EM PETE of course. The thing I noticed right off the bat when we were playing, was that though Phil and I grew up together, our guitar styles developed independently and were very different. But when you put our guitars together, they matched perfectly. I thought wow! This is unique. In those days, Phil's guitar was loud and much more a prominent part of the sound. It was very apparent when we played Carl Perkins' HONEY DON'T, that I thought "this is the shit".
For 'The Murderers' gig, I played a Les Paul that I borrowed from a guy named Keith Freeze. For this early prototype Blasters, I played Bill Bateman's Epiphone. I wouldn't remember what kind of amps we used because everything was borrowed.
John Bazz: I was Randy's friend and in the Frank Furillo group of musicians and of course played all the time with Phil. As a Blaster, I eventually replaced Mike Kennedy who was a very good bass player. The guy who really should have been playing bass for that first gig and should have been in The Blasters was Doug Allgood. He was the bass player in our house party bands when it was me on drums, Phil on vocals and Gary Masi on guitar. Doug was perfect for The Blasters. I'm not sure why he was out of the loop at the time, maybe he was a little too conservative for The Blasters. But Mike, on the other hand, was a good friend of ours and liked to hang out and jam. Mike was too good. He was a jazz guy not a rock 'n roller.
A bunch of my friends went to the wedding and were playing so I was very curious how it went. Because it was a unique grouping of guys - a new band configuration. So, the week after, I called Phil or Dave to ask how it went. They said it was great and too good to not continue past just one gig. We all knew it couldn't continue with Mike Kennedy on bass. He wouldn't play by the blues rules. If it was a dumbbell bass line in a Warren Smith rockabilly tune, it had to be that way. Mike might play that way for a minute, but then run off on a jazz tangent and ruin the song. In Mike's mind he thought he was improving the song. The Blasters play in context and that's the way it is.
Dave Alvin: I kind of got all hyped up about this band after that first gig, so I kind of volunteered as the booking agent to find us gigs. I think we did a second gig with Mike Kennedy on bass as an audition to get more gigs. Mike quit because he thought we wouldn't go anywhere with this type of music. Johnny Bazz who played drums and was a good guitarist said: "I'll play bass." We went over Bateman's house to rehearse and that was The Blasters right there.
John Bazz: Bateman suggested to Phil and Dave: "Johnny Bazz can do it because he doesn't know any better." I wasn't a bass player, so they knew I would play the simple bass lines that work. And I really had an appreciation for the music, that Mike didn't. But at that time, we weren't The Blasters yet, we were just a bunch of guys meeting in Bateman's front room once or twice a week. We would listen to a record and learn a song every rehearsal. We were all learning. Phil and Bill were the most accomplished at this point. I didn't even have a bass yet, I just played bass lines on a guitar. By the time we did what is called The Blasters second gig at Mike George's wedding, I had to go rent a bass. I was playing with a pick, and I remember buying a felt pick to make it sound like I wasn't picking. About a week after that gig, I bought a Kay bass and started playing with my fingers.