It all started a long, long time ago in the land of……uhh wait a second here, wrong beginning. The band, in its early stages, was hardly anything worth talking about. Some would say it still isn't, but hey, that's another story…ha! Anyway, things began innocently enough on a cold winter day in February of 1999. Steve Ridall and Dale Olaf* had spent the last few months 'jamming it up' as a rhythm section and had become (at least in their own minds) pretty solid. An old high school buddy, who (coincidentally) happened to be a pretty good guitar player, was in town and they decided to invite him over to ‘goof around.’ His name: Mike 'Jimi' Morgan. They spent the better part of a day going through some old KISS and Poison tunes, and even though the results weren't what legends are made of, a good time was had by all. It was that point in time when the guys decided that, “Hey, we may be on to something here!”
And so it began...
Since Mike was a permanent resident of the great state of Maine, it was apparent that the line-up, in its current condition, was not going to work out.(That Steve character is no dummy!) Hence, the search was on! Jason Mowday, then, a guitar tech for the PTM's, now guitarist for Mainline, was deemed a temporary fix to keep the ball rolling until permanent members could be signed on. Things stayed this way until late in May of 1999, when a mutual friend introduced Frank Bloom to "the guys." He came over for a ‘meet and greet’ where it was determined that he was a good fit for the direction the band was currently heading. Frank then delved deep into his past … ("I know this guy who used to beat me up on the school bus, and he plays a pretty good guitar!") … and recruited Bill Holloway to play lead guitar. (Members' Note: The fact that Bill had a great place to hold practices had no bearing whatsoever on the decision to have him play in the band. It was a decision based purely on his talent and personality!!)
And so it continues…
“Machines Way” - a name yanked from the depths of a Stephen King novel (for those of you who always wondered) was formed and they were on their way. The band introduced themselves to the ‘world’ soon thereafter (June 1999) during an outdoor festival known as: “Phrankstok.” Although it was an 'extremely humbling experience,' (If you were there, you know what they mean!) there was nowhere to go but up! (Editor’s Note: That must be the greatest thing about being at the bottom of anything!)
The ensuing year would be spent trying to zero in on a particular style that best suited them. With the band in a never-ending search for a singer (so many stories, so little time-----guys: you know who you are) it was difficult to say where they were headed. They had begun to refer to themselves jokingly as the “Spinal Tap” for singers. (Editor’s Note: There were, however, no recorded instances of a spontaneous combustion occurring during a practice session or at any other time.) Finally, they decided to forego the search for a ‘front man.’ They would share vocal duties and move forward. The line up was set!
---Fast forward to June 2000---
P2K ("Phrankstok 2000") brought forth a few changes. While it was very obvious that the band had made great strides musically, this would be Frank's last show with the band. It would also be the band's last show as "Machines Way." The remaining members (Bill, Steve and Dale*) decided to continue on as a 'power trio' and changed their name to "Don't Know Dick."
Thus beginning yet another new chapter...
The transition was successful and the band continued to improve, showing flashes of brilliance (keeping in mind that they were only flashes!). They participated in some memorable performances at clubs such as "D'Alexanders" as well as "The Savage Hollow." The success was short lived, however, as yet another personnel change would disrupt the continuing progress of the band. Dale* would choose to leave the band to pursue outside projects citing the ever popular and always vague ‘creative and personal differences.’
In November of 2000, Bill and Steve would opt to hold auditions in the coming months and try to regroup. The response was overwhelming. After laying low during the holiday season, 2001 looks to be a good (possibly great!?!) year. They are returning to the local music scene as a five-piece band with bigger and fuller sound that can be attributed to the addition of three new members: Brian Harvey on bass guitar/vocals; Jody Chapin (no relation to Harry) on rhythm guitar; and Joe Ridall (no relation to the drummer) as the front man/lead vocalist.
2001 turned out to be a year of trials and tribulations. The band had to overcome many personal AND personnel issues. Jody vanished almost as quickly as he appeared and Brian had his own battles to fight, which the band is happy to report, he has put behind him and is now a better man for it. If the band would ever 'make it' in the music business, their "Behind the Music" episode would make others pale in comparison. With the exception of a good heroin addiction, the band has seen it all.
The band didn't have as many play dates as they had hoped, but they did make the most of the ones they had. Additionally, fans even started to respond favorably to the original music. Plans for a CD is still in the works for the upcoming months.
Fast forward to mid-2002 and the band finds themselves in a familiar (yet undesirable) situation. The search is on (again) for a new lead vocalist. They hope to fill the slot quickly and return once again to the local music scene to give fans MORE of what they have come to expect at a typical D*K*D show. They hope to see YOU out there!
To be continued...