New Heathens

15-Year Flashback: First Rock Press

Published 15 years ago to the day in my high school newspaper The Hellgate Lance, this is a profile of my first rock band, Blue Monday and the Cockroaches. In it I gush about Freddie Mercury, brag that I "preen around" onstage, and lament that "nobody gets off on cool rock 'n' roll anymore."

This popped back up on my radar screen courtesy of my friend Gwen Lockman, a smokin' saxophone player, world traveler and trout angler, and also Gary Stein, the best thing to ever happen to civics and soccer in Missoula, MT's public schools.

"Said lead singer Nate Schweber, junior, 'You just wait. We're going to be so big,'" reads the second paragraph.

I was 16 then. I'm still waiting.

During the time we played in this band none of us Montana boys had ever seen a cockroach. Six years later, drummer Nate Smith and I moved to New York together and shared a tiny Harlem apartment that was so overrun with cockroaches that they crawled on us in our sleep. That's irony.

Where are they now? Guitarist Josh Plum, far left, is a proud papa and sells real estate in Missoula. Bassist Sean Bendickson, far right, lives, works and makes music in Seattle. Guitarist Chris Stetler, second from right, is a Navy psychiatrist based in San Diego (we recently spent a week together in Yellowstone) and Nate Smith, second from left, also lives in New York City where he works and drums in jazz ensembles.

Mr. Stein, thanks for keeping this around. Gwen, thanks for sharing. That's still the best band photo I ever took.

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