When No Denyal seemed like it was coming to an end, I put my name out there for another band, but was being pretty passive about it. In the fall of 2013, Tim and Peggy Payne
contacted me about a band they were putting together called Spilled. They had recorded a CD of original music, but the other people involved in the
recording had other commitments. Peggy (Murphy), former member of local 1980s sensation, Blue Shoes, played keyboard, sang vocals, and did occasional
hand percussion. Tim played guitar and sang backing vocals.
Rather quickly, we added Steve Cass, who would play the lead guitar parts, but was also a very capable guitar player in general, as well as an excellent
vocalist. He knew a drummer, Dennis Meitner, and the line-up was complete.
Our first gig, before Dennis arrived. A section of a book store that normally had a duo or solo act.
It was very different going from J-Pal which was essentially a power trio, to a five-piece. In a trio, the bass is pretty much hammering all the time, but
with so many other instruments, there were songs where I wouldn’t even come in until the after the first verse, and often played comparatively subdued bass lines.
Like Rob and Jacob before them, Dennis was an excellent drummer and I learned a lot playing with him. This was also the first time I played with an experienced
vocalist, so all and all, I felt like the Ringo of the group, but that was great for me. It pushed me to get better, learn songs quick, and to try to keep up at rehearsals.
Third Place Cup in Queen Creek
We ended up gigging a lot, especially in 2015. We played at church services, events, coffee houses (where they could shoehorn in a full rock band), and the occasional
open mic. Not too many of them paid anything, but I enjoyed getting the experience, getting the songs, and messages in them, out there to the public. We played a
mixture of the originals, a few Christian Contemporary covers, and about half classic rock covers.
My favorite place to play was Big House Inc in Tempe. Sometimes called a “biker church”, the congregation had a strong recovery element, and a deep passion for their faith.
We played some heavy stuff, not every song, and they would be on their feet singing along. I could be “Sick of It”, Take My Life”, or something much softer. It was
an awesome feeling being part of it.
Towards the end, there were a few disagreements about the direction of the band, and it ended up breaking up early in 2016. I had some things happen earlier that year
and decided to not pursue being in another band right away. That didn’t end up lasting too long.
Chandler Block Party. This contraption for a stage acted as a solar oven.