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Monday
Jun032013

Fertile Virgin

So I finally went and put some of my old band Fertile Virgin's recordings together in an ep of sorts on bandcamp. Thing is the bc Fertile Virgin link brings you here and this website has very little to do with FV, other than occasional posts like this. My apologies if there is confusion. Fertile Virgin was my first real band and for some of us our only band and we have largely grown up and moved on.  But now that I have gone and dredged it up I might as well give you the facts.

Our Official Bio by David Green:

Fertile Virgin

Clog dancing is really no way to make a living, though you probably knew that. The N.C.D.A. circuit is grueling, traveling through the entire South during the hottest months of the year. And the pay, in a word, sucks. Even the top clog dancers are lucky if they can eke out a 5-figure income.

So it really came as no surprise when the Louisville Stompers' top scorer, Leslie Dell'Ellce-Grinley, turned to her teammate, goalie Julie Kantner, one day, and said, "Julie, this clog dancing is no life for me. I've had enough."

"You're right, Leslie", Julie sighed, "y'know, I've always had this dream of playing rock n' roll."

Julie swiped a guitar that very night from Squirrel Bait's practice space, and Leslie "found" a drum kit in the alley behind a bar. A call was placed to Medford, Massachusetts, where Leslie's child-hood friend, Donna Sartanowicz, was living. Donna had actually never left Massachusetts...she'd taken a job as the local librarian, after a boyfriend, George Bailey, had taken his life by jumping off a bridge. Leslie told her about the band and Donna, perhaps buoyed by visions of touring in a really nice bus, eagerly accepted the offer to play bass. Thus was born...The Beltane Bandits.

There is little documentation of the Beltane Bandits' live career...What is known is that the trio soon decided that things weren't working...the sound wasn't, well, full enough. The women decided to expand. One practice with an additional bass player didn't seem to do the trick, so the search began for a second guitarist and drummer.

Donna remembered a woman who came into the library regularly. She was quietly studying for a Masters in economic pathology. She had a habit...while reading, she would often tap the table, creating a dazzling array of interweaving patterns that were wonderfully symmetric. Donna went back to the library, and began talking to the woman. It turned out her name was Bonnie Weiss, and indeed, she had done some jazz drumming in her formative years. (rumors persist to this day about some sessions she may have recorded with Max Roach and Elvin Jones, but as I have not heard them, I feel unqualified to expound on them in great detail.)

Bonnie seemed intrigued with the idea of joining this rock band, now re-christened Medford Madness. It took only one jam session in her fair-sized backyard to convince all parties that Bonnie indeed belonged. All that was missing now, was the second guitarist.

Fate is a funny thing. Often it works in the worst ways, as in "if only cousin Phil hadn't been walking down that street right when the piano fell out the window." But we often don't see the times that fate operates in wonderful ways. Because if Leslie's car hadn't failed to start one night after practice, and if Trisha Matthews wasn't on duty that night at her Uncle Ernie's garage and driving the tow truck, well, I certainly wouldn't be writing a bio of Fertile Virgin right now.

Trisha arrived on the scene, and seeing the gear set up in Bonnie's backyard, asked, "Are you guys in a band or something?" Turns out, she carried her guitar in her truck at all times, just in case this sort of situation presented itself. Trisha played with the others for a while...nothing fancy, mostly some Dinosaur riffs. But, it worked. With the five of them together, the proper name also appeared, almost simultaneously to them all...Fertile Virgin.

So, I proudly present to you Fertile Virgin, who to this date have a three song 7" E.P. out on Harriet records, and a string of increasingly successful live dates at many of Boston's more hopping establishments under their belt. One listen and you'll know, this was ordained.


by David Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

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