Grissleheads celebrate 28 years
A trio of members of The Grissleheads — singer/guitarist Jim Harvey, bassist Donny Chandler and newbie drummer Ryan Joyce —came into Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week’s edition of “Today’s Best Soundemonium!” with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist, to show just what happens when a core of musicians working together for 28 years get together. If you’re wondering what that would be, “it’s called fun, Myrtle —FUN.”
“Twenty-eight years right here for us to be together,” Harvey said. “That’s pretty cool.”
But their story goes back a little further. The core band formed in 1974, Consisting of Jim Harvey, Joe Harvey and Rob Swanda. They went by the name of Perpetual Filth, but that was short lived. Donny Chandler joined in 1977 and they became Pegasus, which lasted until 1980. Jim Harvey moved to Texas and started coaching.
In 1982 Jim Harvey, Swanda and Chandler performed for the Apache Alumni and that, they say, is where The Grissleheads were born.
Following that ignominous performance, Swanda and Chandler continued playing in a band called the Actors and toured much of the Midwest. They stayed with that outfit until 1990. Jim Harvey, who focused on his teaching/coaching career didn’t start playing again with the band until 1995, thus bringing new life and 23 consecutive years together as a unit.
“Not many people can say they’ve played together in a band this long, their cohesion and camaraderie is second to none,” Joyce said.
The band has produced two CDs, 2009’s self titled “Grissleheads” and 2013’s “Endless Race.”
But how does a band come up with a name “The Grissleheads,” you may wonder. According to Jim Harvey, it was while readying to play at a rodeo at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie. It’s apparently a slang name for the “bulldoggers.” It was also an announcer’s description of the band. Some things stick.
Ryan Joyce joined the band about 10 months ago as its drummer. He’s a pretty busy drummer boy, playing in Cade Roth & The Black Sheep and another act you’ll be hearing soon called Lisbon. A premiere percussionist, he’s performed in local bands inside and outside the area over the past 18 years and has toured.
The Grissleheads have done a lot over the years, some gigs include tours to Hawaii, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas and many other states. With a love for the music from the 70s and the will continue to play music from that era until they can no longer play, these diehards are still in prime form.
“We still have a lot of fun,” Jim Harvey said.
That fun is contagious when they get together. It translates through the music. The song “In My Dreams” (“But not the Debbie Gibson song,” Chandler said) offers some prime American rock and roll that never falls out of favor. Along with about 40 to 50 original songs “ready to go,” Chandler said the group is ready to go in the studio to record their third album. The singer agreed.
“We’ve got tons of material and now we’ve got Ryan,” Jim Harvey said. “Rob’s pushing hard to get it going. This (next) year is the time to record.”
Calling themselves a “show and dance” band, The Grissleheads are known for some fun and sometimes raucous shows. Check ‘em out when you can.
You can keep up with the band via its website: www.grissleheads.com.
The Grissleheads were too much fun with this week’s edition of ”Today’s Best Soundemonium!” with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. It was a great 99th episode.
We’re priming up to tape a 1-hour special edition for the 100th Episode of the show next week. All you musicians who have been a part of making this happen, we’re BEGGING you to come up to the studio around 7:30 to 8 p.m. Monday night with guitars in hand to help us celebrate with a bang.
Jokey enjoined Tuesday’s election with the upcoming holiday for this week’s joke set-up. Here’s the punchline:
“On Thanksgiving, you get a turkey for a day; on election day, you get a turkey for 4 years.”
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