We carried on sans singer and had a good bit of original material that we were getting tight with. We even came up with interesting ways to occupy our time after practice. Sometimes we would carve or write things on the Bug of Doom. Other times we played this game we called “kick the bottle” which was as one might guess; us kicking an empty 2 liter plastic Coke® bottle around. It was a punk version of hacky sack. Most of the time it was played in my parent’s small kitchen area, but occasionally it spilled out into our carport.We struggled with band names as much as we struggled with finding singers. My parents had a Murray “66” lawn mower and the logo looked real cool so we kicked that around a bit. Eventually Kenn came up with Ten Two Four which was his sobriety date; October 24. It had a good ring and was something no one would know what it stood for so it stuck. Also we could use it as Ten Two Four, Ten 2 Four, Ten Two 4, X II IV or 10-2-4 just to confuse people.
Initiative, who consisted of Chris “Sarge” Thompson, Darren “Opie” Kendrick, Pat Hogan and Marc Womack. They were great as memory serves and had a Soulside/Samiam kinda feel. We would watch them practice at Pat’s house then run through our set on their equipment and they would do the same at my house. Because of our affiliation with Steve and Paul (and our locale being Lilburn), Ten Two Four were blacklisted in a sense from “the scene”. The Duluth Hardcore Scene to be exact. I guess that was another reason we were so tight with Initiative since they were considered to be the outsider “druggie” band. Clayton Brown, who was friends with Roger (who at the time was filling our “singer” position), had told Roger about seeing some home video that Crisis Under Control and Act of Faith members had made making fun of us. Shortly after, I was at an Act of Faith show at the Wreck Room and saw Alan Dixon in the front of the stage slam dancing and such. I was trying to be extra rough when he’d come slamming my way and take little pot shots at him. Luckily for me he didn’t realize it as my dumb ass didn’t know at the time that Alan isn’t someone you wanted to fight; period. I saw Steve Overbaugh, C.U.C.’s guitarist, at the Bad Religion/All show at the Masquerade July 25, 1992 and asked him about the video. Steve denied it and until I became the singer of Crisis I thought it was something Clayton had just made up to start some shit. They didn’t know who Kenn or I were so I think my character’s name was “Stu”. I forgot what name they made up for Kenn. It’s pretty funny actually and I wish I could convert it and post it here. Maybe one day...
With Paul’s exit, Sarge took on bass as well which set us back a little until he could figure out the songs. I think Initiative had broken up at this point so he was full time Ten Two Four. Through Maximum Rock-N-Roll’s Book Your Own Fucking Life magazine, J.L. Hall from Act of Faith got in touch with us about opening some shows for them. At some point, someone I knew in the drama club at Parkview High School talked to me about having us play in the school theatre and recording us through the soundboard. I remember it being a disaster as they couldn’t get the equipment working and no one showed up except a handful of friends. Another school band played as well called Acriminy. They were a fairly talented metal band whose rhythm guitarist, Jimmy Davis, later joined Monster. Their lead guitarist/singer was this guy Corbin King who is pretty hot shit these days in the metal scene in Vainglory and as a solo artist.
A friend of mine in Augusta wanted to start a fanzine and he sent questions through the mail and had us take some band pics. Our poses were über punk and I’m sure our answers were equally as pogo-riffic. I don’t know what happened to my copy of the ‘zine but I do know that one of Kenn’s answers was something about the Accüsed being the true grunge band from Seattle or something along those lines. On occasion we would warm up with the Accüsed’s version of “I’d Love To Change the World” at practice.
We scraped some money together and had my mom take us and our equipment to Sleepless Nights Studio ran by Issa Diao. The studio was in Candler Park on McClendon along the strip where Flying Biscuit is. It was small but quaint. We recorded and mixed three songs in one day. The songs were “Partisan Politics”, “High Horse” and “Dying”.
And then right as shit got rolling it happened... Sarge had started playing in another band on the side with Kip Thomas from Fiddlehead and Marcus from Initiative. They were calling themselves Freemasonry. Sarge then started getting really flaky on us. I’d have to pick him up to get him to practice (which meant convincing my girlfriend to do it since I didn’t have a car). Half the time I’d show up at his apartment and have to wake his ass up. I loved M.D.C. and they were playing an already filled bill at the Wreck Room. I called Alan Dixon, who was booking the show, about getting us on. He finally agreed after much pleading but then we ended up having to cancel because supposedly Sarge had pulled his groin the week of the show. Denied to this day by Kip but confirmed at the time by Sarge’s girlfriend, Kip gave Sarge an ultimatum to either quit us or quit them. He chose them. I was very bitter at the time towards Sarge and even more so towards Kip. So bitter in fact that I never saw Freemasonry play live which is a mistake that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
Ten Two Four with Gerardes and Distraught, Saturday, August 14, 1993 at the Wreck Room. Flier done by me.
Ten Two Four with the Difference, Bob and the Go Steadies (sic; sorry James!), Saturday, August 21, 1993 at the Somber Reptile. Flier done by me.
Ten Two Four with M.D.C., Spiney Norman, Crisis Under Control and the Difference, Friday, September 10, 1993 at the Wreck Room. We had to cancel the show because of Sarge's groin.
Saturday, February 5, 1994 we took a road trip with Act of Faith to Augusta to play at this place called The Ranch which had a halfpipe outside. Act of Faith brought a few of their friends from Duluth and we brought along two friends so we had a whole caravan going up there and had a great time. The stage was tiny and the crowd kept getting onstage with us and stage diving and slamming like mad, leaving us almost no room to play. It was a total blast. The most memorable part of the trip though was having some Southern ass lady telling Rob Fuller to clean his mouth since the Stuckey’s/Dairy Queen we were in was a “family restaurant” and Rob proceeding to sarcastically quip back at her.
Me, Brandon, Chuck, Carter Davis (the Difference) and Chris Lunsford (Broken).
Kenn had been hanging out more with the Duluth straightedge crew at the time and started to have issues with Brandon being a pot smoker. At what ended up being one of our last shows, Kenn and I talked outside the Wreck Room about the future of the band and about us being more positive. He said we needed to kick out Brandon and if we were to continue with Chuck we’d have to have a heart to heart and really work with him on his singing. I thought “fuck this” and said we should just break up the band. Kenn and I had great musical chemistry and he was a very talented guitarist, I loved our songs and thought we had an original sound but I just couldn’t take any further member changes. Not to mention that both those guys were my friends and I didn’t want to kick either of them out. Starting over was too tiring so that was the end for me. After that I joined Crisis Under Control on vocals and later played bass in Ex Members Of..., Kenn joined Broken which changed to Downpour then later morphed into The Power & the Glory, Brandon joined Benchtop (with Pat from Initiative) and Chuck went on to Batch of Gimps and started Moodswing Records.