Below is a biography of the band written by noted rock historian Jeffrey Long. Two updates to the band's story: is continuing with a new drummer, Brent Petty, a veteran of Seattle bands Sway and Nood Hood Bood and the Tiles, and an avid mountain climber. Also, Greg Stumph has replaced Craig Flory, who disappeared while touring Japan with a jazz combo.
Veterans of Seattle's first punk generation, Jeff, Craig, Johnny and Dave debuted at UCT Hall in 1981 on a bill with the Fastbacks and the U-Men (also their first gig). Although they've maintained their original line-up, members have taken various personal directions that left followers wondering about the band's status. Tradition has not been broken: Dave's absence -- he split last month to study car design in Los Angeles -- creates a precarious situation with which the band is familiar.
Meanwhile, Jeff, Johnny and Craig will weather the loss in the best possible manner, and well they should; In this era, dominated by a pervasiveness of the "Seattle sound" and what may be perceived as conformity in the underground channels, 's innovation and creativity is as fresh as ever.
Dave "Beef" Shumate, while in the fifth grade, won his first drum kit in a newspaper subscription contest. Dave, Scott Dittman, and Kurt and Al Bloch incorporated soon thereafter as the Cheaters. They played legendary venues (including both Bird locations) with legendary bands (Telepaths, Dils and Avengers, among a host of others). Dave's live drumming is punctuated with improvisation and is vociferous to the point of warranting cries of "turn it down." He claims Louis Belson to be a major influence. Beef has owned twenty-three automobiles.
Jeff Larson, known colloquially as "Lar," had the prescience as an intrepid 15-year-old to attend the groundbreaking Seattle Ramones show (1977, Olympic Hotel). He's since been in a succession of seminal Seattle bands. Lar plays bass and synthesizer, and he sings. The most oft-heard quote from the man? "I am not a crook!"
Craig Flory, on sax, clarinet, cello, guitar, percussion and vocals, is a professional musician. He also plays in a marching band. Really. Mr. Flory is 5'-9" and his eyes are blue.