Ten Questions with Chuck Gee

The Brothers Gee1. Hey Chuck, welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I have been around a long time. I started playing guitar at the age of 12. Funny thing is I wanted to be a drummer before that. I had asked for a drum set that was in the Sears catalog. I even cut the picture out and hung it in the kitchen on the wall. My mom told me that if I learned to play songs on the organ she would get me the drum set for Christmas. I learned the songs, entertained her and some friends and Christmas morning to my surprise, my brother and I both had guitars. No drum set was to be found. I guess I spent a year or so learning the chords and soon after that I started playing in bands. My first show was at my Boy Scout troop meeting. We played four songs. We were horrible I guess but it was as good a place to start as any…I am married and have 3 grown kids and two grandkids… Hey, I am only 43 so bite me… I am not old, nor do I look 43… I can hang with the best of them… Growing old is for old folks, not me…

2. You play electric guitar in the band “The Metal Mascarade Ball” and you’re also in the band “Yellow Short Bus” on acoustic guitar. Tell us about them. Who is in each band and the web addresses. The Metal Mascarade Ball band www.myspace.com/themetalmascaradeball was a band that I put together back in 2007. It was based on an idea I had about the 80’s music scene. Those bands back then not only had killer music but they put on a killer show. KISS had pyro and lit stair cases. Dio had fighting dragons that would fire laser beams at each other and the drum riser was a huge pyramid. Iron Maiden had “Eddie”. I was always impressed with that. So with the TMMB I tried to do that on a smaller scale. We had fog machines, a psycho clown that came out of toy box and drink blood from a severed head. Stuff like that. We played around 50+ shows the first year. After that it kind of fell off in 2008… We started going through drummers like water and it appeared that no one in Evansville wanted a rock band and a show. I guess today’s bar patrons  grew up during the grunge period when all musicians just stared at their feet and played because that’s all they want for most part. I sent out a bulletin one time to ask how we could improve the band. Someone wrote me to tell me the band was killer but to drop the “show”. No one wanted to see a clown getting electrocuted anymore. So, to answer your question … It’s on “permanent hold” until and if I can find more musicians…

The Yellow Short Bus www.myspace.com/yellowshortbusliveson is an acoustic act that I am involved with. A friend and coworker Derek and I started playing acoustics together and pretty soon we would have a lot of people in my back yard showing up to listen. We added Allen on Bass and vocals too and a couple of other people have “gotten on and off” the bus since then so it’s just us three for now. It’s just something fun and easy to do to keep my sanity while I don’t have a working band. My goal is to get something together and go back out on the road before I am too old to care about it anymore.

Young Chuck3. What type of gear do you use? Over the years I have owned a lot of cool shit but eventually I sold it all off except for one main guitar. I bought a 1979 Ibanez Iceman in a pawnshop back in the early 80’s. I still have it. I have repainted it a few times and I used to wire smoke bombs in the neck pickup (just like Ace Frehley). Some of the shit I sold like a dumbass was an early model Randy Rhoades Jackson model # 00700. One of the first 1000 ran. I also sold a 1969 burgundy near mint Gibson Les Paul custom back in the mid 80’s when the Gibson market tanked. I sold it for $375.00. Who ever owns it today its worth about $10,000.00 … I also sold a 1982 white anniversary  Marshall half stack back in the late 80’s. So today, to answer your question I use a Gibson Les Paul and a DSL Marshall combo.

4. You have been in both original and cover bands. What do you like about each type of band? Which do you like better and why? I really like playing my own stuff more than anything but in this area where we live in you can play original music but starve to death and there are very few places that encourage original music. So if you like to make some money you have to play covers. Or build a band that likes to travel to the other larger markets to play your own stuff. It’s hard to find guys around my age that have the balls to do that any more, but if you are out there, contact me and let’s make it happen… And before someone slams me and says they play original music in their cover band sets too. It’s not the same asshole…You’re either a cover band or your not…

Buggie5. Do you have any “greatest gig” stories to tell? I thought about this and you know… I have several greatest gig stories… any where from where we were asked to play country music by the club owners and then they fired us for playing country music and but then allowed us to play rock and we tore the place up. We had people dancing on the bar and tables, it was sort of like a big “fuck you” to the club owner by us… to playing festivals and being on the road … but I have to go with this one… From 1999 to 2004 I got to take my son on the road with me when I played. We did several hundred shows during that time and he basically got to grow up on the road with me… He saw the good and the bad and along the way we had a blast. From him being so small he could sleep under the bunk seat in the van… to meeting Rock stars and cool people from all over the United States.. He was a trooper and even though I wished my daughters’ and wife would have went too but they chose not too, I had fun with “buggie”…We still talk about those “Glory days” today.

