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Jonathan Gregg and Life in a BlenderBy 1985 I was playing gigs with my own band, the Lonesome Debonaires, which included John Linnell on accordion and clavinet and Al Houghton on bass, along with a procession of drummers, including Rosie Rex, wife of New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain. After a stint with Musician songwriting contest winner Lonesome Val, I fell in with Life in a Blender, a pop/country/avant-garde combo that combined drunken hilarity, vaudevillian pathos and melodic smarts to great effect — and still does to this day. I played on their first record, Welcome to the Jelly Days. The Kingfishers, a blues band with local pop wiz Richard X. Heyman on drums, rounded out the gigging calendar for several years.

The first steady lineup of Jonathan Gregg and the Lonesome Debonaires, with John Andrews on guitar, Ken Meyer on drums and Judd Fuller on bass , started gigging and recording regularly, drawing praise from Living Colour leader Vernon Reid, who cited us as one of his favorite local bands in a radio interview.