remembering Mitch, Vengeance Incorporated drummer

I’ve waited a long time to write this because everytime I started, I had to stop. I write honestly because it’s the only way I know how, and sometimes I let too much show. I hesitated writing this because tradition dictates that I write that Mitch was a fantastic drummer, one of the best I ever played with, that he was a wonderful human being, had a great and fulfilling life, was a loving husband, father, brother and son and that I have nothing but good memories. But that’s not so, and people are around who know it isn’t so, so without being a jerk about it. I’m going to put down my honest thoughts and remembrances. People have read other stuff I put on this site and said “wow, I didn’t realize you felt that way!” so it’s probably good just to lay it out there.

Mitch was my brother and part of Vengeance before it was ever thought of. I can vividly remember the two of us miming to Wings’ “Rock Show”, bugging our parents to get us instruments. I had an acoustic guitar, but it was hard to play, and I was in love with the fuzztone sound of songs like “What is My Life” by Harrison. Mitch always wanted to be a drummer, bashing it out on cardboard boxes until we finally got real instruments for Christmas. We had a gig by Valentine’s Day, no one sang, so we played them all with a rhythm guitarist who played with a bassy sound and I played the melody line. The little girls loved it and we were hooked.

remembering carl bennett former vengeance inc singer


The first real lead singer was our good friend Carl Bennett (after a string of wannabes and just whoever said they could sing, because guitar players in those days just wanted to solo and leave the singing to people who claimed to be lead singers).

He was also a fine musician, a good friend and a geniunely nice person.

Carl passed away in July 2016 after a struggle with cancer. We attended a “tribute” at a local club a few weeks before his death, where Carl attended but didn’t sing any songs.

He looked good, he was in good spirits and I’m sure he enjoyed seeing old friends who came out to sing and play for him. I can barely remember the guy with anything but a big smile on his face. He also had a wicked, dry wit and all his humor was self-deprecating, never at anyone else’s expense.

He was a real singer back when everyone who couldn’t play an instrument claimed to be a singer just to join a band. He was also a great guitarist and song writer who recorded dozens of songs in later years at Vengeance’s egstudios.

Carl was the singer from our living room and backyard party phase to our heyday at the height of Vengeance’s “keg party” days, when thousands of kids, who couldn’t get into bars after the recently passed drinking law, raising the limit from 18 to 21, needed somewhere to go to hang out, listen to music (and drink, get high and meet girls to, um, have fun with).

improved live album digital files

Bad Live & Crazy

All the tracks for the Vengeance Bad Live & Crazy album have been re-encoded from the source files and remastered, recompiled and re-ordered with a slightly different list than the original.

All the tracks are actually taken from the audio track of VHS 1/2″ video tape, so it’s surprising the quality is as good as it is. It’s probably a testament to the faceless, nameless drones working the mixing boards when we were playing- after Liz left we had no regular mixing tech and were left to the tender mercies of whoever the blase house guy was. I always used to tip the soundman in advance to get him on our side.

remembering curt

Former Vengeance Incorporated lead-guitarist Curt Smith, a brave and loyal friend as well as a beloved father, husband, brother and son, passed away last week.


transcribed interview

This is a transcript of an interview I did with the lovely Dyanne Davis of the now-defunct online magazine RoadBand Ezine, an ezine dedicated to playing bands and their influences, and she wanted to talk to me about our main influences, and settled on talking about Judas Priest.

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