October 01, 2003
What's In A Name?
Ever wondered where Rude Cactus came from? Maybe its time I pull back the curtain and let you in on the secret…
When I was growing up in Houston, I became completely and hopelessly addicted to music. I remember when I was really little, I used to crash with my dad’s stereo and play DJ. He had a microphone that broadcasted over the speakers and everything. My parents would take me up to Sound Warehouse and I’d get all kinds of 45s and spin them all weekend. The obsession with music only grew.
When I was 13 or so, I went to my first concert. I remember afterwards being utterly blown away. Here were these five guys on stage at The Summit creating this wall of sound for two and a half hours. It was unbelievable. I think from that moment on, I was hooked. Music was my passion.
Throughout all of this, some of my closest friends and I shared our music. Nights when parents were out were dominated by blaring Led Zeppelin tunes, a haze of cigarette smoke and way-underage drinking. But it was all about the music – we wanted to be these guys. Screaming to Zeppelin, The Stones, The Doors, old Van Halen and early Guns N Roses. It was magic.
Later that year we hatched a plan – our own band. If these guys could do it, why couldn’t we? There was a pretty simple answer to that – we weren’t all that good. But we tried. Me on guitars, vocals and keys, Brad on keys and vocals and Matt on drums. Sure, we didn’t have a bass player but that didn’t seem to bother us. We were a band. We were making music. We were Rude Cactus.
Fifteen, sixteen (damn!) years later, I still have some very fond memories of that time. We were so innocent and our love of the music was so pure it was as if the rest of the world ceased to exist when the radio was on. Maybe I was the only one that was happy. Brad tried to kill himself a few times during that period of time – I was the one who stopped him each time. Matt drank way too much for a 14 year old and got himself into quite a few moped accidents. I was the one who tried to hold it all together.
We’ve all gone our separate ways. From what I understand, Brad came out of the closet a few years back, not something that surprised me at all. I’m not sure what happened to Matt. And while many things have changed, my love of music and my fond memories of Rude Cactus have not. Every once in a while, when I plug my guitar in and flip on my amp, I play a few riffs of some of the old Rude Cactus playlist and it all comes back.