Gene (Andrusco) Eugene 1961- 2000
The very first Tooth & Nail album, Wish For Eden, was recorded at Gene's studio, The Green Room.. He actually produced (and also engineered, mixed, and played on some of the) the first NINE T&N albums, including classics such as Starflyer 59's "silver" debut and Plankeye's "Spill." He has worked on a total of 57 albums for Tooth and Nail Records and their related labels, BEC, Plastiq Musiq, and Solid State. Never content to merely oversee a session (although never obstrusive, either), he worked creative magic contributing organ to SF59 songs, constructing Sup the Chemist mixes, singing backing vocals with many bands, and doing the kind of miraculous stunt-pulling it takes to make modern albums sound so good and be worth listening to time and time again.

His accomplishments for T&N would be fuel for legend enough - including his poignant, pained vocals and guitar playing giving the recent BEC Lost Dogs release more realism than an alt-country album can bare -- but there is so much more to remember. The alias "Gene Eugene" will be known as a legend to several different communities, not just T&N fan or follower of the four Lost Dogs albums. His own band, Adam Again, was a perpetual critics' favorite through the 80s and early 90s. His wickedly funny and creative contributions to the Swirling Eddies actually helped give that challenging band a foothold in the commercial marketplace.

Eugene played on, sang on, produced, mixed, engineered, co-wrote songs for, and helped to aesthetically and practically inspire albums by (but not limited to): Daniel Amos, Terry S. Taylor, all of Plankeye's full-lengths, Fanmail, Mike Knott, LSU, MG! the Visionary, The Choir, Starflyer 59, Bloomsday, Over the Rhine, Scaterd Few, Insyderz, Mortal, Poor Old Lu, Swing Praise, 77s, Undercover, Tourniquet, Bon Voyage, Joy Electric, and Fold Zandura -- among many others.

Gene's Green Room Studios in Southern California -- immortalized on the Lost Dogs' "Green Room Serenade" album's title -- was a haven for both aspiring new bands and well-experienced veterans. They hung out, recorded freely, and enjoyed the company of a guy who seemed to love music more than life itself.

Gene started out as a child actor. His 60's screen credits include a guest starring role on the "Bewitched" sitcom, as a regular actor on a show called "The Bold One," and as a voice actor on the early animated hit, "Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home."

Brandon Ebel, the owner of T&N Records, believes that Gene "was always appreciated, but never totally recognized for all the things that he's done for musicians, for the fans -- for all of his friends.

Gene "Eugene" Andrusco was remembered in 2000 by a concert at Cornerstone Festival, just a few months after his death. His bandmates in Adam Again were on hand to provide note-for-note renditions of 13 past favorites. I attended this concert myself, and I can attest to the emotional undercurrent that pervaded the evening. The core section of Paul Valadez on bass and Jon Knox on drums sounded phenomenal. Greg Lawless handled all of Gene's rhythm guitar parts and Andy from Prayer Chain did a very capable job of playing all of Greg's leads perfectly. I especially enjoyed a guest performance from Karen of OTR, the highlight being her harmonies with Riki on "Worldwide". All the guest vocalists sounded great, my personal favorite being Mike Roe's rendering of "Dig" (augmented by Ojo Taylor's Fender Rhodes).

SONG/ALBUM:
Introduction- John Thompson, True Tunes
Opening Remarks- Riki Michele, Adam Again
1. Strobe / Perfecta, 1995
2. Dance Around In Circles / Homeboys, 1990
3. Worldwide / Dig, 1992
4. Hide Away / Homeboys
5. Deep / Dig
6. Dig / Dig
7. Stone / Perfecta
8. Don't Cry / Perfecta
9. Hopeless, Etc. / Dig
10. It Is What It Is / Dig
11. Homeboys / Homeboys
12. Relapse / Perfecta
13. All You Lucky People / Perfecta
Video montage by Anna Cardenas, with song "River On Fire" (Dig)
Closing Remarks- Dan Michaels

MUSICIANS:
"Riki" Michele Palmer- lead (1&2)and backing vocals (all)
Greg Lawless- guitar
Paul Valadez- bass
Jon Knox- drums
Dan Michaels- sax

with

Andy Prickett (The Prayer Chain)- lead guitar (all songs)
Karen Bergquist (Over The Rhine)- backing vocals (1-3)
Derri Daugherty (The Choir, Lost Dogs)- vocals (3)
Steve Hindalong (The Choir)- vocals (4), songwriting (4), percussion
Mike Roe (The 77s, Lost Dogs)- vocals (5-7)
Ojo Taylor (Undercover)- keyboard (6)
Sim Wilson (Undercover)- vocals (8)
Mike Knott (LSU, Aunt Bettys)- vocals (9-13)

I've been holding out for a DVD release of the concert (which was promised); at the moment all I have to go on is my grainy, blurry home video of the event (shot with a $100 video camera I picked up at a pawn shop in Chicago). Millenium 8 Records released a 3-CD set of the event in late 2000, packaged with two Adam Again performances from 1995 and 1997. A re-release (coupled with Greg Lawless' solo record Prayers and Lowsongs) was issued by Dan Michaels through The Choir's label, Galaxy21, in 2001.

FAST FACTS ABOUT GENE:

    Name of first band in early '80s, with Sim Wilson: "Martus"
    Other bands played in: The Swirling Eddies (as "Prickly Disco"); The Lost Dogs
    Favorite food: chicken
    Favorite sports team: LA Dodgers

Sources:
"A Tribute To Gene Eugene", M8 Records, 2000 (www.m8.com)
www.thechoir.net/genetributepages.html
my home video

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