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Entry date: 8-24-2022 - Pinky part three - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Because Pinky was a very festive band, our shows became events and we realized we were going to need more than seven or eight songs. Most of those early songs can be found on our first CD, which was entitled Halfway to Honkey Heaven. One of the things about Pinky was we ended up recording almost every song we ever messed around with over the years with a few exceptions.

While we collaborated well and finished each other’s songs, we were not the most prolific band when it came to songwriting. Over the years of the band, I’m guessing we had less than 30 total songs, including the 25 we recorded. That was a bit of a sticking point with me towards the end of our run as I was tired of playing the same songs over and over again. I had developed something of a rule when it came to Hillbilly that we never played the same set list twice but that is another band and another story.

After the first few years, we decided to make a record. We had enough songs and I had become acquainted with Byron at Villain Recording through my work with North Side Kings. I enjoyed recording there and thought he would be a perfect fit for the first Pinky CD. Byron even played a show with us on the one occasion Pinky played the Crescent. He’s a member of the team.

We had an absolute blast putting that CD together and through a big release party at Jugheads where we played a lot. Which reminds me…I should probably touch on the live experience in some fashion.

We began playing shows around town, as mentioned on Monday, and the response was pretty good. In that first year, we were invited to play in one of the Stoner Hands of Doom (SHOD) festivals that were happening once a year. They were put on by a husband-and-wife team, Rob and Cheryl SHOD, as we called them and they were a lot of fun. They were living in Mesa at the time, I think, or some Phoenix area suburb and Hollywood Alley got to the home of SHOD for a while.

Looking back, I think getting added to this event was a boost to our confidence and probably inflated our egos a bit, too. There were a bunch of good stoner rock bands involved in these shows and we played a couple of them over the years. We also go to play with bands like Nomeansno, Melt Banana, Dixie Witch, Truck Fighters, and many others, but I think our most enjoyable shows were with other locals.

We loved playing with Blanche Davidian and Smoky Mountain Skullbusters. They were are bros, for sure, and we also liked playing with the Dames, too, who I guess were our sis’s. Really, so many other locals were good friends to us and we enjoyed getting to rub shoulders with almost all of them.

If it wasn’t a show at Hollywood Alley, you could find us a Jugheads pretty often. We got to know the owner, Sid, a bit and he would let us put together shows there sometimes or hop on with other bands. Jugheads was notorious, actually, for adding two or three or even four bands to a bill at the last minute, so we spent many a long evening there. I think my wife even booked us there a few times before we met.

Those shows were often way more chaotic than the Alley shows. There wasn’t a lot of room on stage, so I started setting myself up to in the middle of the dance floor. I learned quickly to keep my foot on the mic stand so I didn’t get hit in the teeth as people danced around me. We had way too much fun there, to be honest, and learned to forgive Sid a lot for adding bands to the bill.

Occasionally it would get heated with him and, sadly, the last time I ever spoke to that guy I wanted to punch his face in but that’s another story and didn’t have much to do with Pinky. Our CD release party, as mentioned earlier, was a lot of fun. It must have been January of 2005, I think. I was still living with She Who Will Not Be Named and hadn’t met my wife just yet.

We also had another barn burner there with our friends, Made Out of Babies. Their singer, Julie, and my drummer in Hillbilly, Shane, ended up singing a few songs with us and it was a merry old time indeed. Then Made Out of Babies showed us all how to really do a rock show.

Out of all the shows we played, that was one of the few where I felt like we got blown away. It might be a bit egotistical of me, but I feel like Pinky held our own with just about everyone we ever played with except Made Out of Babies, Nomeansno, and Melt Banana. Of course, the two latter bands I mentioned blow everyone away for the most part.

Even in those early years, we fared well. We had one bad show at Nita’s Hideaway after it moved to its bigger, final location. Eric and I got into it and that almost ended up breaking up the band until we talked it out and turned it into a bit of a lame practical joke on the others by pretending to continue to fight. I still feel a little bit bad about that.

Towards the end of 2005, Andy/Drew stopped coming to practices after he moved out to Surprise. He also missed a few shows, so he left the band. It was a bummer because he was as much a part of what made Pinky good as any of the rest of us and having three guitars turned up loud was a lot of fun. I’m remembering, though, now as I type one show at this place that was upstairs in Tempe (formerly Edsel’s Attic) that he was so drunk he couldn’t get his guitar plugged into his amp and we played a part of the set without him even plugged in.

It was very Sid Vicious of him.

See you tomorrow.

One of our Yucca gigs with J.R. singing with us. I will talk about that in the next chapter. I never really liked playing the Yucca.

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