Practices were rather infrequent for the summer of '97 as TT remained in Toledo and the three searched for more talent for the band. Matt Bunke (Bunky) had recently purchased a bass rig and attempted to play the same at a few jam sessions that produced only a thrilling rendition of "Whole Lotta Rosie." In the late summer, a practice was called at A.J.'s where Bunky gave up the bass and took to full time vocals. Tony Fouts, former Wild Boar guitarist, started his seamless transition from guitarist to bassist extraordinaire on the same evening. At this time, the band remained nameless, and for good reason. This lineup jammed together a few times when Shane abruptly announced his retirement from music. Stifled, but not stopped, the band played on.
Around this same time, a little known former Holgate High School drummer by the name of Roth, Chad Roth, had returned from the sea. As it was hard to fit a drum set in the bunk of a submarine, Roth had purchased a guitar and had been jamming away underwater for a couple of years. In need of a Shane replacement, Roth was summoned to man the second guitar in the band now dubbed Vicious Rumor. Practices were moved to the dungeon like basement of the Otto, Roth, Burrell residence at 328 Filmore Street in early fall.
Vicious Rumor practiced hard for a few months and by late October '97 played its first live show in front of a captive audience at Roth's sister's birthday party. The band had enough material for two sets of about thirty minutes each; so they played it all twice. The entire horrible incident was captured on video and later played for the amusement of all. The most notable thing to come out of the birthday gig was the appearance of Mark Shumaker, who filled the role of sound engineer for the evening.
As winter approached, the weather and the band grew colder. A.J. suffered a mysterious back injury and could not play for an extended period of time. Bunky disappeared all together. Tony, TT, Roth, and the drum set remained. Various makeshift drummers filled in including Otto, Burrell, and occasionally Roth. It was not unusual for parties to occur at the 328 household with many ending up in the basement where anyone with prior experience or none at all would pick up an available instrument and start jamming. The same curious Shumaker from the birthday party was there nearly every week. It was undeniable that the boy could flat out play guitar. Finally after hanging out for weeks on end, Mark was asked to join the band. Roth moved from guitar to drums. This is the move that spawned the giant leap in the bands success.
This instrumental lineup immediately sounded better than anything that the bands before it had produced. The parties continued and singers were now the interchangeable parts. However, no one, with the exception of a friend named Kevin, appeared to have any vocal ability to speak of. While talking one night, Roth recalled that there was a guy he went to high school with who had mentioned he would like to sing in a band. So, in late December, a call was made. The mysterious dude finally appeared in mid January. They called him Lulfs. He came in for an audition and the search for a singer was over.
The new band shedded the name Vicious Rumor after learning that it was already taken by a handful of other bands. The group practiced religiously three or four nights a week for the winter and spring of '98. Lots of names for the band were kicked around, but the one that stuck was No Shirt Jimmy. The Friday Night jam sessions in the basement, now known as the Space Ship, were becoming a Napoleon party event. Crowds of people were actually dancing under the black lights as the band practiced its ever-increasing repertoire of eighties and nineties hits. By April '98 the band had learned over thirty rockin' tunes and was ready to break out of the cellar and hit the big time Bowling Alley circuit.
The band continued with its '60s, '70s, '80s, and even '90s music for nearly three and a half years, all time writing original music for its own enjoyment. In the fall of 2000, the band decided it needed to change directions. The band began writing material for a recording session, while at the same time continuing to play for the masses. On April 20, 2001, the band made its debut in the recording studio. The band laid out eleven tracks of original material, but could not come up with an album title. After many hours spent contemplating a title, the band finally decided on "Red Eye."
Once sufficient funds were available, the band had the album mastered and discovered that the ever-talented Mark Shumaker had come up with an idea for the cover art, which he produced. With the aid of others in the band, the album covers pumped out of their computer printers and the band was ready for its C.D. release party. On April 27, 2002, nearly four and a half years after the band got its official start, the band released its debut album, "Red Eye, at a C.D. release party held at Angel's Saloon in Hamler, OH. Now the band is hoping to get back into the touring scene, which it so dearly misses.
And that, my friends, is the story of No Shirt Jimmy.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Come and Go
2. Dave's Riff
3. Wicked Ride
5. Walking Away
8. Time to Kill
10. Lovers for Tonight
11. Crawling in the Mud