Twenty years. Two decades of infighting, celebrating creative triumphs and surviving personal tragedies, breakdowns -both mental and marital, addictions, recoveries… in other words, twenty long years of Rock and Roll. They say it’s the journey, not the destination that matters most in life. If that’s been the case, it’s been one mother-fucker of a journey.
Though the band, ten indians, is officially twenty years old, the seed was planted more than thirty years ago. As a young boy I was fascinated by Hemingway and devoured all of his post mortem remains. In particular, I was entranced by the short story that I would one day usurp for the band’s name. I wouldn’t meet Matt and then George for another decade but when I did, I knew these were the right proper delinquents who would make up this band, ten indians.
But what more to say? How does one sum up twenty years of surviving one of Windsor’s most notoriously unpredictable bands? We’ve had as many successes as failures – on a good night we were as good as it gets, on others, we wouldn’t last three songs before an ugly, on-stage blow up would occur. George and Matt always had those artistic temperaments, as for me – I was just a drunk. (After all, isn’t that what all `rock stars’ are)? I wouldn’t ever let the idea of not being famous stop me from acting famous.
And inevitably, that lifestyle tends to deteriorate one’s mind and memories. But I have a few good ones left rattling around up there still. Playing a sold out State Theater the night after Iggy did the same, performing for some amazing folks down in Cuba, touring throughout Ontario, Michigan, backing up some real great talents – Foghat, The Odds, Carol Pope, McLean and McLean, Bootsey X and the Love Masters… and these are only those I remember. There were countless more.
We recorded several works, but only two proper albums, the severed head of something beautiful, (a name I came up with which to this day Matt still hates), and HAVANA, an album we managed to survive despite the fact that a bum marriage left me homeless at the time.
We’ve done countless radio interviews and I enjoyed them all, though often the station managers did not.
Our records have charted, though the necessary `breakout’ record has always seemed to elude us. That’s okay. I always felt only two things could destroy ten indians, mind boggling success or heart wrenching failure. We have managed to avoid either. We have, and always will, simply do what we do best. Be ten indians.
After twenty years, do I know what is in store for ten indians?
But I haven’t for the last twenty years either.
Who knows, maybe we’ll meet up with you at our fortieth.
All the best and long live Rock and Roll.
Ten Indians’ 20th anniversary performance takes place tomorrow (Friday August 7th) @ downtown Windsor’s FM Lounge, there will be no cover and a full stage set. For more on Ten Indians pick up this month’s copy of WAMM or read the online version by clicking the cover on the right.