In late November Richard came by to give his condolences on my dad’s passing. He said something about maybe putting a group
together, asked if I would be interested in getting in on it. I told him I had a set of drums but I wasn't into playing in a band, I only play
drums every few months when I need to put down some tracks on my songs. I told him I was playing guitar and piano and might be
interested in doing that. He called back in a few days and said Mike knew of a drummer and lead guitar player, so he set it up for a
Saturday afternoon. The guitar player and drummer had been playing together and had a lead singer, he came with them. I was by no
means a good guitar player, I could play rhythm pretty good because of playing drums for so many years, I just didn't know a lot of the
harder cords. I had only had a piano for a few months, so I was limited there to. We went through some of the old standards and jammed
a little, I like it a lot.
On the way home that day a new song by John Lennon 'Just Like Starting Over' came on the radio, it sounded great, the drums were
huge, he had done it again. It had been a while since his last stuff with Harry Nelson, I didn't care much for that. Two weeks later he was
dead, I couldn't believe it. I wasn't over losing my dad yet, so I didn't have a lot of tears, but John was one of my favorite human beings. I
remembered back in August, we were five miles back in the hills of Pickwick riding dirt bikes. We came up on a waterfall, it was so hot I
just fell back in the water. I was laying there looking up at the blue sky, and for no reason I thought of Lennon. He was just walking around
up there in New York with no protection, how easy it would be to kill him. I've always had weird thoughts like that come in my head, I
didn't think any more about it, till it happened. I guess you could call that a premonition.
I had been calling my music Scrap Recycled Music for a couple of years because of my brother Jimmy. We were talking to a club owner
one night ( Maxine Steward ) and she asked what the name of the band was. At that time we hadn't named it. She got up and left for a
minute and Richard asked me if it would be ok to call the group Scrap, till we could get something better. With out thinking I said should,
we were now a band. We had only practiced three or four times, but we were pretty tight. I talked to everybody about getting some good
equipment, and adding a sound man. Richard's brother-in-law ( Mike Deweese ) could play the stereo good, and we all liked him, so he
became our sound man. I made the first move, I traded my recording console in on a live mixer. With-in a few weeks we had some real
cool equipment, lights and all. I went out and got a van to carry the stuff in, everybody pitched in. The first thing that happened was the
drummer ( Pat Lawson ) quit, I think that was his name. Lineberger got us another one ( Mike Taylor) with in a few days,.
Mike was a good drummer and he could sing good too, we were just about ready for some gigs. An old friend owned a club down on
Lamar at I 240, he had just opened it and needed some help. We played there a month and pulled some people in, and he did some radio
plugs, but it just wasn't happening. For one thing the name of the place was The Wagon Wheel, it sounded country, we were a top forty
and oldie's rock band. We did a couple of Christmas parties and Richard D.J. at The Wagon Wheel New Year Eve, we were the only folks
there. Maxine owned The Corral and she like Richard, so we started playing there on week ends. We had a big sound, with three and four
part harmonies, doing some real good music-Bob Seger, Alabama, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, we had a lot of energy on stage. For
a cover band we were kick-ass. Mostly because we were having fun, we all had daytime job, so it wasn't the money. But the money was
Our last set was always hot, we got down, and people like to watch that. We pulled a few double show at The Corral, from 9-1 and then
played from 1:30-5.Other club owners and people would see us on the last show (1:30-5) and wanted us in their clubs. We could have
played seven nights a week, and we did start playing Wednesday through Saturdays at The Corral. I had to be at work at 7:00am, and
didn't get in bed till 3:00am on Thursday mornings, two or three hour sleep got old fast. We played doubles on Saturday nights, that's
eight hour of music. I started using caffeine pills, one on Wednesday, two on Thursday and so on. Sometimes caffeine wouldn't get it, so
I would get something stronger. I was making as much money playing as I was on my day job. It was fun at first, new and exciting, getting
to play guitar and piano out front.
We were going out to other clubs around town, some cool clubs in midtown. Overton Square was real hot at the time, we play a couple of
clubs there. Maxine, the owner of The Corral wanted us playing out and about, so we could pull new blood in to her place, and we did. She
got us booked on the Bartlett Festival, on the main Saturday afternoon show. We opened for Tony Joe White, that was a kick for me.
I never had played in front of that many people before. The dude that did the booking for the festival liked us, he wanted to book us some
out of town. He booked us in a real nice motel club in Greenville Mississippi, good money, food and drinks. We were doing pretty good, we
were doing one of my songs, ( Hemingway ) the only original song we did. But just like everything else, it got old and more like a job.
Robert was the first to leave.
I don't care what you say, when you lose someone, you lose part of the feel. Robert was a big part of our show, Gary and him did The
Beatles stuff great. We replaced him fast, a lot of musicians wanted to be in Scrap. We had a meeting over at my house to talk about the
band’s future. Everybody in the group like the new dude ( Scott Brendan ) he didn't however care much about Beatles music, because
they were has-beens. They all were wanting to do more Alabama type music, the only reason I did Alabama's music was to get along, I
didn't really like um, they were to country for me. Robert was the one doing The Beatles stuff, so it looked bad for my feeling. Scott was
the new man, he was a good strong singer. Our other singer Gary wasn't at this meeting, there was talk of letting him go. I put my foot
down there, he was a big part of our sound. I didn't care a whole lot about Scott from the start, anybody that didn't like The Beatles
wasn't right to me.
It was only a matter of time, the group was coming apart at the seams. It was no fun being on stage with the feelings we had, it wasn't
going to work it self out, something had to give. That came soon enough, there was talk about kicking me out. I told them they weren't
kicking anybody out, if they wanted to quit they could. I didn't feel like I was the leader of the deal, but I had a lot to do with it. Brenda pick
this time to tell me she was pregnant, setting in the club talking about how unhappy I was with the way everybody was acting. I told her
she had to quit coming to the club, she said she wasn't going to do that. That made up my mind for me, I wasn't going to take the chance
on a fight breaking out and falling on her or something. I got up, walked up to the stage and quit, it felt great. They stayed together for a
few months using the name Scrap, it didn't last long. I really don’t blame anyone person. If a band can stay together for five or six years, it
has a small chance of making it big. Most bands fall apart the same way. I was by far the weakest musician in Scrap. What made us good
was enthusiasm, people picked up on that.
We were playing The Corral one night, the early show. The place was packed, wall to wall. We were doing our last number, and we were
fired up, as always. Robert was doing a ride, one of the best he’d ever done. With his eyes closed and his head back, he back off the stage.
The stage is about three foot high. The band entrance was right were he fell off. Just at that exact time, the band playing after us ( The
Coon Elder Band ) open the door and walk in. Robert fell right in their arms, they pushed him back up on stage. He only missed a few licks,
the place went wild. The light were on him, and he put on a show. We were always jumping around and having fun. Robert was twenty one,
that was in 1980, I was thirty. He could play ever Beatles song note for note, Stevie Ray, ZZ Top, Van Halen, ect. He was very gifted, and a
very big loss. So I would say if anyone thing broke up Scrap, it would have been losing Robert. We could have looked a little more, but we
were booked at The Corral. Scott’s band had opened for us a couple of times, so he knew a few of our songs. Scott was more of a ZZ Top
player. He didn’t have the same feel as Robert. It was time for me to go have a baby anyway. Next Story - Back Door Studio
Back to Band
1980 / 81
|Richard Beckham – vocal
Gary Wilson – vocal
Robert Guy – guitar & vocal
Mike Lineberger – bass
Mike Taylor – drums & vocal
Mike Deweese - sound
Roger – guitar & piano