The BandWagon

An Occasional Newsletter of the Black Book Band

Issue No. 1 – December 1994

Happy Saturnalia, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Yule, Chanukah, or [OTHER]! And welcome to the first annual universal interfaith winter holiday edition of the The Black Book Band’s highly irregular newsletter and all-purpose fish wrap, The Bandwagon. Now, on with the news…

Brain Weasels Tour Wheezes To Stop

The BBB capped its busiest year to date with a rip-roaring roof-raising Sunday concert at Ohio Valley Filk Fest X on October 23, 1994 in Columbus. After the concert, four celebrated solo performers–Kathy Mar, Juanita Coulson, Bill Sutton, and Michael Longcor–honored the band by joining us for special encores. Bill’s rendition of Harry Chapin’s “6-String Orchestra,” with fiddler Bill Rintz joining the BBB string section, was the crowd favorite. A loud and joyful jam followed to close out the convention.

The OVFF gig brought to a close the BBB’s infamous Brain Weasels Tour (official motto: “We’re Playing As Fast As We Can”), which began with the BBB’s debut at Marcon 26 and took us to nine venues in three states. (See reverse for a complete tour itinerary and a last-chance offer on tour T-shirts).

BBB Nabs Pegasus Award

The BBB was both startled and thoroughly delighted to receive 1994 Best Performer honors at OVFF X. Mary Ellen Wessels represented the band at the traditional midnight Pegasus Award banquet. (The rest of the band was experimenting with the concept of getting a reasonable night’s sleep before an early-morning call for a noon gig.)

Red-Hot BBB Gossip
  • …Gwen and Mike are pregnant and expecting their first child, a girl, on or about the first day of spring.
  • …Barry notched his first professional sale, an essay titled “Expatriates of Woodstock Nation,” in the Summer ’94 issue of Chrysalis.
  • …Mary Ellen completed work for her Honors College B.A. in Children’s Literature & Drama/Theater from Eastern Michigan University.
  • …Sally helped found Heart Rays, Inc., a new nonprofit center for “expressive therapies” for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • …Mike is writing a trilogy for the Bantam Star Wars line; the first book, still untitled, is scheduled for June ’96.

Traveling Light…

…is an art we have yet to master. We bring so much gear to a gig that two of the band’s households had to buy new wheels this year to carry their share, and our set-up takes about three hours. But the BBB has been blessed by uncounted fannish friends and music-loving fans, who’ve donated their backs and brains to the cause of toting, wheeling, connecting, trouble-shooting and facilitating. We’d like to send those of you who pitched in an official BBB Roadie stage pass, designed by Barry. Just send a note and a SASE to: BBB, PO Box 22066, Lansing MI, 48909.

“First Contact” Expected in ’95, Says Expert

Bill Roper of Dodeka Records recorded all four of the BBB’s 1994 concerts on glorious multi-track DAT, and plans a 1995 release for a BBB live album titled First Contact. Watch this space for further details!

Meanwhile, analog recordings of “Hope Eyrie” and “Vapor Angels” from Chicon V appear on Mists of Memory (Wail Songs WS038); of “Sailplane” and “Circle the Moon” from Marcon 26 on ASTEROID ORE (Wail Songs WS040). And a new DAT recording of “Lightsailor” is included in THE PEGASUS WINNERS, COLLECTION 1 (Love Song Productions LSP-001).

In the studio: Mary Ellen, Barry, and Sally worked on Kathy Mar and Zander Nyrond’s new CD Made By Magic (Dandelion Digital DD-005). Mary Ellen also sang on Steve Macdonald’s 1994 solo album Songspinner (Dodeka DR-10008).