the (aptly named) Mess

Facebook people, as usual, you have to come to the page for the links to work.

I had an entry in the wiki for way music for the mess, but it locks every

the mess
Robin Henson’s pic of the Mess in 1982

one out, which is useless.  Just heard from Robin Henson, who took great photos of us, and Adam Dowis, who played drums in the initial incarnation of  of the band and was also a partner in crime from the outset with his brother Nick.   Here is a fuzzy recording from the vault with Adam on drums: Kevin’s Sleazy Funk, featuring a somewhat buzzed Anarchy Liquors Kevin hitting on someone in his inimitable style.  Also notable ‘cuz we would pass out percussion junk from a big bin for everyone to beat on for this.  More tunes linked below.

Here is the Mess entry from the non-working wiki:

The aptly named Mess of Daytona Beach were Palmer Wood on vocals and rhythm guitar, the sorely missed Corey Levin on drums, Greg Drais on bass, and Rich Rath (me) on lead guitar. Palmer and I wrote nearly all but the covers, and we worked together really well.

mess in the studio

We made it into the studio only once before we combusted, laying down four tracks in three hours.  Here are the four songs from that session. The first is us trying, somewhat successfully, to play a ska thing with no horns or keyboards. It is called “We Deliver.” The next one is a fast and loud guess at what 1999 would look like from 1984 if folks like Reagan stayed in power — hmmm, not too far off — Its called suburban dogs, after the last verse, which I wrote along with some other stuff after a long night of partying.  When I woke up, someone, I think Bobby, had read it and told me, all hungover, this sucks, this sucks, but this one is ok, with the ok one turning into the song and the other stuff going out with the trash.   I think that was the party where we got a well-known Gainesville straight-edge guy who was pretty full of himself, very wasted, and took pictures of him buzzed out of his mind in a wig calling on the disconnected telephone.  That became our flyer next time we played Gainesville.  Not nice.  The third one we came up with during a sound check in Jacksonville Beach about a week before the recording session. Corey came up with the beat and I started playing the guitar line, and Palmer heard it and came up with the lyrics: the result was new beat. The last one, she’s mine,  Palmer’s Psychedelic Furs-ish sounding thing with a weird intro and break.

The Mess 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 about a month after we stopped playing there.

For a short while, CJs was the place to be for alternative music. Our friend Jonathan spun tunes, and we would play, once or twice bringing in special guests as well, I think there was a zine, other towns knew about CJ’s and came to visit. People danced, fought, heckled, drank, made out, made up, broke up, played pool, and danced some more.

Here is a live thing from a quiet night at CJs, an instrumental of a bunch of TV themes and stuff.   This had one of my favorite wall of squall moments in it, where for about fifteen seconds of Peter Gunn we ran everything on eleven and a half before returning to your regularly scheduled programming.  Here is a sloppy but fun version of Palmer’s GI Joe.  Here is a dubby thing that we got when a drunk Jamaican guy came in one night and asked if we played reggae.  He then sang something about “lie cold dead in the market” and Palmer changed it into this bastardized version of what I think is an actual Jamaican folk or reggae song, or maybe it was Louis Jordan’s “Stone Cold Dead in the Market,” who knows…anybody?.  We had fun with the echoplex on this one

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.

There are many stories, but I’ll save them for another time. If you have any you want to share (no slander plz!), then leave stuff in the comments on this page.  Post any good stories you remember.

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