cannot deny the Almighty Steel-Toed Platform Shoe Punt-like Thrust into
the Universal Gluteus Maximus of . . .Beardicus Enormous Original
Enormous Drawing from a large range of influences, they give each song
a sound of its own.
Enormous keeps the listener on his or her toes!
Enormous three veteran Chicago musicians with a background of hundreds
of gigs in Chicago, the U.S.A. and Europe, not to mention lots of vinyl
under their belts.
- A big, hairy caveman spewing forth fireballs of warm and sensitive
wit and wisdom.
Geezer Enormous - Brother of Beardicus. Unleasher of the five-string
serpent of subterranean disruption causing the temples of mediocrity
to crumble. Centurion of soothing, ethereal vocal harmonies.
Sideburnicus - God of the Thundering Drum Kit. Dark Overlord of Unholy
Rhythms. Keeper of the Kick Pedal that makes the entire Earth tremble
the Beardicus Enormous Press Kit, written by Jon Richter aka Geezercus
anyways, it's 1992, I’m going through what seemed like a mid-life
crisis, tramping around Europe and the Middle East for months and months.
I realize now that with all the breakthroughs in medical science that
I should plan on living till at least 150 and not expect my mid-life
crisis till I’m 75. I’m working as a film extra in Arab
movies in Cairo, Egypt with this English guy named Terry who always
playing his guitar. I play him a few of my songs and he says, “Hey,
those are great songs!” And suddenly it dawns on me that the songs
aren’t that bad after all. Traveling is great and all, but sooner
or later I needed to get back to my life. The fact that I was deathly
ill by the time I got to Tel Aviv made the decision a lot easier.
I wanted to play fun upbeat jangly pop music like Jonathan Richman.
All the guitar players I knew insisted on cranking up to ‘Eleven’
and bashing out power chords. I had always played bass up till this
point, but I decided that if I was ever going to get the sound I wanted,
I would have to figure out how to play guitar myself. This was a decision
that made a lot of Chicagoans very unhappy. I bought an Epiphone sunburst
Les Paul (see photo above) for $300 (it looked just like Jimmy Page’s
guitar but cost thousands less).
I had several simple pop songs from my Milk Inc. days and began writing
more and played wherever I could. Those shows had much more comedic
appeal than real musical enjoyment but I did get some applause. Before
long, I had a band together and the rest is history. Well, it will be
history as soon as I record it.
My brother, Jon agreed to play bass and Jason Mosher (Mark’s younger
brother) played drums in the first line-up. Fred Mangan joined the band
on guitar for several weeks but never really learned the songs. Jason’s
enthusiasm also tapered off and Paul Schmidt from Milk
Inc. played with us for a while. The band didn’t really solidify
into the rock giant of legend until Mark Mosher (who I’d been
in Sponge and Spongetunnel with) joined the band. Jon and Mark’s
powerhouse rhythm section antics made up for a lot of sketchy guitar
playing on my part.
We recorded our first album with Dale Meiner at Ghetto Love Studio in
1996. I had grown a sort of Lemmy Motorhead beard during my travels
and Mark was always calling me Beardicus because he had some strange
obsession with the Roman Empire. I had seen some animal species in a
zoology book whose name had ‘enormous’ in it – Ratticus
Enormous or something like that and I thought, Yeah, Beardicus
Enormous! Right on, Man! So when it came time to name the album, I came
up with “Are
You Enormous?” after Jimi Hendrix’s
“Are You Experienced?”
After that we played tons of shows and drank tons of beer, but unfortunately
for our fans not always in that order. It just wasn’t a successful
guitar solo unless I was flailing around on the floor for part of it.
And Mark thought every song needed ten minute Freebird noise jam at
the end, totally unrehearsed, of course. We weren’t trying very
hard to “make it to the big time.” Mark and Jon were both
playing in ‘real’ bands (Green and Hurricane Gumbo, respectively)
that played to thousands of people and actually got paid. I was working
days and going to graduate school in the evening so we were all too
busy to be wildly successful anyways.
Jon aka Geezercus Enormous, brother of Beardicus, had been buying recording
equipment so we recorded a new album on our own. We set up the gear
in a tiny practice room (I’ve seen bigger closets) and got amazing
results. The Five Nipples of the Apocalypse
was named after the painting that I used for the cover. There’s
five songs on the CD – four originals and a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s
‘Fire’ that we did as a polka number. Steve Ediger
plays accordion on this track.
We played many more great shows after this, mostly at The Mutiny on
Mark aka Copernicus Sideburnicus met a woman in Belgium (who is now
his wife) on one of Green’s European tours and moved over there
for a year or so. Paul Rweuski, a longtime bandmate of Jon’s,
took over on drums and was dubbed Claven Cleanshaven. We were all busy
with other things and only did a few shows. Mark came back to the United
States with his bride-to-be and we played more shows, even doing some
unplugged experiments. Our audiences dwindled, they grew up, they got
married, they moved away and disillusion set in so we called it quits.
Jon and Paul started a band called Underbelly.
Mark and his brother Jason started a band called Blanco. I did a solo
recording project I called "Sperm
Whale." I also played bass in the Geezers
for a while and then moved to New York City.
Around Christmas 2004, when I was in Chicago for the holidays, I got
together with Jon and Mark in Mark’s basement and we recorded
four of my new songs which make up the ‘Thirsty Pirates’