My memory stems from the fact that I had wanted Kevin to go to Wings with me and that was June (rescheduled from May) 1976. He already had a guitar and amp and was taking lessons, but a lot of the connection was over a shared love of music, starting with The Beatles and later Cheap Trick, The Zombies and many others. Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” was always a particular favorite. He didn’t make it to Wings, but we did manage to catch Queen with Thin Lizzy soon after.
From almost the moment we began hanging out, we talked about starting a band.
And we did.
It was Mike Rice, with his wonderful speech at the Secret Society 25th Anniversary show, who really got me thinking about how long Kevin and I have been friends and making music together. Starjammer, The Pedestrians, Manual Scan and The Shambles. Thirty-three years (and counting) is the sort of number that makes you sit back and take stock.
His guitar playing is wonderful. Yeah, great tone and all the technical stuff, but what I really love is his sense of melody, which makes his solos particularly amazing. My personal favorites include “Blurs Somewhere” with its series of fret runs and “Rain” which plays off nicely against Bill Calhoun’s keyboards, but there are lots of contenders. In our playing together, at this point, it’s an almost psychic connection.
It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am without having somebody as great (and cool) as Kevin in my life. Although work and distance do not allow for us to hang out like we used to, there’s no reason to think we can’t have another 33 years of music to make. I’m looking forward to that!
Here’s a collection of photos of Kevin spanning a little over a decade, from the early 1980s to the early 1990s.
1) Kevin and his collection of guitars
2) A promo pic circa the Enigma Records era
3) From a proof sheet, Kevin and Anthony Meynell of Squire at Christ Lutheran Church in 1985
4) Kevin and David Klowden at The Marquee, London 1991
5) An outtake from the “Days & Maybes” session
6) An outtake from the “Days & Maybes” session
7) I haven’t a clue where this is from, but I like the pic …
8 ) At our home away from home, 2581
9) At the original SOMA, downtown
10) This was posted once before, but I felt it belonged here as well, an early shot of Kevin, David Klowden and Jerry Cornelius.
— Bart Mendoza
More from the Mendoza Collection:
- Flyers from the Mendoza Collection
- Bandmates/other friends 1982-1990 (+1)
- ‘I was a Shambles drummer’
- From Scan to the Shambles