Back in the Day

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Punk Rock Comes BACK to the UP

The First Reunion - 2003

After almost a year of preparation, many an e-mail and several songs later, the dust has finally settled, the reviews are in, the money’s long since spent and we can now sit back and reflect on what can truly be called The Regulars’ triumphant return after fifteen years.

To be sure, a lot prep was involved. After we confirmed the date for the show in the fall of 2002, we started the daunting task of compiling a list of all the songs The Regulars performed in their two-year existence. The final list had 80+ songs.

Realizing that those original mix tapes for practicing that were made back in the day were more than worse for wear, John went deep into the vinyl vault and put together all those original recordings onto four CDs for review and practice purposes. We whittled it down to about forty songs (more than enough for two sets) and also added some songs that we had never done back in the day but were great tunes from that punk/new wave/post-punk era.

Before we knew it, July was here, we were all together in Marquette and The Regulars were once again a band on a mission.The first full-band practice took place at Tim’s converted church residence. Despite his attempts to soundproof the cavernous room in advance (which still retains the stage/alter from holier days), it was still very bombastic (a little reminiscent of the MSHS gymnasium gig, junior year).

Eight songs or so into it, we had a visit from a couple of Marquette’s finest (What would a Regulars reunion be without an appearance from the cops? Could it be they came to welcome us back and make a Ramones request?).

We had planned on having all the rehearsals at the church, but the next night we relocated to the basement of the Porter residence in Harvey. This being the birthplace of The Regulars, it felt like we had truly come home, the red 1970s carpeting still there after all these years.

Fueled by beer and bourbon, the next two nights were great practices and the band was more connected, plowing through some forty-odd songs.

On the Fourth of July, we performed at a beach party along with our friends from Asylum and a couple other cool bands at the home of Scott Smith. Playing on a makeshift stage with pine trees as our backdrop and the ever-present bugs, it was all too oddly familiar. Just add the hum of a generator, a few kegs and a bunch of wasted underage girls and belligerent drunks, and you’re instantly somewhere in the middle of Forestville at a Regulars gig circa 1986.

The official Regulars reunion gig occurred the following night at the Upfront & Co. The Muldoons got the evening’s festivities off to a fine start. With a great sound system and a huge stage, we couldn’t have asked for a better venue to do the reunion. Where was this club eighteen years ago?

A little rough around the edges, but never lacking in spirit and conviction, it was a memorable night of old friends, familiar faces and plenty of great music that was the soundtrack to our lives from back in the day. It’s nice to know that, fifteen years later, the music - and The Regulars - still matter.

For those who weren’t able to be there and those who were that want to "re-live the magic", the website has been updated to include MP3s and photos from the reunion.

Thanks to everyone. It was a blast.

- Fritz, Tim, Jer & John (a.k.a The Regulars)

UPFront Flyer 2003