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Gramma Fudgebottom

In Remembrance (1994-1999)

Drawing by Jeff Pfeil, colorized by Jim Balcerek

This web space is dedicated to perhaps one of the most reclusive bands to come out of Horsham, PA - Gramma Fudgebottom! In fact, you've probably never heard of us unless you went to Hatboro-Horsham High School circa 1995.

Gramma Fudgebottom was:
Keith Stetson - bass, vocals, drum programming, guitar, keyboard, percussion
Jim Balcerek - guitar, vocals, keyboard, drum programming, bass, percussion
Chris Fusco - drums (1995)

HISTORY

You may ask, where did we get such an unusual name? Well, it didn't come from any of our relatives. Back in 10th Grade, Keith and I had a Health/Phys. Ed. teacher by the name of Mr. MacBride. He was an interesting guy with a unique sense of humor, which came through in his lectures. One day, he demonstrated CPR techniques on a dummy (no, not one of the students, an actual dummy of a head and torso). After showing us the actions of applying breath and pressing on the chest, he made a comment that you wouldn't press quite so hard on the chest of "your old Gramma Fudgebottom." He used this reference a number of times in his lectures whenever he referred to a typical senior citizen. Another example that Keith remembered was "Suppose your Gramma Fudgebottom's chokin' on a chicken bone." So Keith and I decided that it would make a cool band name.

At that time, we were already in another band with eight members, known as 8-Track; Keith was the bassist and I was the lead guitarist. Unfortunately, that band didn't go anywhere because we could never get all eight members together at one time. So Keith and I decided to go out on our own.

We started to write a lot of songs that year and spent most of our time writing or practicing together, with the hope of eventually finding a drummer. We even made up a fake career for ourselves, in which we catapulted to stardom, which was to end after my accident with a milk truck three years hence. (Thankfully, that never happened). But the reason I mention this is that we would come up with fake album names, complete with fake song titles. We actually used a few of those titles as ideas for real songs.

By 1995, we recruited Chris Fusco to play drums for us. He had also been involved in 8-Track, and he had played with Keith in another band, which shall remain unnamed, as there are apparently superstitions surrounding it. The three of us played our first gig in May at a concert in our high school. The acoustics were... well, about what you would expect from a high school gymnasium. We thought we were playing second, but got duped into playing first by another band. Overall, it went well, aside from the fact that our set was shorter than expected and I broke a string on stage.

After that gig, Keith and I played another brief gig at an old folk's home, appropriately enough. I think they liked our cover of "Money" the best (the Bradford/Gordy Motown song, not the Pink Floyd song).

Over the summer, we recorded a few songs together and eventually released the tape to sell to friends and locals, titled Music for the Hearing Impaired. By the end of that summer, Chris departed for college, but not before we played a going-away gig at his house. That one didn't start out so well, since we had to stop to regroup after three and a half songs. Fortunately, it got better after that, and featured us playing some songs we hadn't really even rehearsed, including a request from the audience ("Lightning Crashes" by Live).

After Chris left, Keith and I spent most of our time recording more material. By the spring of 1996, we had finished an LP titled Geriatric Rock, but we never released it due to a lack of cover art. With recording new music now being our favorite pasttime, we kept at it, although we spent less time on it once we both went to different colleges. By the end of the summer of 1997 we had finished recording another album's worth of material, but alas, that also never got released.

At that point, Keith and I were heading in different musical directions and started to lose interest in continuing Gramma Fudgebottom, although we still recorded a song every so often. We've remained good friends ever since. In fact, for almost a year we played together in another band, this time with Keith on guitar and me on bass, known as The Boxes, an original instrumental psychedelic surf rock band. And there was also the short lived Rotting Icarus, or was it Iron Icarus? But those are other stories. In the meantime, rest in peace, Gramma.

-Jim Balcerek

SONGS

Originally, Keith's influences were mainly in the punk realm, and mine were in classic rock. We intersected somewhere around Nirvana. A lot of our earliest songs were in this vein or one of its capillaries. As time went on, our overall sound started to mellow out a bit, as we delved into some more acoustic-based rock and straight ahead pop-rock. A number of songs that I have adopted as a solo artist came from Gramma, including "Wishing Well" and "World Around."

Here are some musical samples for your listening pleasure (or pain):

"Bound" - from Music for the Hearing Impaired (c) James P. Balcerek Sample it! Download it! (3.43MB)
"Antagonist" - from Geriatric Rock (c) Keith E. Stetson & James P. Balcerek Sample it! Download it! (4.78MB)
"Bewilder" - from Geriatric Rock (c) James P. Balcerek Sample it! Download it! (4.53MB)

This page (c) 2004-2007 Keith E. Stetson and James P. Balcerek