Sticktime - Frederick Marylands Premier Classic Rock Band


A History - By Bob Calo


As everyone who has ever tried to get a band together knows, getting the right people together in the right set of circumstances at the right time almost never happens, and even when it does, that is no guarantee that “IT” will happen. “IT” being CHEMISTRY! After a very quick three years, there can be no doubt, Sticktime has the chemistry to make it work. This is how it worked for us.

For years, Chris and I knew each other at work and were friends. Chris was playing drums for The Shrunken Headbangers from Silver Spring and I was playing guitar for a lesser known band, Junior and the Jobless of Bluemont VA. When the Headbangers parted ways in 1999, Chris was left with no band to play with while I was left playing for a band that was, well…hmmmm….


Then one night in November of 2002, the Jobless needed a fill in drummer, so I broke down and called the X-Headbanger to see if he could help out. There we were, two guys that had known each other for years but never even talked about music, never mind played in front of each other. After an hour or so of Chris diligently keeping a beat for some of the worlds easiest three chord tunes, the Jobless took a break and left me and Chris alone to play some “other stuff”. I asked Chris if he could play any Rush and gave him the opening riff to Spirit of Radio. What happened for the next 30 minutes was nothing short of disbelief. As the Rushites cranked through Limelight, Working Man, Xanadu, What You’re Doing and 2112, Junior and company could do nothing but watch in amazement as Chris and I knew right away that the Jobless just lost a guitarist.


On the ride home that night, all Chris and I could do, when we weren’t laughing like school girls, was think about how awesome OUR band was going to be. The search was on for our Geddy Lee.


Rus Gallagher was a friend of a friend who was always the guy you’d hope would show up at the deck parties in the summer so he could entertain everyone with his acoustic guitar. Chris and I went to his house and the brainstorming began. It had been a while but Rus would take care of the bass duties out of necessity. With the blessings from the wives, Chris, Rus and I set up shop at Rus’ barn and the power trio “Skybox” was born.  (Note* The Skybox is Rus’ little third floor hideaway where many deep thoughts are thought and many cold drinks are drunk. ‘nuff said.)

Reality! The giddy thirty-somethings with grand visions of playing MCI Center within a month of getting together soon found out that this was going to take WORK! Our first gig was going to be the big semi-annual open house party at the Gallagher Farm in June 2003. This would normally mean a bunch of drunks playing whatever instruments they had until whenever, resembling a scene from the 60’s anti-war protests, but now that the supertalents of Skybox were here, all that was going to change! The old barn was going to have to be converted to a performance arts center. Stage! Lights!! Lasers!!! Millions of Watts of Power!!!! It was gonna be BIG! But first things first. Chris and I set out to build the stage in the barn. Then with one swing of the hammer, Chris proceeded to smash my left index finger because dumbass had to point out that the nail he was hitting wasn’t finished. So much for the big debut.

But time goes on and after learning to play with a flat fingertip we were back on track in the fall. As we began to realize that playing MCI Center might take a while longer than anticipated, we were still doing well with the borrowed Mackie PA’s and mixer and we were all getting new drums, guitars and amps. But something was missing….if only we had a guy who could complete the package. Where else would we look but a Pampered Chef party. Well, we certainly owe the wives on this one. As Chris’s wife Diane was selling kitchen paraphernalia, she met Chrissy Gibbon, and as girls do, they talked. Chrissy’s husband Bart had been playing in a successful band in south west PA called Ragtag, but had to leave when they moved to Fairfield PA., just north of Frederick. Bart came down to the barn for a try at the band in the spring of 2003 and within about two seconds, the deal was done. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to Sticktime in keeping with our police roots (subtlety is not our strong point).

With the addition of Bart to the mix, things really started to gel and we knew right away that if we were going to make this thing work, we were going to need equipment that was up to the task. A call to our friends at Carvin was made for a kick ass PA system. Two 18” Subs, two 1588 PA’s, 24 channel mixer, 100 ft snake, power amps and we’re off! There was no turning back now…now somebody’s got to pay for this stuff.

It was apparent from the beginning that four musicians were going to need a lot of help keeping this ball rolling. We were going to need a sound guy at the board and Chris’ brother in law Tim Copenhaver stepped right in. In 2005 Tim had to step down due to time pressures and Chuck Eyler and has stepped in to handle the mix. Then you need your Bob Vila around for when things need to be built, fixed or invented. He comes in the form of long time Holland family friend, Ken Eyler. Then there are the guys that always seem to be around to help move stuff for the old band members. I’m not sure where they come from, but somebody must like us. The only things in our way were our day jobs and our abilities.

The early days were, to say the least, hysterical. Our first big gig was going to be the 1st Annual western Maryland State Police Bull Roast. After the 7:00 AM Waffle House meeting in Frederick, the U-Haul was loaded with the new equipment and the convoy started westbound with visions of hundreds of people dancing and drinking to our wonderful 23 song set list. Of course this was the day following the 95 car pile-up on I-68 and everyone that was planning on coming to the Roast had just finished working 16 hrs. cleaning up the biggest wreck in Maryland history. I ended up getting sick at the sight of an entire roasted pig on a table, while five disgruntled 50 year old guys said “You all ain’t gonna be loud are ya?” and on that note we packed up and ended up playing for free at a bar in Cumberland. By 7:00 AM the next day, the U-haul was back, and we all went to bed wondering if this is what “paying our dues” was going to mean.

This was only the first installment of many other memorable excursions that all bands need to go through to become properly seasoned. As the stories pile up and start to blend together, the friendships get stronger and the band gets tighter.

Three years have now passed from that fateful night in Virginia when Chris and I set out to be a band that you just have to see. Mission accomplished. Now for the fun part!



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