Band: The Last Band
Members: Skip Wagaman, guitar, keyboard, harp, vocals; Mike King, guitar, harp, vocals; Bill Fink, drums; Rick Osborn, bass
Who we talked to: Osborn, 53
Your son was a member of The Tamboureens? (Ethan) was . . . their second bass player. They had one originally and after they released the album, the bass player and the drummer left the band and (the other members) were doing some recruiting. (Ethan) was only 14 when he joined them.
Did you encourage him to play bass? Actually, it was like a bucket list item for me. I was in my late 40s . . . and I just decided one day (that I was) going to do it. I went out and I bought a bass, called around the area to find out who to take lessons from (and) ended up with Rod Goelz, who's with Groove Jones. He teaches over at Campbell's (Music Service). I was practicing. (My son) played piano and trumpet. He said, 'I think I'd like to try that, too.' He far surpassed me in terms of ability.
When did you decide to start a band? It has also been a bucket list item. I always wanted to be in a band and be a paid musician and prove to myself that I could do that. I guess it was kind of a renaissance period in my life because around the same time I also decided I would try acting and I started doing local theater. After I had taken lessons with (Goelz) for a while, he said, 'You're ready. You can go out and play. Give it a try.' I looked on Craigslist and . . . answered an ad. (That group) played together for several months and that led to me . . . auditioning with other bands.
Were you into music when you were younger, too? I played guitar as a kid and things like that. Back then we had AM radio and things. I went (Feb. 1) to the Strand to see Peter Frampton, and it's the 35th anniversary of his "Frampton Comes Alive" album, which means that it came out the year that I was graduating from high school. The bass lines in that album . . . first started me thinking (about playing) bass some day. I think the (Feb. 1 concert) was the best show I had ever gone to; I don't mean just at the Strand. (Frampton is) still so good.
Any other musical influences? I'm a Beatles fan from day one - always have been, always will be. I think that was actually kind of what spurred my son's interest in The Tamboureens . . . because (it was) known for playing a lot of Beatles tunes. My son was raised a Beatles fan because I'm such a Beatles fan. I have all of the albums. I guess probably the one I've listened to the most was . . . "The White Album." As family, we're going over to England this summer, and one of the places we're stopping is Liverpool.
What tunes do you play? We're doing all covers. We've toyed around with the idea of maybe doing originals down the road. The project started with Skip Wagaman and Bill Fink. They both come from classic rock roots and wanted to return to that. Bill and I had played in a band previously. Bill called me up and (asked me to join their group). I turned him down a couple of times because I had been in a car accident in 2010 and suffered a back injury. (With) the weight of the bass, I really couldn't stand and play it. (I) was just starting to get back into (playing). We started just picking songs based on everyone's favorite things. It eventually dawned on us . . . (that we weren't) playing the Top 40 hits. It was a really weird twist. We're playing the B-side or the album track, so we decided to stick to that theme.
What happened to B sides? I have to think that it's a problem for newer artists now because everybody downloads the hit song and they don't hear the whole album. A lot of musicians over the years have talked about how the album is often themed, and it's a complete project. This has been kind of fun, because we're pulling out songs that I haven't thought about in a while and I'm actually learning songs that I wasn't even aware of.
Where are you playing? We recorded some demo tracks. (Club owners) prefer that. (It) gives them a better idea of what we're capable of live. Our intention is probably just to be out one - maybe two - weekends a month right now. At least two of us have day jobs. (Osborn teaches marketing at York College.) Bill is retired. Mike is . . . semi-retired. We're really hoping to get into some of the wineries and some of the outdoor festivals and fairs. A lot of those things will be booking this time of year. It's really about the fun of playing and performing.
How did you come up with the name? A rehearsal, Mike King said . . . "whether this project works or not, this is my last band." We all kind of looked at each other and a light bulb went off and we said, "That's it." It kind of stuck and we like it.
- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff
If you go
The Last Band will perform April 14 at the Red Rose Restaurant & Lounge, 5370 Lincoln Highway, Hellam Township, and May 19 at the Red Lion Legion, 23 East Broadway, Red Lion.
For details about The Last Band: www.facebook.com/thelastbandyork
Listen to the interview: www.flipsidepa.com
Read more meet-the-artist interviews: www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory