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The History of Human Wheels: Let the Gig's Begin. 

After much work and debate, we were able to finally put together enough songs to actually bring it to the public. Our first public gig was a performance for the Cranford "Concerts on the Lawn Series". It wasn't really a lawn as much as it was on the sidewalk in front of the police station. Listeners sat across the street as cars and buses passed between us and them. We often waited for the traffic stopped at the corner light would pass before playing another song. The staff photographer mistakenly used the name "Heartland" for the band. When asked what music we played I said "John Mellencamp... You know, heartland music". 

This photo appeared in the Cranford Chronicle Newspaper shortly after our performance on the sidewalk. Pictured is me (Ted) on the left and my brother Tim on the right.

Having been out of the music booking scene for a few years, I began making phone calls, sending emails and hitting the very young internet to find venues to play. I put together a "press kit" which included a CD of music recorded at a rehearsal studio. It was really raw but got the point across.

Tribute bands were relatively new at the time, with the exception of your Beatles, Led Zepplin and Elvis impersonators, there really wasn't much in the way of Tribute bands out there.In 2001, John Mellencamp was already in the throws of his downward slide in popularity in the music world. With the internet taking hold of the music scene, hearing Mellencamp on the radio just didn't matter anymore and often you didn't hear it. Little did we know, this would have a direct affect on booking the band in the years to come.

The History of Human Wheels: In the Beginning 

Each summer, brother Tim would have a summer cookout and naturally, friends and family would gather in the backyard of his Cranford home. Without question, each time, there would be music being played and invariably it would involve Tim and myself playing some songs we knew. A few of these songs would be John Mellencamp tunes. Well, back then it was John Cougar, then John Cougar Mellencamp. Each year more and more songs were added to our repertoire, but nothing significant enough to call it a band. Eventually, our other brother Chris and a friend, Andy, would join us with Chris on Drums and Andy on Bass. 

Then I opened my big mouth.

One day in my brothers and I were in the car going somewhere and I said "We should do a John Cougar Tribute band. We know quite a few of his songs and everyone keeps telling me I sound like him". After some hemming and hawing, they agreed. We asked Andy if he's play bass for us, he said yes. We assembled a short set of JCM songs and when we thought the time was right, we brought in Sally to sing the female vocal parts. I don't recall how or who brought her in, the details are fuzzy but I think it was Tim. We needed a keyboard player and we knew that would be the tough part, but as it turns out, Tim had a neighbor who played the keys and we were surprised when he said yes. Alec joined us and then the work began on the music.

Things were going well and we were learning songs and sounding good. Sadly, Andy had to depart because of other obligations. But fortunately, Sally or Alec new of a bass player and in a short time, Paul joined us on bass.  The photo above is the yet to be named band performing at Tim's backyard bash in the Summer of 2000.

After considerable debate for quite some time, the name of the band was pulled from a line in R.O.C.K. in The USA by Sally and Paul. Weary of debate, we settled on the name "Pipe Dream" which would be our name for several years.