I was born in Tennessee when I was very, very young. And I sincerely believe that played a big part in shaping my later musical life. I was raised on southern gospel and classic country. People like Hank Williams Sr., Ernest Tubb, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Jim Reeves etc. etc. This was and is the real country music, not the pretty boy, sexy girl top 40 you hear today. Most of the country music today has nothing to do with country music. There are exceptions like Dwight Yoakem, Junior Brown and a couple of others. But I digress.
Like so many other young boys of the sixties, when The Beatles hit America, I was gone!! I knew at the age of 6 what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a singer in a rock and roll band. I wanted to be John Lennon. I wanted the girls. Girls always go for the singer I thought. And besides I didn't have the patience to play an instrument. I took drum lessons in I think 4th grade. My teacher kicked me out because I wasn't serious enough, he said I just wanted to screw around. Well, if he could see now... He'd probably say, "See, I told you!" Because I still can't play drums. And sometimes my tambourine is off beat. But I like to blame that on my 55 gallon drum of antifreeze accident. But again, I digress.
I began singing in bands when I was 15 with some friends. We were called Ravenhill and actually did quite a few originals. Unfortunately, the guitar player was a Roy Buchanan fanatic (my fault, I turned him onto him) and after that everything sounded like Roy. Nothing against Roy, he was a great guitar player, but that really wasn't where my head was at. So I stole the bass player, found a new drummer and guitar player and started a band called Public Animal. We did Beatles (naturally), The Yardbirds, AC/DC, Slade, Scorpions and others plus originals. Eventually that fell apart and I was in limbo for awhile. Then my brother Dennis ( who had also played a role in shaping my musical tastes cause he was older) asked me to play bass for him. He was a singer too and couldn't find a bass player. I had never played bass, but I thought what the hell, bought a bass and an amp, and we became Dennis Most & The Instigators. We recorded an independent single in 1979. The A side was Dennis' "Excuse My Spunk" and the B side was my "Destructive Love". Thanks to my fastest one finger bass playing in the world, that single has suddenly caught on in the underground punk movement. Ok, Ok, it wasn't because of my bass playing. But anyway over the last couple of years that 45 has been selling on EBAY for as much as $40.00 a pop. And Dennis has a revived career because of it. He has released CD's and LP's of his originals featuring The Instigators and another of his bands, Audiolove, plus new recordings on Japanese, Italian and many other countries labels. Anyway, this is supposed to be about me, right?
I became frustrated playing bass in The Instigators because I always enjoyed singing more, and there were a lot of songs I couldn't play and sing at the same time. Except for my originals, because I wrote easy bass lines for myself. So I left and started over again. This time I stole The Instigators drummer ( there's starting to be a theme here), found a lead guitarist, and got one of my other brothers, Terry, to play rhythm guitar. Terry is a frustrated rock & roll guitarist. He comes up with great rhythm lines and he and I started writing together. He felt the band should somehow be named after me since I wrote the material. Since my middle name is Eric, he suggested Erik Trojan, and that's what we became. We wrote a few really good songs during that band, but we never got out of the basement. So I became singer in a band called Frightened Fathers for a little while. They were doing covers of Van Halen, AC/DC, Rush, etc. And I just filled in while they looked for a permanent replacement because again, it wasn't where my head was. Then I moved to New Hampshire and joined an existing band called Blackhawk. ( we had the name first) They were another Van Halen type cover band. But after being in the band awhile I started exerting a little more influence and we started doing Ramones, Beatles, Stones etc. Again, I left and stole one of the guitarists. We formed Raw Ramp and started getting closer to what I had really been after all the time. I remember playing at Sir Morgans's Cove in Worcester, and afterwards the owner told me that we were what the club was supposed to be about. We played British Invasion and american groups like The Raiders plus originals.
Then I moved back to Massachusetts and entered a couple of songs I had written in The Stroh's Superstar Talent search. They used "Destiny: Misery" on their subsequent LP. But the biggest thing for me was it began my association with Jeffrey Ray. Although I had used the bassist & guitarist from Raw Ramp plus Jeff Roncalli on drums, Jeffrey Ray had engineered the session. We eventually began a band called Butch Minds the Baby and recorded a few of my originals with Jeffrey Ray, Jeff Roncalli, Dan Moraski, and Mark Kolnicki. I just recently learned that one of those recordings will be appearing on a Dionysus collection, a label out of California, sometime soon. Anyway that kind of fizzled out for some reason. Then one fateful day, my brother Terry moved to Fairmount, IN., the hometown of James Dean. I started going to visit him every year during the James Dean Festival in Sept. Eventually I asked Jeffrey Ray, Mark & Dan if they would like to throw together some oldies and drive to Indiana and play the festival. They said yes, so we found ourselves a great drummer called Squid ( the one and same Michael Gullekson), dubbed ourselves Rave On, and began learning material. Somewhere along learning this material, we realized it was a blast to play. Suddenly, I didn't care about being a rock star anymore, I just wanted to keep playing the music I had always loved. And the great thing was I had found fantastic musicians who felt the same. So we rechristened ourselves Mark Trail & the Skidmarks and took off. We had a blast at the James Dean Festival, returned home and started getting gigs right away. Sadly, things happened in my life and I eventually packed up and moved to Fairmount, IN. myself. Thankfully, the guys kept on as The Skid Marks and have even taken it to another level. We get together sometimes and the magic is still there.
I am proud to have taken part in the recording of the 1st CD. And even though the guys have told me that they wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for me, and I thank them for that, all I really did was plant the seed. They have taken it and nurtured it, and made it grow into what it is today. The fact is that the music just gets under your skin. They always had the love for it, they just spent a lot of time searching, as I did. I am so happy they have continued, as I have in Indiana with my band here, The Moon Cats. I doubt the story will end here..