Alexander ~ Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet
Don Gardner ~ Trombone
Lenny Gutenberg ~ Drums
Skip Morehouse ~ Piano
Randy Schepper ~ Trumpet
The Constellations were Don Gardner, trombone, Randy Schepper, trumpet; Gary Alexander, tenor sax and clarinet; Skip Morehouse, piano; and Lenny Gutenberg, drums. Skip was a year behind us, but Don, Randy, Lenny and I were in Highline High, class of 1963. We were together as the Constellations for about a year -- early 1961 to 1962 -- and then the band changed dramatically to become The Accents, for reasons I'll explain.
I called it "The Constellations" (A Group of Stars) -- a really stupid name (mocked later as "The Constipations" for our old fashioned music). I secured the stock band arrangements and I even wrote some of my own charts, including our theme song, "Alexander's Aspirations" (no ego here!) We only had about 3 or 4 jobs in a year, as I recall... one at an Elks Lodge, since we were perceived as playing the kind of music older people could enjoy. Once we played as part of a "Battle of the Bands" in the Highline gym, which we lost badly, do to our softer "older" sound (with no bass or guitar). We also played one outdoor job, too, but I forget where.
The guys in the band seemed to have fun, but they were understandably frustrated at losing the battle of the bands in front of their friends and peers, and I was not very energetic in booking more jobs. I was having enough fun rehearsing and writing for them and jamming in garages or living rooms after school. In 1962, without my knowledge, Don Gardner learned bass guitar and Randy picked up rhythm guitar, and they more or less asked me if I wanted to play sax in their rock 'n' roll band. I was a bit of a purist (and a pain in the neck, I can now see), so I backed out, and they went on to become The Accents, 1961-65.
Gary Alexander, 29 January 2003