Monday, April 23, 2012

The Sword

In the late 90's, there was a Richmond band that went by the name the Ultimate Dragons.  Initially the band consisted of JD Cronise on guitar/vocals, Ben White on bass, and Trivett Wingo on drums.  After a couple of shows, I was added as lead guitarist, and all was well.  A couple of East Coast tours, a high quality recording, big local shows, and the most important thing - momentum.
After Trivett missed a show that we were scheduled to play with Engine Down, I was given the fun task of kicking him out of the band.  We got our friend Brad to replace him, but it wasn't the same.  Ben moved to California, I moved to Chicago, and JD moved to Austin.  End of story.
Wait, there's more!  We all ended up moving back to Richmond (this happens {knock on wood [I'd really rather not get shot while getting my bike stolen]}) and reformed the band.  I forget whether Ben or JD moved to Austin next, but I ended up following suit.  While there, we started up the band again with Adam from Those Peabodys (now of Bangaar) and Alan from... ummm... I don't know, but he moved away.  This must have been around 2003, when JD gave me this disc of new songs to learn:

01 A Druid's Curse
02 Barael's Blade
03 The Horned Goddess
04 Hammer of Heaven
05 Toadstool Ring/World Below

Not long after this, JD played a solo set along to pre-recorded tracks not unlike what I was doing at the time in my own one-man band.  The first Sword show was just him at Beerland with my one-man band and maybe 15 crowd attendees.
I convinced Trivett to move to Austin to be in my band Funeralizer.  Not long after he did, I found out JD recruited Trivett and Ben to be in the Sword, but with Kyle Shutt instead of me.  This was all fine by me; as I had recently gotten married, had a daughter, was supporting this family by working 40 hours a week, was going to school, was in the band J-Church, and was recovering emotionally from the recent death of my only sister.  If Sammy Hagar himself came up to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and asked if I was ready to rock, I'd have had to say, "Well, in what capacity, the Red Rocker?  I mean, I can rock in a way..."  He'd then have focused his beady, tequila-soaked eyes on me before declaring that there is indeed only one way to rock.  It'd have been cool to have been asked to have been in the band in the same way that it'd have been cool to have been invited to a wedding that everyone knew you couldn't go to.  But I would have had to have said no.

Anyway, Ben was kicked out after their first show and replaced by Bryan Ritchie, and the rest is history.  I'm glad to say that my friendships with everyone have remained intact (except for Alan - what happened to that guy?), and isn't that what's important?  Wait, maybe playing in Eastern European castles opening up for Metallica and making out with Australian supermodels is more important.  No, friendship.  Friendship!


  1. Quick update - Alan contacted me on facebook, so now we're friends on there.

  2. Who.made out with the supermodels? I assume JD. This blog is awesome man. I'm still fucking stoked I saw them with Valiantt thorr at the church in Philly and then with Torche the next year.

    1. Who DIDN'T make out with the supermodels is the real question!