Discover more from Alive in the Nineties
Thirty Years of The Trouble Makers
The band that was supposed to last three weeks is still going
On June 24, 2023, at the Sacramento Trash Jubilee at Harlow’s, we celebrated 30 years as The Trouble Makers. The band that was supposed to last three months has lasted three decades.
The bassist Stan Tindall and I had been trying to put a group together since the late 1980s, but with no musical ability and almost no gear, we were getting nowhere.
In ’91 I started working at Tower Records on K Street in downtown Sacramento, and I met Rodney Cornelius, the receiving clerk. He’d played in bands since 1963 and offered to show us how to play “Louie, Louie.”
“If you can play ‘Louie, Louie,’” Rodney said, “you can play anything.”
A few months later Stan and I had a party, and The E-Types (Sacto power pop) and The Motives (Bay Area garage) both played. Rodney pointed to The Motives and said “That’s what you want to do? I can do that.” We shook hands on the spot, and he was in.
Stan and I had known Brian in school. He was my pal Dane’s best friend, and we’d often gone to see his bands over the years. He was good, and—more important—was obsessed with Keith Moon. By the time we called he’d given up playing music and didn’t even have a kit anymore. That was part of my pitch: We weren’t “serious” and trying to get signed. We just wanted to play music that we liked. And we had a drum kit available.
I sent him a tape of the songs we wanted to do—garage band tracks from Pebbles and Back From the Grave—and he was blown away. He loved the material and couldn’t believe songs that good had not been hits.
The first song we ever played together was “1-2-5” by The Haunted. Stan, Rod, and I had been playing it as a three piece for months, but when the drums kicked in, everything was different. We played our first show a few months later: March 13, 1993.
Thirty years later, we’ve made a bunch of records, played shows across the U.S. and Europe, and even opened for the motherfucking SONICS.
And, on that Saturday in June, we did it one more time.