Mr. Shorey, also from the Clams, had gone into hiding in a town about thirty miles away, but the engineer would patch him into the studio via telephone. He would sit in his living room and rave while we attempted to provide a musical backdrop. We did several of these shows. However, the last one was a call-in format, in which the listening audience could call and talk to us. We'd planted some shills who would call in with incomprehensible music theory questions for which we already had the answers. These calls would be interspersed with taped "musical" interludes from previous shows to demonstrate the ludicrous answers. Unfortunately, someone called in who was extremely despondent and contemplating suicide. Markham tried to convince this kid that, yes indeed, suicide was his only option, and aggressively tried to encourage him to do it while we were on the air. It was an actual crisis call and we were never invited back to the station again. There were also some minor misunderstandings with the FCC regarding profanity. We made another tape or two, one being recorded in a railroad boxcar.
Markham then went off with a road band called "James Blond" and I went off with another road band, both being booked by Ms. Bednar and her evil co-agent we called the Gimpy Gnome.
After a particularly grueling tour of five states and 31 nights playing without a single day off, I went to the Air Force recruiter, became a navigator, and flew B-52's for Ronald Reagan for a number of years. Once, when we were doing an airborne exercise in which air defense controllers were trying to vector fighters in on us, I put Grackle music out over the radio for communications jamming. Worked pretty well. In 1986 I received the Cosmic Sassy Grackles tape in the mail but I'm not sure who was on it. One time when I was home on leave I met Markham and Bert in a room filled with synthesizers and we made another tape.
After getting out of the service; being gone eight years; and being in town only twenty four hours; Markham and Bert tracked me down and advised me that the Grackles were the opening act at a show at the Kimo theatre downtown the next night. I approached this with some trepidation, knowing that we never had any real songs, really hadn't seen each other in many years, and we certainly didn't have any songs in common now. However, I agreed to play. In those days computers were not commonplace, but Bert had cleverly programmed all of his drum sounds into a little keyboard, and ran it into a Pignose amp with about a two-inch speaker. The sound guys put a big mike in front of it and ran it into a huge stack of amps. Markham had a keyboard, an open tuned electric guitar, and two stacks of Marshalls behind him.
I did a solo album in the early 1990' s. My last gig was last summer at a Czechoslovakian wedding in which all of the attendees wound up in a drunken, slobbering, spastic stupor, unable to speak or see. The Grackles could have played there and no one would have known the difference.
Tijeras, New Mexico