Four Footer started out in my parent's basement in old Port Huron, Michigan. It was 1995 when I started jamming with my friends Derrick, Kevin, and Scott. In those days we were mainly a punk band but we definitely had a variation to our sound. Our first show was in the basement and I can still remember the cops coming in uninvited and my mom telling them to get lost, and they did. There were a lot of kids having fun that night including us, so we wanted to set up a couple more shows. One place we heard about was a youth center called "Clear Choices". Clear Choices was owned and ran by the ex-biker mayor of Port Huron who was in office at the time. We booked a show for a couple months out and we practiced like hell. That show was a great experience for us because there were a lot people into local music in those days, and a lot of them were there. I can't speak for the other guys in the band but I started to realize how great it felt to perform for people. The response from the community was positive and I felt like people were waiting for us to do another show. You know how shit goes though, right?
All things change and eventually come to an end and our band changed when Derrick threw in the towel. After he left we continued as a three piece and we no longer played any of our old punk songs save for a few that he had no writing credit to. Between progressing as artists, not playing Derrick's songs anymore, and listening to more hard rock stuff like "Quicksand" and "Orange 9mm" our sound had changed, and we changed our name to "Blind Flight". The first demos we ever recorded were as this version of the band in 1997. There were a handful of shows we played this time around but my favorite show was at the ARC hall in Port Huron. There were two other local acts that night and we played second. Some dude from the headlining band tried to cut us off via PA system before our set was up but the crowd cheered "Blind Flight" and we ended up being allowed to play two more songs. Things were great and playing shows was fun back then for sure! But shit went down and the band lineup and name changed again. Derrick came out of retirement, haha, if you will, and back into the fold. Scott left and we picked up Ron on bass. "Backdrop" was the new tag and our sound kept progressing and changing while maintaining our hard rock style. We recorded five new songs and played many shows as this version of the group.
There were many note worthy great shows this time around. From keg parties, to Harpos in Detroit, we were starting to tear it up! One bad ass keg party we played we were set up inside a huge barn doorway! We had a PA, lights, and even a drum riser. A shit load of people from all over about three nearby counties showed up to this guy's birthday bash keg party in the sticks. It was crazy because the sheriffs rolled in and busted up the party during our last song. They came blazing down this long dirt driveway and threw on their lights. As we continued to play our last song hundreds of people were running in every direction. People were actually jumping into this guy's huge pond and trying to hide, it was pretty hilarious! Some people even jumped into his bullpen and laid in the grass right next to the beast to avoid the spotlights. We nearly finished our song too, but a couple shereefers stopped us and told us to roll out. Considering a lot of people like us were being arrested all around we felt like that was a reasonable demand and packed up.
Another show worth referring to was at Clear Choices again. But this time the mayor's youth center was located in an old church building. A lot of our close friends were there and a bunch of local kids who were attracted to the mayor's youth center. But it turns out all was not well at this "youth center" and really never was to begin with. The people of Port Huron got horrible news not to long after that show. The mayor had been using his center to sexually assault children of various ages. He was tried and convicted and some how was out in about a year. This was a horrible thing to hear for all of us in the band and many other people in the community. So we put together a song and Kevin wrote lyrics about his feelings on the situation. The song was called "Abuse of Power" and was one out of five songs we recorded back then. It was also the only song in that band I ever wrote the guitar riffs for.
In October of 1999 my family and I decided we had enough of Michigan for a number of personal reasons including health. We wanted to see and do something new so we moved to Phoenix, Arizona. That meant leaving my band members behind temporarily. Eventually they all moved out to Phoenix, and we resumed jamming and performing but only for a couple months. We only played two shows before a jobless Derrick went home, and Ron drank his relationships and jobs into oblivion and went home too. Kevin and I were still committed to continuing as "Backdrop" and found Delores in early 2001. We practiced with her for months before we recorded a three song demo and played a handful of shows at bars and clubs in Tempe and Phoenix. With a new group of friends getting involved, it was starting to feel like days of old! But it didn't last! Delores didn't show up to the Aids Walk Benefit show and we had to watch 3000 people walk by our quiet stage. Soon after, inevitable tensions caused Delores to run for the hills and Kevin decided he was done after about a seven year stretch.
And so ended Four Footer, Blind Flight, Backdrop, or what ever you remember, or don't remember it as. My dream may never become reality but one thing is for sure. I'm still doing what I loved to do and having fun doing it! My story continues and if you are interested you can check out some of my more current jams on my Criminal Rock music page.
-Brian Cowan II