After the breakup of Fast Forward, ole pops decided to try to put together his own band. He had just moved in to a house that had an ideal rehearsal area in the basement. Dad started with two musicians from previous bands - Clint Miller on drums and Shari Beaver on acoustic guitar and lead vocals (OK, I won't drop the ball on the gossipy stuff - Dad and Shari were no longer a hot item, ending their boyfriend-girlfriend thing some time ago). Larry had unfortunately moved back to Iowa, so a new lead guitar player was in order, as well as a bass player. Larry was good enough to recommend a friend that had just moved from Iowa, a guy named Mark who was very good on bass but had no vocals. Clint found a very good lead guitar player named Rodney, who had decent lead vocals.
The new band already had a job lined up at Junques Saloon. They would have to play under Dad's old band name of Fast Forward, since Dad had booked the job while Fast Forward was still together. Then the bomb dropped. Rodney decided to quit exactly one week before the Junques job! Rodney was not thrilled with sharing the lead vocals, and was also upset about Shari missing a lot of practice due to a real tight schedule at the time. Despite all kinds of pleas from everyone in the band, Rodney could not be convinced and it didn't matter to him that he was burning bridges with everyone. Dad didn't necessarily blame him for wanting to quit based on the circumstances, but he should have at least gone through with the job. What a jerk! On the bright side, it spawned the idea for the band's future name, Chapter 11.
Well, Shari came to the rescue. She introduced the band to a guy named John Jorgenson. John was a decent guitar player, a good singer, and a great front man with a unique sense of humor. Also great at improvising, John convinced the band they could pull the gig off by playing simple 50's music mixed with a few easy 60's & 70's songs. Dad informed Junques manager Mike McCoy of the situation, and Mike agreed to go ahead with the makeshift band (it was actually a relief for Mike, as it allowed him to avoid the hassle of digging up a last second band of the garage variety). Despite a night of bland, average quality music, the job was a big success considering the circumstances.
After the makeshift Junques job several more changes occurred - the bass player Mark moved back to Iowa, the drummer Clint decided to quit because of a two-hour commute from Fort Collins, and Shari decided to hang it up because of the time commitment. The only one's left were my Dad and John!
Well, it didn't take long to re-group and put new pieces together. Shari had earlier recommended a solid bass player named Pete Staff, who as luck would have it came as a package deal with a very good female vocalist named Kelly Layne. Finally, after an impressive audition, an excellent drummer by the name of Brian Cook was hired, completing the line-up for the best band my Dad had ever been in up to this point in his career!
Chapter 11 was the first band Dad was in that had more than one good singer. John and Kelly split the lead vocals, with Pete and Brian singing lead on a handful of the songs and all provided good backup vocals when need be. The group also played a solid song list, most of which were big 70's or 80's hits ranging from Desperado (Eagles) to Isn't It Time (The Babys) to Middle of the Road (Pat Benatar). The band also played a handful of originals, most of which John wrote with collaboration with Kelly and Dad, that also went over very well.
Chapter 11 began playing for the public in the late summer of 1987, and enjoyed almost immediate success. A truly crowning moment occurred in the winter of '87 when Chapter 11 won the Battle of the Bands at the Bank Saloon in Boulder. Dad recalls a dozen or so bands local to the Denver-Boulder area participating. Each band played 15-30 minute sets over the course of Friday and Saturday night, with the two finalists each playing an additional 20 minutes at the end of Saturday night. When it was over Chapter 11 was voted the winner hands down! This was especially gratifying for 'ole Daddyo because the runner-up band turned out to be none other than that group that fired pops several years ago (the very first band Dad joined) for not relenting to growing his hair long and dressing to their whimsical specifications!
One night at a gig in Arvada, John, the lead guitarist and frontman, as a joke set up a microphone in front of Dad (a clear violation of the rule that no mic should be within a 10 yard radius of Dad's vocal chords). About halfway through the night, John asked Dad to tell a joke. Caught off-guard, Dad lumbered to the mic and drew a blank. Finally one came to mind - "Well, I met a girl this tall (holding his hand near his waist), and I'm nuts over her!" As fate would have it, quite a number of Dad's friends showed up that night, and each had heard that joke at least 20 times. Some of his friends started chanting "no more jokes, no more jokes,..." and before long the whole bar was chanting it! Needless to say, the next night the mic stand was still there with the mic cord dangling from it, but the mike was long gone! To this day no band member of Dad's has since violated the 10-yard radius rule.
The start of 1988 brought another change to Chapter 11. In a somewhat bizarre bit of circumstances, Kelly, the lead female vocalist, decided to quit the band after a long dispute with the lead guitar player John's girlfriend, whom Kelly had ironically introduced to John several months earlier. The situation became too much of a distraction for Kelly, so she opted to walk away rather than to face continued problems.
Fortunately, Shari was now available to commit more time and decided to jump back into the fray, so Chapter 11 continued on.Shari now added an extra bonus of playing the saxophone. Because she was fairly new at it, she only played the sax on a couple songs, but when she did it really counted. One of the best songs of the night was the Supertramp ballad "Lord Is It Mine" on which she sang lead and played the sax solo. By the spring of '88 the band was clicking on all cylinders.
By the summer of '88 saw the band started heading down the road of complacency. John in particular seemed to be losing interest, even forgetting his guitar once for practice (and he lived 30 minutes away!). John was getting very serious with his girlfriend (whom he would eventually marry), and she was becoming more important to him than the band. Can you believe it? More dedication to a woman than a band! The shame of him!
Well, to make a long story short, the band eventually fizzled and Chapter 11 played their last gig towards the end of fall. It had been a great two year run for Chapter 11.
Chapter 7 - Roundtree
Back to Table of Contents