1984 (Orwellian times)
Chris had obtained a few valuable things from his time with the first incarnation of Kingsfoil:
1) a new girlfriend whom he met at the band's final Lakefair gig after-hours party
2) close friendships within the band that last to this day
3) performing and booking experience
4) a continuing addiction, if you will, to playing rock and roll.
However, a couple of these benefits (3 and 4 to be precise) would take some time and effort to be capitalized upon.
Chris and his new girlfriend, Shawn, moved to Tacoma and Chris began working construction while attending Tacoma Community College. Chris advertised himself as a guitarist for hire at this time because he hated the laboring work, finding a country band (of all things!) that had frequent and decent paying gigs. Jim Inman, the singer, used to praise the drummer Kent and guitarist Chris for their ability to "go off", meaning taking off on a rock oriented improvisation that would get the audience going. In the end, this ended up an opportunity to expand his style and make some money gigging with a good band as opposed to construction laboring.
This was to prove interesting as the drummer for the country band, Kent Beeghly, was a kindred spirit who loved John Bonham and could play well in that style. They spent much time rehearsing to form a Zeppelin tribute band, eventually adding Rich Prouty on bass. Cassettes were made of them covering I Can't Quit you Babe, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog and Rock and Roll to name a few. These cassette recordings were quite impressive (there will be audio on this website soon) and they set out to recruit a singer. It was at this time that Chris started working with the Maestro echo and violin bow. Of course, covering Zeppelin required it.
Rehearsals were a cinch: By early 1985 or so, the country band had split up, freeing time to rehearse the Zep material, with Chris moving in to a house Kent rented in South Tacoma which had a good basement for rehearsing.
Unfortunately this lineup did not find a singer who was either A) good enough to cover Robert Plant and/or B) stable enough to function as a human being. Remember this was the mid-80s and the music scene was full of poseurs. Guys or gals with lots of hair and nothing between their ears.
After a year or more of auditions, they gave up the Zep tribute concept and Chris moved to Seattle with his girlfriend Shawn to be closer to a thriving music and arts scene. In the next two or three year interval, Chris played in several interesting Seattle bands, the best being Freddie James Rockin' 88s who were a power trio consisting of Freddie James (keys and vocals), Larry "Rumbles" Dennis (drums), and Chris (guitar). This was a rock and boogie band which really gave Chris a lot of solo time, with Freddie eventually giving Chris the nickname "magic fingers" out of respect for Chris ability to shred on blues solos. This was another great opportunity for Chris to expand his playing style. His amp setup was simple, documented on an outstanding demo tape the 88s did which is soon to be up on this site. The setup was the Les Paul Custom through a Fender Deluxe Reverb and a Fuzzface pedal for solos and big riffs.
This band was fun and both Freddie and Larry were top notch musicians to play with, but the style became tiring and repetitive after a while.
The other notable band/performance from this period was a performance of the Who's Tommy at the Taste of Tacoma in 1987. This line up featured Chris as Pete Townsend, Jim Kennelly (of the Convertibles) as John Entwhistle, Kurt Vanderhoof as Daltrey, and Kent (Chris' former band-mate and room-mate) on drums in the Keith Moon role. This was a complete blast and went over very well.
Chris was now dying to get back to playing some hard rock and roll in a group he would direct, as in the early Kingsfoil days.
He and Kingsfoil drummer Randy Lance got back in touch. Though they had briefly played together in 1986 or so in a rock cover band called Tyrus, by late 88 or early 89 they were ready to form their own group and do things the right way.
Rehearsals commenced with Randy and Chris creating a setlist to include some of the older Kingsfoil material with some current hit rock and roll. The results were initially awful with Randy and Chris' first lineup (see black background photo) getting fired from their debut gig in Olympia. In addition, after their second gig which was an agency audition with Far West Entertainment, the agent told Chris that a lineup change was needed.
Back to the drawing board, Chris and Randy again held auditions (now in Chris' grandmother's basement in Tacoma), and in 1989, the new lineup was complete. They had obtained a singer named Spencer Knight, and a very young bass player, Andrew Woods, who was also a talented keyboard player and vocalist who could relieve the lead vocalist for a few songs.
The lineup of Chris, Randy, Spencer and Andy made an excellent first impression with their debut at Leslie's in South Tacoma - a very popular dance club (or "meat market" if you will). The band's look was incredibly flamboyant with 80s big hair, skin tight jeans or spandex, eye-liner, a big fog machine, huge PA and lighting system.
This material was ambitious with a demo tape covering Kingdom Cum, Zeppelin, INXS, AC/DC, and Van Halen used to secure bookings. It was at this time that Chris debuted the violin bow and echo-plex on stage, which proved to be a big crowd pleaser. Also, Chris and Spencer had worked out some call and answer improvisation a la Plant and Page style which gave the set some real edge. On the other end of the spectrum, bass player Woods would come out on keys for a mellow interlude of one or two songs, nailing a Richard Marx or Howard Jones song note for note on solo voice and keys. Chris was also becoming more active as a backing vocalist at this time, doing a lot of harmony vocals such as the upper line in Van Halen's Pretty Woman (see demo tape audio to be posted soon). Randy continued to lay down the backbone with his double-kick drumming style and big Ludwig kit as he had in the original first Kingsfoil incarnation.
Of course they stood out among other cover bands, for the most part being stubborn in their choice of almost exclusively hard rock material in an age dominated by slick keyboard cover bands.
