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Our story begins in Atlanta, Georgia way back in the Fall of 1993. That’s when I met Tal Bayer. He had just left the Pietasters and was looking to start a new band. I was new in town and open for anything. It was at practice one night at Tal’s place that I first met Tom Cheshire. At the time, he was living in Tal’s laundry room. A few months later, we played a show at the Wreck Room, opening for the Skats. The show went off well. I left town for a while, and Tom joined the Skats. We had gone our separate ways. About a year later, we bumped into each other at a Shane MacGowan & the Popes show at the Variety Playhouse. He had improved his living conditions somewhat and was now living on someone’s couch in a loft apartment off of 14th Street. We decided to give it another go. These were the days of Jenkin’s Ear Studio where we would practice and record. Brian Kincheloe (Swing Riot), Chuck Petrakapoulis, and Paul Tilghmon all lived there in that space behind the Northside Tavern. I helped Tom edit his first book, Full Time Fool. We worked together writing and compiling poems and stories for our second book, Pants Pocket. I still look back on those times as some of my best. Tom, who has a very big heart, started booking shows at the Little Blue Reggae Hut. It was a labor of love. We played with some great bands there (the Robustos, Four Hour Fogger, and our own Boys from the County Hell). After the Reggae Hut closed down, everyone packed up and moved to the warehouses. The band lineup would change a bit over the next year. Mike Bruce, Tom and myself being the only consistent members. Eventually, Marlow Sanchez and Dewayne Halstead (both of Swing Riot) joined us on bass and drums, and the Rent Boys were born. It became apparent pretty quickly that the five of us shared something special. C11 was home base. We would live, record, and play shows there. It was a great environment to be both creative and hedonistic. We were starting to make our mark around town. We were already packing them in at Dotties, then we started filling up some of the bigger clubs around town. Somewhere around this time, we gave a young group of miscreants their first club gig. I remember a very underage Cole attempting to light his penis on fire at the Point, the Renegades would later play in our living room, and eventually become the Black Lips. We played some amazing shows with Fiend without a Face, the Robustos, and the Fourty Fives. We had quite a scene going on. We decided to take the show on the road. We met Joe Strummer in D.C. and hung out all night with him. He invited us to his show in N.Y.C. the next night. We played our historic show at Kevin St. James Pub on Broadway. The following Monday, I was digging a trench, sweating my balls off, and scratching my head. Did all that really happen... We kept moving forward. We headlined the Local’s Only Stage at Music Midtown. When the house lights went up, there were 10,000 faces staring back at us. It looked like we just might make it.
But it was not to be. We recorded our last album with David Barbe at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, then called it quits. We played our last show together, along with the Beltones, at the E.A.R.L. on New Years Eve 2000. We went our separate ways.
To Be Continued...
Current Releases available itunes & amazon mp3
West End Motel - Don't Shiver The Rent Boys - Shot to Hell (compilation)
Band Camp westendmotel.bandcamp.com therentboys.bandcamp.com thecountyhell.bandcamp.com allntrz.bandcamp.com