Lava Pups: Three Years - Huh?

Photo by Sean Flansbaum

Holy smokes!  From a conceptual art project to . . . . How about a band photo and a professionally shot video?  Really, who knows what is next.  This is still a work in progress. 

On November 14, 2010, Don “Jet Blue” Bazinet, Paul the Pyronaut, Glenn Kohlmeister, and I gathered at the Doghouse to go through the eight songs that became Into the Flow.  At that time, it was more a conceptual art project than a music project.  Write songs.  Do the artwork.  Record.  Release.  Play the CD once for friends and family.  And it would be finished.  Viewers and listeners would attend the “opening” and maybe take a few pictures; the tangible work would be gone.  Everything then would be left to imagination and memory -- eventually, distant memories.

In the ensuing three years, the conceptual art project has morphed into a band.  Last year, Robert “Kool Kat” Kuhlmann and my sister, Sue, joined Glenn and me.  We developed our own sound with our own idiosyncrasies -- garage surf played with an edge and a bit of irreverence.  The Lava Pups are not hemmed in by the boundaries of traditional surf music. 

Over the last year, every time that we played was fun.  We found that audiences have a way of providing energy and validating efforts.  But, as the Kool Kat says, “nothing teaches like playing live” -- that is musician talk for "stuff happens."  So we had our teaching moments like equipment baking in the hot sun, reacting to dead cables, and adjusting to different venues.  The learning moments pale next to the exhilaration of some incredibly amazing times.  None of those times would have been part of any conceptual art project. 

None of those times was even imagined on November 14, 2010.  Had somebody said in 2010 that the Lava Pups would play at an event -- or a couple of events -- with a thousand people present, the response have been, “If you believe that, we know where you can get a good deal on the I Street Bridge.”  Open for Slacktone would have generated, “We hear that both the Capitol and I Street Bridges are for sale.”  Open for Dick Dale, you would have heard, “If you believe that, you should buy the Golden Gate Bridge, which is for sale . . . cheap.”

From conceptual art project to where we are today has been quite a journey -- unexpected to say the least.  Glenn, Robert, and Sue have made it an absolute blast, as has every person who came out to see the Lava Pups play.  Without those who came to see us, there would be no live music and certainly no Pup music.

Fortunately, we have had a support group of families and friends.  They participated in our ups and downs and provided needed reality checks.  We also have been lucky to have people share ideas with us, look at our website, buy our CD, come to see us, and understand that we play to have fun.  Early on, we had the good fortune that some people let us play even though we had little or no experience under our belts.

On this third anniversary of the Pups, we want to thank everybody for making the last three years exciting and so much fun.

Finally, I will end this post like last year’s.  I want to thank our Dads who gave us the freedom and inspiration to find our own ways and do whatever we wanted to do.  Who would have thought we would have done what we have done over the last three years?  I didn’t.  But maybe my Dad is looking down and saying, “See what you can do if you just put your mind to it.  Dreams should be lived.”  I only wish that he had had the opportunity to see Sue and me play some rock ‘n roll.


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