Where did Sellout come from you ask?  Or probably you didn’t ask, but if you’re bothering to read this then I may as well tell you.  Nick and Steve, two old pals, were kickin' it at the lake one sunny day and decided they needed another excuse to hang out more often.  They had both been in bands before and agents were becoming like telemarketers trying to pawn off gigs for them to play.  Now if you really believe this, then you may not pass go, may not collect 200 dollars and should probably check yourself into the Gullible Anonymous Club for some therapy.  But really, a few agents were asking for their latest “project” to fill some last minute dates.  If you’ve ever been in a band then you know gigs don’t come easy and you don’t simply turn them down.  It hadn’t been since the invention of the wheel that the two of them had played together.  Ah yes, the Backsliders.  A rather successful classic rock band that even managed to secure Coors Light as a corporate sponsor.    But this band would be different.  Hard drinking would be reserved for the audience to enjoy.  Well, in the beginning that was the philosophy. The band's focus would be on the show.  Not just the music, of course the band better sound good and play great songs, but the show needed to be a show!  Coming out of the 90’s saw the extravagant costumes and stage antics disappear leaving only black t-shirts and toe worshippers on stage playing 3 chord floozies.  And promoters wonder why ticket and record sales are down.  If they weren’t going to write and play original music, then they may as well go all out.  I mean really, if your gonna sell out, then why not go all the way.  Costumes, horns, girls, percussion and great tunes.  The problem began to surface.  What is a great song.  That is a tough question.  There is a lot of music that is great but how do you decide what to play?  Wanting to play songs that would satisfy the masses they decided to do some simple research.  Many songs were considered until the early song list began to take shape.  Then something began to become apparent.  All of the songs that were working were the biggest hits of the decades so a formula was born.  Look no further than the music charts.  The funny thing is that at this point the name had not been chosen.  When the idea of Sellout came out.  It seemed natural and quite frankly was the only name worth a shit.



2001



Finding the members of the band was quite a battle in and of itself.  To create a great sounding band you need great players.  The problem is, great players tend to want to play with other great players.  More problems, Nick and Steve are only half ass musicians and unless the rest of band stepped it up a notch, Sellout would be a half ass band.  Fortunately, that changed when Nick called an old band mate by the name of Brian Barth.  It had been a few years since they played together in an MTV Battle of the Bands winning band by the name of the Modern Saints.  Brian joined the project early on adding versatile keyboard knowledge, showmanship and an incredible voice.  Finding the right female lead singer wasn’t quite as easy.  Ads were placed in newspapers, flyers were faxed to music stores and plastered all over the 50 mile radius.  Girls from near and far called, e-mailed and sent samples of their work.  Dozens were auditioned before Tricia dropped in with her father for a quick audition.  The band decided to have her out for a live audition at Raul’s Velvet Room.  Just as the band was about to adopt her, she became unavailable due to unavoidable time constraints in college.  Many more were auditioned with none of them standing out among the bunch until one day the phone rang and it turned out to be a friend of a friend.  He turned us on to Sunnye.  Wanting to take a stab at musicianship, Sunnye wanted to do whatever possible to add to the sound of the band.  She sings a little, plays a little percussion and plays some saxophone, not to mention she has great stage personality.  Though the search was not over, it soon would be since Sunnye knew the singer for the job.  It turned out that Bree had corresponded with the band via e-mail but hadn’t actually come in for an audition.  If you’ve heard Bree attack a microphone, then you can imagine how easy the decision was to make after her audition.  Now, Bree has been inundated with a rather busy schedule and hasn’t been able to make all the shows but things somehow always seem to work.  Tricia, the previously mentioned singer that was busy with school, became available just when we needed her the most.  With a background in theater and dance, the stage is where she’s most comfortable.

 

