In 1986 I was working as a busboy at Chili Willi's Mexican Cantina to pay the bills, and still harboring delusions of being in a band. For a while I played bass in a band called The Wreck, until its core members moved to Athens, Georgia.
Then I just played bass and rhythm guitar, and wrote songs. With a couple of other dishwashers and an energetic would-be drummer I'd known off and on since high school, we formed a band we called Velvet Elvis, until we found out that that name was taken. So we (Tim Flanery, Mike Gibson, John Crist, and I) became Wenton Gone instead.
John had been behind a drum kit a total of maybe a dozen times at that point, but he'd been honing his natural sense of rhythm since he'd been a teenager, tapping pencils, forks and sometimes actual drumsticks on whatever surfaces were handy. Mike was older than the rest of us, and had been playing guitar for quite a while without being hooked up with any bands. Tim, who had been in a rough-edged group called Molotov Improv, and more recently writing lyrics without any tunes, was ready for a band again, and I was of course in between groups myself.
We played a hard-to-classify blend of garage-band rock, punk and country, tinged with hints of goth, the "Athens sound" and Bo Diddley... not necessarily because we were trying to be hard to pin down, as because we didn't know how to market ourselves.
We never put in any studio time - couldn't afford it - but there are some records of our existence. I still have a videotape of one of our better shows (made during a benefit performance - all our performances were benefits, but this one was officially a benefit - by the unpleasant expedient of shooing everyone off the small dance floor to set up the camera and lights). There's a tape of our first full session that still sounds like the best thing we ever did, and some tracks we did on a four-track cassette recorder we bought with pooled money. And there's an hour and a half of tape from a party we threw (and paid for!), which we called Bud Wiser and the 9th Avenue All Stars.
Eventually, John, Mike and Tim seemed to get a little impatient with the lack of opportunity in Huntington, so they "went and gone" to Athens, Georgia, where for a while they performed with a new bass player as Mourning Glory. Then Tim got married, and Mike and John joined Rob Veal and Todd McBride to become The Dashboard Saviors
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