The White Brothers are a trio of brothers that have been a major part of my musical life. Throughout my musical career, there has always been at least one of the trio in my band, playing right alongside me. Musicians are superstitious people. I never set out to make sure I have a White in my band, but it just ends up that way. For the better too I think, when one isnt in the band for a month or two, the music doesnt rock like it should, I think I need a member of the bloodline to help me along.
When I first started playing in bands, it was always for someone else, it wasnt until 1997, that I decided to take matters into my own hands and front my own band. It didnt exactly start that way, The elder two White Brothers were playing in a band called The Dirty Bluesmen, they were looking for a second guitar player and asked a friend of mine who was spending lots of time with me writing songs in a garage with a drum machine, the guitar player said yes, but only if I came along as a singer, Strangely enough, Older brother Jeremy stepped down from the lead singing role and gave me a shot to sing. The first practice was surreal. I met the other brothers, Danny the drummer and Randy (who at the time was still a youngin) They led my guitar player and I into a little laundry room. In the corner of the room was a drumset, Christmas lights, a little microphone setup, and guitar amps. After a bit of warming up, tuning etc, they asked us if we knew any songs. My guitar player nodded, and began playing what we had been writing in our garage all summer.
Its strange to hear your songs come to life for the first time. You can write them, peck them out on a piano or strum them out on a guitar, but to hear four other people pick up their instruments, and hear your babies brought into the world with a little struggle, and a whole lot of joy its indescribable. So we played, and played, we had hour long practices a few times a week in this little laundry room.
The Dirty Bluesmen never became a commercial success. But they did a lot for Victorias underground music scene. They were one of the first bands to began booking their own shows and renting their own halls. They embraced a DIY ethic, made their own stickers, shirts and demo tapes. They debuted with another up and coming Victoria band, Worm Suicide and both began to set the stage for other bands to follow in their footsteps. If you see a flier these days for a little rock show that was made on someones computer nowadays, you can probably trace it back to the house that Tim Oi and The White brothers built. Not bad for a couple of high school age kids.
A lot has changed since that first run in with them over the years, Youngest brother Randy, grew up, and when his older brothers left town, I recruited him to join one of our greatest successes, The Blacklisted. In a few short years, we were all over the place, opening for bands we admired, and making our mark on the Texas music scene. We watched as the monster of a band we spawned became bigger than ourselves, we heard our music on radio stations, met all sorts of fans, played in venues that streetpunk bands had never done before, got put into magazines, been featured on compilation records, signed autographs (thats actually sort of embarrassing), and done everything I thought I would never have done. Randy was right there with me.
The Blacklisteds ride stopped shortly when we became involved in a legal situation over the bands name. In the 4 years we played as that band, we never stopped to copyright the band name, it was after all punk rock and copyrighting was for mainstream artists who couldnt write their own songs. So when another band called The Blacklisted got signed to a major distributor, we had to step down and change our name. The name change pretty much killed that era of the band, but we trudged on.
The White brothers have changed a lot over the years. Oldest brother Jeremy, lives in Lubbock, he is a playwright and a teacher, I have never seen any of his work on the stage, but Im told its really good. We are good friends to this day, and I talk with him and his wife mostly through emails. Middle brother Danny went to the Marines after right after high school before 9-11 happened. Towards the end of his turn he found himself in Iraq. He came home last year, and I just happened to need a drummer at the time, he picked up his sticks, and became a Luchadore. I can only imagine what their parents must think every time one of them decides to pick up an instrument and follow that damn Tim Oi across Texas one more time. I suppose its alright, because Danny is still a major part in my band to this day.
Youngest brother Randy is who I think about a lot. Sometime last year, he decided to do more than just play in a band and joined the army. Even these days, he says he just wants to kill terrorists. Hes in Iraq now, his emails sound like hes rather bored sometimes. Regardless of everyones political views, all of his friends are eagerly awaiting the day he returns. For some reason, I can almost picture him picking up his guitar one more time and us carrying on like we used to leaving a trail of broken strings and bottles in our wake.
Merry Christmas Randy, and to Jeremy and Danny Rock and Roll never dies.
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