~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GRASSHOPPER TAKEOVER'S
** T H E S W A R M **
The Official Grasshopper Takeover Email Newsletter
It's been far too long since we have last spoken to you, our air-faring, long-legged, big-eyed, green-toed, freaky-looking creatures of earth and beyond.
We hope that each and everyone of you are doing well and staying alive and inspired by the power of music. It has been a crazy last few months and we have be busier than ever. Things are going well and we are loving our time in sunny Southern California. Our van, Redd, is still kickin' and has, since our arrival to LA, developed the powers of self-healing. She has been sick many times in the past few months, but her will to survive and get us to our next show has far exceeded the call of duty.
We recently celebrated her 280,000th mile. Bless her rusty, little heart. Recently, she went through her greatest trial yet in 22 years on the road. I (Curtis Grubb) was driving Redd to work early one Monday morning when I took a left turn down a hill only a block from our house. Moments after doing so, I realized the brakes weren't working as they had been severed by the inside of the wheel upon taking that left turn. In that moment I felt like I had been propelled into a dream and the next 30 seconds were an eternity.
I hit the brakes again and again and again and no response. The pedal was going all the way to the floor. It scared the hell out of me, but I had to think quick. There was a car in front of me stopped at the approaching intersection and I was heading straight for its back end. I quickly veered off to the right and up onto the shoulder of the road. I crashed over a sign post and then over a big power converter box near the stop lights at the intersection.
I was only 15 feet away from running uncontrollably through the intersection and into cross traffic. Upon my hitting the power box, though, it turned the red light in front of me to green and I went flying through the intersection, without the obstruction of oncoming traffic (which was a miracle in itself.) But it was not over yet.
We live on Echo Park Lake and the intersection that I was now flying through was at the base of the lake and provided me with two options only -- left or right. To go straight would send me directly into the lake! But at that point, the van had too much speed to take a turn without flipping over and there were no other smaller obstacles that I could intentionally crash into to slow my speed, (the 100 foot palm tree 20 feet in front of me and rapidly approaching was not an option). I swerved out of the way of the tree at the last second and BOOM, BOOM, KER-SPLASH!!! Redd and I went nose first into the bowels of Echo Park Lake. Needless to say, it was about then that I was freaking out.
Water began to fill the cab immediately due to all the holes in the floor-board and I could not open the doors because the pressure was too great. I had no choice but to wait it out as I sank to the lake's bottom. Once the cab filled up with water I was able to take my last big breath of air, roll down my window and swim out of the van to safety. When I reached the surface there were some 50 or more people gathered around, wide-eyed and in total disbelief.
Thinking about what had happened and seeing their faces and understanding fully what I must have looked like, it was all I could do to keep from laughing hysterically to myself. (But this was supposed to be a serious situation -- maybe I was in shock.)
I looked behind me and saw the last air bubbles and small oil slicks rising up from Redd, who lay at the bottom of the lake entirely not pleased with her current situation. I pulled myself, with the help of on-lookers, out of the water and ran back to our house to call the authorities. Minutes later, the police showed up to assess the situation and could not believe it themselves. They were more than accomodating but the dilemma remained: How was Redd going to be pulled from the lake?
About an hour later two divers and two city cranes pulled into the park. The cranes dropped these huge chains into the water and the divers went down and fastened them to the base of Redd and around her under-belly. The motors of the cranes revved and the "go ahead" was given. What happened next was an amazing site. It was as though the salvaging of the Titanic was taking place in front of my very eyes. The water shifted and soot and bubbles and noises began to fill the air and like God descending from the heavens, there she was, being lifted out of the water -- a beached whale on it's way to safety. The cranes slowly lowered her back down onto the street along side the curb, as though I had parked her there intentionally, and there she sat draining. (There were even two small fish inside the cab flipping about which I quickly returned to the lake.)
The crowd slowly dispersed and we -- James, Bob and I -- just stood there fascinated. What were we going to do now? Without Redd, we were stranded on this deserted island we call home. It had been a warm, sunny, dry week with no threat of rain in the coming days so we eventually set out to grab a paper and search the classifieds for another van.
