still stupid

Dude! Great Name!
OK - Still Stupid is one of the more interesting bands I've been in... People loved the name, people loved the music - People generally had a difficult time with the shows.

Still Stupid was primarily the loving brainchild of Jim Canfield, and existed for a while before I joined the crew. Jim wrote just about all the lyrics and the majority of the music - and with an ear for pop-hooks, as well as thrashy-smashy unbridled mayhem - they were really good songs.

As far as I can remember, the chronology is the band's personnel is such: Started in maybe 1986 by Jim Canfield, David Otwell (guitar), Pat Ward (drums), and Christian (bass from DeControl!), the band gigged at hardcore shows through out the Philly scene. I remember Trained Attack Dogs playing a Chuck Meehan bill at Club Pizzaz in 87(?) with GI, Doggy Style & Still Stupid.

Anyway, in 1988 Christian left the band and shortly after TAD imploded I got an invitation from Jim and David to try out for the bass spot - so I did, even though I had no experience playing bass! The result was interesting, my too-melodic off-rhythm bass lines sufficed for a half year or so - I found it to be a challenge to play less and anchor more than I was used to. Then after Misfortunes of Virtue (MOV) disbanded, Doug Lester from MOV was invited to play bass and I moved back to playing guitar along side of David.

The songs were pithy, and with more discipline could have really popped on-stage. But by 1991, this was also a band of 30 year old guys with family lives, and getting that time to practice is less easy to do than when you're 25.
And about that stage part: We had good music, but got crappy gigs - you know, Monday nights, opening act, $50 split between 5 guys plus paying for your own drinks, etc... it was hard to break out of, and it was very frustrating because with bad spots on lousy bills we couldn't increase our draw for upcoming shows. Jim was a very honest person and, unfortunately, would end up antagonizing the audience if the show was not going so well. It was somewhere between schtick (he was always pretty funny about it) and verbal abuse. I guess it was like, if the Sex Pistols played Bar Mitzvahs. Anyway, I'm not knocking Jim (because it was amusing to watch), it's just what it was.

So ultimately, SS petered out, and Jim, David and Doug did a thing called Charlie Dick for a while, then Doug went on to Play with the Nubiles, Daisy and a few other bands... David became a venture capitalist, actually helping some cool businesses start-up... Currently, David plays in a roots band named DeSoto Rust. Jim moved out to Pittsburgh along the way and is raising his kids. I think he's working in printing, and I have no idea if he's still doing any music - I hope he is!

I sort of just drifted out of stage performance and more into sporadic multitrack work to amuse myself... at this point I was also getting more heavily involved in my marriage & work at the University and didn't have extra time to throw myself into music the way I wanted, so I didn't... it's just what it was.

Listen to these superb selections from Still Stupid (some day):

I'm still in the midst of digitizing & cleaning up old tapes...

Check back in a little while.