Live music ain’t nothing without the rhythm of the beat.  Sellout has been lucky to play with some of the best drummers in the region.  Get out your pen and paper because you will want to take notes here.  First there was glam rocker, Kenny Pingleton, a great drummer who migrated here from Manhattan.  Unfortunately, great drummers are often recruited for bigger and better gigs, not that there is a better gig than Sellout, but that’s all a matter of perception.  Steve Riley, local singer/songwriter/percussionist, was brought in to fill the shoes.  With a strong musical background and tough work ethic, he was able to learn the tunes and fill the glam rockers shoes in his Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band outfit.  However, once again the lure of a steady paying gig took him away from us.  Young local hero, Bob Little was recruited to save the day.  He had played for years with Nick in the local original band, Puddle.  In his Leopard Skin cowboy hat and coat, he added a flare to the rhythm section only seen by his current priority band, DJ not a DJ.  They have really taken off, so needless to say, so has Bob.  In what has become great Sellout tradition, a new drummer was recruited.  One of the finest drummers in the area, Jason Slote, aka Tommy Lee, began beating the skins.  However, as fate would have it the ol veteran Jason was uninterested in doing shows on the road so he retired to being a backup drummer with intentions of playing only local shows.   With Tommy Lee out of pull position and a gig on the road right around the corner, it was time to call in the favor.  Sellout had to recruit famed drummer Ken Anderson, Orange Man, to beat the skins for a show on the road.  He was the first drummer that Nick had ever played with.  Unavailable for the following gig, he referred the band to Mike Meyers, aka Austin Powers.  On Tuesday he had the list of tunes.  By Wednesday night he had downloaded the tunes, learned them, worked all day and drove down to Lawrence to rehearse the tunes nearly flawlessly.  So with Mike Meyers in the number slot and Paul Mathews as backup drummer, another old school bad ass in the Lawrence area, Sellout had the position finally filled....or was it.....I think you are starting to see the cycle. So guess what happened next. Staying with the sellout tradition, Mike Myers decided it was time to focus his attention on his original band. Paul was simply too busy with other bands to step in as first call drummer. Now this was a hard hit as Mike was really the first drummer to really embrace the roll as sellout drummer but we must give him credit. He gave us his all and when he felt he couldn't give it 100%, he stepped aside paving the way for AC(Alan Carlton). Ironically enough, Mike and Alan went to high school together but hadn't kept in touch but now their paths were about to cross. Alan hadn't played in a few years and was a bit rusty but over the course of the next year he would prove to be the best drummer to beat the skins to date. As Alan's priorities nobly returned to his family a strange thing happened. Ken Anderson, previous save the day drummer #4 decided he was serious about playing again. Now Ken, you see, had all but given up drumming with the only exception his being a drum teacher. When he did the gig a few years earlier his only intention was to save the day in case of emergency putting little to no effort into learning the tunes. This time, it was a different story. He studied long and hard to help sellout put forth the best show possible. Out of practice and out of shape, it took Ken a few months to re-hone his skills but boy has he ever. Re-defining the term "pocket" he is the sellout drummer of today. is now the   So needless to say,  for better or for worse, Sellout has played with not only the best drummers in the area but almost every person that has ever picked up a pair of drum sticks.


Now with the drummer in place all should be simple right? Wrong. Just as soon as a Ken took over on the drums our singers decided it was time to migrate elsewhere. Sunnye relocated to sunny Florida where she remains to this day. However, she does make it back for the occasional show and boy does she ever tear the roof off. Tricia's career took her away from us and landed her in the Big Apple where she is today. Fortunately, she too comes back for the occasional show to ignite the crowd with her sensual stage presence. Needless to say there was a great void to fill with both Sunnye and Trish gone. As fate would have it, along came Jenny and Valery to save the day. Jenny, whom had previous experience as a soloist decided she wanted to try her hand at fronting a band. I'd hate to insult the musicianship of sellout but man, when she sings Bobby McGee, it doesn't matter how bad the rest of the band sounds because she carries that one all by herself. Valery decided that she wasn't getting enough gigs with one of her other bands Soldout so she decided to join sellout. Can you believe it. Sellout and Soldout. What a bizarre coincidence. With her Tina Turner costume she commands respect and gets it, well…got it. Other gigs have pulled her priorities away from sellout so now her shoes have been filled by ?????????. So then in 06-07 we brought you Jenny and Candace on the mics. Who is Candace? She was the hot thing givin it her all in whatever costume she decides to wear. Elvira? Tina Turner? Cher? It didn’t matter, she brought it and I’m sure she’ll bring it again!  After Candace we were lucky to find Kelsie Clark.  With great attitude, voice and costume, Kelsie helped sellout sound better than ever. Dressed in the Liza Minelli costume made famous by Sunnye she really struts her stuff when on the stage.  You aren’t going to believe this though.  She got the part at Worlds of Fun providing her with Union wages 6 days a week which was a great step in the direction of her career.  Speaking of Sunnye, I had the pleasure of going to the Orange Bowl in sunny Florida to see the Jayhawks win it in January of 08 with Sunnye.  Let’s hope she makes it back for another guest appearance.  Speaking of, were you lucky enough to catch her surprise visit with her new man, Manny?  Gene had to miss a show so Sunnye brought Manny to fill his shoes which he he managed to pull off without a hitch.  Where was I?  Oh, singers.  So after Kelsie came Stephanie.  Her first costume was Olivia Newton John but she soon switched to WonderWoman because she is.......WonderWoman.  She has since left so I’ll pickup with the singers a little later.


You've probably noticed a few horn players come and go as well. Brandon and Andy both blew their horns with sellout briefly before Danny joined as a Blues Brother. He even stepped up to the microphone and proved his versatility cementing his position in the band. He brought some much needed young blood and energy to the band.  He changed his costume to Devo and really took on a frontman position with a level of success that nobody predicted. However, like so many musicians before him other life responsibilities took precedence over Sellout leaving us with the need for yet another sax man.  How lucky were we when Alabaster Sims stepped into the picture.  What he lacks in vocals he more than makes up when blowing his horn.  Dressed as Weird Al Yankovic he has big shoes to fill but fill them he does.  On percussion we bring you Mike Edmondson. With a career in Real Estate, he never denies his true passion is music. Life keeps him from making every show but rest assured, when he can make it to the party he gives it his all every night and sellout is lucky to have him.


