Vast swirling clouds of space dust slowly
coalesce, forming the sun and the planets. On the third
planet, once the surface cools, simple one-celled organisms
evolve. Somewhat later, Rock & Roll is invented.
Mike Ward is born in Allentown, PA on October 22nd.
John Hagan is born in Chester, PA on the 10th of February.
Dan Kirchheimer is born in New York City on May 9th.
Mark Litwack is born in Philadelphia, PA on May 17th.
John Bradley is born in Philadelphia, PA on November 16th.
Hagan receives his first set of drums,
apparently a gift from an enemy of the family.
Litwack invents the QuackMoPhone, a musical instrument that is not only
widely regarded as "ground-breaking", but also as "virtually unplayable".
Mark moves to Media, PA, where he
meets John Hagan. Sharing a
common love of both music and "blowing things
up", they form a duo act, the Lone Masters of Electricity.
Unfortunately, one of the very first things they blew up was
John's drum kit. Deciding that it was "pretty
cool", Hagan swears off music to pursue his dream of
"blowing up something really big."
High on Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill and oregano, Mike Ward dances like Mick Jagger
in front of several hundred people at a high school dance. A performer is born.
Litwack destroys the QuackMoPhone in a rage, largely
due to the fact that in the five years
of its existence, he had never successfully tuned it.
this is hardly surprising, as most modern music scholars agree that a performer would
need a minimum of seven hands in order to play a single note.
On a side note, Mark sells the plans & schematics of the QuackMoPhone to the Hanna-Barbera
cartoon studio, which builds one of their very own. It is not known what fate eventually
befalls this "rogue QuackMoPhone", but it isfeatured
on a song by kiddie-group The Banana Splits. Sadly, the evidence would suggest that
they were no more successful at operating the instrument than Mark was.
Encouraged by the Mick Jagger experience, Mike and three friends form the band Gern,
a band more intent on getting stoned than on playing any actual music. They play one gig and
Hagan's parents conclude that John's aptitude for mathematics would best be
encouraged by making John learn the piano because "they read it in a book, or something."
A lengthy series of piano lessons, and piano teachers, ensues.
After years of pretending to play the guitar, Bradley decides it
might be nice to actually know how. And Mel Bay sells yet another copy of his book...
Having abandoned the QuackMoPhone, Mark embarks on an ambitious attempt to
self-learn the piano, hammered dulcimer and the pan
Mike enrolls at Kutztown State College, a backwater school more highly regarded for
its shoofly pie than for any tradition of academic excellence. He hooks up with two high-school
friends to form the soft-rock trio Silver Lake.
Dissatisfied with the number of freshman girls he'd been able to seduce, Mike
decides a harder edge is needed for Silver Lake. A drummer, bass player, and a second
electric guitar are added to the mix, and Breakfast of Champions results.
After years of intensive study, Hagan can solve linear, quadratic, and cubic
equations in his head, but still can't reliably play "Born Free" on the piano.
Having single-handedly proved that there is absolutely no correlation between math skills and music,
Hagan decides that the piano is
"a tool of Satan", and abandons the instrument. He
music is "totally lame", and vows never to play again.
Realizing that there is little point to being "the other guy who plays the
pan flute, but isn't the master of it", Mark pursues his new goal: becoming "The Master
of the Squeeze Box". Cites "a lack of competition" as a motivating factor.
Relying on his ability to get "acoustic" gigs, Mike inexplicably books Breakfast
of Champions at a campus coffeehouse. The horrified onlookers are treated to 20 minutes of
overly aggressive James Gang and Blues Brothers songs. Campus security is called.
Subsequent gigs elicit similar results, and the band soon dissolves.
Armed with a somewhat-iffy ability to play songs no one wants to hear, Bradley
joins his first band, Departure. The band was well known in certain circles, primarily because
they took an impressive inability to play the song "Free Bird" and combined it with a burning
desire to do so anyway.
After completing a tour of the band members basements, the band
broke up, claiming a number of artistic differences.