Bethesda, Maryland, 1980-1982
Craig Lapine – guitar, vocals, saxophone *
Jon Lipson – drums **
Stephen Lewis – lead guitar ***
Mark Lerner – bass
* Only once for the saxophone. Bad idea.
** And marimba on a couple of songs
***And drums when Jon played marimba
As I’ve mentioned to in an earlier post, in 10th grade I exchanged my Led Zeppelin and Cream records for the Stiff Records catalog and early records by the likes of Joe Jackson and the Police. I also started playing in the Nitz, formed by Craig Lapine, who was a year ahead of me in school. He seemed very grown up. He’d make a joke I wouldn’t understand and I’d nod and laugh and then look up the words in a dictionary later. Most importantly, Craig wrote his own songs. This required that I figure out something to do on bass, since there was no Bill Wyman or John Paul Jones bass line to copy.
Rounding out the band was my closest friend, Stephen Lewis (also newly escaped from Atlantis), on guitar, and Jon Lipson on drums.
We all chipped in and bought a sparkly blue “tuck and roll” Kustom PA system and parked it in Jon’s parents’ basement where we rehearsed.
1979 to 1982, Bethesda, Maryland
Every band means: Every. Band. So let’s go back to 1979.
I had been playing bass for about 2 years when I got to high school. Since third grade, I’d played trumpet in the school band, but when I entered high school in tenth grade, I gave up the trumpet. We returned it to the place we’d rented it from for seven years.
The jazz band at our school, or stage band, as it was called, was a class. I think it was pretty early in the day, like 2nd period. I remember eating my bag lunch in the class and then buying another lunch at lunchtime nearly every day.
A piano player named Sam Jannotta and I were allowed in as tenth graders, and for that first year we stuck to each other closely, since everyone else was older and seemed better than us. There was another piano player and two other bass players, so we’d both get the last choice of songs to play on.