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Mark Dodge's Bio

I spent a decade in the basement, a decade on the road, and a few decades playing and sorting it all out after. My mom forced me to take piano lessons for a couple of my single-digit years in the late 50s. Then Santa brought a guitar around the same time my cousin gave me his old drum set. Hours were lost cranking the hi-fi in the basement and playing along on drums, and learning songs on guitar. And still playing piano, which now featured a "sound-on-sound" reel-to-reel tape recorder and a microphone mounted inside. The instrumental round-robin went on most every day. Then the bands started happening, beginning with The Manchesters in 6th grade. I started off playing drums, but we all took turns on guitar, bass, and drums. This was around the time I made the conscious decision to continue playing all my instruments, rather than focus on one, realizing that it would take a long time to "get good" on any of them. Now I'm retired. As Pablo Casals said at age 80, "I think I'm really making progress! I've actually been paid cash money for playing guitar, drums, bass, and keyboards, individually and in various combinations. Which, of course, proves nothing, except that perhaps a lost childhood spent in the basement just might pay off. My cousin's drum set is still in the garage. I plan to remain thoroughly entertained by music well into my dotage. - Mark Dodge Band History The Plague (Manchesters) This band literally started in a garage in 1964, in 6th grade. Originally, the band called themselves "The Manchesters" before I joined, and actually made an 8mm movie that owed a lot to Beatles' movies. It featured Chuck Bell and Kevin Francis wearing ruffled shirts, blazers, and Beatles wigs, mostly running around Chuck's parents' property acting goofy. We all thought it was pretty cool. We called ourselves "The Zeppelin" for awhile, BEFORE we ever heard of that other Zeppelin band who started getting all the attention. I joined sort of as the drummer, because I actually had a set that my cousin had given me, and because I could kind of play "Wipeout," but ended up playing guitar a lot, too - especially when they found out I could kind of play "Walk Don't Run" by the Ventures. We actually did dress up in the ruffled shirts and blazers, and was one of the favorite pre-teen acts at the local YMCA dances, where we would get paid $20 to play for three hours. Happy Scab Bringing joy through song This was a very significant year or so, and gets its own page. Brutus J. Badwater & the Smoothies I was kind of in this band, and kind of not. I went to a bunch of practices (more like jams), but I can't remember if I ever played in front of an audience with this group. It was a fun band. Band members included Chris Sipple, Jack Belczyk, John Konkol, and Pam Verity. Calico Calico took Erie, PA by storm way back in 1972-73. OK, maybe we didn't take aything by storm, but we played a variety of good covers, constructed some very complex and interesting original music, and sold out a couple of concerts at a local theater. Calico was David VanAmberg (guitar, flute, vocals), Drew DeCrease (guitar, ukulele, vocals), Bill Weber (drums & percussion), Mark Dodge (guitar, keyboards, vocals), David Greenberger (bass, ukulele), and Giles Ponticello (guitar, banjo, vocals). Spring Tonic Spring Tonic was the first band to ever ask me to join them. They asked both David Greenberger and I to join at the same time, which we did. The three leaders were fraternity brothers who shared similar interests in music (to a point) and were great harmony singers. We played a lot of early country-rock, including tunes by The Band, Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Spring Tonic was Ray Sammartino, Pete Osinski, Tom Duffy, Bill Weber, Mark Dodge, and David Greenberger. The Electric Blues Band Pam Verity emailed me to remind me I was in this band with her. I suspect her memory is, in general, clearer than mine. The band members included Pam and myself, Al Smith, Leann Dolan, and a drummer whose name escaped Pam, but who was known to have liked Todd Rundgren. The band then changed somewhat to become ... Verity, Smith, Gorny, & Doe This was the last band I would play with in Erie, Pennsylvania. Pam Verity, one of the original members of Happy Scab, played violin and sang, Al Smith played guitar, Jim Gorny played drums and Doe (that was me) played somebody's Hofner Beatle bass. This was a fun folk-rock band. >> I left Erie, PA on April 1, 1975 and moved to Snohomish, WA OK Chorale/Sleight of Hand Band I met Bob Christensen in Snohomish in 1975. We started playing as a country-folk-rock duo for beers in a tiny local cocktail lounge, with an electronic drummer. We later added a bass player, Tom Ferguson, and went as a trio for a short while, until we added drummer Ray Schafer. Neils Nokkentved was our sound engineer. We played for over three years, including a whirlwind tour across Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming, which