax to, “What the hell did he just say to me? Not coordinated enough? Fuck you! I am going to be a drummer. “

At 14 years old, I had played in the school band for a few years and decided that I needed a new challenge. I wanted to become a better drummer and to do that I needed a drum kit. So, I talked my parents into giving me a drum kit for Christmas. I awoke that Christmas morning to find my own Remo 5-piece, black starter kit. I was so excited! I opened it as fast as I could and spread the parts all over the garage. I was wild with anticipation of rockin’ the drums. Then, I spent the next 3 days figuring out I knew absolutely nothing about a drum kit.

I had not owned my drum kit very long when I joined my first band. I remember that day well. I was walking down the school hallway when a guy I had never met walked up to me and said, “Hey dude, I heard you have a drum kit.” When I told him that I did, his response was, “Good. You can be in our band. We practice on Wednesday.” That dude was Shane Sanford, and my friendship with him would take me places that I could have never imagined.

Now, there are not a lot of places in north Mississippi for a very bad, way too loud, heavy metal rock band to play. So, when our friend asked us to play at his birthday party we were stoked! That was the most exciting thing I had ever done! We rented a PA system that we had no idea how to set up, and we rock our asses off as much as you can when you only know about 10 songs. But, at the end of the night I felt something I had never felt before… the feeling of being a rock star, and I have been addicted since.

My first band was named River Blaze and we were going to take over the world! River Blaze was a hard rock cover band that played songs by Guns n’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, AC/DC, etc. Through the years the band had many incarnations with names such as Trigger Fish and Forest Orange, as well as, many revolving members. Trigger Fish was a bit like the first band, but played a broader range of songs. Our sets included songs from the 1970s by artists such as the Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, and Pink Floyd to more modern songs by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP, and Soundgarden.

The third version of the band was the great Forest Orange. We lit up the southeastern United States playing original and cover tunes at frat parties and college-town bars. Forest Orange consisted of myself on drums, guitarists Shane Sanford and Chris Carr, lead vocalist Chad Sanford, bassist Rick Scheid, and later, guitarist “Scottish” Bob Lovett. In the late 1990s, we relocated to Orlando, Florida and were offered a recording contract by a small indie record label. More than a year later we packed venues such as the House of Blues and opened for just about every national act that came to town. After a somewhat successful run in the Orlando original-music scene, Forest Orange played our final show to a full house of very loved and supportive fans at The World Famous Station in Fern Park, Florida.

For the next couple of years, I played in several different bands around Orlando before coming to Memphis looking for “Something New.” Since arriving in Memphis, I have played in bands such as No Eleven with Luke John from Another Society, Ricky from Forest Orange, and our very own Chuck Lirette, and most recently in Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre. In August 2009, while on tour with Joecephus, I received a phone call from David Gicking, manager of Blackberry Wednesday. After two years with Blackberry Wednesday, myself, Rod Henson, and Lucien Croy formed a new project called New Jam Wednesday.

Now, back to taking over the world!


2 comments to The Dave is Awesome!!!

  • Emerson  says:

    I ѕeriously love your site.. Plеasаnt cοlors &
    theme. Didd уou сreate this wеbѕіte yourself?
    Please гeрly bасk аѕ I’m hорing to creatе mу own site аnd want tο finԁ out ωhеrе you got
    thіѕ fгom or exaсtly what thе theme is сalleԁ.
    Μany thanks!

    • The Dave  says:

      Yes I did create this site. The Theme is called music plus. If you need any additional help with your site let me know.

Leave a reply Cancel reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>