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Luke Skawalker - The Story

The following story was written by Dave Rudnick and included in a Skawalker-zine type deal that came with the band's first 7" and includes their history up to that point.

LUKE SKAWALKER was born on October 8, 1995, in John Huge's garage in Northbrook, Illinois. Actually, the name had been dreamt up by myself about one year earlier while I was skating at the overground in Niles. LUKE SKAWALKER was going to be the perfect mix of sXe hardcore and third wave ska. There was to be fast ska parts, slow and heavy breakdowns, and crazy fuckin back up vocals. Anyway, several months later Pete and I are returning from a show while listening to Skavoovie and the Epitones. Pete was fascinated by the noises that Ansis Purins, the voclaist, was making. Pete then decided that he could do the same and wanted to start an old-skool ska band. I told him I'd be interested if he could get the rest of the band together (NOTE: John disagrees with this statement; he claims that he asked Pete to start a band). Pete went out and instantly got John Huge, a common friend of ours via the Meadow Hill Crew, to play guitar. John's old band, the Ninnies, were no longer in existence, so his punk rock was all ours. Then came the drummer. Out of our friends were no good drummers who were interested in playing ska so Pete made a sign which said, DRUMMER WANTED, then he wrote his pager number and palced the sign in the window of his car. I don't know how long he drove around with it there, but sooner or later he met Paul. They met at Pete's old place of employment, Hillerich's Gas Station, and Paul was an auto parts delivery boy who had quit drums and given away his kit a year or two ago. The good news was that Paul was interested. He said that he'd get some skins right away, thus the band was born. This whole time Pete had also been looking for horn players, cuz everyone knows you need horns o play ska. Anyway, his search was unsuccessful so we picked up the horns of the devil instead. Since we were not going to have your traditional brass accompaniment we decided we needed something else, another singer, a female one. That's where Katie came into the picture. We'd known Katie for about a year and she had a great voice, so I know I was excited. Then we began to practice. Everything was good, but katie didn't work. She often wouldn't come to practice, or if she did she'd be too embarrassed to sing. So now she's gone and we need a replacement. What we got is something much more than Katie could have ever offered. We got Heidi. I'd know Heidi for over a year, but I had no clue about her singing abilities, but I decided it didn't matter since everyone knew Pete couldn't carry a tune. But iwas wrong. We discovered that Heidi had an amazing voice that would be just perfect to counteract Pete's Lemmy-esque screams. Anyway, that's the beginning. Then we wrote more songs and began to play shows.

And Now...The Rest Of The Story

Written by Dave Rudnick

A lot has happened since then. We released our first 7" in August of '96 and shortly after I left for college. No one was really sure what was going to happen with the band, but we made it work. They practiced without me and sometimes bob Dude, our roadie extraordinare, would fill in on bass. Our first show after I left for college was on Friday, Spetember 13, 1996 at 20 Below in Waukegan. We all got dressed up for this show in blue jumpsuits, Jason masks, and Heidi and John even painted their faces. I blew off some smoke bombs before we played and shot kids with a super soaker. Beforethe show was over I was in a speedo and Pete was in his tighty-whiteys. This show also can be remembered as the first time that "little peter" made an appearance at a Skawalkershow. After this show we knew for sure that the band could survive with me in another state and we continued playing shows as usual. During that time we met the Dynomites. I met Paul in Milwaukee abd Pete met Nick at he one and only Voodoo Jive Records (RIP) and it was decided that we'd do a split 7" together. Our failure to get our asses in the studio resulted in the record not being released until june of '97, but some say it was worth the wait. We had a record release show at Voodoo Jive and I bakeda cake. Other members of the $ellout Record$ family, the Neumans adn the Stinkers, played and Josh and Joe Smock even drove down from Milwaukee for it.
Later that summer, Skawalker was invited to play at a fest in northern Wisconsin. We figured that we might as well hit Minneapolis if we were going to be that far north, so phone calls were made. What resulted was one of hte best shows we ever played and I found a new favorite city. We played in the overly hot Sociopath House with the amazing Nil Mascaras and went swimming and ate falafel and walked around in our underwear. The next day we went to play the fest, but it was cancelled. Since no ome was nice enough to tell us, we drovethe Wisconsin wilderness for hours and ended up going off-roading in my mommy's car. It was during that trip that band relations began to strain and in August, Heidi left the band. August 8, 1997 was her last show with us and although initial reactions were mixed, this proved to be the right decision in the long run.
That day will also be remembered as the only Skawalker show with a full horn section. The one time only event featured a guest appearance by the Fratelli Horns on the song "Prison of Life." I know there are pictures and videos out there somewhere. If you've got then, please let me see them.
Heidi's leaving marked a significant change in our music. We were done with the ska stuff and although it was often questioned, we stuck withthe name. From then on we decided to do whatever we wanted musically and began playing the hodge-podge of hardcore that we took to the grave.
Near the end of October, our good buddy Chuck Wren came through and we got a chance to lay at the Metro, one of Chicago's rock clubs. I grew up going to shows ath te Metro, so for me this was a dream come true. We all knew that this wasn't going to be "just another skawalker show" and Pete made sure that it wouldn't be remembered that way. During the last song, Pete ripped off the warm-up pants he had been wearing to reveal his pink elephant g-string. I won't elaborate. Use your imagination. Anyway, he jumped into the crowd and Jeffery Sanguis, who happened to be in town from Detroit, grabbed the trunk and stuck it in his mouth. Then Pete got back on stage and shoved the mic up his ass. Needless to say, we never played there again and we had to pay a fine. Oh well.
In March of '98 Skawalker did a three day mini-tour to Southern Illinois and back. We decided that if we could survive almost 20 hours of driving in one weekend we could handle the real deal. The weekend went off without a flaw and we played a lot of pool and pinball and had fun, so I began booking the summer tour. That weekend also marked the death of the Suburband for Skawalker. Bye-bye space mobile, you are missed.
In June of '98 we released a split 7" with Kungfu Rick and in August a few more songs were released on the Glenview Hardcore Comp. The day the comp was released we left for the east coast. My diary from that week should be posted elsewhere (ed. note: I'll get to it one day), but to be brief, it was amazing. If you ever getthe chance, go on tour. The world is huge and to be stuck in one place your whole life is a waste of time. The tour was more or less the lst hurrah for hte band. We practiced a few times, wrote some songs, and played one more show. That show was the breaking point. Equipment was broken, pants were unzipped, things were said, and punches were thrown, and that was the final nail in the coffin. To Pete and everyone else who was there, I'm sorry for the way I acted. It was stupid of me, but there's no real excuse.
After that show it was decided that there would be one last tape and show. We recorded the tape it will be available at the last show which is going to be at the Fireside Bowl on December 6th (ed. note: This was written in November).
Thanks to everyone who has ever had anything to do with the band. Your support has been appreciated more than any thanks list could ever say. Thank you.