Doc Lockridge & Friends  -  1985 to 2004

Fast forward to September of 1984.  Things had changed.  The life that I had become accustomed to after 'retiring' from performing, had just gone through a major upheaval.   Music had changed... a lot of times, in a lot of ways!   I had not owned a musical instrument for a number of years, having (stupidly, I must say!) sold off everything.   I must confess that I was somewhat naive about what was even happening in the world of music - that's how far I had drifted away.   I knew there was only one course that I could take - I had to buy some gear and learn how play again.   Hey, it's like riding a bike, right?   How hard could it be?

Barely 3 months after deciding to play again, I found myself back with my old friend Dave Welch, playing a NYE gig in Mitchell, Indiana, with a throw-together band.    I'm certain I was awful, but the guys really supported me.   A couple of weeks later, with a slightly different line-up, we played in Cloverdale.    This spur-of-the-moment type of thing was not my cup of tea, however, and I knew I needed to find a steady band to work with... a place where I could get my chops back.   And so I began, again...

NuBreed (1985)   I answered a newspaper ad, went to an audition, and ended up with the job as guitarist in a Country band.   I'd grown up around Country music, and had played a few Country songs over the years, but this was the first time I had worked in a "true" Country band.   I figured it would be a good way for me to ease back into playing.   We played the area "animal clubs" and the Port Hole Inn.   It was pretty meager stuff compared to what I had done in the 70s, but it served it's purpose.   After a few months, I knew it was time to move on.

High Points:   This was a nice bunch of people, and it gave me the work I needed to get back into shape.   And, I met Shannon Stanger - one of the best singers I'd ever worked with.

NuBREED consisted of: Kathy Ratcliff - vocals and keyboard, Jim Richardson - bass and vocals, Larry Polan - drums, Shannon Stanger - vocals and rhythm guitar.

STAGE FRIGHT - Phase One (1985 - 1986)    A short time later, I found myself sitting at Nick's, having a few beers with Dave Welch and Terry Phegley.   I mentioned that I had been working with this dynamite singer, and suggested we get together and play a few tunes.   By September, we were performing almost every weekend!   Within the circle of musicians that I had worked with over the years, this could easily be called a 'dream team'.   Dave was as good a drummer and singer as one could ask for, and Terry was a killer bass player.   And, Shannon was a great singer.   We played classic rock and modern country - for the kind of places we were playing, the perfect combination.   Nothing lasts forever, however, and by the middle of 1986, this phase of STAGE FRIGHT was over.

STAGE FRIGHT - Phase One consisted of:  Shannon Stanger - vocals and rhythm guitar, Dave Welch - drums and vocals, Terry Phegley - bass and vocals.

Left to right: Doc, Dave, Shannon & Terry

Left to right: Doc, Shannon, Tim, Bruce, Elwood
STAGE FRIGHT - Phase Two (1986 - 1987)    At very nearly the same time, Dave and Terry left the band.   We brought in  Tim Covey on drums, Tim "Elwood" Miller on bass, and added Bruce Payton on guitar.   The two lead guitar line-up, and the change in the rhythm section, gave us a more straight-ahead country-rock sound, and took us somewhat away from the classic rock area.   After four months, Elwood decided to leave the band.   After a brief period with Rusty Hodges on bass, Bill Nelson joined the band.   He was more of a rocker, and could sing the high notes, and we all liked that!   By November of 1987, Bruce had decided to leave the group, and so yet another phase began.

STAGE FRIGHT - Phase Two included:  Shannon Stanger - vocals and rhythm guitar, Tim Covey - drums and vocals, Bruce Payton - guitar and vocals, Elwood Miller, Rusty Hodges and Bill Nelson - bass and vocals.

Click here for a Scrapbook Image!

STAGE FRIGHT - The Final Phase (1987 - 1989)    This final phase of STAGE FRIGHT, was both stable and productive.   We gigged consistently, developed a tight sound, and generally got along well.   In 1988, we entered the True Value Country Showdown, and managed to win the local and state competition, before being eliminated at the regional contest in Lexington, KY.   By the spring of 1989, however, the combination of internal friction and Bill's graduation from IU, made going on seem more trouble than it was worth.   STAGE FRIGHT closed shop.

STAGE FRIGHT High Points:   This was the longest, most consistent, and most musically productive band I had worked with to this point.   The band endured personnel changes, and stayed a good band through it all.   We shared the stage with The Whites, The Kendalls, Rex Allen Jr., and Ronnie McDowell.   We were doing original material, and we proved ourselves in the Country Showdown as a quality band.   I was really having fun!

STAGE FRIGHT at the end was:  Shannon Stanger - vocals and rhythm guitar, Tim Covey - drums and vocals, Bill Nelson - bass and vocals.

Click here for a Scrapbook Image!    

