“If we don’t spend the money on a SonicBids account we’ll never be able to play South-By, and if we don’t play South-By, no one will take us seriously as up-and-coming artists.”
Al stopped me. “Pete, as platformers go, Sonic games didn’t age well, I don’t know why you’d want to go back and play them. And, you really don’t need to bid on them. I can show you a website where you can download them all for free and play them on your computer.”
This is what I constantly had to deal with. They didn’t get it, I went to school for this shit. Granted it was right as the music industry was crumbling to pieces and Lars Ulrich had ruined his bands reputation to everyone else that hadn’t given up on them after Load. But I had learned that putting out records was about making everyone in the band sign contracts saying what kind of buyout they would get if they left the group and that the principle songwriters were the band gods and the other members are peons in comparison.
Which left me with a problem, Al and I are best friends and we have been since hig school. We’d been playing in bands together for most of the last 10 years. After our last band split, we figured in the next three months we’d find a new drummer and pick up right where we left off, but with himself as the new singer guy. It was a great idea; you know what else was a great idea, leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
But like the much-maligned Israelites searching for the Promised Land, we wandered drummerless, instead of the Sinai we wondered the streets of Allston and Cambridge seeing our friends do what we had always wanted, be a slightly less than moderately successful touring band. Then a phone call, one of our friends out of the group of previously listed unnamed bands called Al and said he had a drummer buddy named Myke (yes, seriously with a “y”), whom everybody called Doyle because there are literally seven other “Mikes” in that group of friends, who wanted to play and was looking for people.
The first practice went surprisingly well. It was at by-the-hour practice space run by a really nice guy who looked like he was in need of his next methadone fix. We practiced there for the next 10 months.
Practices were a time to drink beer and hang with friends (Doyle now thoroughly qualifying in that group). Sure, we made some music but Great Lakes USA practices had a real social club vibe to them. Then, out of the blue one day, we got a call asking if we could play our first show that night, we did, I think we were bad. We kept getting more shows though; bartenders liked us because we tipped well and sound guys liked us because we were polite and told funny jokes. We were playing pretty often, making new friends and writing new songs. All of a sudden it was time to make a record.
We went to our buddy Jay Maas at Getaway Studios’ temporary location and after a week of “tight butt-hole” this and “hard T” that, we had 10 pretty solid songs. Somewhere in that time Al and Doyle thought it would be a good idea to have me be on the cover of the record but dressed up like a Civil War officer. They said I would be the face of the band, which is weird because I’m definitely the least outgoing of all of us, but whatever. If all I had to do was look pretty, then so be it. Soon my face was on Great Lakes USA t-shirts and coffee mugs and life was grand until I got an email from Doyle saying that since I was the face of the band, he and Al thought that I should write the bio.
“We should hire a PR firm to do that,” I said, but was politely reminded we had no money. I was floored. I thought being the face of the band would be all hookers and blow so to speak, and now they wanted me to put some effort into this and write a bio. Me, Pete, the face of the band! Ah, fuck it, here’s the bio….
GREAT LAKES USA BAND BIO
“The Great Lakes are one of our nation’s most majestic treasures” ~ John F. Kennedy 
Hopefully that will make those assholes happy.