In 2001, soon after meeting up with the band, I surprised many of my music business colleagues. My wife and I sold our house on Wonderland Ave. in Laurel Canyon and moved to Park City UT. I would leave the hustle of LA and focus my efforts on the Supersuckers. The internet made living anywhere possible and the skiing is great in Utah. Some of my peers thought I was crazy and that the band were leftovers from the glory days of the Sub Pop era. Many thought that if they had not broken into the mainstream after 10 years it wasn’t going to happen. One promoter warned me “Great band but the problem with the Supersuckers is you only need to see them once” implying that their set and their shtick was never going to change and it would be hard selling that same show over and over. I was up for the challenge.
Sure they were the ultimate party band, a bands band, great players and Eddie was a talent deserving of success but success eluded them. I honestly thought I could walk into this situation and sprinkle my magic dust and have another gold record. I had been a Sales Manager at Rhino, worked for John Tesh for years and helped get his music into new places, and most importantly I had worked for Bruce Flohr of RCA for about 7 years. Bruce trusted me and I had his ear. Bruce had signed the Dave Matthews Band, the Foo Fighters, Doyle Bramhall, and LIT, among others and being his “Scout” was a huge deal. There were tons of people that wanted my job with Bruce, but I hustled every day to make sure I was indispensable. If he wanted my opinion on a band in New Orleans I was on a flight at a moments notice and my comments were faxed to him within hours of the band getting off the stage. Being an A&R Scout for RCA and working under Bruce was probably one of the most coveted jobs in the industry and it was mine for years. But the time had come to move on and see where the chips would land with the Supersuckers.
Who hasn’t wanted to roll the bones or throw some cards around in Las Vegas with one of their favorite rock bands? Sound good? Well wait no more, my friend. We here at Supersuckers Industries and Mid-Fi recordings are offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity to come to “Sin City” and go gamblin’ with us! That’s right, we’ll fly the lucky winner and a guest out to Vegas, put you in a room at our hotel and treat you to a V.I.P. experience at our show that night. But wait, that’s not all. We’ll also give you $100 in chips to throw to the Gods of Chance at the game of your choice with The Supersuckers along as your good luck charm. Don’t know how to play? We’ll show you. Experienced gamer? You can show us a trick and a tactic or two. So get to bidding and we’ll see you there!
If the Supersuckers were roulette table and I was a gambler, I put it all on black. Oh sure there was the financing of the trailer, co-signing for the van, fronting money from everything from albums to flights but it didn’t matter. We were on a roll and I never thought I’d lose. I bet a lot on the band and rightfully so. They were hands down incredible from the moment I met them for years to follow.
The band had survived the departure of their original drummer and amazingly enough survived all the drummers that filled in along the way. There must’ve been about 10 different guys back there before they got a permanent one. Mike Musburger was filling in around this era and he pushed the band to new heights. He was amazing, and the perfect guy before Scott Churilla joined. The reason Mike didn’t stay was probably because he wanted to spend more time at home and not on the road in a van with 6 or 7 grown men. And I’m sure the money was a factor too. It’s always about the money…right.
During 2005, I was confident. What we had accomplished in this short period of time put the band on another level. Shows were selling out. Offers were great. Guarantees for shows were way up and merch sales would sometimes hit 2K a night. The email list of fans approached an all time high of about 40,000, fan club memberships were rolling in so fast I could barely keep up, and the shows were just amazing. They challenged themselves and pushed their limits with covers ranging from Sail On, Hey Ya! East Bound & Down & Rubber Bisquit. I witnessed them do Mississippi Queen, Sweet Emotion during sound check and really saw the magic happen when they covered Marseilles by Angel City when they played in Marseilles. It was epic to say the least but it was exactly what they needed to do.
The Big Show just might’ve been the perfect answer to sustaining the magic. This particular show as many know, is where the Supersuckers would start with a county set and end with a rock set. A seemingly flawless transition mostly due to Wilbur (one of the former tour managers) and his uncanny knack for making it all look so easy. Jordan Shapiro did countless shows with the band around this time as well. It was a force to be reckoned with for sure. We didn’t need openers because the band had enough material, talent, drive and a long enough show to play for an easy 2 ½ hours. No breaks for Eddie. He would stay on the stage the whole set like a rock n roll warrior.
There were two live releases around this time that show the band hauling ass in overdrive; Live at the Tractor and Live at the Magic Bag. Both of these releases were like capturing lightning in a bottle thanks again to David Fisher. These releases would begin the series entitled Mid-Fi Field Recordings which survived one more release… And there was Devil’s Food… Up Next… Thanks Everyone