Great Lakes USA

Great Lakes USA a Memoir

“Christ.” I said to myself.
Doyle was staring off blankly.
“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 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 had been since High School. We’d been
playing in bands together for most of the last ten 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 much 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 that “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 ten 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 at Getaway Studios’ temporary location and after a week of “tight butt-hole” this
and “hard T” that we had ten pretty solid songs. Somewhere in that time Al and Doyle thought it would be a good
idea to have me be 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 e-mail from Doyle saying that since I was the face of the band he and Al thought 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 the band. Me, Pete, the face of the band. Ah, fuck it, here’s the bio….


“The Great Lakes are one of are nations most majestic treasures” ~ John F. Kennedy [citation needed]

Hopefully that will make those assholes happy.

Pete 8/30/12

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