Jettison formed in the Spring of 1998 and had their first practice in a crowded bedroom of a house at 4535 Liberty in Kansas City, Missouri. After some early lineup changes, the band got broken in with the core members who would go on to tour and record for the next year and a half. Then we broke up.
If this reads like the story of 10,000 other Midwestern bands, that's because it is.
We work hard here in the Midwest on our music for little if any recognition. We do it because we love it.
Did the three of us love being Jettison? Sometimes. We sure were young. We all came to Kansas City to get out of our dead end shit towns. We could have been anyone. Dave was a 19 year old kid from Oklahoma when he joined. Jeff was just barely 21 and I was pushing 21 and-a-half. We usually acted our age or younger. I'll let you do the math on what kind of scenarios that created.
We had no perspective on anything. We just went forward as fast as we could. We wrote music to be played loud and fast and hard through crappy equipment that we bought in pawn shops or traded with our other musician friends. Sometimes we had to use duct tape just to hold it all together. Sometimes the equipment couldn't keep up with our vision. Sometimes, we took it out on the equipment. Sometimes scrapping the headstock of your guitar furiously against your Silvertone amp creates just the sound you are feeling.
We practiced 2 to 3 hours a day, 4-5 times a week. In the mornings. Wake up. Cigarettes and coffee. Do some stretches. We all had weird schedules because we all had night jobs. No cushy college band life for us. We were city kids. The air conditioning never really worked. We sweated. We worked.
We played shows in basements and clubs and living rooms and a famous bowling alley. Sometimes we didn’t play the show because the bartender wouldn’t let Dave in the bar. I kept track of all the shows in a notebook along with how much we made at each show. All the money we made, which was never, ever very much, went straight into the Band Fund. None of us individually ever got paid a dime from playing shows. Band. Fund. We were poor, we were scrappy, and we had bad clothes. We played with pop punk bands and ska punk bands and punk bands and emo bands and cow punk bands and street punk bands and hardcore punk bands. We only sorta fit in with all of those bands. I’m proud that we only sorta fit. They usually liked us too. That was always cool. It was always great when the super tough screamo guy with full sleeves would tell you he liked your band.
When we decided we were good enough, we looked into recording a record. We knew a guy named Chad Meise who had recorded our friends Revolvers recently. We set up a recording space upstairs in the house that we practiced in. Me and my amp were in the dining room, Jeff and his drums were in the living room, and Dave and his bass amp were in one of the bedrooms. They tore the house down about 10 years ago. They ripped out the whole neighborhood in fact to build condos. But that is another story. Chad had the tape machine and mixer on the back porch/mud room. I think it was 16 track. It might have been 8 track.
It was elegant.
I think the whole thing cost around 600 dollars. Band. Fund. Now. Empty. This is how it went for most bands.
We tracked for a day I believe. Maybe two days. One or two takes per song, I think. Vocals and guitar overdubs were done a few weeks later at Chad’s house. Then we mixed it and sorta had it mastered and then…well…like I said, we had no perspective on anything and we just went forward as fast as we could. So we never got the record released. We wanted to, and we tried very hard to get it made, but we had a tour coming up that summer. And what a tour it was. But that is another story entirely.
We also decided that we could do BETTER than what we recorded. We had a second guitarist by then—Mike Alexander—and we, really, were a different band and the recording didn’t, you know, really represent us anymore.
And we WERE better. And we should have gone back into the studio right away after the tour. But life moves fast, and then suddenly near the end of the year, Jettison was over.
That’s the story of our band Jettison, from Kansas City, Missouri, 1998 – 1999.
Dave Klein went on to do great things in over the next 15 years. He joined Ft. Collins, Colorado’s Wretch Like Me right after Jettison ended, and toured extensively and can be heard on their album I Am Become Death.
In 2003 Dave-o Goes to College, earned a BA in Journalism and produced a hit TV show for OKC’s NBC affiliate as part of a 5-year stint at the station.
In 2010 he was a forming member of They Stay Dead, toured the states, and released 2 EPs and a Single – this band is still truckin' along: theystaydead.bandcamp.com
In 2011 he joined Chicago pop-punkers Screeching Weasel for the recording of the ‘Carnival of Schadenfruede’ EP and a handful of live dates through 2014. He also played bass on the band’s 2015 opera ‘Baby Fat: Act 1’
In 2013 he became the touring bassist for the BLACK FLAG reunion tour and Greg Ginn’s band with Mike Vallely Good For You and toured a chunk of the world for 8 months.
Somewhere in all of this he managed to—from my vantage point at least—have what appears to be between 8 to 14 kids with his wife.
Jeff Beaty also has two kids with his wife, and if he has his way, both of those kids are going to grow up to be amazing drummers. After Jettison, Jeff played with Revolvers from 1999 to 2001 before joining a mathy hardcore band in Columbia called The Carry On/Kill Away.
From 2003-2013 he headed back down to the basement to practice, and emerged finally to play drums in his current band Jasper jaspertheband.bandcamp.com
Mike Alexander went on to do many, many things. He played guitar in the Architects for many years and on many records. He plays in at least 12 other bands currently in Kansas City including John Velghe and the Prodigal Sons johnvelghe.bandcamp.com
and the Starhaven Rounders www.starhavenrounders.com
Every now and then, Revolvers do a reunion show and blow everyone’s minds with how incredible they are.
He also has his own band called Hipshot Killer with Chris Wagner and Buddy Lush from Revolvers. hipshotkiller.bandcamp.com
They have two records out and I LOVE THIS BAND SO MUCH, so give them a listen.
During my time post-Jettison, I immediately started a similar band who worked even harder in much worse conditions (if you can believe it) with Sean McDonald and Matt Anderson. We played three furious lightning shows before we exploded in a shower of sparks over the city in September of 2000. I moved to Lawrence and retreated to the four-track in the bedroom to construct my solo masterwork before having what was most-probably a music-overload-induced nervous breakdown before stepping away from music for a long time. Mike Alexander was gracious enough to ask me to play a solo set with he and Chad Rex in 2010 at Davey’s Uptown, which I enjoyed doing immensely. Since then I have slowly eased back into music from a different direction and am learning to work with an entirely different musical language and vocabulary. What does that all mean? We will just have to wait and see.
Thanks for reading, thanks for showing an interest, thank you for your support with the benefit album.