June 1992 - mid 1995
"Big Chicago Rock" Years


Coachhouse attic - 1995 - photo by C.Klein (tripod)
Following the release of Dose and the 7" single "Perfect Foil/This Ride Is Fun" Busker Soundcheck went out on a 30 day tour starting in Champaign heading through the southeastern U.S., up the Atlantic coast, and back through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. For the next 2-3 years the band was constantly heading out in one van after another for shows all over the eastern U.S.
BSC played several music industry conferences, in New York (CMJ), Atlanta (New South), St. Louis (MRMF), Chicago (MMC, ILF, MOB) and were playing steadily in Kansas City, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and throughout the midwest with an occasional tour up or down the east coast. During this time Busker was booked by Brett Kloepfer, who also started up Fuse Records and ended up releasing the first CD, Busker Soundcheck in 1995.
There were big opening slots with Veruca Salt, Smashing Pumpkins, Walt Mink, Poster Children, even the Bodeans. Lots of big Busker headliner shows too, more than one with the Dyslexic Apaches. Freefest in the summer of 1994 was the biggest audience yet - close to 5000 saw the Busker just as twilight went to night, and the Busker really lit it up.
There was all kinds of big hypey press. Rock writers were usually kind to the Busker (a few exceptions).  Articles from all over the country called Busker Soundcheck the "next big thing". Paul Kamp was nominated for "Best Guitarist" in IE's 1993 Poll.
Chicago 7/93 - Metro - Greg Sudds 
Soldout Turnips, Busker Soundcheck, Dyslexic Apaches show

Mississippi River Music Fest - St. Louis 1995 - Brandy Brandt
Hair flying, heads down rock
The band was recording a bunch of new songs, primarily at Soundworks studio, with either Kerry Brown, Jeff Moleski or Ken Sluiter engineering. Matt Allison also engineered early recordings. Besides Dose, the band recorded the Arrows  five song tape with "Catherine" and "Nurse Morphine" (and 3 more), also 7 songs including an outtake of "Gool" with Dan Greaney at Konz's studio, and also wrote "Doghouse" "She Can't Believe It" "Vulture" "Happy When Skies Are Grey", and about 10 more songs that never made it onto an "official" release. Bootlegged copies of these tapes and live shows were showing up in record stores.
Besides the out of town  and "official" Chicago club shows Busker played some late night gigs out in Lemont at Johnny's 83 or Sidetracked, one particular show extending for 6 hours and 4 sets. One of the first Busker Soundcheck "Christmas" shows (1994) was one of these - an impromptu "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" turned into a full hour of Yuletide improv. That show was also the first time Busker played with the Spelunkers and throughout the next several years played many shows around the midwest with the 'Lunkers - Tommy, John and Clay. Busker also played multiple shows with Pamper the Madman (and other KC bands), Culture Bandits, Dick Justice, NIL8, Swirl, the Hannibals, Big Hat, and the Phantom Helmsman and many others.
Southeast tour near Greenville SC 1992 - Jim Kamp
Back when Paul thought he was the singer.

Blue Ridge Mountains - June 1992
L to R - the road crew Rod VanHuis, Dan Jarosz, Dan, 
Paul, Jim Kamp - photo by Chris Klein
Busker Soundcheck was touring steadily, recording, getting great press and support from radio stations. WXRT (Johnny and Rich) in particular was great about playing unreleased Busker songs (on a major commercial station - rare). Magazine articles appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, Alternative Press saying Chicago was the next hot spot for bands. Urge Overkill and Liz Phair had joined the Pumpkins in the national rock spotlight. Sure enough, the A&R reps stormed the town and about a dozen bands got major label deals. Why not Busker Soundcheck? The band's presence did slip back a bit in mid '94, during the 'big signing frenzy", while the Buskers dealt with some personal and family issues. But by 1996, almost every one of the "major label deal" bands, and the big Chicago buzz, was dead. Busker's first CD, Busker Soundcheck,  was finished in mid 1995 and was released on Fuse Records, along with the Blue Meanies' Kiss Your Ass Goodbye and NIL8's Eunuch. A record release show and east coast tour were up next.

on to next phase - Busker Soundcheck mid 1995-1997
or back to home page

Lemont the guinea pig says hey