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Since 2005, San Francisco's This Charming Band has performed the songs that saved your life for thousands of Smiths fans across the country, selling out venues all over the West Coast. We strive to make each show a celebration of unity in the love and appreciation of the music of The Smiths. It's not our music, it's all of our music, and as a band of super fans like you, we aim to perform it as respectfully and accurately as possible -- while doing our best to recreate the energy of those legendary live Smiths performances that we sadly can't get anymore. So come out, dance your legs down to the knees, and celebrate The Smiths with us!


Members



Nick Laquintano, Drums


Contact: Facebook
Sign: Cancer

Originally from the East Coast, Nick is a founding member of TCB and has played every show with the band since its formation in 2005. An avid 80's music fan and drummer extraordinaire, Nick has played non-stop in the Bay Area music scene since 1995 -- his longest stint being with the now-defunct Spinning Jennies. From 1997 to 2004, Nick helped the Jennies become one of the most prolific, revered, and long-lived power pop bands in the Bay Area. Nick also drums with Bay Area tributes Sing Blue Silver (Duran Duran), For The Masses (Depeche Mode), and Love Vigilantes (New Order). Nick handles all booking for TCB and can be reached here.



Konrad Knutsen, Vocals


A native of Sacramento, Konrad joined TCB in April 2013. Konrad describes his first exposure to the music of The Smiths/Morrissey:

"..A friend of mine transferred to my high school my sophomore year and wasn't really like other guys at my school. One of the first times we ever hung out was a trip to play miniature golf and he brought a crappy little boom box and he played Kill Uncle. If having your introduction to Morrissey or The Smiths being Kill Uncle isn't random enough, the first song I heard was "Driving Your Girlfriend Home." I was instantly a fan. From there it was an avalanche. I went broke buying Smiths and Morrissey tapes. Queen is Dead was up next, then Strangeways, then Meat is Murder, then later, came bootlegs. The rest is history.




Sam Crocker, Guitar

A lifelong bay area resident, Sam started playing guitar at age 8 and formed his first band at 10. Elvis and the Beatles where his first musical influences, and like most rockabilly guitar players, later on he came under the spell Brian Setzer. The Smiths, Social Distortion, and Alkaline Trio followed. Several years spent forming and fronting his own bands, writing his own music, and performing in all kinds of settings has given Sam the skills to take on Johnny Marr's intricate riffage.

"I'm thrilled to be a member of This Charming Band. It is an honor, a privilege, and just plain fun to play the songs of my absolute favorite band and singer with fellow fans. I look forward to being a part of the band's next chapter!"




Mark Sharp, Bass

A life-long Bay Area resident, Mark has been a huge Smiths/Moz fan since way back when. He was one of the fortunate fans who caught Morrissey and his then new band @ The Greek Theater in Berkeley on the Kill Uncle Tour of 1991. Mark says of the show:

"The level of excitement I saw when Morrissey hit the stage is the closest thing I can imagine to a Beatles or Elvis concert. It was just insane. Now I would be happy if he shows up to his Bay Area gigs at all."

On playing with TCB, Mark says: "Learning Andy Rourke's bass parts is half the fun, and it's an absolute pleasure performing this material with such talented musicians."



Members Emeriti



Benjamin Hudson, Guitar, Keys
Tenure: April 2005 - September 2012
Contact: Facebook / MySpace
Sign: Cancer
Gear: Gibson ES-335
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Telecaster
Gretsch 6120
Rickenbacker 330
Fender '65 Twin Reverb
Dunlop Tortex Picks (custom)
Couch Guitar Straps

"After spending 10+ years as a 'bedroom player,' I decided to finally do something with all that practice. I'm thrilled to be playing the songs I love for people who love them too. I'm doing this for the fun of performing, to contribute to San Francisco's music scene, and maybe... just a little bit... to live out my Johnny Marr fantasies.

Like most Smiths fans, I find Marr's guitar work not only beautiful... but mystifying and arcane. I get as much enjoyment just trying to unravel and learn these compositions as I do actually playing them. And I really try to pay attention to every little detail, because they matter, and because these songs deserve it."




Paul Skibitzke, Bass
Tenure: May 2008 - September 2012
Contact: Facebook / MySpace
Alias: "SkinnyP"
Sign: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Gear: Line-6 Variax Bass Guitar
Line-6 Bass PodXT Live
Ampeg SVT-5PRO Amplifier
David Eden 1x18 Cabinet
David Eden 4x10 Cabinet

Paul has been playing bass about as long as he's been listening to The Smiths, who have always been one of his favorite bands. He discovered them upon hearing "How Soon Is Now?" on the radio. Not knowing the name of the song (and long before stores had listening stations), he went out and purchased every release the store had. In the days, months, and years that followed, The Smiths became the soundtrack to his angst-ridden years.

Having narrowly survived that phase of life -- not to mention a handful of bands -- SkinnyP now appreciates The Smiths for their musical genius and is amazed at how their sound and message have stood the test of time. He is also incredibly floored by, and grateful for, all the fans with whom he can now celebrate the greatest British band of the time.




Orlando Cerecedes, Vocals
Tenure: April 2005 - May 2010
Contact: N/A
Alias: "Orlandissey"
Sign: Capricorn

"Originally from Los Angeles, but now reside in lovely San Francisco. I was meant to live here for a reason because the river of life dumped me here.

As a singer and guitarist, I have been in a few bands over the years and even had the luck of performing in Europe, Mexico, New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

The music of The Smiths is what really helped guide me as a teenager and seems to apply again today, 25 years later.