This just in. Ken has decided to part ways with the band but as fate would have it, Bob Little has become available again. What if Bob's not available??? Sellout pulls out all the stops with the talented DASH! Being one of the hottest Bassists in town....did I say bassist?? yes I did. In fact, He's also one of the hottest drummers in Town, Bob himself insists he's not even as good as Dash on the Drums. Why in the World would the talent of a guy like Dash jump on into the cheese factory??? Who knows and who really cares, we're just glad he did.  Dash got married and moved to Arizona handing the reigns back to Bob.  We’ve had half a dozen other drummers fill in from time to time with our two solid backup drummers Jason Slote and Jason Meier being our go to guys.


With life taking me to Scotland and biz forcing me to miss the occasional gig I was forced to take a step back and let some other guitar players take a stab at the sellout gig in 2005. The first to step up to the plate was Ray. With years of experience including being a founding member of The Band That Saved The World, dressed as Ozzy he rocks the guitar like nobody before him. He's even sang a few rocking tunes. In sellout tradition, he left to do bigger and better things residing in Nashville now.  His departure left the spot open for Scott. Young and full of talent he brought a whole different vibe to the band. Unfortunately he’s not been available for all of the gigs but luckily Don Desmond was available.  Then, Scott moved to LA.  Don’s an old school pro who needed little assistance stepping up to the plate dressed as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. After all the years of effort to make this band happen it has become a very special part of me. Thus, in 06 after moving back to the states I decided to make sellout a priority and have only missed  a couple shows since.  When I’m absent, the amazingly talented Chris Lockard seamlessly steps in providing his own brand of guitar wizardry.


This brings me to Brian Barth, the construction worker. He has followed his life path bringing him a marriage and a child taking him to California. How does a band replace him. His skills on the keys are one thing but his voice is sensational. The answer is simple, you try and replace him but you don’t. However, Nate brings an entirely different skill set to the position allowing any comparisons to be pointless. Coming from Wobbly H he has a tremendous amount of experience in this type of a production. Before that he was a driving force in DJnotaDJ with our drummer Bob. Dressed as Rick James he brings the funk to the table like nobodies business.


After Nate moved on to join almost every other band in the region, Dan Gasser stepped in to save the day.  Treating the keyboard like a guitar in his Star Trek costume we quickly convinced him that Elton John might be a better idea.  Fast forward to today and you will find him performing as Elton John in the tribute show, Elton Dan and the Rocket Band.


Logan Heer came to the rescue but the Gasman has been known to fill in every now and then.  Logan brings a different element to the show wielding his trumpet from time to time.  As Clark Kent he is instrumental in arranging the instrumentation for some of our more modern medleys. 


Back to the singers.  Once Stephanie(our first wonderwoman) left to pursue marriage and career a few other singers have come and gone.  Kim Osborne(Janis Joplin) has filled in when she wasn’t busy with one of her many bands.  She stars in Landslide(Fleetwood Mac tribute), a Queen tribute, Kim and the Gasmen,  etc.  Sarah Bodle (Mini Mouse) had a short stint when she wasn’t busy touring Germany performing opera.  Hannah Stevens (catwoman & wonderwoman) fronted $ellout for a couple years before moving on in her career.   Currently we are fortunate to have a very solid lineup of singers.  Julie Boye (9th street incline band) is a pro with the pipes to prove it.  Sometimes she is Lady GaGa and other times she is Wonderwoman but regardless the vocals are strong when she is on stage.  Jenny Smith became Jenny Chronister and has managed to remain Marilyn Monroe for a decade becoming our longest running and recognized Sellout singer.  Regan Mitchell(Dorothy) was discovered singing along at a Madonna concert with her mother.  Nervously she auditioned and has filled in nicely providing some modern hip hop that has helped sellout evolve into a more modern cover band. 


I guess the lesson of the sellout story is simple. It doesn’t matter who is on stage on any given night. Sellout is not about me or anyone else. It’s about having a good time so rest assured, with or without me, the many drummers, singers, horn players or other musicians, Sellout will continue to improve, will continue to learn more tunes and continue to give you the best damn time you could imagine when considering you are gonna see Gene Simmons play everything from Madonna to Led Zeppelin and everything in between.


What a strange idea this Sellout thing was. But it works. It works because you people know how to let your hair down, not take life too seriously and get out and have a good time.


Thank you very much....I can't actually believe anybody would have read this far but if you did, come up to Slash when you see him at a show and I'll play your favorite song, so long as it's a decade smash hit party song...or better yet, I'll buy you a drink.


C U there,


Slash aka nick

History

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