More Implants or Shriners (whichever you prefer) stories and photo appearances.
Wojciech and Mike jammed since the very beginning of 1995. They met thru Wojciech's friend Rich who happened to be Mike's brother. Thanks to Rich, Adam joined them on bass and they played on a regular basis in the future Shriners/Implants house. By March they called themselves Tree Bold Mice and had a few songs recorded on the boombox. Brett joined around May or June after a mini acoustic show at Vish's night cafe where he took Wojciech for Kurt Cobain still alive (he and Mike played among many songs, Nirvana's "About a girl" and "All apologies"). Soon Adam left the band. By September the three had enough original songs to play an opening act ("Maybe confused", "Floater", "Cop out", "Susan's Friend", "Athens", "Tragic loss of hairy the hippy", "Dinner music" and "Optimistic") or the full show if including some covers (extremely long versions of "Love Buzz" and "Mother universe" and also "Tonight it's gonna be alright" and "California sun"). On the 5th of October they played their first gig at the Gin, six days later they recorded with Tom Queyja their first six songs. Since that time they played local venues on regular basis. In November they played a Halloween show at Larry's and by the end of the year they wrote "Faded", "Flyerstepper", "Cobb", "Be Sappy", "Trip to Shell" (they lived across the street from Shell petrol station where they regularly drove (30 yards) to get smokes and liquids) and finally "Newsong". Soon they had to change the name after an offensive show at the Gin on March the 4th where they had to ran away from a fight after presenting a very offensive version of "Sweet home Alabama" and "My mother (your mother)". On very last day of 1995 they recorded (basically in one take) all of their original songs up to that date with Randy Cauley who soon became the live act’s fourth band member. In the beginning of the year they get TV coverage and regular airplay of "Floater" and other songs over the radio (U92). They become regulars on radio "Local mail" show. The Implants name is mentioned regularly in local music press articles. They played City Grocery with the Neckbones at the end of March and visited Meridian (the Cooters and the Neckbones didn't make it for very unusual reasons). The Implants had to run away from Meridian as well, after offending a pretty punky, alternative crowd. Around that time they wrote "Smell my feet". They already had enough original songs to put out two albums. The songs for the first album are selected. "Smell my feet" originally it was planned for a starter on the second album. In March they got to play Proud Larry's which stands for an achievement locally. Soon it became a regular spot for their shows. By pure coincidence on the 3rd of March they took part in An Earthfest Fundraiser led by Students for Environmental Awareness at Lafayette's (replacing the Neckbones) with... the Kudzu Kings opening for them. The thing was, that the Kudzus had to travel for another gig, so they had to play as first act. They also played the Local music festival being part of Earthfest' 96 at Larry's along with many local bands including Splinter. After the show they went to the live performance of 311 and No Doubt being part of the same Eartfest act. They also did many acoustic shows at Bo's Coffee Bistro. In July they released the "Leprosy" album, and got very good reviews in the local press, and around September they played their final goodbye gig.
Below there are two of four posters for the first show of the Shriners at the Gin. There were also other ones like the one that pretended the frontpage of the Washington Post had news on the Shriners arrival to Oxford. Also below is the ad in The Daily Mississipian for the show. The Shriners opened with a full set for Cool Beans - The Greatful Dead cover band. One of the Beans liked the show so much that he predicted those newcomers (so energetic and full of enthusiasm with their stage behavior and own songs) would surely become big some time soon.
Below Mike and his rickenbacker (on the right) and Randy who was responsible for most of the recorded material for "Leprosy" album. In 1995 he played gigs with the Implants on a regular basis. Most people usually related to them by the bands original name - the Shriners.
And here Wojciech is playing bass at the same show. Some trivia... after Adam was gone someone had to play bass. Mike already bought a black rickenbacker so he wasn't exactly eager to play a four string bass. More trivia... Wojciech never owned a single bass he played. During the first shows and Tom Quejya sessions he used Mike’s father's yamaha (?) hofner type bass. For Randy Cauley's sessions and other shows he used Adam's fender precision bass. At couple shows he played Robbie Alexander's (of the Neckbones) rickenbacker bass. He did own a guitar - strange japaneese model - probably teisco as heard on "Dinner music", "Cobb" and unique lead on "Flyerstepper". Initially as a four piece Wojciech played US Squier by Fender. More... could those implants swim? Yes, in the early days they somehow got into some frat party, threw the beer keg into the swimming pool and then jumped in while still wearing their clothes. They had to split very quickly to avoid a solid beating. And what amps they owned and used... Brett none, Mike - fender twin amp (twin reverb?) and Wojciech - vintage amp gretsch pro bass.
The actual tapes with The Implants'
"Leprosy" album are seen at Uncle Buck's music store with the man
himself on the left. The rumors say that the album sold out thanks to a perfect
performance by band members, and the support of their friends and families.
Just to make it clear - yes they were only 5$ and no - the big guy with the
cowboy hat had nothing to do with the Implants. At least with those Implants.
And just to show the whole set - some of the pictures taken during the same show with the supporting act Splinter - the band led by Adam Ellerbrock with Brett on drums, Wojciech on guitar and Blake Ogletree on bass. The last two seen below.
Just to give some taste on other show posters.
This is where the Implants
lived - right at the corner of South 16th and University Ave. The band was born
there. The music was written there. And that's where neighbors like Jake and
his friends appreciated them practicing loud. It's also the place where the
toilet got stuck really bad. There's the van, visible there as well. This is proof
that the Implants could move from place to place. Brett's drums would take most
of the room though.
A poster done by the Neckbones for joint show at City Grocery
Earthfest'96 Fundraiser show with Hammonds Foley and... as it turned out the opening act were... the Kudzu Kings. The Neckbones gave that spot away to the Implants. They had some other arrangements.
March the 14th Proud Larry's show. The posters kept their high quality. There's also a show list for Larry's for March/April with Garrison Starr, Big Ass Truck, Martin, Medeski & Wood and... the Implants. The opening act was Splinter. There was very good coverage for the live shows in the local press.
Local music show at Proud Larry's - part of Earthfest'96 festival. Among many, the Implants and Splinter and other bands that Implants played shows with often - the Local Tuffs and the legend of local hard rock & punk scene - the Cooters. The posters have still kept their quality.