July 26, 2021

Peter Stone Brown Archives

Archives of musician and writer

The Story of the Rolling Fumbler Revue.

So The Fumblers started sometime in either late 1991 or early ’92 after whatever band I had went wherever bands go, when Mike Vogelmann who’d played bass in a few of my bands called up and said, “How about if I play drums and Paul Fredrickson plays bass?” So every Tuesday we’d play in my basement and after months and months did a couple of gigs, and sometime after those first couple of gigs, Dan Montgomery joined adding another guitar and another songwriter. And during all this someone had sent me a video tape of the Dylan “Hard Rain” TV special, so one night we all watched it and this started a Fumblers tradition where before every gig from that point on, we watched “Maggie’s Farm” from that show. And we sort of kicked around the idea of a Hard Rain tribute show which stayed an idea until one day, I answered the door at band rehearsal time, and Dan’s standing there and the first thing he says is: “It’s The Rolling Fumbler Revue.”
So we asked a bunch of friends to play and pretty much everyone said yes, and we had one insane week of rehearsals at my house where it was you come at 7, and you come at 7:45 and so on. And my favorite part of those rehearsals was when Rich Kaufmann wanted to do this Phil Ochs song, “Gas Station Women,” and I took him and Kevin Karg up to listen to the record to get the harmonies and they sang it during the 3 flights back to the basement nailed it. And Mike and I designed the poster and took it to Gus Cordovox’s printing company.
Danny and I figured out the sets and who was gonna play what when which took awhile, and through it all Paul was the pillar of calm and reason. And Bill Staples provided the venue and the beer, and the 3rd floor dressing room with the pool table and Jim Sutcliffe topped it off by getting us a whole bunch of official Electric Factory Concerts backstage passes. And everybody showed up and made it onstage on time without a stage manager. And it was 20 years ago tonight. And there’s four people who played that show who ain’t around anymore, Steve Brown, Aldo Jones, Bruce Langfeld, and Red Burns and so this is to remember them.