Back in the autumn of 1993, Derrick Rose finally convinced Dave Beddard that they were going to be a rock band. Then he set about the harder task of convincing Lee McIlmoyle the same thing, because Lee actually wrote songs. Sort of. More like poetry with melodies he couldn’t play. Moving on.
When Derrick discovered he had a band that couldn’t play music, he set about augmenting the band by recruiting someone who could; Dori Downie. She was perky and knowledgeable and decided she was ready for the wild world of progressive pop stardom. Sadly, after working on one demo, largely with the help of outside producers, she decided she liked the idea of a solo career even better.
Shortly after her defection, Lee decided he would make a better keyboard player anyway, since he wasn’t ashamed of progressive rock, and didn’t really want to join Europe or Bon Jovi anyway. This meant that the guitar slot would need to be filled. Fortunately, Derrick wasn’t burned out on recruiting tactics yet, and soon wrangled the young and impressionable (not to mention beautiful) Gary Falkins into the basement, where the young lad was heard to utter those words of sweet love, ‘Have you ever heard of a band called Marillion?’
Foreplay dispensed with, Etcetera began jamming new material and soon became a grizzled veteran of the basement band circuit. Sadly, live performance was another matter, and they languished, until at last, in 1998, with two demo albums and a pile of song ideas on cassette, everyone drifted away, leaving Derrick with a drum set gathering moss in the corner, and leaving Lee and Gary with dreams of starting over with a band that could play.
This lead to the formation of Thesis, which was really just the songwriting nucleus of Etcetera with a shiny new moniker and a need for some logo design. Oh, and a drummer. Rehearsals began, and they’d thought they’d found their dream drummer, when Life dealt them a card they were not prepared for: The Reality Check. The truth was, neither Gary nor Lee were of the caliber of musicianship that they themselves were looking for in other musicians, so they continued to putter and sputter in Gary’s basement, toiling with chord progressions and laboured song lyrics, and wondering whatever happened to all that momentum.
In 2006, after much embarrassed silence, Etcetera reconvened, though Dave declined to join. Taking over on bass, Lee began writing new songs for the band to rehearse, hoping to Get It Right This Time. Sadly, they were still a basement band, having moved all of the gear into Gary’s soon-to-be-ex-wife’s basement. As the previous sentence suggests, this was not a permanent arrangement, and the band went on hiatus again.
Now, in 2010, the Band You Are About To Hear gets another shot of caffeine, and Gary has begun working with Lee again, on “Bisecting a Circumference“. How long will it be before their hit song ‘Souled Out To The Man’ finally starts climbing the charts? The world may never know.
In the summer of 2012, Lee finished recording “The Whole Other Half (Bisecting a Circumference pt 2)“, eighty minutes of classic rock with progressive flourishes. Songs and instrumental pieces co-written with Gary and Derrick rounded out the song list, so Lee decided the band needed to be called Etcetera Thesis, to reflect the joint nature of the whole album. Songs spanning eighteen years went into the making of the album, and as such, it’s the most diverse recording they’ve yet made. It’s also their best-selling album to date, but that’s not saying much.
More To Come…