Way back in the mists of time, I once played in a band with a couple of cousins and some friends. My first official band wasn’t such a great experience, in the end, but it’s truth that you never forget your first. However messy and awkward it may have been at the time, you always remember that first time fondly. That was near the end of 1986. As far as I know, the video embedded here is the only video of this version of the band, and is from one of the latter RMS band rehearsals. The date has been debated, but at least one band-member insists the video was made on December 23rd, 1986. That’s awfully specific. So… let’s go with that.
No, I didn’t expect you to watch it. That’s not why I posted it. The video in question has been on a rarely viewed VHS tape (as in VCR) for almost 30 years, and was showing signs of deterioration. It’s largely agreed I had the last copy of the tape that still existed, so I thought maybe I should save it while I still could.
This video was made in our rehearsal building in the backyard of my uncle’s house on Bridges Drive, in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. There’s some joking around in the video about it being made for MTV (which was the shite at the time), but nobody ever thought this was being done for any reason other than our own amusement. With all that said, though, whenever I watch this I’m surprised by how tight this band was. We were good, and could’ve possibly have gone somewhere. Or at least played out.
I won’t bore you with details about why RMS turned out to be a bad experience for me. Suffice it to say that personality conflicts abounded. This was the second version of RMS. There were five incarnations of the band. I played in two of them. Only the first and the last ever made it to the stage. Through the years the musicians in this band remained friendly, and played with each other on occasion in different bands and in different configurations, but these six people never played together as a group again.
RMS was educational. I’ll always value the experience. When I left this band I went on to play in Top 40 bands, Beach bands, Country, Progressive Rock, and eventually started recording my own songs. This started me on a journey that may not have worked out like I hoped, but is still ongoing. That’s me in the featured image, with the cigarette in my mouth. I still have that bass guitar. I still talk on occasion with most of the guys in the video. One committed suicide last year. The other is missing (or at least he’s never mentioned). But I still talk to these guys sometimes on Facebook. They’re like old comrades in arms. We may not be the closest of friends, but we shared a history at one point. That’s worth remembering. And while I think my involvement in the overall RMS story was more significant to me than it was for these guys (I was really only in the band for a handful of months), for me this is where it began. It’s worth noting because of that, if nothing else.
- 00:00 – General Bullshit
- 03:30 – Women In Love (Intro)
- 06:12 – G Flat
- 08:35 – Hangover Blues
- 12:39 – Ice Cream Man
- 15:53 – Walkin’ The Dog
- 17:50 – Carry On My Wayward Son (Almost)
- 19:09 – Back In Black
- 22:50 – Breaking The Law
- 26:05 – Social Disease
- 30:00 – Heart’s Breakin’
- 36:25 – Diamonds & Rust
- 40:05 – G Flat
- 45:20 – This Could Be The Night
- 51:30 – I Know A Little
- 55:00 – Robert Earl Containment (“Don’t Kiss Me, Man”)
- 56:05 – Social Disease
- Mark Short – Lead vocals
- Danny “Red” Bridges – lead guitar
- Chris Short – rhythm guitar
- Larry Bridges – keyboards, guitar
- Wicasta Lovelace – bass, backing vocals
- “Fly” Abee – drums, backing vocals