Fearless Freep!

It has been a week since I’ve posted anything, so here’s a little candy: a few mp3s of Fearless Freep tunes. I’m not the one to tell the story of Fearless Freep, a short-lived rock quintet of former Lizards and, I gather, one real musician named Jerald. Nor do I have any FF artwork. Those involved, please tell us about Fearless Freep. And what does Fearless Freep mean anyway?

KTH mp3s are now off line.

Download mp3s here: Fearless Freep Rehearsal Recordings (currently off-line)

Matt (Gecko)


11 Responses to “Fearless Freep!”

  1. The Fearless Freep story:
    After college, I was planning on moving to the Chicago area…where Gila already lived. I figured with the coincidence, why not try to revive the LFA.
    This was generally decided to be a bad idea. Some members didn’t want to be in a band with other members anymore. (I somehow got voted into being the bearer of bad news.)

    While I was still living with my parents, I was nearby to childhood friend Jerald. (music major and childhood friend.) While out at a bar in Danville Illnois, I tell Jerald that I am moving to Chi and starting up a new band. Jerald expresses interest…which surprises me as he can actually play. (Don’t know how Jerald remembers it, but he asked ME if I thought the other guys would be interested in him, as he always wanted to be in a “punk” band.) I arrange an “audition” with Gila one weekend, and Gila is in. Chopper, living in Bloomington once again…is also in.

    Gila built a home studio in his basement. I bought a mixing board, a 4-track recorder, a bunch of microphones and the most bad-ass drumset ever. We start rehearsing about once a month, if not more. Chopper and Jerald drive up to Gila’s. We usually make a “full day of it”. We usually rolled tape on all rehearsals, as Gila had set up a pretty interesting sound system that ran everything through the mixing board that I had purchased.

    After several months of this (and a couple of aborted gig opportunities), we finally decide to play at a gig. It was a gig Chopper had arranged at a “frat house” in central Illinois, dubiously referred to as the Boat House. We played in what was essentially a HUGE basement.
    It was an interesting gig as we really didn’t know most of the people there. During the start of the first set there were literally only about a dozen people there. It was recorded for posterity…somewhat unbeknownst to us…so the quality isn’t that great.
    Listening to it, you can tell that…as the gig started…nobody but the few ringers that showed up really cared about us. Some seemed even to DISLIKE us. As the show progressed, the basement filled with more people. And believe it or not, we actually started winning them over. (All except 4 guys that were obviously in a band and wanted to play…heckling us at any chance. Gila kept turning down their requests to play, and they replied by calling us faggots. You can hear one of Gila’s replies very clearly on the recording.)

    After that gig, everything started going south. Chopper and Jerald were becoming disenchanted with driving 2.5 hours to Gila’s twice a month. They quit relatively close together.

    I assembled some new players and talked Chopper into coming back. It turned out he was coming back JUST to get his remaing equipment.

    It was now down to Gila and I.

    I put an add in the Illinois Entertainer and we started interviewing new guitarists and bass players. Over the next 4 or 5 months, we went through a string of players…both friends of Gila and players who had answered the add.

    After the last bass player quit…when his wife called in the middle of rehearsal and demanded he come home…we were more or less done. We rehearsed a few more times with a pretty good guitarist/nice guy named Mike (I think) and then it all just sorted faded away.

    I sold my awesome drumset a few months later and the dream was over.

  2. The Gecko Says:

    Reminds me of the Guns ‘n’ Roses story.

    I’m now going to claim the band name for myself and begin making a long-awaited record called “Bloomington Democracy.”

  3. Are you going to get a bunch of overrated players that are 20 years younger than you?

  4. I suppose Chopper really should take the name–he was our equivalent of Axl. But first he has to grow his hair again and put it into millions of tiny braids.

  5. And Gecko wins today’s prize for:
    1) making Serpentuh laugh outloud at work
    2) coming up with a way to make Chopper look fruity (fruitier…)

  6. Chopper Newt Says:

    The Serpent and I (with Bullfrog) haunted the IWU campus this past Saturday night, and I thought to myself that we should have hunted down some drama student and forced him to restart the band… just given him some tapes, ordered him to learn the songs, recruit his friends, and revive the name. Yes, in my imagination the fact that I’m an alum gives me authority to give orders to underclassmen. What’s wrong with that?

    As bad and unworkable of an idea as that is, I think it’s the only way I would want to see LFA continued. It should have been an S&G-style institution, really wouldn’t have any other value, and since the line was broken after TP, that ain’t gonna happen either.

    Unless they ask us to play at our 20th. I admit, I’d do it. I want “LFA20” t-shirts. And coozies.

    Really. Lizards 20th. Couldn’t we just, y’know, maybe…


  7. The Gecko Says:

    Isn’t the 20th in about 6 years? Damn, we’ll be so old. I could probably buy a new electric guitar by then. I have my eye on a beautiful antique Silvertone I found in a shop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. There’s an ancient Fender amp that goes with it, too.

    So, volunteer our services Mr. Newt. You’re the only one who lives local, aren’t you? After our triumphant return as old gray-haired garage band rockers, we can do a Police style reunion tour and play the Gallery again. Is the Gallery still there?

  8. Chopper Newt Says:

    Gallery is gone. Old Kup Cheng seems to have moved on. I don’t know where people play anymore here, just random bars, I think. I can’t think of a dedicated “live music” place like the Gallery at all. Kind of weird.

    2011 will be our 20th anniversary. In a perfect world we would be asked to play by our peers at homecoming that year, but I expect that’s unlikely.

    Let’s wait for the huge myspace groundswell to force our hand, then we’ll see. Begging is not Lizard style. Also, playing in front of people, not really Lizard style either.

  9. I would be up for it…understanding that we would probably have to tone it down, otherwise we would be so good that our fans would force us to give up our mundane life and become late-in-life rock stars.

    Of course, if there isn’t $15,000 on the line, Gila probably wouldn’t be interested…or return e-mails…

  10. The Gecko Says:

    Since this isn’t the best of all possible words, I imagine someone would have to suggest our candidacy for the reunion. Not that I am an IWU alum, but I don’t mind jamming once again.

    I think we’d be a better live band now than back then.

    You know I sold my ridiculously flash-pink electric guitar way back in 1994, or so. I realized I hated it, even though it played beautifully. Too beautifully, though. I don’t want to be Steve Vai anymore. Give me a old beat up strat that’s been thrown down a stairwell by a drunken guitar god and I’d be happy.

    Now I spend my guitar time trying to learn Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Brazilian classical compositions. That and playing nursery songs for my daughter on the steel string.

  11. I remember your Steve Vai fetish…and a story about having to travel to several supermarkets to get all the necessary copies of Guitar magazine to piece together the giant Steve Vai poster. (Ah the stupid things we did as kids…)

    The question is…when was the last time Gator picked up a bass guitar?

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