Chucklehead Back From The Head

Back From The Head


What you have in your greasy little paw is a Chucklehead funk time-capsule. I’m referring to the USB stick. I don’t know what you thought I meant, but this is a family show. It all started in 1988 at Wesleyan University. Erik, Brian, Burke, and I started rehearsing together in the practice rooms down in the tunnels under the campus. We put some stuff together, really just grooves. Huck had access to some recording gear that the Music Department owned, and he offered to record our first few songs.

We had a total blast. I remember Huck making us run laps around the building between takes because we had so much energy. It was all a little spazzy and totally revelatory. We emerged with a 4-song cassette. I love it to this day. Then Huck joined the band, and we started recruiting for a full horn section, The Bozo Patrol.

By 1989 we had an eight-member squad and were playing shows on campus. At the end of ’89, a bunch of us graduated and decided to take the band to Boston, just for the summer. Erik, Brian, Huck, Rob, Len, and I all made the move. Burke couldn’t make it, but Huck had a friend in Boston named Dave who might be into playing bass for us. He was into it. Jon materialized too. We stayed. Brian and Len came up on weekends for a while, then they moved up. Pat materialized, a truly nuclear sound man if ever there was one. Brucie materialized, the roadie to end all roadies. We rocked for about 4 years. Jon, Dave, Rob, and Len retired. Meyer and Mick materialized. We rocked for about 4 more years. Three albums, hundreds of thousands of miles, and a dizzying number of live shows later, we put the band to sleep.

That is, until 2013 when mid-life hit and we all got the urge to funk again. It was a collective realization. We suddenly needed to do it again, 25 years after we started. If and when you have your mid-life crisis, I strongly recommend getting the old band back together. When I get up on stage now with Chucklehead, I get the same feeling I had in that first recording session in 1988, running around the building between takes, exploding with energy and filled with the funk.

We made three albums between 1991 and 1997, but we wrote gobs of material that never made it onto the albums. The songs on this stick show the rest of our journey from young funkateers with a groove to keepers of the funk. We learned just about everything up on stage as some of the tracks you’ll hear too clearly point out. When we were really cooking, we’d invent new stuff right out of thin air, in the moment without talking. The funk just happened. We left it all in. Some tracks were captured via the most wack-ass tape recorders ever conceived, some were performed in world class recording studios. Everything that helps tell the story is here.

There’s also hundreds of hours of live material available on the vast and free Chucklehead Archive, which you can find on our website Listen to this collection from top to bottom, and you’ll hear how it all went down. Back From the Head wouldn’t exist without the intrepid, hard work of Jason (Grasshopper) Beals who’s served as Chucklehead archivist for the last twenty-plus years.

I’m seeing stars like Uncle Sam when he hears the jam,

1 Comment

I was at the Middle East show in 2013. My son and I drove up from Toms River NJ just to catch this exciting reunion. Was it worth it? Oh Hellz Yeah!! We both had a blast and just tonight I discovered a YT video of the entire magical evening.
So happy I can repeatedly relive that night now. A ton o funk bands out there and you folks at the elite level of that pack.

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