Aspirations to tour quickly unraveled

Wendel Sloan

Wendel Sloan

By Wendel Sloan

Local columnist

On the strength of our epic six-minute-plus debut single, “20 Years Since I’ve Seen You,” I had hoped to be touring with The High Plains Hippies.
The group’s genesis began in the bicycle aisle of Portales’ Wal-Mart (where, as requested by lawmen, I was purchasing a 32-inch bike to replace my 150cc scooter) when I encountered Rick Bresler.

Recording his own songs as “Hippie Rick,” Bresler and I share a love of classic rock. I told him some college students I’d paid to record a country-rock song I’d written had disappeared, with my money, to South Padre.
Bresler graciously offered to recruit High Plains musicians Chris Harrell, Steve Blakeley and Dan Greathouse to record the potential hit gratis in his Pinky Dog Studio.

The recording itself went beautifully. Over two weeks, under Bresler’s brilliant tutelage and engineering, Harrell contributed soaring lead vocals, guitars and harmonica, Blakeley’s drumming shamed Cream’s Ginger Baker, Greathouse’s bass shook the neighborhood like a rhythmic, faultless earthquake, and Bresler’s backing vocals evoked angelic, Beatlesque harmony.

In addition to lyrics, I wasn’t bad on air guitar/percussion/keyboards and catering.
However, dreams of a headlining tour quickly unraveled over non-musical issues.
Disagreements about Bogarting dark chocolate Hershey miniatures over milk chocolate ones escalated into heated exchanges over pizza toppings, then reached fever pitch over red versus green.

The death knell was drugs. We all had our favorites: Metamucil, Cialis, Centrum Silver, Prune Juice …
The day before I posted “20 Years” to YouTube, we broke up in a free-for-all with reading glasses, support hosiery and AARP magazines flying with geriatric ferocity.

Until VH1 Classic produces our “Behind the Music” segment, you’ll have to be content viewing the video of our debut (and only) single by Googling “20 Years Since I’ve Seen You.”

We apologize to senior citizen centers from Melrose to Muleshoe who had booked The High Plains Hippies.
To avoid disappointing, I will fulfill bookings solo on air instruments while lip-synching our greatest hit.

Contact Wendel Sloan at:
wendel.sloan@yahoo.com