Sunday, June 12, 2011

The X-FANATIX- A Twisted History of the Rock of Alleghany County

A peripheral(and entirely objective) history of Rock
of Alleghany County Maryland
THE X-FANATIX and the spawn that followed.
by M.T.F
Pedigree**Full Steam Eddy + Last Lariat Band = X-FANATIX+The Names= Shock Opera= MYSTR Treefrog.

X-Fanatix was formed when Jon Brayton, in an intoxicated state, threatened to jump off the roof of the apartment building in Frostburg where Kim, Danny Brayton, and Roger Freary (rymes with Fairy...but NEVER pronounce it that way or you risk an ass-beating)- were living(crashing?homesteading?Passing out?) above a beer establishment on W. Main St.
Danny told his brother to hurry up and jump. Kim Garcia pulled Jon Brayton off the precipice of doom and threatened to beat his lame ass (assuming he survived the fall) and sat on him until Jon Brayton sobered enough to drink in the bar downstairs.
They decided that this was the PERFECT drama quotient for a new band line-up.
The X-Fanatix also included one Charlie ‘Cash’ Cunningham of Wheaton, Maryland on piano/keyboards.(Current whereabouts uncertain.)
They played originals and what was then termed ‘New Wave’ music;(which Kim Garcia accurately described as ‘Bug Music’), thus committing the unpardonable regional sin of not playing Van Halen , Ozzy Osbourne or Jade in preference for compositions by Elvis Costello, and the Pretenders and Danny Brayton originals. They were not booked at The Other Place, (or any other place) requiring renditions of Foghat or AC/DC again.
Heavy Metal took a vacation.
No one particularly mourned the decision not to immediately return to the cultural Mecca of Ridgely, West Virginia, for artistic acknowledgement and quasi-lucrative door deals.
ROCK LORE: X-Fanatics once played 21 out of 24 hours-including travel time- at the Cresaptown Democrat club (next to the Salvation Army and down the street from the German restaurant-; where young J. Brayton was once physically ejected for drunkenly attacking an accordion player who had greased ‘Elvis’ hair’,and who insisted on playing ‘Orange Blossom Special’ next to his plate of Hasenpfeffer. Beer was spilled, sauce worn, elbows skinned.)

( The above digression should help the reader ascertain the effects of alcohol and illicit substances on the behavior of the singer in question.)

At an all night all day Bikers Bash Kim Garcia once again saved Young Jon's life by shouting the CORRECT words to BORN TO BE WILD in Brayton's ear just as a small surly crowd of bikers gathered below the stage with murder in their eyes. An apparent blasphemy was taking place , live and in-person by JB. He couldn't have fuct this up any better had he sung the words to the Star Spangled Banner in Russian at a V.F.W.

J.B., realizing he never really memorized that classic lyric, began an improvised free-form scat version of that sacred hymn thinking no one would notice. This was illogical and stupid. While most bikers could never hope to solve a Rubix cube, they have the words to this Steppenwolf classic tattooed on their foreskin. When the power was cut and there was a collective growl the band knew offence might have been taken.

Large heaps of dried wood were being added to the bonfire.

A deal was struck between Garcia and the Governing Biker Council, that Brayton-while not actually deserving death- could be carried pant-less and jostled over the heads of the Bikers- perp-walk parade fashion- for three-quarter of an hour. Brayton was spared being ritually peed upon as he didn't bring a proper change of Rock Attire for the upcoming gig.

This was yet another Testament to Kim Garcia's formidable skills as a canny diplomat in the most trying of circumstances.

At hour 14 the X-Fanatix decamped to the Creasaptown Democrat Club for three sets.

Tired hungry men make mistakes.

The marathon evening gig was capped off by Jon Brayton breaking his brother Danny's nose,3rd rib and pinky finger(left hand) between the second and third sets- in a fit of Irish Brotherly Love.

The third set, while shorter than usual, was completed by all original members.

The X-Fanatics returned to the Biker stronghold where the proper pain drugs were administered and the band played until dawn.

It should be mentioned that Tim Goerke was a fixture as a lighting tech in Allegheny County for many years, and was known as CHEEZY LIGHTS . He was a Bawlmer transplant to the area.
He (wisely) moved away from Eckhart Mines and eventually received a degree at Cal Arts in LA and became a set designer. He went on to design the first set for the W.A.M.A. awards in Washington DC.
The X-Fanatics, in a whiskey-fueled group decision, moved to DC and broke up after the whiskey ran out.
Danny and Kim continued to write and play, and consume truckloads of Jack Daniels, jam together, and bail one another out of the Montgomery County detention center.

Jon Brayton, in yet another in a series of brilliant lateral decisions, decided driving a cab in D.C. (for awhile) was a better choice of occupation than starving musician. Road rage, however, took a toll.and Brayton returned to Alleghany County looking for some peace and quiet so he could play loud tasteless punk music in Slabtown- a hamlet within the city limits of Mt. Savage.