culminated in a 6-week engagement in a little place called Ducky's located midway between Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. The location was significant because it was in the middle of sugar cane fields (that are now probably gone) between the Navy base and the Army base, and there always would be fights between the soldiers and sailors. So the place was declared off-limits to both. Tough place to make a go of a club, since the military represented the primary customer base in this particular area of Oahu. To make matters worse, the club was not allowed to put out a sign advertising the fact that it was a bar, in fact they couldn't even put the name of the establishment on the building! (Don't ask me how this could happen - it makes no sense.) So we slogged along for six weeks, trying in vain to generate an audience. I even decided to push the envelope a little by painting a huge silhouette of a duck on the front of the building, just so we could at least tell people to "look for the huge duck." Didn't help much. Ducky's and the Honolulu Marine base were the band's last gigs. These years were my introduction to life on the road. Kittyhawk Kittyhawk was a Seattle-area tavern band that played "southern rock" in the late 70s through about 1980 (I joined in 1979). We played Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Lynrd Skynrd, and The Amazing Rhythm Aces. This band had a LOT of fun. There is an annual "band reunion" party every summer, called Bark Bash (hosted by guitarist Roger Bark); 2009 marked the peak participation year - seven band members from various incarnations showed up. And 2010 marked the first of many subsequent separate mid-year rehearsals, as well as A GIG on June 4, 2010! Live after a 30 year hiatus ... The Morgan Whalen Group/Dalux I met Morgan in Everett, WA in 1980, playing as a solo act in Panama's - a small lounge. I started sitting in with him fairly regularly, and he asked me to make it permanent. I had learned some about booking the college circuit, where it seemed Morgan would be a natural, so I arranged a showcase and a 6-school tour for the duo. We made a great video, and then decided to hire a band, and a manager. Band good, manager bad. He turned our wonderfully eclectic mix of original and obscure music into a top-40 act, because that's what he knew how to sell. We spent a couple of years on the road, honing our skills, but eventually Morgan got weary of the top-40 grind and quit. We hired a new singer, Shari Cox, a great blues singer. But it was never the same. The new band lasted only a year or so. Dalux was Morgan Whalen - rhythm guitar/vocals (later Shari Cox - vocals), James Clark - bass, Dan Blank - electric violin/keys, Kent Nybo - drums (originally Joe Lienhard), Mark Dodge - guitar/keys, and Neils Sparre Nokkentved - sound (later, Dennis Davis). Nico Wind After the dissolution of Dalux, and weary of leading a group, I looked for a band to join. As it turned out, this was to be my last full-time band. We had our moments. On New Year's Day 1984, I quit this band and life as a professional road warrior forever. No regrets. The Random Brothers This was a recreational band I got involved with in the mid 90's. Our slogan was "Retro Rock and Random Roll." We practiced "classic rock" tunes, one day a week for a year and a half, culminating in a single weekend gig. Then we broke up. A familiar story. Again, no regrets. Tim Longley, Rob Boucher, Paul Bowman, Mark Dodge. Onward Since 1999, I have played with the rock band Giza (we recorded a CD), played drums in a piano bar with Rob Glide, filled in on bass with party bands The Splinters, Shameless Hussy, the C.C. Adams Band, and Blues Playground; played drums and cut a record with local jazz sax phenom Tim Miller, played a couple of gigs and made a CD with Bob Christensen, performed several gigs on drums and guitar with the classic rock dance band Ace Tomato, and on guitar with Mark Bamber and Renegade Radio. I played regularly with Steve Harris & Friends for a couple of years, made another CD, and that band morphed into One Ton of Ducks, which also made a CD. I currently perform with Swingnuts Jazz, Cascadiacs, and The Fat Fridays. I have been recording with The Fat Fridays since Sept of 2014. Music is still my passion. I plan to keep playing and learning for as long as I'm able.
Image of Mark Dodge, David Greenberger, Giles Ponticello
Image of The Sleight of Hand Band: Tom Ferguson, Bob Christensen, Ray Schafer, Mark Dodge
Image of Dalux: Dan Blank, Kent Nybo, Morgan Whalen, Mark Dodge, James Clark
Image of Dalux: Dan Blank, Shari Cox, Kent Nybo, James Clark, Mark Dodge
Image of The Nico Wind Band
Image of The Random Brothers: Tim Longley, Rob Boucher, Paul Bowman, Mark Dodge
Image of Kittyhawk: Matt Gallagher, Mark Dodge, Danny Hass, Kent Nybo
Image of Giza
Image of Ace Tomato: Ron Stubbs, Kevin O'Reilly, Mark Dodge, Tim Potter
Image of Giza: Kevin Miller, Roger Ludwick, Jimmy Stone, Mark Dodge

 

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