Attak Biz Card6. And in the same vain, got any “worst gig ever” stories to share? Worse gig ever …  I guess it was the time we (my band ATTAK)  finally got to play Kramer’s Lake and we had rented brand new power amps from Bruce at the Dallas Pro Shop. We set up and sound checked during the day. Everything was fine and sounding killer. At show time the intro played and we started playing “The Trooper” and the power amps we rented went up in smoke… We were dead in the water. Our Mains were down. We had to turn around the monitors so the crowd could hear us but we lost our thunder. Horrible night and we had waited and begged for so long to play there and the music gods just turned their back on us…

Chuck & Mark7. You work for the water department in Henderson County. What do you do there? Do you have any interesting stories to tell? It’s a job. Something good to have in this economy… I didn’t dream about working at a Sewer plant” as a kid. I had grander dreams but it’s a good place to work and I have climbed up the ladder a little bit so I am a Chief Operator and it’s not a bad job politics aside but that’s every where. I have a lot of funny stories but since I still work there I will have to keep them to myself…Sorry… Other than the time when I first started here one night I was walking down a channel and fell in. I tore my back up and frogged a lot of muscles. I took all my clothes off and drove home naked. I wasn’t coming back. However, my wife Denise talked me into coming back. I needed the job and our family needed the money. I had to sleep in a chair sitting up for a few days.

8. Who are your heroes and what inspired you to take up playing? I’ve told this story a few times before on bandnut and places like that…The year was 1978. Our area had been hit by a blizzard a few weeks ago, schools had been closed for weeks, some roads were still impassable but KISS rolled into Robert Stadium and literally changed my life for ever. It was like watching a comic book come to life. Over the top and surreal; I never wanted to do anything else after that. Eat sleep and live Rock and Roll…

Holy Cross9. You are one of the two main people behind KickActs.com. What are your intentions with that and what is it all about? I used to write occasional for News4U about seven years ago. I had a column called, “Those voices in your Head”. It was showcasing our local DJ’s. Mike Sander’s was nice enough to let me interview him first. My second interview was with Deb Turner. News4U asked me to try and contact “Delilah” from “Love Songs” and interview her. I did. Got the interview and got it published. I also had several Rock stars lined up and News4U changed Editors. My column was dropped. It was fun and I liked the challenge. Fast forward to 2008 and I had another idea for News4u. I asked Allen to help me, I submitted it, they liked but wouldn’t pay for it so I took my idea with me, thought up the name “KickActs” and Allen and I hashed this out together so here we are…

10. # 10 is called “Shout it Loud”. It’s were you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about. So go ahead Chuck, and “SHOUT IT OUT LOUD”! Music is a blessing, a curse and a jealous lover too. It’s never satisfied. You can walk away from it and it will call you back over and over. My advice to you is this…If music means the life of you then don’t let anyone or anything hold you back. I gave in and didn’t totally commit to it when I was younger. And don’t waste your time with people that are not on the same page as you. Be polite but don’t waste your time, move on…I was 18 and 43 came fast…but I am never too old to rock and roll, look at the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, KISS, they are still selling out stadiums in their late fifties and sixties.