Jon Brayton and ‘Fast’ Eddie Arnold, formally of MAJOR STRIKER, (Steve Whiteman was the drummer of MAJOR STRIKER and went on to form KIX..)formed a band in Alleghany County a year later called " The Names" with Don Ullery from Cumberland,on bass and vocals and " BleeChild" Dennis..a 14 year old Drummer from Keyser W.V.
They played originals songs, punk, new wave music by The Clash, The Ramones and The Dead Boys and Cher. Needless to say they played everywhere once as Allegheny County and the surrounding vicinity were not quite ready for their particular talents or musical direction.

Intoxication and volume were mandatory. Bathing and civilized social discourse were not.

The NAMES were responsible for touching off a minor riot in FRIENDSVILLE Maryland for playing the song FASHION by DAVID BOWIE to a gaggle of whiskey -drunk inter- bred inebriates who had returned from the Friendsville fiddle festival. After hearing Orange Blossom special for the preceding 18 hours straight, the locals tried to kill the members of the NAMES for playing" THEY-UT QUEER ENGLUND MUSIC" and distracting the homies from humming the soundtrack of their lives, (namely the eternal sacred hymn, Orange Blossom Special.) Friendsville was not ready for the new decade of the eighties, and the 3-part punk rock harmonies being performed, having been stuck in the 40’s for the entire decades of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They were understandably disturbed by what they saw and heard.The NAMES were ahead of their time in Friendsville, but so was the steam-engine.
The State Police were called in to serve and protect and ended up helping the locals beat up the band. Law enforcement wanted to hear Orange Blossom Special too.

JB(now Treefrog) woke up in the back of a Garrett County volunteer firefighters ambulance, wearing what appeared to be a bass drum head that had been smashed and wedged over his shoulders, counting giant black river flies that had swarmed inside the ambulance as the E.M.T.crew sat listening to Orange Blossom Special for the same 18 hours the unchastened inbred ass-beaters had. Treefrog came to the logical conclusion that the entire community was suffering from mass hypnosis and made a few personal notes right then and there:

TO WIT- Bowie and Fiddles don't mix.

Needless to say The Names were never properly compensated for their cutting-edge performance and it assumed that to this day they still owe a large bar tab at the Riverside Lounge.
No one in the band has returned to inquire.

There is a silver-lining to all near-death experiences.

Jon Brayton renamed himself Treefrog, locked himself in closet with a stack of Tigerbeat magazines, and became a virtual tee-totaling choirboy. He and Eddie Arnold went to DC and played with Danny Brayton in MORE HEROES and the first line-up of SHOCK OPERA. The band went through many incarnations- but the line-up that made the most impact included Jaime Dail on bass, and Rick’Deenojeezus’ Martin (or Mike Custer) on drums. BleeChild Dennis was a percussionist for a period as well and is on many of this period of recordings.

SHOCK OPERA played live shows in DC and along the Mid-Atlantic. They had a regional hit , "THE MODERN ROME" and were well known for a hard mix of Go-Go, Metal, Funk, punk rudeness and an original humorous delivery. Their CD- MER DE MENTE -was recorded by the great FRANK MARCHAND and mastered by the also great DAVID GLASSER at AIRSHOW STUDIOS in Virginia. SHOCK OPERA went on to play and record for nearly 20 years in the DC area. Their CD,Mer De Mente ( twisted Latin for Shit For Brains.) was big in Europe, Mongolia, UK - but not at the bank.
The Cd was re-released by one of the first internet labels (JAYBIRD RECORDS) and even less money was earned. The CD can still be found on (being resold by some unscrupulous peckerhead that MYSTR Treefrog would DEARLY like to locate for a good ol' fashioned Alleghany County-type HOE DOWN.)

Shock Opera can be heard on the website:

( )

Jon Brayton(aka MYSTR Treefrog( ) continues to record, write ,perform in the DC area.

But only if he never again has to hear or play Orange Blossom Special.

MYSTR Treefrog’s 2 cds- BATS WILL SCATTER and SWAMPADELIC HOUND DAWG have received worldwide and domestic airplay on internet radio. His song ‘CHIKINMILK’ was featured on National Public Radio’s ALL SONGS CONSIDERED. His most downloaded song worldwide, is REDNEX N’ GANGSTAZ.
Don Ullery,bassist and vocalist with THE NAMES, moved to Seattle Washington to be an Animator. It is rumored he has been the first to animate Tai Chi lessons with the omnipotent Zen Master being rendered as a pink marsupial in burgundy lace ballet slippers.

Eddie Arnold's whereabouts were generally unknown during the years 2005 through 2007. He moved to Taos, New Mexico until he passed away in 2008 as a result of contracting Meningitis. He still makes rare appearances as a non-threatening apparition during impromptu jams- (where he “does unexplained flickering lights” and “unexplained speaker malfunction”) It should be noted that his input is always appreciated – indeed, mourned for. There will never be another like him.

Kim Garcia and Danny Brayton both passed away (Kim 1985 and Danny in 2000;) and are probably driving the Great Beyond to distraction by turning their amps to TWELVE and drinking all of Jesus and the Apostle’s whiskey and smoking all of God’s reefer.

MYSTR Treefrog and Rik Hill, formally of Full Steam Eddy, have remained in touch and have collaborated on a couple of recordings, pie recipes and boat waxing techniques.They have also set off illegal fireworks on New Years 2001 in Pinellas Park.
The Police have been notified.

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