WEEK OF DECEMBER 11, 2005
Varsity Drag Members Reunited
|"Bare bulbs, and no place to sit down." (ZAGAT's review)
Aging musicians strive to embody famous lyric:
"A little bit louder and a little bit worse."
SAN RAFAEL--In a storage yard less than a mile from historic San Quentin prison, the rag-tag occasional members of Varsity
Drag converged this week for what one band member termed a "hootenanny-thing."
Standing before the legendary practice space--an "intermodal" shipping container, equipped with carpet and electricity--sometime-Dragster
Ben Deily declared it "perhaps the foulest, most inhumanly inhospitable place I have ever held a guitar. It's PERFECT
|Greg tackles the lap steel: results are country-fried. (UPI)
Joined also by 'Drag co-founders (and former UNBALANCED members) Will Anderson and Greg Randall, the ensemble proceeded to
serenade the surrounding vacant lots with a 20 minute version of Neil Young's "Over and Over," as well as a handful
of dimly-remembered Varsity Drag tunes. According to reports, most of the chords were settled on "by the third or fourth
"Overall, I'm amazed at how little it sucked," opined Anderson. "I mean, I sure wasn't expecting anything
so...not awful. Decent, even. Even Greg's lap steel was sounding pretty good. Though the Big Muff pedal covers up a lot, of
|"Is everybody in? The $#@#!@ ceremoney is about to begin." (CORBIS)
Asked for comment, Mr. Randall responded only with his trademark disarming grin, and an elaborately obscene gesture.
Although curtailed in mid-afternoon (so that an unnamed band member could "buy some shelving supplies"), the
"jam session" was ruled an unambiguous success, and pledges were made to repeat it soon.
"Who knows? We might even decide to do something crazy, like re-learn our own songs," added Deily.
(WHERE ARE THEY NOW? FOLLOW-UP: At last report, Mr. Anderson was in his El Cerrito home, being repeatedly vomited on by
an 11-month-old child. Randall is said to be finalizing artwork for his upcoming 13-song solo effort. Ben's shelves are coming
along nicely, thank you.)
Study confirms: Impossible to look like a bad-ass
while wearing iPod headphones.