Frank ~ Lead Vocals
Rich Meader ~ Drums
Dave Rodriquez ~ Bass
Bob Selzler ~ Lead Guitar
Larry Taylor ~ Bass
John Web ~ Keyboards
In Memory of
1945 - 2010
YAKIMA - Richard C. Meader, 64, Yakima, left this world on Saturday, June 19, 2010 at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital after his battle with cancer.
He was born in Fargo, North Dakota November 22, 1945 to Francis and Jerry Meader. He had a great love for music. He had a band named the "Majestics" and "Rare Blood" in the 1960s. He loved NASCAR and drinking Hawaiian drivers and Bud Light with his buddies at Little Dutch Inn and Hoops. Richard worked as a journeyman painter.
He is survived by his longtime friend and companion, Patti Hipp of Yakima; his mother, Jerry Meader of Yakima; son, Scott Jefferson of Seattle and daughter, Carrie Shannon of Yakima; his sister Carole (Darrell) Armstead of Yakima; brothers, Frank (Peggy) Meader of Yakima and Fritz (Sis) Meader of Spokane, WA; and "Jazz" his favorite "buddy" as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Francis Meader.
A celebration of life was held at Little Dutch Inn, 214 N. 6th Ave. at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 26, 2010. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. To share a memory of Richard visit www.keithandkeith.com.
courtesy of Rich Meader)
After high school at Yakima High / A. C. Davis (Class of 1961), where I’d gotten a good foundation playing Rock n’ Roll and R&B as a founding member of The Crystals , I kicked around free-lancing for a couple years until I was married. After school at YVC, work and an internship put us on the road until we decided that Yakima, and with our families, was where we would settle.
It wasn't long until I naturally hooked up with a great group of guys who'd come out of the old neighborhoods in north Yakima and were Davis alumni. By now all of us were well practiced and experienced having played in a variety of bands and situations. Our main objectives were fun, to use our experience for the extra income, but mostly to make music and entertain. Once you taste this, and you find you can do this reasonably well, its a hook, a void that needs to be filled.
This became The Bare Facts, a fairly successful tavern and nightclub band, playing some of the best and most popular venues around the Valleys. We hung together about five or six years, until I was in my mid thirties.
Rich Meader, was the force behind bookings management, as I recall. He kept us busy and playing some of the iconic night spots around town - places I’d longed to play when younger making the club scene watching the pro bands that came through town.
One of my favorite places was the 33 Club at the Eagles, because this semi-private room had an incredible sound system with an engineered audio design where you could hear every sound and instrument distinctly, unlike the clashing, echoing “sound” of the gymnasium/grange hall garage-band venues we played as kids. And also, this was a place where the crowd was like one big extended family reunion – friends from as far back as grade school, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, personal fans, and musicians from other area bands, young and old, all lifetime Yaki-maniacs frequented this club. It was our place for a time.
At our age, as business owners and participants in the working world, we'd acquired the savvy to manage for the optimum from our musical ventures. Our play list was heavy with Credence Clearwater Revival, and country blues, which had one foot in Rock and the other in Country, to catch to the main range of Yakima tastes and enhance our appeal and draw.
We also relied on some old NW Rock. I had a friend/fan from high school days who was almost a fixture at our gigs, because, as he put it, we were the only band left in town that still played music that sounded like ‘True Northwest Rock’. This too was part of the instinctive engineering of our appeal, because this was a general feeling in our community.
Towards the end, we were to discover a neat little trick for extracting the best booking prices – we booked into some of the roughest clubs around, where the owners or managers couldn't get or keep a decent band. It was hit ‘em high, pack the place, re-negotiate if possible.
Part of the plan to survive and succeed in such places was simply to get to know the main and popular patrons of the club, treat them right and with respect, become friends and so “their” band, and the rest kind of took care of itself.
