From 1995-97, or 1996-98 or somewhere in between, Kurt Barlow and Jake Suazo did this band Kid Hideaway And The Warboy. My connection with those two was:
1. Kurt’s older brother Justin Barlow was in a band called Rapture, who played around Utah Valley and they were one of the first local groups I ever saw. The other powerhouse group, Rhino, had a guy named Jason Macomber in it, and Jason and Justin played together 20 years later in the group Sky As Skin. I will remember for the rest of my life, the time that I went to see Rhino and Rapture at the Godfathers Pizza in Provo, and after two AMAZING funk-metal, slap-bass, grunge sets, the two bands COMBINED into a supernova of the Rage Against The Machine song “Killing in the name of” and the packed place just went completely and 100% ape shit. And you can replace the group Rhino in that memory for the group Stadium Jug, whom I think it actually was. I just remember Justin Barlow all sweaty slapping and popping that bass, and his bandmate Matt Barlow (no relation!) playing the guitar next to him. The dirtbags liked Stadium Jug, the artists liked Rapture and Rhino. A year or so later, I tried to play in a reformed Rhino with Justin and John (original Rhino Bassist) and Matt (Rhino Drummer), and it was called Crawl Space, or Crossbass, however you wanted to pronounce it ha ha. Ambiguity ok because we never played a show. And ZING, Justin Has just reminded me that we did play a show at the Sidepocket in American Fork. Damn I’d love to hear my old Rhino tape cassette. And, while thinking of Godfathers Pizza (who’s shows were run by the worker Rob Rock, who 20 years later worked with Spindrift) I will also never forget when the first “Serious Band” I played guitar in, Deviance, played there, with Josh Stippich’s enormous home-made grey PA system, and before we went on stage, Charlie Johnson (the drummer and band leader) had josh BLAST the long 90′s batman movie theme song, which segued into Charlie’s fiercest Chuck Biscuits drum intro, with water spilled all over his drumheads to splash up into colored lights, then into our crushing “take me to mars” or whatever it was. Whoah! We meant business! I clearly remember the look on Charlie’s face as he poured that water on his drums in preparation!
2. For Utah valley rock in the 90′s there was one word- Pleasant Grove. American Fork was Hessian and Jock, Lehi Hick 100%, Alpine off the map (that’s where I was from), big city Provo was disgusting ska, Orem was rich wanna-be’s. Pleasant Grove was straight-up GRUNGE! Every guy was a charming, kind, and sassy grungy dirtbag, every girl was super hot and also a grungy dirtbag. I thought that all drugs and teen pregnancy came from Pleasant Grove. And Pleasant Grove is also beautiful. And everyone in Pleasant Grove was a musician. So as I grew up in Alpine, otherwise known as outer space, went to AF Highschool, or hell really, and then met all these Pleasant Grove guys at some random party I got invited to somehow- and it was in a decrepit mansion run by REAL GOTHS all older than us, by the way, and it was almost pitch black in there, and I didn’t know anybody, and I participated on the guitar in a dark super-jam of epic volume and length like a single soundgarden riff for an hour, and that’s how I got to brush elbos with my rock idols and met Justin Barlow! It is so funny to think of now, there were probably real draculas, UPSTAIRS, putting on their makeup and getting ready for their big kid parties while we spilled chips on the carpet in the dark downstairs.
3. Curt Barlow was Justin’s little brother. He and Justin and Chris Purdy and I started a band called Butterknuckle and it was pretty much the first band I was in. I played guitar. We’d practice in Chris’s bedroom and he lived in Lindon or Pleasant Grove, I can’t remember which. And we played a show at the fairgrounds in Heber, and we played downtown Provo at the Pod. I just remember practicing in that band, wearing my grunge outfit, and playing laying down on Chris’s bed while we fought about the songs.
4. A year or two later, Curt and Jake Suazo, I think Jake lived very near to Chris in Lindon, were into this thing where they’d team up, each of them would write a song and sing on their own song, and Curt played the guitar and Jake played the bass, and sometimes they’d dress like old men with fake grey in their hair and with suit vests. It was called “Kid Hideaway And The Warboy”. And Curt was Kid Hideaway and Jake was Warboy and the names were descriptions of their personalities. I remember Curt was always terrified that some girl would be liking him or something, and once I went to practice and Jake and his older sister were exhausted, and smiling kind of euphoric, and sitting at the table all beat up. We asked what they were doing and they said that they had just blown up at each other and gotten into a huge fist-fight.
5. Back then, the rock and roll dream was still very much alive, and the musicians I knew identified very strongly with their roles in the groups. There were few multi-instrumentalists. I was a guitar player, so it was a huge leap of faith to attempt the drums, and I felt inadequate all the time, and grateful that they’d let me do it instead of getting a “real drummer”. My dad had an old fine ludwig drumset that was sitting in the storage shed from a recording studio he’d run in the past, Curt and Jake were my best friends, and I had to go ahead and do it.
I remember playing at a sandwich place in Provo across from the stadium, and I remember playing at the Davis County Fairgrounds in Layton, in an enormous hall/gym that was dark and had a few hipsters and girls like shadows dotting the area. We must have had some house lamps set up or something.
6. As curt slowly overcame his fears about having girlfriends and everything else, and as Jake slowly learned to control his temper and deal with his burning emotions, the band apparently lost it’s function and I don’t remember breaking up at all. And I had problems of my own, so maybe it was me who broke up the group. Who knows. I do know that Jake’s music continued with Star No Star, and probably other versions too with Ned Clayton and others.
Also, at some point in the band, Justin played second guitar- And recently shared a great memory with me- we played a show at the Soul Kitchen in Provo, and the owner had bought an electronic decibel meter, and he was refusing to let us play because we were too loud and he was holding up his decibel meter and showing us the unacceptable number.
7. Now, Justin is just the same and still plays in the band Sky As Skin. Curt has a family, I think still in the American Fork suburbs. Jake still lives somewhere in Utah Valley too, but became a comedy improv actor, and then was an actor in movies.
8. There was a very potent creative force making music in Utah Valley and it was this group of friends- Curt, Jake, Chris Purdy, some of their friends who would go back and forth from Arizona, and then the next generation with Chris’s brother Brandon and a kid named Austin Bean, and I can’t remember all the band names (Sound Of Siren’s, Insufficient Subculture, …) And Kid Hideaway And The Warboy was, in my opinion, the un-celebrated jewel among them, being more rock and roll, charming, and sincere than all those bands. And all those bands were amazing. And I think Chris Purdy was the ringleader.
9. And this is so fuzzy but I’m going to give it a shot: I think that the first time I ever met Chris Purdy was… I somehow became friends with Gunnar Olson, because Justin and Mark Thomas must have worked together, and Gunner and Mark were in the Numbskills, Utah Valleys #1 future hip hop group. Or white hip-hop group, back then, which was probably the only way possible back then, but still a strict designation, and Justin and Chris and I were going to try and be the backup band for the Numbskills, and we practiced at Rick’s house in Provo and then drove back, stopping at Chris Purdy’s house for some reason, and that’s when I met Mark Dago, who I play with now in Rotten Musicians and Killscreen, but … maybe we picked him up there first or something, or how did me and Justin do that without being in Butterknuckle together with Chris first? All I know is that I met all these cool musicians from Pleasant Grove and a bunch of rappers all at once. I just remember the first time I met Mark. It was on Chris Purdy’s lawn. I guess we must have practiced at Chris’s house since his drums were there.