Left to right: Doc, Tim, Shannon, Bill

Left to right: OJ, David, Chuck, Doc
MAINSTREET - Phase One (1989 - 1990)   MAINSTREET was another popular local band, working the same clubs as STAGE FRIGHT.    They had an opening for a guitarist at the same time STAGE FRIGHT was disbanding, and I got the job.   It was nice to walk into a fully functional, working band and bypass all the start-up problems.   STAGE FRIGHT had kept me busy, but MAINSTREET worked even more!   Front-man David Brown was a dynamic entertainer, and kept the energy level high on stage.   The band played the popular mix of current country and classic rock, and for the 'animal circuit', was no doubt the area's top band.   Almost a year into this gig, however, an opportunity came along that looked promising, and I decided to leave the band.

High Point:   In January of 1990, we had the opportunity to open a show for The Kentucky Headhunters at Jake's in Bloomington.

MAINSTREET at this point consisted of:  David Brown - vocals, guitars and keyboards, Chuck Hawkins - bass and vocals, O.J. Schunn - drums and vocals.

TERRY'S BAND (1990 - 1991)   Terry Cockerham had been part of the popular duo STEVE & TERRY some years before, and now had a catering service and banquet hall, commonly known as Westbury Underground.   He was a very popular area entertainer, and maintained a band, mainly as a 'house band' for the banquet hall.   The gigs were less frequent, there was less traveling, and he tended to always have a group of high quality musicians.   To be honest, I was most certainly the weakest link in an otherwise stellar line-up.   I passed the audition, however, and I was in!   The formal look, the show band approach, and the quality of the players was a new and interesting mix for me.   Eventually, however, shows became too few and far between, and I was eager to work more often.

High Points:   As a friend, employer and musician, Terry Cockerham is in a class by himself.   This sentiment is shared by every musician that has worked with him.   This band was also a class act, and I gained much from the experience.

TERRY'S BAND during this period was:  Terry Cockerham - vocals and keyboards, Maureen Killila - vocals, Phil Garonzik - sax, John Huber and John Stith - bass, Chris Cockerham and Matt Matuga - drums and vocals.

Lef to right:
Phil, John Huber, Maureen, Matt, Doc, Terry

MAINSTREET - Phase Two (1991 - 1995)   As fate would have it, MAINSTREET was once again looking for a guitarist.   With a phone call, I was back in the band.   In many ways, it was as if I'd never left, and a musician couldn't ask for a better transition than that!   The line-up had changed, and would change yet a few more times, but the band continued to work a lot and maintain it's popularity.   In 1995, I received an offer I could not refuse - the chance to join the house band at The Gathering Country Music Hall.   With what I'm sure was their 'mixed' blessing, I once again departed MAINSTREET.

Bizarre Point:   In February of 1994, we opened a show for, believe it or not, Jim Dandy & Black Oak Arkansas, in a gutted old department store in Bedford, Indiana.   These guys were the worst example of an over-the-hill, has-been act.   They showed up 2 hours late, and had no gear - having to use our stuff to perform, which they did quite badly.

MAINSTREET during this phase included:  David Brown - vocals, guitars and keyboards, Chuck Hawkins, Dale Wilson and Dave Miller - bass and vocals, Jim Duckworth - drums.

RODEO JOE (1995 - 1999)   Most of the old 37 SOUTH band and Bruce Payton had been working as the house band at The Gathering for some time.   They were making some changes, and I joined the band.   In theory, this was a musician's dream.   A large, wonderful room and stage, and no travel!   In reality, it was darn close to perfect!   Going through a few personnel changes, the band became a tight, good sounding unit.   We had a versatile line-up and played a wide variety of music, relying once again on that combination of current country and classic rock.   The club had high overhead, and eventually, receipts began to fall short of meeting expenses, and was forced to close.   The size of the band and the lack of touring equipment, left us with little choice but to call it quits.

High Points:   This band's stage presentation and musicianship was top notch.   For a time, we broadcast a weekly, live, one-hour radio show from the stage - which to my knowledge, was a first for the area.

RODEO JOE included, at various times:  Scott Pate - vocals and rhythm guitar, Bruce Payton - guitar and vocals, Michelle Wilson - vocals, Randy Price and Dave Webb - bass and vocals, Tony Hopkins - vocals, guitar and keyboard, Doug Hanscomb - keyboards and vocals, Todd Bessenger - drums and vocals.

Left to right: Dave, Doc, Todd, Scott, Bruce, Doug

Clockwise from top left: David, Randy, Don, Doc
MAINSTREET - Phase 3 (1999 - 2004...)

You guessed it... MAINSTREET was once again looking for a guitarist!   The line-up had changed again during my absence, with Chris Hannon now on drums and vocals, and Randy Hardy on bass and vocals.   When Chris graduated from IU and left Bloomington, Don Hill took over on drums.   At one point, Don took some time off, and Buddy Mitchell filled in on drums.   The band continued to be one of the busiest I had ever worked with, and I was beginning to lose my enthusiasm for gigging every weekend.   I left the band early in 2004. 

But... the band plays on!

With a steady addition of new material and a constant mix of perrenial favorites, MAINSTREET continues to be popular on the area 'animal club' circuit, and those bars that like a mix of country and rock.   Through changing times and changing music, MAINSTREET endures.   And... from time to time, I still sit-in with the band.

MAINSTREET: David Brown - vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, lap steel and keyboards, Randy Hardy - bass and vocals, Don Hill - drums.

© 2011, Doc Lockridge. All Rights Reserved.

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