In the Beacon of Speech webcast, Fred is the megalomaniac and Ted the counterweight. Ted doesn’t talk a lot, but the show doesn’t work without him. He hasn’t always been the calming voice of reason or the balance that focuses the show. Back in 1999, for a short glimmer of time, he was the lead singer of the band Waysted Space. This is his brief story as told in Beacon #30.
Technically, Waysted Space began in the garages of 4 friends in the Maple Hts./Brecksville area in the late 90's. You can’t just thrust your band together and go out and play shows, there were practices and demos first. When I asked Ted who the leader of the band was, he said “well, Tim, I guess.” Because I don’t have the authorization to use the name of all 4 members, we’ll just go with Ted as the Lead Singer, Stan on Bass, Tim as Lead Guitarist, and Scott as the Drummer.
Playing mostly covers, as most new bands do, Waysted Space played multiple bars in 1999 while gelling their sound. Waysted Space didn’t have a home bar, but most of Ted’s best (and worst) memories were from a place called the Floodwater in Valley View, Ohio. Fittingly, they took a wrecking ball to the place shortly after Waysted Space dissolved. I asked if they ever sold places out, and Ted said his last show on New Year’s Eve on 1999 was pretty packed.
I corrected him and asked if that was their last show. No, it was his last show. The anxiety of being the lead singer seemed to gnaw at Ted. As time went on, especially for Tim, the band wanted to focus on new material. Ted was happy to sing “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by the Georgia Satellites, it was fun. There were never any blowouts or fights, the band simply took a natural evolution and rotated away from Ted. I asked if the band changed their name and eventually became semi-famous, like the members went on to form the band This Moment in Black History, or something. “No,” Ted laughed at the notion. Not that the other members weren’t talented enough, there just wasn’t a lot of traction. The band soldiered on for another year or two as a threesome before breaking up, but to his recollection, none of the other members went on to other bands.
As I asked for memorabilia from 1999, Ted said there was a VHS tape of a performance which he was unable to locate and a tape of his music (which I have heard). For only doing a dozen or so shows, they were pretty good, but I don’t have the technology to bring his tape to the internet. (Maybe one day.) While asking for other memories, I asked if he ever drank Jack Daniels and chucked it at the audience in a fit of rage. He again laughed and clarified that he did drink, just not on stage. Ted was always trying to focus on the singing. I think that might have been the problem, Rock and Roll lifestyle dictates more drunkenness on stage. Today, he seems much more comfortable with a set of headphones on with no audience. Ted also elaborated that he’s happy not to sing the song “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive anymore.
Sorry to digress, but it only took a year for Ted to get sick of singing “Takin’ Care of Business,” probably because they practiced the song so much. But how do you think Randy Bachman feels? The TCOB single came out in 1974, so Bachman’s been singing that song in concert for over 40 years now. BTO basically stopped recording new material in 1984, so TCOB never came out of the setlist. The album Bachman-Turner Overdrive II came out in 1973 and their 3 most popular songs came from that album: TCOB, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, and Let it Ride.
As I pressed on, Ted and I were talking about 8-string guitars and new bands, most of which he had no interest in. Ted, always the good sport, confessed that he only had a regular Washburn Electric guitar. After dredging up so many old memories, I know from personal experience that Ted has a nephew and that he started a band called Ram in the Bush. He doesn’t remember what name the band is going by now, but the biggest smile to cross his face during the whole interview session was when I asked if Waysted Space was an inspiration for Ram in the Bush. Ted replied, “yeah, my nephew said it was,” and then continued, “but he could have been blowing smoke up my ass.”
Now that’s the Rock and Roll attitude I knew was inside of him. I just had to dig it out…
If you get a chance, check out the song “Stuck in a Crowd” by Ram in the Bush, it’s pretty good.