The Story of 86 the Band
Once upon a time there was a band called 86 the band.
They were called 86 the band because they were, in fact, a band, and they wanted to be very clear about this.
They practiced their songs in a tiny shed in Oakland, California. They believed very much in what they were doing except when faced with the doubts that we all face, in which case they didn’t believe in it. But they forged ahead, and in forging ahead, set off on the classical journey that we all must take at some point in search of the self and enlightenment. In other words, they wanted to ROCK.
As they grew older, their friends became adults, got real jobs, houses, and had kids, while 86 The Band continued to play their hand-crafted songs in their tiny shed in Oakland. It is a sad and beautiful tale but a tale I never tire of telling. They were pursuing a dream, inspired by the great rock bands of yore and today: The Byrds, the Velvet Underground, Creedence Clearwater Revival, R.E.M., Wilco, Pavement, Grandaddy and this band from England you may have heard of called the Beatles. Their first record released in 2000 is called “True Life Songs and Pictures” and their second one released in 2003 is called “Hooray For Music” because music is generally acknowledged to be a good thing that should be celebrated with exclamatory shouting, preferably by kindegarten children. 86 the band has played many, many memorable and fun shows in the San francisco Bay Area as well as in Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, Fresno, Marin county, and Los Angeles.
For a little while there it looked like 86 the Band had finally been 86’d. Banjo player Andy wanted to spend more time with his wife and kids (who could blame him? The fabled rock n’ roll lifestyle isn’t as glamorous as most people think). Tom Murach started playing soul rock with Tracorum. Joe Rut and Joel Murach went on to put out solo albums while j.kleinberg spent a lot of time trying to levitate until he eventually put out an album under the name of Happiness.
Then as mysteriously as the band faded it came back together to record a final album called “Thank You”. Pared down to the trio of Joel, Tom and Jason, they joyfully worked on the new songs in a tiny soundproofed room that Tom built in the garage of his apartment. It’s called “Thank You” because it most likely is their last album…though at this stage in life, every album is the last album and every show is the last show and every day is the last day…which actually means that things are more fun.
Well, that’s about all for now. Just remember this though: whether or not you like the music, this band is doing its very best to make people happier, any way it can. Even in this little story, which we hope you have enjoyed in some small way. Thanks and THANKS.