Pete LaBonne, shown above on bass guitar, named the band. Casey Walpert gave us a gig playing happy hour at the Bug Jar on Friday nights and we stayed there for a few years. We never rehearsed and still haven’t. We improvised. Jack Schaefer played guitar, Peggi Fournier played sax and I played drums.
The group changed over time. Pete moved back to the mountains after three months and Greg Slack, who was usually there on Friday nights, took over on bass. The group grew in size, became unmanageable and slimmed down again. Bob Martin moved back from DC and joined on guitar. Ken Frank joined shortly after Bob and that worked well for fifteen years. Bob moved to Chicago and Phil Marshall took his place on guitar. Pete sits in on piano whenever he is town, he’s on most of the records, and Jack plays bass clarinet when his schedule allows.
Margaret Explosion is a concept and it seems to work despite the line-up changes. I like to think it keeps getting stronger. On Wednesday Pete will be sitting at the grand piano, Jack will play a few tunes on bass clarinet and we’ll give away some merch. I am grateful to all the people we’ve played with in these twenty years and I’m really exited about tomorrow’s gig.