I first heard Elvis Presley on my sister’s record player in 1954. She and a few of her friends were at our dining
room table jumping and screaming at the top of their lungs, my mother came out of the kitchen looking like she
was going to cry. I really thought it was the end, but it was the beginning. Memphis changed that very day, the
rest of the world followed.
I fell in love with stock car racing in 1960, for a few years that's all I wanted to do.
I heard The Beatles on radio fall of 1963, they were different but I didn't think much of it. In the next few weeks
that would change.
My sister got me the ‘Meet The Beatles’ album a few days after it came out, January 1964. Times were changing.
She also got me ‘Introducing-The Beatles’ a few weeks later.
Got my first set of drums for Christmas 1964, they were Kent’s..it had a kick, snare and one small cymbal ( I
wanted a gocart ). Took um to my bedroom, I had a small record player that only played 45’s. The record that
was on it was the one I learned to play drums on, It was ‘Last Kiss’ by Wayne Cochran. I played it over and over
for a few days, I really felt I was a drummer after that. We started a band with neighborhood friends before the
winter was over..
The Arcels – 1965- 66
Before the summer was out 1965 I got a set of Apollo drums up on Beale Street, metal flake blue-w-kick, snare,
ride tom, floor tom, high hat, ride cymbal and crash. Played my first paying job at The Rodeo Club on Summer
Av. In the fall of 1965. Bass player Mike Lineberger managed the music department in Dixiemart and gave me a
job stocking records. Both ended early 1966.
The Triffids – 1966-67
Was the next band I played in, soon making $20 a night in a little place called The Sugar Shack, in the hatchie
bottoms outside Memphis. Played there on and off through 1966 and little of 67’. Hitch Hiked to San Francisco
California’s Haight Ashbury in September 1967..
The Shaparrails – 1967-68
Join The Shaparrails winter of 1967; they were on the road and their drummer quit, so I met them in Pensacola
Florida. They had been together for a few years and their drummer was a big part of the band. He was hard to
replace, and I really never did. But I stayed with them for little over a year. I was now playing a set of Rodgers
The Richard Beckham Band – 1968-69
Richard and I left The Shaparrails at the same time in Fort Myers Florida. A Memphis disc jockey at WHBQ liked
Richard and was going to help us get a band going, introducing us to Norman Brown.
Sandlin & Co. – 1970
Billy Sandlin, from Ocala Florida was in Memphis trying to get a record deal. As he was getting ready to go out
on the road, his drummer and bass player quit. He was a little more on the country side than I liked, but I
needed the job bad. We ended up a few months later in Daytona Beach, a real nice club making pretty good
money. We all had to much to drink one night and the sax player quit. He was a big part of the show, so that
Sandlin – 1970 – 71
We came back to Memphis to regroup, got Norman Brown on guitar. Now we started sounding more rock. I had
more fun in this band than any other, we were good too. Sad to say, Billy got killed in a car crash. The End..
Toad – 1971
This was the loudest and heaviest band I ever played in. We didn’t make any money, but we were loud and
hard going, a very heavy metal band before it’s time. We played Ashler Hall after Larry Raspberry and The
Highsteppers one night, got fired after the first song, had to call the police to make us stop playing. It was wild
man. We got Richard Beckham to do The Kingsbury Prom with us..called it Levi & Toad - and that was the end
Finley – 1971-72
Only did one job with Finley Brown, The Bachelor & Three in Frayser. We played there for a month, it seem like
a year. I was so sick of clubs, drugs, drink and music. I took a break from music and bars for over a year.
The Shaparrails 2 – 1974 -76
This band changed from week to week, bass players, guitar player and even drummers. It was a bar band,
mostly playing at Harper’s or club 70. We all wanted something to happen, but no one was trying to make it
happen. Just one big party, having lots of fun. Not sure what happen at the end of it, just fill apart.
The RiverBluff Band – 1976 – 77
When this group of musicians got together it worked from the start, felt good the first night. We didn’t know
each other so we called our self Bluff, a name I came up with on the spot. It started at The El Toro Lounge in
West Memphis. Times were bad for the club, so we used it to rehearse in for a few weeks. We got enough music
together for 3 sets and decided it was time to show it. First stop was a bar on Summer we heard about needing
a band, it was in Ramada Inn. They were remodeling it for a new place called Rosie O’Grady’s. We all got new
equipment, nice sound system, B3 -w- leslie, new amps, guitars and drums. We all dressed alike and had some
real sharp suits. Had a big new van to travel in, and was making good money. Had a studio interested in us and
all was well. The road killed all the dreams..
Scrap – 1980 – 81
I never wanted to play drums in a bar band again, and after RiverBluff broke up – I started playing guitar and
piano some. Most of my music energy was in writing and recording my own songs, and that’s what I did from
1977 to 1980. But again hooking up with old friends, we started a group with me on rhythm guitar and piano. We
were setting in Maxine Steward’s Club talking about working for her, when she left the table to talk to someone
else, we realized we needed a name. I was using Scrap Recycled Music to write under, so we all decided to call
the band Scrap. We had great 3 part harmony and was having a lot of fun on stage, and people picked up on
that. We did put on a very good show. But, the wheels got to going so fast it blew apart, and down came Scrap.
BackDoor Studio – 1990 – 2005
After my marriage of 20 years fell apart, I was cast out into the darkness and ended up on Getwell Rd in a run
down little house I turned into a demo recording studio. I had always had one room in all my homes dedicated
to my music, in this one was all the rooms. If I had been in the right frame of mine, this would have been a
dream come true..but I wasn’t. It went from bad to bad bad and then worst of the bad. I had some fun, but I had
to take something to do that. It all got out of hand, I didn’t know if I was coming or going. If this was my chance,
I blew it. At first I tried to make money off it, it almost killed my love for music. I don’t like being behind the music,
if I’m not part of it, I’m in the way. We had a few magic moments, way to few. I guess it was mostly turmoil.
Scrap Recycled Music CD 2011
I stopped writing and recording with others and started this solo deal in 2006. It takes a long time to do stuff by
your self. Recording is the hardest part when the drums are all the way across the room. It took time, 600 hours
in a few years. So I decided to let others hear it. It’s my first release, and it’s all me. Hope you enjoy.
It's a sad thing..2012
Well my CD "Scrap Recycled Music" was a flop, you win some you lose some. My website was hit over three
thousand times, I sold O cd's. Big old goose egg for me. I really don't think it was that bad, wasn't all that good.
Got in a hurry for no reason. Should have sold 10 or so..But it didn't..
The Cherrydale Project 2012 - 2015
New Cd coming out @ first part of 2015. It's the best I can do,13 songs. It took three years to do,
almost 800 hours. Another solo deal, don't know anybody anymore. I enjoyed doing it..hope
someone enjoys listening to it.
Roger Van Christopher born August 11, 1949 in Memphis Tennessee
Roger Van Christopher born August 11, 1949 in Memphis Tennessee