JankuraBonus Section: In your younger days, you left this area to try and “make it” in the music industry. Tell us where you went and what you learned along the way. If you have any great or bad experiences from that journey, we’d like to know about them. Which time? I guess I might have had some close calls I don’t know…When I was 18 I was recording with our band here locally. The engineer (If that is what you want to call him) was a local business man that had a lot of money and respect. He told us all we would be rock stars within five years if we kept doing what we were doing. We were already writing original music by then. Nothing happened. Around 1987 or so I hooked up with a young singer that was hungry. He would show up with a notebook and we would write songs while I painted houses. We pulled some money together and recorded a 3 song cassette tape. We took some photos, made 300 copies of the cassette and put sleeves in them and sold them all in a week. We even shot a video. My friend was good with self promotion so he talked a limo company out of a limo and driver for a full day and some guys with cameras. I have no idea what happened to the video, I never even got to see it…But it was cool with all the attention we were getting. The songs were on the radio as cheesy as they were. I even found one of the cassettes years later in a pawn shop. We even shopped them around in Cincinnati to a guy up there that was known to help out bands. We stayed up there for days for free on his dime while we did this. He would take us to Annie’s and tell the bartender to give us what ever wanted on the house. We would drink pitchers of beer instead of glasses. But the deal fell though. Fast forward to 1988 I wanted him and I to go to L.A. and see if we could do anything. At that time L.A. really wasn’t booming anymore but Florida was. He went to Florida and I went to L.A. When I arrived in L.A. Guns and Roses was just the local band that had just released “Appetite for Destruction” … I didn’t have any luck in L.A. so I came back and my friend in Florida headed toward L.A.   He got lucky. He was in a band that was doing well. Next thing I know is he got a record deal with Warner records and put out a killer album. Due to internal tensions, his band broke up and his producer wanted another album. So my friend called me to go to L.A. again and to play on the demos for his producer. Basically what I found out was some of the songs were already written and the guitar work finished. But I guess what is standard is to have a guitar player look at another guitar’s work and improve it and record it better. So that’s what I did. I redid some guitar parts on some songs. Some of the other songs didn’t have guitar parts so I wrote them while I was there and recorded them. I think I ended up completing 9 songs with him while I was there. It was cool to play all day in the studio. They only ate like one small meal a day so I lost nine pounds while I was there. I also got to hang out with the guys from the weird science TV show (Not the Movie) they were friends of his and they would come up every day and hang with us. One of the guys’ dad made all the Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello beach movies back in the sixties. I thought it was cool because my wife Denise’s middle name is Annette. She was named after Annette Funicello so I told him that. I thought it was awesome hanging with movie stars and they thought it was great hanging with Rock Stars. (not that we were). Anyway, I came home after I was finished and waited. I wasn’t even allowed to bring home the music I did while I was there. Long story short; nothing happened. I never got the phone call. Years later on the internet, my friend put the songs up as downloads for sale. He said in his bio that he did all the guitars. When I listened to it, it was all me. That was my guitar and my playing. I am not bitter. We are still friends. It’s the nature of the beast.

Next up I was asked to join a Christian rock band. They had one album under their belt and were getting ready to record the second one.  I’ll try to make this brief. The band was good friends with the band Kansas and the violin player David Ragsdale (He played Violin on The Smashing Pumpkins song “Disarm” too).played on the cd we recorded. We played several hundred shows over the next four years or so. We had fans that would drive from all over to see us. Kansas’s personal photographer was a friend of the band and would shoot photos of us.  We released a live cd and headed back in the studio for the third studio album. The guy that was engineering for us used to tour with the band Helix and he also turned down KISS when they were looking for a replacement for Peter Criss the first time back in 1979 but He was into progressive rock not rock. One of his close friends was Kirk Hammet and there was talk about maybe having him play on our cd. He also had lined up the producer that did all of Styx’s albums to mix us down. We got to go to Kerry Livgren’s house and hang with him in his studio. He would tell us road stories about some the bands that opened for them. We even got to see the guitars that he used on some of the famous Kansas songs. He was even considering us for his back up band. Well, half way through our recording session the band imploded on itself. The leader of the band walked away with all the songs and copyrights. We picked up the pieces and came home.

Game over… I did record an album with David Lutz back in the 80’s that got a lot of local airplay too. Its’ good stuff and still holds up.

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5 Comments


  1. //

    yep chuck KISS ruined a lotta lives mine included i might be a lawyer or a policeman if not gene peter ace and paul …thanks assholes you ruined my life


  2. //

    Rock on forever Brother!!!


  3. //

    My Gosh!!!! Now we’re interviewing each other?


  4. //

    @gaping asshole
    Why wouldn’t we interview each other at some point? We are both musicians with different musical experiences and have stories to share.


  5. //

    Hey ,Chuck
    this was as awesome interview,thanks for sharing your life as a musician with us other musicians ,I have seen you play guitar and now I can understand why your so good at what you do ,hell with all the stuff you wrote about ,you ought to write a book on the times you’ve had as a musician ,because I was like wow thats so cool ,
    .I would like for you to contact me on bandnut.com
    I’m Big Nick/41SOUTH .ROCK ON BROTHER .

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