Five Firsts: Steve Candlen
NAME: Steve Candlen
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, vocals, drums
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first album I bought was “The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits.” I wore it thin on one of those classic Close and Play record players. I loved that record!
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The first concert was the Beach Boys at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Not sure how old I was at the time, but I remember Dennis Wilson was still alive and playing these clear acrylic drums. And the bass drum was like five feet long. I think I was stoned, too, so it might have only been three feet long, but it was very cool looking. It’s hard to believe I was smoking weed in the sixth grade, but that’s what was goin down in the back of St. Mary’s school in East Greenbush. Sorry, Father Delaney and Sister Mary Ellen.
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … The first musical instrument was definitely the pots and pans under my mom’s sink. The first proper drumset was a very dashing red sparkle kit made by Tempo of Japan. I remember wanting more drums to play on, so in full creativity mode, I sawed the tom tom and bass drum in half, and at once had a double bass drum setup that rivaled Ginger Baker’s. The only downside to my ingenious plan was that when striking the bass drums they fell straight forwd on there faces. Probably due to their seven-inch depth. Nothing a cinder block couldn’t fix.
4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … The first songs I ever performed in public were actually smoking lip-sync versions of the Jackson Five classics “Ben” and “I’ll Be There.” It was actually advertized as a concert – performed for my parents and a few of my friends in their parents’ basement. It was awesome! I stood high upon a plastic milk crate in the dark, lip-syncing into a lit flashlight. Killer production!
5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The first band I was a part of was called Crystal Jam. It consisted of drums, two guitars and bass. The guitar players were all brothers. The Minissales – Nino, Frank and Teddy. We would practice in their parents’ basement in East Greenbush. Our first gig was the talent show at St. Mary’s Catholic School. I remember actually falling UP the stairs to the stage because we wouldn’t play until they turned all the lights off. Lights on the downbeat and… Viola! The show was a success, and I was instantly cooler the next day while walking down the main hall of St. Mary’s. Except one thing – I had kind of a Huggy Bear limp from the bruise on my shin. That’s when I discovered The Funk.