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    This is the story of the Bad News Blues Band. It was written by the band's founder, and leader, Mr. Michael "Johnny Guitar" Blommer. It contains the complete (as well as he can remember it) history of the band.

If you are looking at this page then I assume you are interested in how the band came to be. I started the band in 1992 after seeing George Howard and the Roadhouse Hounds at a club called the Windy Cities. The whole point of the band was to get together and have fun playing music so, for the most part we just practiced a couple times a week and drank a lot of beer.

We would go see The Roadhouse Hounds every Sunday and that's where I met Tony Uribe (now playing with Tony and the Torpedoes) and Phil Davis (Bloolyte, L.A.P.D.) who let me sit in and play a few songs with them. After six or eight months I decided that I wanted to start playing gigs but we needed a singer. I figured it was a long shot but I asked Tony if he would be interested in playing with us. To my surprise he said he would. The first working version of the band was now being born.

We played our first gig on May 12th at the Cushing Street Bar and had a great time. The band still needed some polishing but we had a start. The line up of the band changed pretty quickly because of conflicting schedules and other commitments. We hired Dan Holowell to play the drums and we got our first steady gig at a cool little dive called DoDeoo's so now we were ready to Rock!

I always wanted a big band so a little to Tony's dismay I added a four piece horn section after I ran into an old friend from High school named Craig Stern. He put together Don Kelly, Louie Kelly, and Brett West and told me about this guy named Alex that he worked with in the Air Force reserves who played the Sax. He asked Alex if he wanted to come sit in sometime and after a few weeks he did.

This guy could play! So now we have five horns. Luckily the guys were willing to play for beer so it worked out pretty good for everyone. We played every Tuesday at Dodeoo's. The people who owned the Green Dolphin came to see us and asked if we wanted to play their club on Wednesdays.

Two steady gigs! Right on! Now the only problem was that Tony already played five nights a week with his regular band so two nights was all we could do. I wanted to play more but it didn't seem like it was going to be possible.

That is when we started playing with the Deacon. He wanted to put together a new band to play at Berky's on Thursday nights and he was thinking about two guitars, bass, drums, and himself as a frontman. He asked me if I knew another guitar player that could do it and I told him I knew a couple of horn players that really wanted to play. I thought it would be cooler than the standard two guitar bar band.
So Deacon's Three Ring Circus started. The lineup was myself on guitar, Mike Orr on bass, Chip Ritter on Drums, Alex Flores on Sax, Craig Stern on trumpet and the Deacon as ringleader. That band blew the roof off Berky's and changed my perception of what live music should be.

After a few weeks Mike had to back out and concentrate on his Master's thesis so we hired Jeff Masterson who was the current bass player for George Howard and the Roadhouse hounds. This was an early form of the Bad News Blues Band to come.

At this point I wanted to play every night and needed to find a way to make it happen. We slimmed down the Bad News Blues Band and added Mike Midel (vocals, harmonica) and Charly Wycott (bass) to form a band called the Full Moon Blues Band. We started playing at a place called McHughes Good Times Pub on Mondays and Saturdays and started to get a pretty good reputation as the hot new blues band in town.

We played with that lineup for a while until Mike Midell quit because he didn't like the direction of the band.

That was when Alex, Craig and I stepped up and started singing. By now Dodeoo's and the Green Dolphin had gone out of business and Tony was playing full time with his band. Now we concentrated on the Full Moon Blues Band and started working seven nights a week between Berky's, the Chicago Bar and Windy Cities. The only problem we had was that none of us were very good singers. That's when Donnie from the Chicago Bar suggested we hire Anna Warr.

What a great suggestion it was! Everything was going great and then this guy named Ed Mooney came in and told me that we had his band name. Since it was Mike Midel who came up with the Full Moon Blues Band name and he was no longer in the band, we decided to go back to the name Bad News Blues Band.

We played with that lineup for quite a while and during that time Tony re-joined the band and left again to start Tony and the Torpedoes with Anna.

Now we were back to a five piece band with myself, Alex and Craig doing the vocals. We recorded our first CD, "Cruisin' for a Bluesin'" in 1996, after Charly quit and we hired Steve Grams on Bass.

Steve played with us for about three months and went back to playing for Tony and the Torpedoes. Things were getting tough and we were working pretty much exclusively for Berky so the gigs sort of started drying up.

MORE TO COME...
   
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