The beat goes on. There is still so much backstory to fill on Bukake Culkin that I feel like I need to do at least more part before stepping away for a bit, especially after yesterday. So, here goes….
Bukake Culkin part 4
Bass players are often the last people in a band to get mentioned and, in this case, it is only slightly different. Fernando “Ferdie” Prince did not live in the same neighborhood as Frasier, Randall, and Smythe, but he knew who they were. Prior to the first band practice, Prince would see the trio at the occasional show around town, as well as at the Zia Records on 7th avenue in the Melrose District of Phoenix. Very few people actually called it that back then, but it didn’t matter. It was a place for young and old music fans to find cheap music.
Prince was very interested in playing bass guitar after seeing a band called Fishbone play at a venue called The Metro in 1986 when he was in 7th grade. They had this guy, Norwood Fisher, who just caught Prince’s eye from the minute Fishbone started playing. His sister, Tanya, had taken him to the show because she was in charge of him that night and she really wanted to see the band. Little did she realize that she was changing the trajectory of her brother’s life that night.
Ferdie started asking Tanya to take him to any and all shows after that. He was hooked. What once had been an obsession for basketball and Nintendo games became a full-blown love affair with music. Like most of his future bandmates, Prince also enjoyed skateboarding, but to him, it was mostly a way of getting around that was a lot more fun than walking. He would skate to the bus stop off 7th Avenue and Dunlap, hop a number 8 bus, and head down to Zia to see what he could find for $2.99. There was always some sucker selling something good to make a few dollars for weed.
On one of these missions towards the end of 1990, Prince, who looked a bit like the actor Emilio Estevez with longer, curlier hair, noticed Randall and Smythe looking through the S records. He nodded to Bob, who worked at the store, played in a cool band called Mondo Guano, and drove a motorcycle. They had become friends, kind of, during Prince’s frequent visits to the store and Bob never steered him wrong on his suggestions. He would also occasionally slip Prince a nice credit slip if Prince would let him borrow his one hitter while he was shopping.
Prince did enjoy a little marijuana from time to time (another gift from his sister). He rarely smoked it before school, though, as he sort of got caught one day his freshman year and that was close enough. It made the long skates around his neighborhood a bit more fun, and his sister’s friends always had decent weed.
On this day, though, Prince’s one hitter was empty, and he was looking for Public Image Limited’s first record, First Edition. A friend of his from Sunnyslope High where he went to school had loaned him a mix tape of different things and he particularly loved the bass line on the song, “Religion II.” Prince wanted to check out the whole thing and add it to his collection. As he walked down the aisle, towards the P section, he locked eyes with Smythe and they gave each other the “hey, man” nod.
That day, the three of them ended up talking and Smythe shared with the location of the milk bowl, a westside pool that was going on then, with Prince. They agreed, too, to meet up at a show featuring local band, the Plug Uglies, the next weekend, and a new friendship was beginning to forge. It was at that show, which was at a house near Metrocenter, a mall on the northwest side of Phoenix that had been featured in the movie, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It was at this party that Prince was formally introduced to Frasier, as well, and the two took an instant liking to each other.
Rhythm sections really should like each other and one of the major strengths of Bukake Culkin was the almost Vulcan mind meld of Frasier and Prince.
A few months later, in early 1991, John Preston met “Petey” Smythe at Hisco Banks in Tempe. These banks were a notorious bust, but they were a heck of a lot of fun. Preston was there with some older dudes that had graduated from Camelback High School the year before that were friends with his cousin, Buzz, and Smythe was there on his own after taking a tour of the Arizona State campus where he hoped to study computer science the following year.
The guys from Camelback were friendly enough and invited Smythe to hang out. They had a boom box, which was pretty dumb to be listening to at Hisco, but Preston assured Smythe the cops had already been by before he got there and just kept on driving. You never knew what you were going to get with Tempe cops. Smythe was digging on the Subhumans’ music coming out of the boombox and got to talking with Preston about the band.
The first thing Smythe noticed about Preston was that he skated really well for such a tall guy. The second thing he noticed was that Preston, who looked like actor Matt Dillon, had no discernable fashion sense. He was wearing a plain maroon colored t-shirt and some black shorts that looked like they probably came from Target or Kmart. They weren’t ugly or anything. It was more like they were functional. The only thing remotely punk or skater-ish about Preston were the Vans shoes he was wearing. They were plain and black, Keds-style vans, that you could get for cheap at Sidewalk Surfer.
Preston was friendly, though, and that’s what mattered. By the end of the session, Preston and Smythe exchanged numbers and agreed to go skating again soon, especially if Smythe was willing to drive. Preston knew of some ramps and Smythe was all in.
See you tomorrow.