My part of the puzzle
Ok, I know that the story of the early days, and my time in the band is rather confusing and so here is how I remember it.
Sometime in the late 80’s Mark called me for a jam with him and Dana Colley. We met at my rehearsal space and played a bit. Mark had the bass with one string and Dana had his baritone sax. I stayed away from the cymbals as I had when I played with the Hypnosonics, another one of Mark’s many bands. It went well and later Mark said he had a name for the new band: MORPHINE.
So in short order we got some songs together and played a gig at the Middle East. Treat Her Right was still going at the time so we would play when Mark was in town. There was a vibe and buzz about the band right from the start. We went to New York a couple of times and played some other shows around town. One of these was opening up for Noel Redding at Johnny D’s. Mark had the idea to play a Hendrix tune “Third Stone from the Sun” but we didn’t work it up. I’m sure it would have been great.
We also did a bit of recording at Q Division and The Outpost. Then in late 1990 I started to get pain and weakness in my hands. I kept playing until New Year’s Day of ’91 and then decided to stop playing and find out what was the matter. I was out for many months and Billy Conway played some gigs during that period. Finally in September, I found a treatment that worked. It took a while to get back to playing but I was back with the band by early in ’92.
At this point the band was a bigger focus for Mark as Treat Her Right was pretty much done. There were more gigs, we released “Good” on Accurate, and even a short tour in California in the fall. By this point though, Mark and I werent getting along well at all. It was a very tough decision for me, and I left the band just before the end of the year.
Soon after this, Mark asked me to play on a demo tape. I thought that whoever was going to take my place should do it, but he wanted me to do it. We went into Fort Apache and recorded the bulk of what would later become the band’s second CD, “Cure for Pain”.
Cut to late ’98 and Mark asked me to again come back and record with the band. I knew they had been having trouble in the studio and that Billy was being treated badly by Mark. I knew though, that playing by myself wasn’t going to feel right so I told Mark I’d only do it with Billy playing too. We started recording at Hi-N-Dry and then played a New Year’s gig in Chicago, with me as a special guest. In March of ’99 they asked me along for two weeks of gigs. This went pretty well and there was talk of doing more touring in the summer after they went to Europe. The last time I saw Mark was the day they left.