I think I was about ten years old when I started my first band.
Peter Gallo had a set of drums, I had a Buck Owens guitar, and I think that might have been it.
We had a few obstacles to overcome, but we were willing to work on the issues at hand.
The first problem was, neither one of could carry a tune.
That meant either we were going to be an instrumental group, or we needed to take singing lessons.
Of course, we COULD try to find someone who could sing, but why bother if we still had other issues.
The next challenge we faced was I knew four chords, and I couldn’t play them very well.
And of course, the other problem was, Peter had gotten the drums for Christmas, and he didn’t know how to play at all.
Other than that, things were going right along pretty good, and we were working on the most important decision a new band had to make, which was what would we call ourselves?
I mean, we HAD to have a name, right? What kind of band doesn’t have a name?
Well, we pondered this at great lengths, forgetting our other issues because if we didn’t have a name, clearly we didn’t have a band after all.
I came up with earth, wind, and fire, but it turned out somebody else already had that one.
Since there was a trend in naming groups after the cities they started in, or the states, like Kansas, Chicago, those kinds of things, we thought OK, we’ll be Ticonderoga!
It just didn’t have the same “ring” to it, so we tried New York! Nah, too high brow, whatever that meant.
We laid the name thing down and decided to work on the other big thing a band had to have, and that, of course, is the “look.”
I didn’t quite see old Mr. Big Ears here in a tight pair of black leather pants and a boa constrictor around my neck, so we needed something else.
I told Pete, let’s wear suits and ties, and we’ll be hip. We could wear fedoras and call ourselves the Black Brothers!
That wouldn’t work either. It might be considered racist.
We were almost out of ideas when one of us, and I really can’t remember who came up with an idea.
Since I was part Indian, and he was Italian, I’d wear an Indian costume with a headdress, and he’d wear a gangster outfit, and we’d call ourselves the good, the bad, and the ugly.
That left us to figure out which one of us was going to be UGLY?
Well, I kind of had a shoe in on that, what with the ears, the nose, the hands and the feet, so we decided I’d be both good AND ugly.
It seemed to fit.
Now that we had that settled, we set up in my Mothers living room, and we began “practicing.”
Clearly, we were going to be here a while, so I told Laurie that if Ed Sullivan called, we’d have to get back to him.
We played and played, and I think it would have worked, but Pete couldn’t keep time.
I mean that “beat” just wasn’t there.
I was just strumming along to “Trailer for Sale or Rent, ” and he was over there doing his version of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” and we just couldn’t bring it all together quite yet.
Taking a break, we thought about this problem a bit.
On the radio, there was talk of “new” music.
Something like FUSION or whatever.
I told Pete, “Maybe we’re coming at this from the wrong angle?”
What if, instead of trying to play something everybody knows, what if we create a brand new, different sound. Something really unique.
I thought about the two songs we were just playing, and we put our heads together and came up with a name for our new sound.
The good, the bad, and the ugly was going to play a brand new fusion of Country and Rock, and we’re going to call it “Trailer Trash.”
And that, right there, is where this whole trailer trash movement started, right in the living room at my house with Pete Gallo and the good and ugly.
I’m proud of our contribution to the music scene.
I’m not sure if Peter ever really moved onto another group or not. I know he’s in Glens Falls or Queensbury renting Canoes, so that doesn’t sound like he made a go of music.
The good and ugly though, we took it all the way to touring.
I tried to convince my new bandmates to change their name to the good, the bad and the ugly, I mean everyone was naming themselves after cities by then but no one wanted to budge.
And sadly, the whole Trailer Trash Music Scene sort of moved off into the suburbs and the country and became a whole other thing.
Suddenly zoning was outlawing Trailer Trash, and it seemed to me that it was a bunch of folks with power going to their heads.
What’s wrong with a little trailer trash anyway?
All you gotta do is have your drummer play Dirty Deeds while you sing and play Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let 50 cents, and you’ve got the groove right there.
It’s SO simple.
Being in a band isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.