Beardicus Enormous


You cannot deny the Almighty Steel-Toed Platform Shoe Punt-like Thrust into the Universal Gluteus Maximus of . . .Beardicus Enormous Original and Entertaining!

Beardicus Enormous Drawing from a large range of influences, they give each song a sound of its own.
Beardicus Enormous keeps the listener on his or her toes!

Beardicus 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.

Beardicus - 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.

Copernicus Sideburnicus - God of the Thundering Drum Kit. Dark Overlord of Unholy Rhythms. Keeper of the Kick Pedal that makes the entire Earth tremble in fear.

-From the Beardicus Enormous Press Kit, written by Jon Richter aka Geezercus Enormous

So 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 Western Ave.
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’ CD.

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