The Mess

I have a little musical down time while Eric scuba dives in Maui, so I thought I’d at last go to the vault and clean up some tracks from my favorite band I was in, the aptly named Mess of Daytona Beach. The Mess were Palmer Wood on vocals and guitar, the sorely missed Corey Levin on drums, Greg Drais on bass, and Rich Rath (me) on guitar. Palmer and I wrote all but the covers, and we worked together really well. We played as the house band at a place called the Concrete Jungle on A1A right across the street from the ocean for about six months in 1983-84. The owner called it CJs, named after his daughter or wife or something, but hey, who was he to tell us what our bar was called. He went out of business a month after we stopped playing there. We left because we were packing the place up every weekend and some weeknights, but he’d only pay us $100 a week (for all of us, not each) for playing six nights…oh yeah, and all the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap we cared to drink …urgggh. We then went “on tour” of central Florida, playing memorable gigs in Jacksonville Beach, Tampa, and Gainesville, before spontaneously combusting while trying to find a Spring Break gig in Daytona. But for a short while, CJs was the place to be for alternative music. Our friend Jonathon spun tunes, and we would play, once or twice bringing in special guests as well. People danced, fought, heckled, drank, made out, made up, broke up, played pool, and danced some more.

There are many stories, but I’ll save them for another time. Here is a studio recording of us trying, somewhat successfully, to play a ska thing with no horns or keyboards. It is called “We Deliver.” I am going to paste this into the way wicked wiki to start things off there, and maybe Palmer or someone will come by and tell some stories…

4 thoughts on “The Mess”

  1. I thought we played at CJ’s longer than that. Then again, I don’t remember too well. As far as stories go…Ones that come to mind have to do with you stepping out of a moving van and a shootout.G

  2. lol, Hey Greg, send me an email if you get this (go to’s contact page…if I print the email I’ll get spammed to death). Will listen to some Alaskan indie music when I get a chance. Are you in Alaska? I went the opposite direction…living in Hawai’i. If you want to write about any of the messy times, there is a wiki for just that purpose…just join and write! As soon as more stuff gets written and I get a chance, I’ll put more Mess tunes up too.

  3. Hi Rich, whatever happened to you? The Mess was a mess but some good times like the sniper shooting when it was really 2 redneck brothers ……… lot’s of us wondered where you at. I’m in Charlotte NC glad to see you are still making music.

  4. Hey Melody,

    Great to hear from you…I guess I kind of fell off the planet after the mess…it was kinda ugly for a while. send me an email if you want…just use the contact page (see greg’s comment above).

Leave a Reply