Eventually, this lead to one of my favorite memories from The Bare Facts: We played one such place down the Valley for a couple years or so. We'd learned from our friends there not to pack up or leave for an hour or so after “last call for alcohol”, to avoid the possible “fight-club” mayhem in the parking lot, and other serious issues of driving out of the area (DWIs weren't such a big deal back then, and being on the road anywhere between 2 and 3 AM was just life threatening).
So, I had joined one of the regular and privileged after-hours groups of the place one night. This was a complete family, representing three or four generations, who were pretty high up the totem pole in the Yakima Tribe; one such pretty young maiden claiming to be an “Indian Princess”. Her brother, a fellow who came to be known as “Yakima Bill”, could keep us in stitches with his strange sense of humor. I truly enjoyed these folks; their take on things and dry sense of humor could flip your perspective on life.
Well, as the drink and talk flowed that night, “Yakima Bill” said to one of the older gents, ‘I think its time to adopt this guy into the Tribe’. Whereby the old chief replied, also with tongue fully inserted into cheek, ‘yes, and let's make him a Chief while we're at it.’ I got to choose my new name and after a brief ceremony, involving more toasting and drinking, I became “Chief Yakiman”.
It's a moniker I use proudly in some circles to this day ;-) , and whenever used or heard its sure to spark a smile and good memories of the days in The Bare Facts.
Bob Selzler, June 2008
I was mid twenties, and missing the good old days and good times when I played in my high school band, The Majestics (Yakima) . I called my old bandmates and long-time friends, Don Frank and John Webb with an idea for club/tavern band, to make some music and part time income.
We contacted Bob Selzler, who we knew from the bands of the early sixties and from the old neighborhood, and he brought in Dave Rodriquez on base. As I remember, Don and Bob both owned businesses by then, and so were somewhat reluctant to take time away from work and family, but one or the other agreed that if the other one would join then he would also.
I can't remember exactly how that “Mexican Standoff” turned out, but anyway we were soon rehearsing and put together an diverse song list of R&B, Country Rock, covered almost all of that great crossover stuff from CCR and some good old Northwest Rock, custom made for the Yakima crowds.
I remember our two theme songs were “Spooky” and “Hold It”, and of course hardly a set went by when we didn't get at least one screaming request for ‘Hey! Play Proud Mary!’ And, the crowds always seemed to love dancing hypnotically when we'd get in a grove and improvise a thirty-five minute version of “Heard It Through The Grapevine”, al la CCR.
None of us had ever stopped playing during the previous years, so when we assembled we all had a broad and varied base of experience to draw from. I believe this became the reason for our long run together, and any little success we may have had – along with our acquired craftsmanship, we'd gotten over all the intense ego and band politics stuff of younger times, and we all adapted the attitude that this was going to be fun or it wasn't worth doing.
The result was a laid-back, fun-lovin’, party band. We seemed to easily convey this feeling, to the satisfaction of our hard-partying crowds.
The other thing we all dug was the relative freedom to play and experiment, that some of the guys called ‘improvisational theming’. Though we worked hard at rehearsals for the most part, we didn't have a lot of time, so we weren't intense about note for note preparation. We could get a new cover song down in a couple of spins of a recording, then the guys would unwrap the main theme and translate it into something fun, fresh and maybe more danceable. We'd learned that, like ourselves, the crowd didn't appreciate listening to a repetitive song list played like a stack of records.
This led to one of my best memories out of the Bare Facts. One night a couple of younger guys from another band were standing up close, checkin’ us out. We finished playing a song, and one of them, half heckling, asked ‘What was that?’ Someone of us replied ‘Why, that's – whatever-it-was - in the key of G’, to which came the aghast reply, ‘That's not the way that goes’. Don, without missing a beat, pulled a coin from his pocket and jokingly flipped it at their feet, saying ‘Well, when we're on break, put that in the juke box if you have to hear exactly how it goes’. I stood and added my coin, and the rest of us followed with a clatter of jingling coins. Of course being on live mike, some of the crowd picked up on what was happening and burst into laughter, some of the rowdier ones adding another hail of coins; all in good fun, of course.
