The Drive Athens GA band. Here is an old video of my band “The Drive”. The song is called Dying. It was recorded live on July 2, 1998 at The Georgia Theatre. If you were in the audience watching us, I am playing the Les Paul guitar on the right side (John Diorio). This video was recorded and edited by Philip Aitken, and the sound engineer at that time was our dear friend the late Otho Wilburn ( Rest In Peace brother we miss you!).
Before we used the name “The Drive” we were called “Kilgore Trout.” We came up with that name because at the time Adam our keyboard player and myself lived in Atlanta and the rest of the guys were in Athens. Adam and I would drive a couple times a week to rehearse with everybody. We had a good run those days. I remember being called up by Dave to come jam with them when they were Kilgore Trout. Their guitar player at that time, Andrew P., was giving them some trouble and they decided to audition other players. I think when they tried to communicate with the guy, I was told that he would kind of ignore them and spin around in circles while playing his guitar. I can see how annoying this would be especially if the band was trying to get stuff down.
When you jam with other people, the last thing you want to do is waste time! I get that. I’ve been in some other bands before with Dave just out of high school and we had an awesome time. We wrote some amazing songs and played with some fantastic musicians. Dominic Totino on bass, Alan Sanders on Drums, Dave on rhythm guitar and vocals, and myself on guitar, we were The Awakening. After Dom left to play with another band, whom we all became great friends with and recorded at their studio, we moved forward with Robert McMichen on bass.
Robert was a little older than us and had previous experience in other bands from his days, one he talked a lot about named “Buffalo Rome.” With Robert on board we took the name Captain Black and started performing around the Atlanta GA area. We did that for a while but after some time Alan our drummer decided to move on. He went back to higher learning, finished school, and is now a dentist I believe. I got to give credit to Robert for introducing me to KISS, if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably not realize how great some of their older stuff sounded.
Kilgore Trout and The Drive
Some how Dave, Robert, and I connected again and I had started to jam with Dave and Adam in Kilgore Trout. They booted Andrew P., I was in and some how we got Robert on bass. Not sure how it came to be but some other friends started to come into the fold. Steve Tatum jammed with us as a percussionist and on drums we got Mike Jasionowski. Some where in between, there were other musicians that came and went before my tenure in Kilgore Trout.
Rich Worthington (guitar), Andrew Rissenger (guitar and I hope I spelled his name right), and Clay Jones (not guitar but mandolin). I explained to Dave and Adam that they had to choose either me or Clay… Clay got the boot. We didn’t need mandolin solos but I do appreciate that instrument at times. Rich and Andrew R. were in that band separately at different times than I was. So Kilgore Trout was Dave, Adam, Steve, Robert, Mike and myself.
We played Athens GA a lot, played some apartment complex parties, DTs Down Under, the 40-watt and the Georgia Theatre. There’s probably others but I cannot remember. After some time though Robert moved to Valdosta GA for work and I think Steve left some where in between or around when we changed the name to The Drive.
Dave, Adam, Mike and myself moved on and got Roy Webb. I am not too sure if Roy came into the fold near the end of retiring the Kilgore Trout name. We were in the studio recording songs for our first album and we came up with the name The Drive, as mentioned above Adam and I drove from the ATL to rehearse with the guys in Athens, if I remember clearly, I think the street name of the rehearsal space location was Hancock Dr.
Otho Wilburn who was a regularly requested sound engineer at the Georgia Theatre by well known bands owned a recording studio across from the 40-watt. He was great and a very smart dude. He reminded me of a rocket scientist… I say that because when you entered the studio, in the front he had electronic equipment and tons of schematics lying all over the place and he had a full head of curly hair and wore glasses from what I can remember. Unfortunately as time went on and somewhere during the time we all went our separate ways, I was told he passed away.
The Georgia Theatre and Parting Ways
Playing at the Georgia Theatre was a thrill. Many famous bands played at that venue. I remember opening for bands there like Gov’t Mule and when he was first getting started, Derek Trucks. I didn’t know but as time passed, the Georgia Theatre burnt down on June 19, 2009. Here’s an article about the Theatre from wikipedia, click HERE. I am glad that they rebuilt the Theatre though, so many memories and it’s an Athens landmark.
When The Drive ended up parting ways, I went back to school to finish my degree. Even though I started my higher learning at Stetson University in Deland FL, eventually I did end up graduating from The University of Georgia with an B.A. in Economics. Go Dawgs! I will always be a Georgia Bulldogs fan… sick em’!
Here is another tune that The Drive recorded live called “Oil Can Reunion.” I can’t remember what venue but it’s one of my favorites that we did. If I find others, I’ll post them.
Dave Kelly – Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
John Diorio – Lead/Rhythm Guitar & backing vocals
Adam Geraci – Keyboards/Piano
Roy Webb – Bass guitar & backing vocals
Mike Jasionowski – Drums/Percussion