There was a snag. At this time, Chris' long-time buddy and drummer, Randy was beginning to get burned out by the traveling/driving to gigs and holding down his full-time job with the state.
Remember, this revamped Kingsfoil played 4+ hour sets a night, six or seven nights a week. What an opportunity to hone my chops thought Chris! However, because Randy worked full-time in addition to playing gigs, it was a complete drain on him and understandably so. As a result, he left the band amicably in late 89'. By this time the band was playing almost every week and making a living (not lavish by any means). At this time Chris' other major activity was attending college in the mornings at the University of WA to obtain his bachelor's degree and relying on the gigs to pay the rent.
Prophetically perhaps, Chris' younger brother Sean had purchased Randy's first drum set back in the mid-80s and had been taking lessons ever since. However Chris had not really heard him play any more than a beat or two when visiting his mother's house. Younger brother Sean was one of the bands most loyal followers and had actually been Randy's roadie and confidant, traveling to the gigs and staying with the band at the band houses provided by the clubs, and even bringing along Oly school chums, Cam and Jason.
Lest I digress on the debauchery of band house life, let's get back to the story. Now, when Chris informed Sean that Randy was leaving the band and that auditions were to be held, he wasn't really expecting Sean to audition. However, Sean immediately expressed the desire to try out, with Chris highly skeptical as to his chances. Sort of like, Really?
Well, as it turned out, no other drummer auditions were needed as Chris, Andy and Spencer all agreed Sean had fit in perfectly, particularly after a rousing version of the Van Halen song, Panama.
As if by natural procession, Sean had secured the drummer's throne.
This lineup did several months of shows until another change was in store. Spencer was leaving the band, stating the 4+ hour seven night a week set was destroying his voice.
After several auditions, Knight was replaced by JR Leach, a powerful singer with a raw style who could take on the grueling schedule and virtually all of the band's current set list. Woods was still providing vocal relief, singing more and more leads on the more pop-style material. The current lineup now consisted of Leach (vocals), Chris Lund (guitar, backing vox), Andrew Woods( bass, keys, lead and backing vocals) and Sean Lund (drums). The band now gigged more than ever with regular rotations at many hard rock cover clubs at the time: Raden's in Auburn, Trail's End in Olympia, New Peking in Port Angeles, South China Doll in SeaTac, and of course the New World in Seattle to name a few.
In hindsight, this was the end of an era - the apocalyptic ending of the 80s, right before Grunge blew everything (big hair, athletic soloing, rock dance clubs, crass and superficial lyrics) out of the water. To Chris, the apocalyptic crash of classic 80s decadent culture was analogous to being feudal Lourdes at the end of the French Revolution with the mob hammering at the gates below. Within a matter of mere months, the whole music scene and what few rules it had played by would be completely eradicated - changed forever. Fortunately, Chris had written some songs and began charting a new direction right at the moment the 80s ship was going down with all hands on deck. Chris was later to write a song about this time period, ironically entitled Sinking.
This new lineup of the Lunds, Woods, and Leach was the first lineup to work with original material. Chris had some songs and so did Woods. Chris chose to lay down 5 songs of his at Crow recording in Seattle working with John Nelson (a prickly pear, but not bad after the band earned his respect). These original songs were Man Of Your Dreams, More Than This, If I Had, The Count?, and New Horizons. For reasons not recalled, Woods had briefly left the band and wasn't on the demo. Chris' future sister-in-law and talented bassist, Katrina Coniff came in to record the bass.
This demo revealed several things to Chris:
1) As good as Leach was as a vocalist, his raw and bluey style was perhaps not the best fit for Chris' song-writing style
2) Playing songs on the faster side is a good idea, as the material on the demo lacked energy due to slow tempos.
3) Layering of the guitars and voices was a good idea and would be key to the Lund Bro's future sound.
After the recording of this demo the band, within a matter of several months, went through several bassists, with Chris eventually coaxing Woods back in to the group after they all agreed to focus more heavily on original material. It was a relief getting Woods back in the group, as Chris had needed to abruptly fire the last of the previous candidates before a a show date the following weekend and needed somebody immediately.
It was shortly thereafter decided that Leach would leave the band and they would carry on as a power trio with Chris and Andy splitting lead vocal duties and backups and Sean now beginning to add some backing vocals as well. The band now started to add more harmony oriented covers to their set, doing rousing versions of Badfinger's No Matter What and Baby Blue and the Beatle's I Wanna Be Your Man to name a few.
In late 1991, the band cut another demo (this time self-produced) with Chris and Andy both contributing material. It was leaning in a progressive rock direction and had a couple strong songs, perhaps the strongest being an early version of New Horizons sung by Andy Woods. This song was later to turn up, with new lyrics, new arrangement and sung by Chris, on the Lund Bros' IPO record. Sadly, shortly thereafter due to some stylistic differences, Andy left the group. and the Bros were faced with yet another conundrum.
In summary, the final conundrum was that Chris and Sean wished to continue looking for a front-man type hard rock singer while maintaining Andy on bass and vocals. On the other hand, Woods wanted to bring in a high school friend on bass and begin focusing more on guitar or keys and singing. Unfortunately, the inevitable result was that Andy amicably left the band in early 1992 to form his own band with more progressive leanings.
This would not be the last time that Chris, and now Sean, would need to figure out an altered course based on their ever-evolving craft and vision.
To continue, proceed now to the Lund Bros Era.