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1980 - dawn of a new decade. Popular music was in a shake up. The punk sound had dislodged a pebble that started an avalanche of different sounds and styles that would swirl around the eighties like so many kaleidoscope colors. No "right sound" - all the sacred cows fit for bar-be-que and everything fair game.

In the dust bowl badlands of Bartlesville, Oklahoma - Defenestration was born and soon moved on to the slightly more urbane college town of Norman where it was weaned. There the band would develope its own eclectic sound, something like The Replacements crossed with The Who and a little Doors thrown in for strangeness. They were unique and unclassifiable. But from the beginning the lineup of the band was like an unstable molecule that throws off one electron and gains another. The rhythm section was always in constant upheaval, sometimes almost right before your eyes. Before long it was obvious that it almost didn't matter who played back there, (all you could say was, "Not again!") just as long as the chemistry stayed balanced between the principle elements, namely Meade and Walker.

The band recorded an EP on a shoestring in 1984 and along with The Flaming Lips and The Fortune Tellers toured, played bars, clubs and house parties. After one too many go-arounds they disbanded briefly in 1986 only to reappear literally from the back entrance to a club at a concert put on by another local band. They were short a bassist but it still looked like three/fourths of the "greatest show on earth" and immediately the crowd was buzzing. By 1987 they'd garnered the attention of Relativity Records and went to LA to record their swansong LP. But as it is with nitro, shaken and not stirred, the whole thing blew apart on the eve of their LP support tour. A remnant of the band toured in name only for a short time afterward but it was obvious to one and all that it was hardly the same group. More than half the music was gone along with Todd Walker and what was left, derisively referred to as "Three-fenestration," ended up slogging through an algae farm in Oregon.


Seventeen years after the demise of Defenestration it may be that we in the Norman and Oklahoma City area might just have one last shot of the live rush of a band we all loved, a band that should have after all is said and done, "made it big."

Not like a last fling with your ex just for fun and giggles and not necessarily a nostalgia trip either. There is still the very slim possibility that maybe, just maybe, things will go so well that they might give it one more go. Possibly put down on tape or CD those tunes that didn't make it the first time around. Rumors have it that upwards of 30 songs, unrecorded and unheard for all these years, might just get to be replayed and recorded to complete their musical catalog.

The potential is enormous. All of the principle members have been musically active all these years so it wouldn't be like getting out the ol' axe and dusting it off. Tyson Meade with the Chainsaw Kittens; Todd Walker with The Golden Eggs and his own solo efforts and Chris Royse the "bass player about town," who plays in any number of local bands and whose mere presence in those groups lends credibility to their shows: are all well oiled and primed for a musical blowout. Something they can sink their teeth into, something that can stretch them, challenge them and pull out of them all of their potential in one huge outburst. And maybe by doing that a catharsis can be achieved, a few demons exorcised and the recriminations of the past cast off. Maybe, just maybe, they'll find out what we already know - that they really had it right the first time after all, that it doesn't get any better than this.

But if that's true, then what happened all those years ago? What could have possibly derailed a band that had endured eight years of touring, recording and a virtual revolving door in their rhythm section?

The answer is as simple as it is complex. Like the marriage that was meant to be, going on for years and years, everyone so happy for them - up until one day it just all of a sudden falls apart. The nebulous "irreconcilable differences" excuse thrown out as the pacifier to a question, that it seems, no one wants to explain much less think about. It was an answer that answered nothing and raised more questions. Questions that now no one wants to even ask.

To their credit neither Tyson nor Todd have aired out their dirty laundry in the press or as far as I know to other people outside the group. No dirty cheap shots or backstabbing from either camp, just a lot of radio silence for more years than any of us would care to count. That alone says volumes about their character and the respect that they still have for each other and the band they once shared.

For what really is worse than watching two good friends fight? Nobody can put it to you like one who knows you well and the spectacle for those of us on the sidelines was as sad and shameful as if it were family divided. It put us all in a place where we really didn't want to be, an audience to a show that we never wanted put on. But what a family, I never heard anyone taking sides either for one or the other. No one pointing fingers or making accusations and everyone only wanting it to end - period.

So now maybe for them and for us it will end and in a truly great way. In a way that heals it for them and their fans. A bit of closure, a lot of fun and okay some nostalgia. But with some hope for the future too, because all that music is still there waiting to be heard.

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