"I just wanna bang on the drum all day." -- T. Rundgren
As the only member of the band to have musical roots in the home of "Rock and Roll," Cleveland, Ohio, Ted is thrilled to be playing in So Cal with an international cast of musicians.
Ted began playing drums at 3 months of age, well actually just started banging on things like most infants, but he stuck with it. Ask anyone who knows him, he still bangs on just about anything.
Formal lessons started at age eleven. His parents supported the economics of the instrument. Unlike other instruments (violin, coronet, sax and cello) which he considered, his parents liked the fact that drums could be studied for about a $5 total investment. A wooden block with a flat square piece of rubber glued to the top made a lot of sense or saved a lot of cents depending on how you looked at it.
Ted attended band class in Junior High. It was here among the band room full of former elementary school musicians that Ted learned the rhythmic styling of many John Phillips Sousa (spelling ?) marches, Christmas collaborations and the occasional hip tune like Simon & Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair. There he was introduced to the vibes, chimes and timpani which were played by other members of the percussion section.
Soon he purchased a second or perhaps third hand set of drums from money he saved on his paper route. A local instructor/ musician taught lessons on the full kit. It was here that Ted learned the bizarre rhythms, constantly changing times and syncopation of his favorite band Genesis. He also met Len Sabo who was an amazing drummer who picked up everything by ear. Together they emulated Genesis, Steely Dan, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams and other rock and jazz fusion artists on their kits every Friday and Saturday night at Goloubski Funeral Home where Len's family lived. The family lived upstairs and the boys played downstairs below the visiting rooms. What better place to play drums until all hours of the night? Who were they gonna wake... the dead?
Ted banded together with neighborhood kids to play in garages and basements. All total he was in more than a dozen bands, but the real music happened in College at Kent State University. His old kit was sold and the new craze of electronic drums were cost prohibitive, so Ted purchased a set of roto-toms, the very same drums he still uses today. Roommate Bill Weita used to arrange numerous microphones around the roto-toms when Ted was away at class. Upon returning to the room Bill would hand Ted his sticks and say "Play something" These recordings became a collection of multi-track music that Bill sold throughout the next seven years of college under a variety of names including Pan Giraffe Ventilator, Colonel Tom and Bad Crabs.
About this time Neon Octa was formed. Bill and Ted joined by Frank Herlinger and Rob whose name escapes us all started building on the multi-track sounds and created noisy compositions in the tradition of Chrome, Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music and other punk and industrial bands. Ted augmented the roto-toms with homemade percussion including cookie sheets, tupperware with paper clips inside and waste baskets to create a kit. Later he purchased another used kit. Rob had turned an early computer inside out (way ahead of his time) to compose music ala Kraftwerk and Human Switchboard. The group's only performance at Cedars in Youngstown, Ohio was very well received by a standing room only crowd who was obviously there to see the headliner. The Neons opened for the Infidels, local band that had
released a few discs and routinely filled clubs in Eastern Ohio. Unfortunately, as is often the case with successful musical enterprises, Yoko Ono-like romances crushed Neon Octa and everyone went their separate ways.
Inside Story formed in the late eighties featuring two keyboards, bass, guitar and drums. All original music and a recording on Exhibit C a compilation of Northeast Ohio bands. Recording sessions took place at Kenston High School where Jo Ann managed radio station WKHR. the school had a multi-track recorder and Jo Ann, angel that she is, let the band record several tracks including "The Untimely Death of Pat the Yupppie" which ended up on the CD. The band practiced weekly for three years played in clubs a few times and got some interest from Amherst Records who's claim to fame is Doc Severinson, but nothing ever came of it. Inside Story also hosted a party for all their friends at a nearby campground. The idea was great and many people attended including Ted's soon to be wife, Jo Ann, who was planning a wedding scheduled to take place one week later. The marriage lasted the band did not.
Other musician friends would drop by the house in Bainbridge and jam. The annual Clam Jam, an extension of Ted and Jo Ann's annual fall Clambake, featured a core of musician friends and anyone else who wanted to bring instruments and play.
SoCal made drumming difficult. After a few months of playing with brushes in his condo Ted moves his drums into the closet where they reside for almost a year.
Now at age 35 a new chapter begins. During some idle conversation over beers at Shakespeare's the P-Koalas are born. Who knows what stage lies ahead?
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