Thursday, June 24, 2010

(empo-caallii) California music? Ed Crawford (ed fROMOHIO)

I was researching this series of posts, and happened to run across a Wikipedia page entitled Category:Musicians from California. While perusing the list, I noticed Ed Crawford's name on it.

Crawford certainly wasn't born in California, and he certainly doesn't live in California today, but he's definitely associated with California music. But let's allow Mike Watt to tell the tale.

edward blew everyone's mind (including watt's) when he found watt's phone number in the phone book (didn't know you had to pay to be unlisted, do now) and just rang up saying he wanted to come out to cali and play. so in the spring of 1986, edward came to pedro and became ed fROMOHIO.

Watt is known for his economy of words, so let's flesh out a fuller version of the story via Wikipedia:

In 1985, Minutemen vocalist and guitarist D. Boon was killed in a car wreck. In 1986, Ed, a recent Ohio State University graduate and Minutemen fan, found out that Minutemen bassist, Watt, and drummer, Hurley, were not going to continue the group. Ed was determined to motivate them to continue making music and contacted Watt after obtaining his phone number. However, Watt and Hurley were still very much grief stricken over the death of their friend and bandmate. Nonetheless, Crawford traveled all the way from Ohio to San Pedro, California to meet Watt. Crawford was about return to Ohio, when at the last minute, Watt accepted Ed's offer. Along with Hurley, they formed fIREHOSE.

This is probably one of my favorite stories in music - fan shows up and ends up joining a new version of his favorite band. I actually saw fIREHOSE back in the day (at the Green Door in Montclair, if memory serves me correctly), and still have to add "If'n" to the list of CDs that I need to acquire (I used to own it on cassette).

AFter fIREHOSE, Ed Crawford joined Whiskeytown for a time, then ended up in a trio, playing in Pittsburgh.

So while Crawford has left California, his influence is remarkable. I'll let Watt have the last word:

I am forever grateful to edward for getting me back in the saddle and wrestling bass again.

Incidentally, the one song that I remember from "If'n" is "Operation Solitaire." Probably atypical, but certainly melodic.

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