Fearless Freep

After the dissolution of the Lizards From Afar in 1993 upon the final graduation of all the band members, some of the Lizards reformed a new band in Chicagoland called Fearless Freep. They recorded some new music, much of which is far, far better than anything LFA recorded (although less funny). Since I wasn’t even aware of this short-lived experiment (or, if I was, I forgot), I’ll let Serpentuh tell the story, culled from a blog entry here. I will post the FF tunes that have come to me when I get back to New York. I can only hope to post others someday–particularly the live recording Serpentuh mentions below….

The Fearless Freep Story As Told By Serpentuh:

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.


9 Responses to “Fearless Freep”

  1. i know the feeling. our band occasionally gets heckled.. usually when they realize they’re not going to hear fucking Franz Ferdinand or Green Day.
    we respond by turning the amps up.

  2. Gordon, has your band recorded anything? You need to post it so that we can check it out.
    It’s mostly bluegrass right?

  3. Cory Howell Says:

    Didn’t you guys have a project at one time called “Gashouse Gorillas” or something? I have a distant memory of Gila Monster telling me about such a project when I lived in Chi-town.

    BTW, I still have a copy of “How Old Is Your Sister?” somewhere here at home. A treasured artifact…

    • choppernewt Says:

      I don’t recall this either – must have been a Gila side project or something. Maybe ERG knows something.

  4. Great name, that, but I don’t know. It must have been in the “post-Gecko” days.

  5. It sounds familiar. I know we were throwing out different names after Chopper pussed out. (Hmmm, sounds like a pattern.)

    The reason I remember it is because it’s the name of the baseball team that Bugs Bunny plays all by himself. [If anyone knows the name of that particular cartoon.]

    I think we found that there was already a band named Gashouse Gorillas.

  6. I remember that Bugs Bunny cartoon!

    And there is a band by that name: http://gashousegorillas.org/

  7. Cory Howell Says:

    Those Gashouse Gorillas are not bad…

  8. They’re no us.

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