"I'm moving through some Changes - I'll never be the same. Something you did touched me - there's no one else to blame..."
Changes by Yes - 90125
Nothing lasts forever. Whoever said that was a genius, if not obvious. But human nature being what it is, we rarely realize this bit of obviousness until we're in the middle of that change. Today, I find myself at such a crossroads - or, a "Y" as it may be. It is scary, uneasy, and exciting all at once. It also means leaving a part of myself behind as I spread my musical wings into other areas.
For anyone who has known me as a musician, you know that I've spent the last 19 years of my life playing keyboards and singing with Cincinnati's Bad Habit Band. Bad Habit has been a part of my life for so long that Jim Oldfield, Richard Sciutto, Rob Nadler, and Brian Lee Broomhall have become "Brothers By Another Mother." Because of my association with them, I have experienced so many great times, along with the pain and disappointment that any extended family experiences.
It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I announce my departure from the Bad Habit Band after 19 years with this fantastic group of musicians. It was not entirely by my choice, but my choices have led us to part ways. Confused? Don't be. Like so many other creative people, I have found it necessary to expand my horizons into other areas. However, this made booking commitments with Bad Habit difficult to impossible to keep. Jim, Rich, Rob and Brian want - no, NEED - to keep playing - and therefore have found it necessary to replace me with another keyboardist to fulfill those commitments.
DV8 as keyboardist, vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and musical director. But the point of this blog post and my subsequent posting to facebook pointing here is to not only inform the public as to what is going on, but to somehow put the last 19 years of my musical life into perspective for the multitudes of people who are fans of the Bad Habit Band, and in many cases have became personal friends of mine.
Bad Habit became a labor of love and a true melding of the talents and emotions of 5 diverse musicians - actually more than that if you include all of the drummers that we've had flow through our project over the last 19 years. Like any other "birth", we struggled and fought, cried and wrestled, but through the pain and efforts we created something that I consider truly exceptional on a musical level. Few bands could ever pull off the songs we've played at the level that we performed them. And while we may have wanted to take the easy way out on occasion, we always found our way to do songs that were exceptional on many levels. I will always be proud of our accomplishments - not because any one of us was "all that," but our combined talents made us so much better than any one of us could have been as individuals.
I'd like to take a moment to express my gratitude to my brothers:
Bad Habit wouldn't have been possible without Jim Oldfield, his rehearsal site (down on Seymour Ave at the time, now part of the U-Pull - U-Pay lot), his used U-Haul truck (then his white trailer), and most importantly his PA system. Jim spent an extraordinary amount of money on equipment - both front of house and monitors - to make sure Bad Habit had an edge with our sound. And not only did he spend the money on our sound system, but he set it up and tore it down many times on his own. He replaced blown speakers, damaged or stolen cables, and paid for equipment repairs, yet never charged us for the use of his equipment or the extra demands on his time. How fortunate we were! He even paid for Rich and Rob's in-ear monitors when we decided to go in that direction! He also booked the band, and when the funds were available he had t-shirts made to promote us. Thank you Jim O for all of your hard work and the efforts.
True Italian brothers we are - to the point where we would fight like factions from the Godfather, and yet came together in times of trouble like few people could. You may never believe me, but I have a level of respect for you that you'll never realize. The biggest fight we had was at the U-Turn in Middletown after a slammed Friday night - we were moving our gear from stage 1 to stage 2 when comments about keeping girlfriends led to a most vicious physical altercation. I'm sure everyone working at the bar that night thought we were done, but less than 20 hours later we were at the bar lifting a shot of Jack celebrating our friendship. It's how we rolled. It's how we survived. It kept us human and grounded. I wouldn't have had it any other way. ;)
Mr. Golden Voice and the owner best guitar sound I've EVER heard short of Jay Aronoff's "Mount AmpMore", much less had the pleasure of working with. I think you have one of the best sounding studio's in the Greater Cincinnati area, in part because you have an awesome ear, and you've learned over time how to use the equipment you have to your advantage. I'll never forget the work you did when we felt it necessary to play as a 4-piece group - you continued to improve, even up to and including the last time we played together. And I expect that you'll continue to improve as long as you continue to play and stretch your abilities
Brian Lee Broomhall:
In my opinion, your the best rock drummer in Cincinnati who's never signed a professional contract with a national act. Playing with the fury of a hurricane, the explosive nature of a volcano, and the dynamic range of a symphony - in my opinion, you should be on tour with someone. Rock solid yet flashy, and nearly always in the pocket - how incredible. And what few people know is that you play guitar and bass as good or better than you play drums. I truly hope that one day you are granted the opportunity - and the freedom - to follow that musical dream to its fullest extent. Your talent really does deserve that opportunity.
To Bad Habit's other drummers - Jim Sullivan, Todd Farler, Rick Lonza, Stephen Schwarz, and Shawn Wells - all great in their own right - thank you for rising to the opportunity and making Bad Habit a part of your resume!
To Bad Habit's fans and my friends:
I want to also thank the multitude of fans that have followed Bad Habit for the last 19 years. Many of you have become my friends - THANK YOU! I hope to see you out at some of the other places that I play of course, but PLEASE keep supporting Bad Habit through this transition, and please keep supporting the bands who play great live music as well as the clubs who put their capital at risk to pay their bands a good wage. One stand out is Gary and Cole at the Knotty Pine - please continue to support these clubs and the bands that play there.
I don't know who will be replacing me on keyboards and for my purposes here it really doesn't matter, but I'm sure it is someone with the chops and skills to rise to the level that Jim O, Rich, Rob and Brian have attained after all of these years. I would bet there will be an announcement very soon, so keep your eyes posted to www.badhabitband.com or the Bad Habit Band facebook page where I'm sure that info will be released.
My brothers, I wish you all continued success and I expect that things will only be better for you all moving forward. Keep playing great music and continue being the model musicians band in Cincinnati.
Never settle - ever. :)