On another night I remember an older woman on the dance floor was overheard by one of our fans complaining that the band was too loud for the Eagles Club. The two women soon took to cat-fighting right there and then, which spread to a scuffle by other dancers on the dance floor. Inspired, I jumped up from my drums, and while the guys continued to play, I danced across the stage, Indian war-dance style, and out into the melee to the other side of the floor and back, ducking and bobbing through the activities. When back at my drums, the band stopped, turned to me, and along with a lot of the crowd, gave a hardy applause. This seemed to calm the contestants on the dance floor, and they took to dancing again before the bouncers could get there. The dance continued as if nothing happened.
When I look back now, The Bare Facts was one of those things that just seemed to happen naturally. Kind of those surprising turn of events rather than a real plan, where everything just seemed to go right easily and without all that much importance in the doing, but now is remembered as one of life's highlights that I'm glad to have been a part of.
In one final reflection, in the process of us getting together and dragging the memories out of each other to put this material together, we came to realize that ours was an era like no other. This fortunate window in time, which started with the garage-band system, provided the lucky few of us with an access to everything young men have always dreamed of. We had money, cool cars, a degree of notoriety, uncommon influence and the irrational attention of beautiful women.
From our youthful perspective, it was mostly taken for granted. It all came and passed so fast we hardly had time to fully appreciate it… until now.
Rich Meader, June 2008
Here’s another Pacific Northwest Bands success story, and another testament to the selfless benefit this website presents to the musicians and patrons who visit here.
Our “little brother” Larry was lost to us for over 30-years. He happened to run across the Bare Facts page from his home in Arizona.
I’m a little surprised he bothered to contact us at all for all the crap this principled young player had put up with from the 15-year veterans whose instruments transformed them into gypsy-hearted rowdies. His clean and steady base lines were our anchor when we might go “innovating” into to many themes at the same time, or the key to a tune became a subjective matter among the players ;-).
With Sammy’s help (Sammy is the PNW Bands Web Slave), we’re now back in touch, and for now enjoying a cyberspace reunion. Who knows, some day we’ll meet up for a beer and some bar-stool-jammin’.
Welcome back to the Bare Facts, Larry.
Bob Selzler, November 13, 2008
Some of the Bare Facts went on to high places
Larry Taylor, bass player, on the south rim of the active St. Helens caldera, with Mt. Rainier in the distance. Pure Northwest!
I joined Bare Facts when I was 18 years old. Prior to that I had played in other rock bands all over the Yakima Valley at high school and college events. At the time Bare Facts was an established group and was already playing the tavern circuit.
It was a big adjustment for me but we seem to hit it off musically without very much practice. It always amazed me at how comfortable I felt playing with this band and how well the music sounded. We had a unique sound that made us very much in demand by many places. There was always a packed house wherever we played.
Our music appealed to all kinds of people from the “Ghost Riders” of Ellensburg at the Warehouse tavern to the executives of Fortune 500 companies at private parties. The songs may not have sounded exactly the same as the records but the creativity of the Bare Facts added to the music and allowed the band to party along with the people that came to the party.
We had a standing gig at the Kodiak in Wapato for months. More than a few times I remember protecting my speakers when fights would break out. I remember one New Years Eve we were playing there and in the middle of the set someone had fallen off their bar stool and an ambulance arrived. We kept playing the song as the ambulance lights were flashing and they carried the guy out and everyone else continued dancing. Needless to say it was a tough crowd but we packed them in there 3 times a week for months.
Over the years I have tried to figure out how it was that we had very little time for practice but could always play well together at the gigs. After a while I think I finally figured it out. I had grown so used to playing with everyone that I knew exactly what they were going to do musically before they did it and I was very comfortable with that.
I think even today if we strapped up again, Spooky would sound great! Of all the bands that I played in Bare Facts is at the top of my list. A great bunch of guys, talented musicians and very good people.
Thanks guys for allowing me to be a part of Bare Facts history.
Larry Taylor, November 12, 2008