I stole this image from my Dad's Shutterfly blog...he's been scanning old photographs and uploading them into his account. It wasn't until recently that I thought that I could pull those photos for myself and use them. This is the very first "rock band" that I was in called "HONEYCHURCH". Being the good anglophiles that we were, we took the name of one of the characters of an E.M. Forster film, "A ROOM WITH A VIEW". This was the early Nineties when "MADCHESTER" was all the rage. Listening (and cringing) to some old recordings, I can tell that we cribbed a lot of our sound from organ-heavy Manchester, U,K. bands INSPIRAL CARPETS and THE CHARLATANS.
This photo is really funny to me because it's CLICHE BAND PHOTO #7 - "BAND STANDING IN A FIELD". It's one of those cheesy band photos that every band takes. Really, we should have known better, because at the time, both Rachel and I worked at a record store, MUSIC PLUS, and always made fun of the band promo photos that would filter into the backroom from record label PR's. Anyways, I don't know why, but we decided to head out to this hilly park near my house during band practice one afternoon, WHILE IT WAS DRIZZLING, and take band photos. That everything was being drenched by a fine mist probably had a lot to do with the photo being a little blurry.
From left to right: RACHEL "TATE" THORSON - guitar, keyboards, vocals; RAOUL DE LA CRUZ -guitar, vocals, me; PHILIP RUIZ - drums, percussion; SHAWN MCDONALD - bass; XAVIER CHAVEZ - keyboards. The photo was taken by Shawn's sister, Christy.
Post-Honeychurch, Rachel and I started another band with our friend Mike, called CHA CHA CHA. We were like a lo-fi version of LUSCIOUS JACKSON. We actually got signed to a label in Japan (but that's another story). Cha Cha Cha was also the impetus behind my POPGUN RECORDINGS record label. Years later, Rachel and I started a country western duo called THE LIL' KICKERS, with Rachel on guitar and vocals and me on trumpet. Currently, Rachel (who now goes by the name "Tate") lives and performs in Los Angeles. Philip still plays drums...he's in a band called SOTO and apparently, they're big on the nightclub / casino circuit in SoCal. Shawn did a short stint playing bass in another band I started called WINNEBAGO. He eventually married my sister, Belinda, so he's family now. And Xavier...well, he basically fell off the face of the earth. He got married and disappeared to the Pacific Northwest. I think.
No, I won't be posting any Honeychurch mp3s to the blog...sorry!