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“US” 1976  
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar  
Craig Pendergast    Guitar  
Ed Reed                 Guitar  
Kirby Hills             Chord Organ  
   
Phase II 1977

 
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Kirby Hills             Drums  
   
Phase II 1978      Another of my mistakes   recorded 1978 Omaha

"Another of My Mistakes"

At the time (mid '70s), one of our only real big influences was still the Beatles.  To this day, I think I've always tried to write neat little melodic "intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-solo-chorus-fade" types of 3-minute songs.  At the time, this was one of my more advanced ones, melodically and musically. What I think is funny about a lot of these early songs ("Do You Think I Am?" included) is that I'd never had a girlfriend, never been on a date, never kissed a girl, didn't even have any girls I could call close friends ? but I was writing all these (very immature) tragic love songs!  I don't know why.  My favorite memory of this song, is that when it first came out, we were still at the age where we would go to the roller skating rink a lot, as kids do.  We gave the DJ at the rink the 45 of  "Another of My Mistakes", told them we were a local band and asked if he could play it during the skating session.  He did, and I remember, skating around the rink by myself savoring every second, every note.  Mixed in with all the other top 40 music of the day, they're actually playing our record! We never played it as well live as it was on the record.

Dana Schmitz   12/04

 

 
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Kirby Hills             Drums  
Steve Bailey          Bass  
   
“Variety”/summer 1978  
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Tom Wilde             Bass/Vocals  
Dave Valdez           Drums  
Dana Leonard         Guitar/Vocals  
   
“Variety”/fall 1978-1980

 

  Do you think I am?    recorded 1979  Omaha

"Do You Think I Am?"

In and around 1978-1979, we were very aware of British punk rock and some 'new wave' music. There sure wasn't much of it playing on Omaha radio then! A few of our favorites were 'Starry Eyes' by the Records, 'Take Me to Your Leader' by the Sinceros and 'Don't Wait Up For Me' by the Beat.  (I'd never actually heard any big new wave classics of this period like "I Will Follow" (U2), "Radio Free Europe" (REM), "Dancing With Myself" (Gen X) or "What I Like About You" (Romantics) 'til I moved to Boston.) I was also already nuts about Joe Jackson, Blondie and the Pretenders.  Sometimes I used to buy an album based on what I'd read about a band in 'Rolling Stone' or some other music magazine, never having heard it first. I was very enamored of the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Ramones, and I think this was one of my first attempts at something like that. A few of my older influences can be heard in it too:  I nicked the bass line directly from Paul McCartney's song "S'oily" from the "Wings Over America" album!  It also has the obligatory incessant infinite white boy guitar soloing through the majority of the song, typical of that time (late '70s), which I've since outgrown.  This was the first song of mine I ever heard over the radio, on a college radio station in Omaha around 1981.

Dana Schmitz   12/04

 
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Tom Wilde             Bass/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Dave Valdez           Drums  
   
“The Memos” 1980-1982  
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Tom Wilde             Bass/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Dave Valdez           Drums  
   
“The Memos” 1982-spring 1983

   Trend     recorded 1983 Scituate, MA.

Besides "That Girl", it is the only song co-written by Mike Sheehy and me.  Very early on, Mike came into a practice with this bass line, and he said I should write a song around it, which I did. "Trend" was really the first new song written for the Behrens-Schmitz-Sheehy-Valdez Memos line up. I always liked the line about 'the other lemmings standing in line'. Lemmings are so stupid that if their leader jumps off a cliff, they'll all follow him off the cliff and die too. I think we played this one right up to the end. It reminds me of "Can't Stand Losing You" from the 1st Police album (another big influence). It features a guitar break I made up that I always had a hard time getting right!

Dana Schmitz    12/04

 
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Dave Valdez           Drums  
Mike Sheehy          Bass /Vocals  
   
“The Memos” summer 1983-fall 1984  
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Dave Valdez           Drums  
Cindy                     Bass /Vocals  
   
“The Memos” 1985-1986

Drag me Down  45 rpm recorded 1985

This one is still one of my favorites.  Besides "Happy With My Haircut", it's my wife's favorite.  I probably wrote this in Spring/Summer 1982. It has a very complicated, but melodic bass line that I made up. Again, I remember hashing out the bass line with Mike Sheehy in his bedroom in his parents apartment note for note. I tried to write the lyric with a broken-English-quasi-Jamaican accent. Near the end of the 1st verses, there's a place where I sing "You were never cheating, embarrassment is blue" where I particularly like what the bass does. I was big into the whole ska thing since I saw the Specials (another big

influence) play "Too Much Too Young" on Saturday Night Live in 1979. I loved the first 'Madness' album, the Police, "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" and "Pressure Drop" by the Clash too. All white guys playing Jamaican ska! When we went to record our first single as the Memos, we picked this for the A-side. Although it probably wasn't our strongest song, and we overproduced the record with every special effect the recording studio had available, it's still a fun little record. Alex Rodriquez was the bass player with us by then. It's got 3 part harmonies on the choruses.  I enjoyed playing it live too.

Dana Schmitz    12/04

 
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Bass/Vocals  
Dave Valdez           Drums  
LX Austria             Bass/Guitar/Vocals  
   
Memos Offspring  
“Kangaroo Kourt” 1987-1988

 
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
John Riccardi        Bass  
Glenn Aarlequew     Drums/Vocals  
Jeff Todd             Keyboards/Vocals  
   
“Cool Blue Sky” 1989-1993

Small Good Things

 
Jim Behrens           Guitar/Vocals  
Annie Smith           Lead Vocals  1989-1991, 1993  
John Riccardi        Bass  
Mike Mears           Drums   1990-1993  
Arum Krausen         Keyboards 1989-1992  
Dana Schmitz         Guitar/Vocals  1989  
Glenn Arlequew     Drums 1989  
Nancy Brock          Lead Vocals 1992  
Paul Palumbo          Guitar/Vocals 1993  
LX Austria             Guitar/Vocals 1989-1990  
Dana Maguvero      Vocals 1989  
Andy Arnold          Lyrics  1989-1993