The first time I had any idea I could really sing like Morrissey was about 12 years ago. It was at a birthday party in San Gabriel Valley for this girl who loved The Smiths and Morrissey. A common drummer friend had put together a rag-tag band to play her favorite songs and one of the songs on the list was 'Tomorrow' by Morrissey. I really liked that song so I asked if I could sing it, not really knowing what to expect. Half way through the song, birthday girl was bouncing off the walls, so she made me sing it a second time, which was my pleasure. Advanced into the future and here we are, This Charming Band, a tribute to The Smiths.

I could not have asked for a greater gang of lads as a band and friends which tells me that we are supposed to be doing this now."




Wally Cook, Bass
Tenure: June 2005 - January 2007
Contact: MySpace
Sign: Stegosaurus
Gear: Mike Lull MV4
Modulus Flea 4
Ashdown ABM500
Bergantino HT-112 + EX-112

"I've been playing bass for about 20 years and have dabbled in a variety of styles. It was during my recent flirtation with jazz that I realized all I really wanted to do was play Smiths songs to some fellow fans. So here I am, humbly recreating the bass lines of Andy Rourke, one of the instrument's true geniuses."




Peter Weldon, Guitar
Tenure: October 2005 - October 2006
Contact: MySpace
Sign: Capricorn
Gear: Guitars
Strings
Picks
Amps
Straps

"I've been playing guitar/music for about 20 years now. I've been in a number of original bands including The Rosemary's, American Starlet, The Clarkes, and David Hopkins. The Smiths were my primary influence for wanting to play guitar. 20 years later, I am still very fond of their music."




Virgil Simpelo, Vocals
Tenure: June 2010 - February 2012
Contact: Facebook
Sign: Gemini

"My first exposure to The Smiths was my clock radio alarm going off and playing the famous intro of 'How Soon Is Now?' I felt I was still dreaming with that magical guitar of Johnny Marr. When I was dancing when I was 12, I became a fan of Morrissey after being introduced to him by the insane obsession of a gothic girl I had a crush on.

Morrissey's lyrics were more funny to me than depressing, so it became a part of my consciousness to recite his poetic lines and satire. I raided my sister's cassette tape drawer and vigorously played her Smiths and Morrissey albums over and over again. Being an artist and painter for years, the first thing to go into the CD player was The Smiths and Moz. In some subliminal way, my voice was able to imitate Morrissey, but I never really thought of putting a tribute band together until some 16 years later.

In 2006, I formed my tribute band Still Ill in San Diego. In the tribute band world, you start to formulate friendships with people that have the same loves. I met This Charming Band the first time at the Casbah in San Diego, where I felt a kinship from the people of Northern California. I met Nick again at the Morrissey convention in L.A., and we kept in touch. A couple of years later I got a call, and now I sing for This Charming Band.

For the reason that the music is so personal to me and to others, I try my best to give the best recreation of the voice. I never claim the music to by my own, but it is a part of me. I feel I have a duty to perform and that's to entertain all of you who come to our shows to relive those moments that these songs truly saved your life."




Michael Cumpian, Vocals
Tenure: March 2012 - February 2013
Contact: Fandalism
Sign: Taurus

In 1997, Michael came across a 90-minute cassette tape titled, "side 1: Hatful Of Hollow / side 2: The Queen Is Dead." Michael's comments on this musical discovery, "I had never heard the music of The Smiths. I had only heard a line or two from a junior high school friend who would assault me by singing 'Bigmouth Strikes Again' at the top of her lungs, in my ear, and had no reference otherwise. One day, in a neighborhood Goodwill, I picked up a cassette tape that read, 'The Smiths.' When I put the tape into my Walkman, when 'The Queen Is Dead' began to blast into my consciousness, I felt like Charlie at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, asking someone to please pinch me because I couldn't accept that I had actually found a golden ticket!"

Of his youth, Michael says, "Speaking outside of terms regarding right and wrong, destructive and nurturing, alternative and electronic music was the only thing that kept me from using drugs, joining a gang, committing suicide, and wild promiscuity. Whenever I felt like I couldn't handle social or familial discord, I would lie on the floor of my bedroom, put on my earphones, pop in T. Rex, Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, Bj�rk, PJ Harvey, Air, VNV Nation, The Smiths, The Cure, New Order etc. Intending to receive spiritual guidance as to how to transcend the ludus of my family life, I offered my mind up to the Gods of Rock Music, traversing sound and lyric, in exchange for holistic orgasms."

In early 2012, Michael answered the call to audition for This Charming Band and comments that, "I am honored to have been accepted by the band and its loyal fan base, which is a magnificent welcoming family. I immensely appreciate the opportunity to perform with such talented, kind gentlemen. The chemistry is HOT!"




Isaac Ho, Keys
Tenure: October 2005 - April 2006
Contact: MySpace
Sign: Libra
Gear: Korg X5D
Roland KC-350

"Howdy, folks -- I've been hitting the piano for a long time, played 10 years of classical, and am busting my chops to learn jazz right now. My goal is to be a part-time pro keyboardist before I'm old and grey. I'm in this band because it's such a blast to play music that both you and your audience loves (which is not so easy a match to find as you might think, I am discovering...)."




William Jasper, Bass
Tenure: January 2007 - May 2007
Contact: MySpace
Sign: Leo
Gear: A bass and an amp.

"Playing in This Charming Band has been a lot of fun for me. I was always a fan, but I didn't really appreciate Andy Rourke's skill and awesome style as a bass player until I had to actually learn the songs. This is my first tribute band experience, and I can safely say that Smiths/Moz fans are like no other. The people that have come to our shows have been awesome. Every show has been a party."




Dave Terzian, Bass
Tenure: May 2007 - January 2008
Contact: N/A
Sign: Pisces