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People assume that Lumpy got its name from a character in the old Leave It To Beaver TV series.
That would be convenient and amusing, but the truth is more of a side effect than a direct hit.
Tom is music reporter with The Province, a Vancouver daily newspaper. He was writing a memorial for Erik Nissen, the man who managed NAL where the as yet unnamed band regularly rehearsed. In his memorial to a supportive man who had died of a combined stroke and heart attack, Tom described the music coming out of each rehearsal studio until he reached one where some lumpy 50 year old men were playing their favorite rock songs.
“That’s us, isn’t it,” various members exclaimed after reading this part of the memorial. Thus Lumpy.
The band formed so Bill could learn to play guitar. The strategy was simple. Rather than read from a book or take lessons, he would sink or swim with experienced musicians. He called on Vern Beamish , Bruce Faulkner, Ron Hyslop and Ron Moores, who used the time to drink beer. Tom came in to sing in order for Bill, who had sung in a previous band, to concentrate on his playing. Late 70s punk rock was their entry to performing rock and roll but collectively the six players had a formidable knowledge of rock that stretched back to its beginning.
It started, as most bands do, by kicking around a few old favorites. Eventually, at Vern’s insistence, some originals by Tom were introduced to the repertoire. Nine of them formed the basis of the first Lumpy album.
Like the songs, the recording was simple. Lumpy set up and played in NAL’s recording studio. It performed the songs as if live at a club. No fuss was made over arrangements nor sounds. There were few additional takes. Overdubbing was minimal, mostly to reinforce a few choruses. Mixing also was quick. Engineer Mark Henning recorded the whole thing. After opening for The Yardbirds in February 2009, Bruce quit to be replaced almost instantly by Kevin Dubois, who has been a Godsend. We don’t play in public that often – rarely, in fact – but we can count on Kevin. Vern hasn’t had much communication with the band in months. It’s an unwritten rule that nobody is thrown out of Lump, they have to quit. So, until we hear otherwise Vern is still a Lumpy. His replacement is Jim Elliott, a great bassist, a man of few words (usually sensible) and a former member of Bruno Gerussi’s Medallion.
Also, we’re greatly enhanced by the presence of Syd Gibson. With each practice/gig she gets more confident and more impressive as a singer. I’m looking for ways to use her more.
In March 2011 we recorded five more songs at a friend’s basement studio
For what purpose? That hasn’t been determined. These five songs might be the basis for a second album, but the way we work, this might be a very long time coming.
Lumpy still rehearses at NAL, still plays its favorite rock songs. Tom still writes, Bill has become a fearless guitar player. The two Rons use the time together to drink beer.
Lumpy is Kevin Dubois, Jim Elliott, Bill Harrison, Tom Harrison, Ron Hyslop, Ron Moores and secret weapon Syd Gibson.