Eric Kister


 winter 1979 Eric responds to an ad in The Chicago Reader musicians' classified section. Singer-songwriter looking for Charles Ives musicians to
play original material. I didn't get the Ives reference at first.

Turns out this guy Flip was looking for full-time daytime worker bees like me who had a passion for playing music but didn't make a living at it. It also turned out that he was a friend of a guy I worked with. I went up to Mark, said gimme the lowdown on your pal Flip, and he said without any questions or hesitation - you'll really like him.

I went to Flip's place and he played me a bunch of four-track recordings of his songs where he played all the instruments. The first one he played, naturally, was Autosex. After a few more songs I felt this guy was really talented and I could dig playing along.

At about the same time, Flip was writing for and rehearsing songs with Blanche. It only seemed logical that the three of us might as well play together.

One day I got a call from Flip saying that he found a drummer. Who had a rehearsal space. I said he has a rehersal space? We gotta check him out right away! Up until this point, we had been playing in Flip's apartment, so we had to keep the volume down.

 When we went to check out Roman for the first time, it was also the first time that Flip and I got to play his songs REALLY LOUD, and they took on a whole new life.

I don't remember where Bill came from, so that will have to be his story. The rest of my blank adventures are public record.

From late 1985 to early 1986, I got invovled with two guitarists/songwriters, Brian Mauer and Ben Verson, Cause or Effect was the name we kinda worked under. They were kind of a Lennon/McCartney combo with college-word vocabularies and too-good memories for long musical interludes and arrangements.

They had a regular bass player and drummer. I was the THIRD guitarist in the group, not like third in line, but there were three equal guitars and we had a great sound. Brian played electric fingerstyle, Ben played strange chord combos and great-toned solos, I got to play my own wacky style. It was a great time, we made one great tape, we played one party. The band dissolved when we lost our rehearsal space.

For a good part 1986-1987 I played guitars with one of my oldest music buddies, John Molini, in his first version of Johnny Moe and the Return.

It was the first time since the 70s that we had played together. Got to play the Park West again, that was cool.

Nothing much musically from then on and through the nineties. The late 80s had me starting a business, running a business, selling a business, working for the business that bought my business, leaving that business, and going out on my own again with no business whatsoever. Still making a living in the graphics business.

For the past two years, I have been the bass player for the Vidiots, Roman's 20 year-old band of rotating musicians, along with guitarist Lee d'Budda, keyboardist Bill Patterson and whomever else shows up. We've played out once so far.

I have also been playing guitar with another group consisting of Patterson, guitarist Dave Richards, bassist Henry Tevanal and drummer Dan Scalon. We are a freestyle jam group in the truest sense of the term. No songs, no arrangements, lotsa bad notes and wierd chords. We don't have a name yet.

Thanks a ton! See you as you really are!

mister kister

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