Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nothing You Say, Or Anything You Do

Once upon a time (back in the early 1990’s), there was a Music Scene in the New Hampshire Seacoast region. It was, in a word, inbred. No, nobody had banjos (well…) or did horrible things to poor old Ned Beatty. It’s just that the scene was rather… closed. They said they were an open scene; certainly the Portsmouth press said so, as did the bands that were established in said scene.

From the outside, however, it didn’t look open.

As far as I could tell, it worked like this: First, you became a student at UNH and formed a band. Then, you played little parties on campus. Then, you maybe scored a gig at Mike Libby’s bar in Durham. You know, in the confines of UNH. And so on… bringing along your dorm-mates/party pals/friends along, showing the clubs a strong following and, thus, guaranteeing liquor sales. Eventually, this led to Portsmouth clubs and the Stone Church in Newmarket.

I think this is pretty much how it works in most scenes. I’m not crying. I’m not complaining. I’m just observing that, if you weren’t part of that whole UNH-originated loop, it was pretty hard to get in. This was the scene Naked attempted to get into. We were not completely ignorant of the other scene---the Manchester scene—we just didn’t think we fit in with hardcore, death metal, or hair metal.

Luckily, we hooked up with a handful of bands who were trying to start something on the side in Hampton. We had a run of about three good years, and then stumbled through unsuccessful lineup changes, unsuccessful name changes, and… that was it. In the end, we really hadn't fit into any scene, something I'm actually quite proud of, even though it ultimately contributed to our demise.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.


  1. I rememeber these days Jim. Although I was not all that familiar with 'Naked' I was quite familiar with the core members and their crafted talent. I was fortunate to work with you and Dave in various capacities in our young, budding musical careers and it was always relevant to me that there was something special there, if not together, but as individuals. Dave was so far ahead of himself and any other drummer of the era it was mind-boggling and your multifaceted interests in instruments and the way you tackled all of them was amazing and inspiring. I speak from a time when I was a 16 year old kid with a lot to learn, but here, 15 years later, I am happy to say I was right about those things.

  2. Thanks, Randy. I have very fond memories of a recording session at Sunset Ridge. Remember the look on the engineer's face when he turned around and saw you with your pants around your ankles?