Bill moved to Florida and gave up his dreams of rock star dom.
Three years later, Bill moved to NYC and took up guitar and dreams.
He formed Modesty Blaze to play his original music with singer Lynn and bassist Linda G, both found through ads in the Village Voice.
Lynn's job became complicated and she had to leave.
Through another Village Voice ad, he recruits singer Li Murillo.
Linda left (she now plays with Girls on Top).
A succession of bass players followed.
And guitar players.
And keyboard players.
Bill ended up on bass with Alan Chang on guitar
and Volker Hanke on keys.
When the lineup looked stable, Bill booked a gig at
the legendary Kenny's Castaways.
And, two weeks before this performance,
the drummer said he needed to be paid.
Alan recruited his friend Jimmy Farrell to play drums and they played at Kenny's twice.
And it all fell apart again:
Alan left. Volker left (he now plays with Lukabrazi).
Bill went back to guitar and recruited his friend Todd Feyh from
the Music Zoo to play bass.
And then Li decided she didn't want to do it any more.
Coincidentally, Lynn's job lightened up.
She rejoined, and, with Bill on guitar, Jimmy on drums and Todd on bass, they played a series of gigs.
Todd got an offer to play with the Bullys and took it.
Yet another ad in the Village Voice produced bass player Stu Roseman. This lineup played several times.
Check out this video from the old Spiral in the east village: Cockroaches (it's a song).
And here's some pics
Lynn's job became complicated again, and that, coupled with her desire to live year round in the Hamptons, made her leave the band.
Another ad in the Village Voice.
A series of auditions.
And toward the end end of the process,
in walks singer and actress Carole Leigh.
During the audition process, Stu decided he'd had enough and left.
A friend of Bill's suggested he talk to a bass player
and former model named Lou.
Lou liked the songs and the lineup was set.
check out some pics
They played at the Spiral:
August - 4/29/99
Loneliness with You - 5/8/99
Cockroaches - 7/29/99
Crush - 2/5/99
and the Elbow Room:
No More - 3/9/99
(can you believe they charged $60 for a VHS of this security camera footage of the performance?)
and Under Acme:
Just Friends - 6/16/00
and some other places like the Baggot Inn where no one shot video (and thus no one was charged).
This was back in the dark ages before email when, to publicize the band, we sent out fliers. Of course postage was less back then but there were all the trips to Kinkos...
Anyway, click here to see a succession of MB fliers. Which coincidentally traces the sometimes tumultuous relationship of Bill and Photoshop.
They went into Manhattan Beach studios to record an album.
Danny Lawrence engineered.
Friends like guitar god Ashby Stokes and bass god Alec Cumming helped out.
Listen to some songs from this CD:
Lou left to play more blues. Another ad in the voice produced Gary Perkinson. They played together several times including this performance from Under Acme:
Rain/Keep Talking - 10/21/00
Meantime, Carole and Bill started playing the Modesty Blaze songs as an acoustic duo at the Baggot Inn.
No video (we were sitting - what's the point?), but audio:
Save Your Breath
Loneliness with You
And then, after 5+ years, Jimmy decided he'd had enough.
It was sad for just about everyone.
Bill joined the Studio and with the help of
Bob Elliot, met drummer Tom Shepherd.
Tom liked the songs and signed up and they played at the Baggot Inn and then Gary got an offer to play with an art rock band and quit.
And Bill decided enough was enough.
He and Carole played one more acoustic set and he gave up music.
Bill's friend, cameraman Ralph Pitre, asked him for help on a movie he was shooting.
And asked if he could use Loneliness with You in the movie.
This was the impetus for Bill to return to the studio and record songs, this time with him singing.
Tom Sheperd played drums and Roger Miller (not the king of the road) played bass and they laid down tracks for 4 songs at Station Sound out in Douglaston.
The owner of Station Sound, Bill's friend Tommy Colletti, played lead guitar on This Room.
And Bill asked this guitar player he'd met in the jams named Michael Burke to play lead on Fat.
Loneliness with You