Introducing the band
Who are these people parading around as Go Van Gogh? Some say they are other worldly creatures marooned here with a strange broken vehicle. Others claim they must have wandered in from the Mojave Desert after too many days out in the sun. The real story is even more fantastic.
We start with their fearless leader, Connie Walkershaw. Not only does she play alto and soprano saxophones (along with slide whistles, Chinese funeral horns, and what have you) through her Line 6 delay and WH1 Whammy pedal, she is also the primary writer and architect of the group.
Ms. Walkershaw got her start in a far off land in a time long ago backing belly dancers in her father's troupe of hippies and road gypsies. Taking her various talents (she also made outfits for the prostitutes of a well know sea side city) with her to early punk rock San Francisco, she was soon on the front line of cutting edge all (almost) girl band Jungle Dinner, taking a stripped down version to Europe in the mid eighties.
Returning to the states, Connie put together the ground breaking Comic Book Opera, launching San Francisco's new Jazz movement a full four years before The Up and Down Club or Elbo Room were even imagined.
Soon a true bi-coastal career was underway, with Walkershaw designing coats for New York boutiques and playing at the renowned Knitting Factory one year, gracing the stage at the Fillmore while manufacturing fashion forward outfits for Union Street clothiers the next. The birth of her daughter, and the need to record the debut album for her (then) Sextet Go Van Gogh, gave Connie the impetus to stay put for a spell. Connie takes inspiration from John Coltrane, Donovan, Yorgas Mangas, and The Velvety Ones.
Brad Bechtel has perhaps the most lap steels of anyone in the Bay Area. He is in a 12-step program for musicians who just can't stop buying equipment (eBay anonymous).
His passion for the lovely little guitar that could came to him one day when the Southern California punk band he played with was booked into an odd show sharing the bill with a honky-tonk country band. He liked the way "their fellow played that plank", and he bought his first lap steel guitar from a woman named Opal, along with a matching bowling ball blue amplifier. Many years and many instruments have flowed through Brad's hands since. Brad's most recent project was JelloHat, a good time band known for slick graphics and county fairs. Brad loves to share his interest in the lap steel, and has created Brad's Page of Steel for your edification and enjoyment.
We are not sure how the rhythm duo Chuck and Dave found Go Van Gogh. One night they just seemed to appear. Speculation is that they wandered in the wrong bar for separate gigs, neither remembering who hired them or why. They both had such a good time they came back the next week to try it again.
Chuck Kapelke plays a combination of hand drums (Djembe, Dumbek), as well as some minor percussion with sticks (Cowbell, Wood Blocks, Cymbals). Chuck's origins are a mystery. If you have any information concerning this man, please contact us immediately. We do know that he is literate, and seems to have an endless supply of new friends (ones we never met before) that he brings to Go Van Gogh shows. He wears the crown of endless lager drinker proudly, so don't mess with him when he is trying to get the bartender's attention.
Dave Humbird is another story entirely. We suspect he has an even worse case of Brad's disease, as he is on his third drum kit in 6 months. Each kit sounds better than the last, and seems more portable to boot. Dave claims he's from Texas, but from his knowledge of classic 60s rock, and because of his interest in "foreign places where they just don't have any oil to speak of," we suspect this is just a red herring. Interestingly enough, but of no consequence here, Humbird wants you to know that he has really reduced his sauce intake since joining the band. Dave remembers all the words to Hotel California, often singing them to the karaoke backing track of Sweet Caroline.
On Bass is Jesse Walkershaw. We are not sure what relation he is to Connie, their leader. Little resemblance is noted, so we suspect very distant cousins, but spouses may be possible. When asked how he came to be in the band, Walkershaw replied, "I was the driver, the bass player got sick, and I'm just filling in till she gets back."
Our newest participant is Mark Deggeller on "rhythm" Guitar. Mark has brought the dancing Ska ingredient to our mix. There is a marked difference pre-Mark and post-Mark. In many ways, Mark has made us more marketable.