Three days later, though, we went out to Redd to pay our last respects as we were on our way to purchase a new vehicle. For kicks, I thought I'd give her one last go at life. I put the key in the ignition and we laughed at ourselves at what we were expecting to happen.
Our laughter turned to shock and we stared at each other in disbelief as, with one twist of the key, the engine turned over and Redd was back in action. She sputtered and coughed and wheezed and gasped for air and with some gentle carressing of the gas pedal, Redd was alive again.
The next day, after a long-over-due tune-up, she was driving us to our gig and purring like the kitten we'd always known her to be. Thank God for small favors.
On to other stuff:
We are currently in preproduction for our next CD/EP that we are hoping to have completed by the first week in August. We are very excited about this and are currently welcoming any ideas that you all may have for its title. It will contain at least 8 and no more than 11 songs with re-recordings of three previous tunes -- Noel, Pupose, and Tell Me.
The prospect of the future with regards to this ensuing disc has us completely amped. We are continuing to play out live in and around Hollywood and Southern California. Our crowds continue to get larger and other industry types are beginning to take notice, which is nice in helping to validate the mission at hand.
The most recent issue of Rock City News (a SoCal publication/news bi-weekly) said in a review of our live show at the Gig on Melrose on April 15th, "Alternative music doesn't get any better than Grasshopper Takeover..... lyrics that cut through the crap of today.... powerful stage presentation..... James McMann plays his bass better than any player on the circuit today...." and so on. It was a smashing review and very exciting for us as it was our first bit of press (unsolicited, too) that we have received outside of Omaha, excluding online articles and interviews.
Also, keep an eye out for the July issue of BOX Magazine (a nationally distributed in-line skating zine) as we will have a profile/article on the band.
Soon our website will be out of construction and fully kickin'. It will be registered under the new domain name www.grasshoppertakeover.com. We will be in touch with regards to its completion. Our fantastically talented web master, Brian Wetjen, would love to hear from you regarding any ideas or images or links, etc., that you may have.
We are also currently organizing Omaha-area and Los Angeles-area street teams consisting of those of you interested in getting involved with GTO promotions, flyering, posters, securing email addresses from people who wish to be on our email mailing list., etc. If you have friends who you already know would like to be included in receiving Grasshopper Takeover information, please email us back with their respective email addresses and we will be sure to add them to our mailing list. We want to hear from you!
On to show dates! For those of you in the Omaha/Lincoln areas, Grasshopper Takeover is returning to Omaha in June to play three shows. We are excited to get back to all of our friends and families and hope to see all of you at the following dates:
- Thursday, June 10th @ the Ranch Bowl -- ALL AGES -- Bands TBA by the Ranch Bowl
- Friday, June 11th @ the new Howard St. Pub -- 21+ -- with Swizzle Tree from Chicago and Dub beats by DJ Kaoss
- Saturday, June 12 @ the 18th Ammendment -- 21+ -- Bands TBA by the 18th Ammendment
For those of you in Los Angeles, we are playing The Gig on Melrose in Hollywood this Wednesday, April 28th at 9:30pm and we have an open/free and unlimited guest list. If you would like to come to that show email us back or call the Hotline number listed at the end of this letter, leave your name and the names of others you wish to come with, and we will make it happen. We are also playing the Martini Lounge on Tuesday, May 11th at 10pm. We'll see you there.
For future show dates and other Grasshopper Takeover information you can call our Grasshopper Takeover Hotline at 213-719-2600. To listen to Grasshopper Takeover on the web click here "Noel" on RealAudio and here "Purpose" on RealAudio or visit our website at GTO website. Also, be sure to check out GTO on SlamOmaha site. If you would like to hear GTO's entire and latest release, "Gaia," click here GTO music on Broadcast.com. Another super-cool site for all interested in up and coming musical acts is this one -- Talkmusic. Definitely, check it out.
For further information or inquiries about Grasshopper Takeover, please email Gabi Kochlani at firstname.lastname@example.org or Curtis Grubb at email@example.com.
Thank you all for your support and consideration. Stay in touch and we will do the same.
May Rock Be With You. Best regards, Curtis Grubb, Bob Boyce and James McMann of Grasshopper Takeover