Sunday, October 4, 2015

Johnny Bender at The Gig

Johnny Bender is a local band that is comprised of two programmers, one firefighter, and a musician. We happen to work with the two programmers - Mike & Chris - and have been stalking this band since before they had fans. 

This was the usual party crowd I hung out with at a Johnny Bender show.

This is at J&B's. They were soooooo excited about the light show they added to their set that night.

The Milk Station in Cato was always a good time. They didn't have a stage there, but the corner was a nice space for the guys to play in.

Chris is saying, "I think I need to reconsider some of my life choices."
Tim is responding, "Speak up, dude. I can't hear you over the sound of the toilet flushing behind me."
"You're kidding, right?"

Nope. Not kidding.

But the Milk Station was a fun, friendly place. They not only allowed dancing on the bar, it was encouraged. 

I made Drew his own Johnny Bender t-shirt. I wanted one nice picture of the t-shirt. Just one. I got this.

I probably should have specified that I wanted one nice picture of the t-shirt and Drew. My bad.

The picture was a South Park-style rendering of the official band photo at the time.

On the back was the tour name I assigned them along with the show we were going to that night.

Mike liked to tell people that Chris would give them two dollars for coming to the see them play. For the Thanksgiving show, Mike announced Chris was giving away turkeys! To this day, I still want my turkey.

The shirt looks kinda cheesy now, but I assure you that in 2007 this was a really cool t-shirt. So cool that Mike asked if I wanted to be the band manager, which included all the perks of booking gigs, putting up posters, and being able to say I'm the band's manager. I said no, but I'll head-up the merchandising department! We can have hoodies, and car magnets, and key fobs, and beer coozies, etc... etc... It's probably a good thing that job never panned out. If it had, I imagine my attic would be full right now with boxes of Johnny Bender bobblehead dolls, Johnny Bender pens, Johnny Bender beer labels...

Damn it. Now I want to make some Johnny Bender bobblehead dolls. And beer labels. That would have been so cool. <Sigh.>

Johnny Bender's changed since 2007. They are still an amazing band, but they have a different drummer now. A local chap by the name of Sal. Or Joe. I never did figure out the business with his name. I call him, "That guy who's the drummer for Staind." Yep. Staind. When he's not rocking out with Johnny Bender, Sal-Joe is a drummer for a popular metal band.

Johnny Bender doesn't play out much anymore. But when they do, it's kind of impressive...

The light show is more high tech.

The Turning Stone dancing girls wear a little less clothing. 

Two programmers and a firefighter have come a long way from The Milk Station, The Cato Hotel, and J&B's. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to have gone to their heads. If it does, I'll dig out the email Mike sent me eight years ago asking if we were going to their next gig, and if so, could we stay until they finish because not many people can make it all the way to two am and it makes them (and the bar) kinda sad.

Oh yeah, Mike! I still got it! Just in case...