The Seeing Eye Band was my high school band that had several line ups and three albums (cassettes actually). I originally started out playing drums in our neighborhood heavy metal band Armageddon but decided to switch to guitar eventually. This led to all the members of Armageddon also switching instruments to rock on as The Silver Plated Six Shooters (named after a line in the Camper Van Beethoven song “Win I win the lottery”). Because of my love for Uriah Heep’s guitarist Mick Box, I bought a wah wah pedal before I even owned a guitar, however, a pawn shop Harmony guitar was soon purchased and I was on my way.
The original Seeing Eye Band was made up of Greg Beaver on bass, Jeramy Lamanno on drums, Jason Peeler (who still plays with me, now on drums) on guitar and keys and myself on guitar and vocals. From the beginning we began playing gigs at Democrat barbecue’s, house parties and car shows, playing a mixture of psychedelic originals, southern and classic rock. We actually played some pretty good shows despite my primitive guitar and vocal skills.
After about six months, we entered Fred Rumfelt’s studio in Marion, NC to record our first studio album. Even though we’d never been in the studio before, we managed to knock out 11 songs in about three hours to make the Seeing Eye Band Vol. 1 (just re-released as Psychedelic School Bus).
Greg eventually moved on to pursue guitar with Dilemma, another neighborhood band, so Jason Peeler moved to bass and we became a trio for a while releasing the album ’80 Mph at 4am’. We somehow played all of the local bars in surrounding counties even though we were all 16 or 17 and were known for extended jams sometimes reaching 30 minutes in length.
Eventually we added the talents of Mike Lowdermilk on guitar who also doubled as our studio engineer. He added more depth to our sound and helped to land us several gigs opening up for Copperhead, one of Morganton’s most successful bands of the 90’s. With Mike, we hit the studio once again and recorded ‘Spectrum of Music’ which features several songs I still play today.
Over the next several years, Jason left to play bass with Temptor, an awesome metal band and we recruited Kirk Leonhardt on bass and former Armageddon bandmate John Dockery also made appearances on congas, vocals and guitar on occasion.
Eventually, the separation of being at college and new solo endeavor’s led the band to basically dissolve and I started performing as Parakeet Nelson for roughly the next ten years.
Highlights from the Seeing Eye Band era are the songs Psychedelic School Bus of course, For Astrud (my song for Astrud Gilberto), Polyester King, Love is All Around and Bolt of Lightnin’ (the song that would always inspire a mosh pit) as well as many more funky, sappy and funny songs. Today all of the original members are still playing music in bands and we all tend to cross paths musically with infrequent frequency.