|This is the story of Funkwagon, a somewhat Christian rock/jam band that existed from 1997-2000 and of which I was a member. The band consisted of Thom Deeney on vocals and guitar, Dave Hosier on guitar and vocals, Matt Hart on bass and vocals, and Bob O'Grady on drums. The band played various cover songs (The Kingsmen's Louie, Louie, Phish's Sample in a Jar and Down with Disease, Weezer's Buddy Holly and Holiday) and originals (Now I Say To You, Heaven, System Ed, The Game) at churches and talent shows around northern New Jersey before calling it quits so the members could go away to college.
After experimenting with a few different bands, I accepted Thom Deeney's invitation to play a song with his band at the Kittatinny talent show. We went with Louie, Louie and decided to wear some weird costumes to help our act. It didn't help us win, but we had a good time and made some people laugh.
Before we played in the talent show, we had to think of a name for ourselves. Thom ingeniously came up with "More than Conquerors" from Romans chapter 8, though the rest of us thought it was stupid. We went with it for the time being, but I took it upon myself to gather a list of hundreds of potential band names. It was actually something I had been working on for no particular reason for several years, and I decided to share my findings with the group. The one that stood out the most was Funkwagon.
Eventually, Thom used his social connections to get us some gigs, the first of which was playing at Ben Kappler's party. I borrowed a big Marshall amp from the school (because I only had a tiny one) and we played a few songs for the cool kids. It was a very odd show, but it got us some live practice and earned us some followers.
March 20, 1998 - Erase the Hate '98 (Poster)
May, 1998 - Ian's backyard party
June, 1998 - Mike's last-day-of-school party (Poster)
December 31, 1998 - New Year's Eve at Lafayette Federated Church
Winter, 1998-1999 - Watermark Fest at First Baptist Church in Newton
March 20, 1999 - Sockhop at Sonny's Drive-In (Poster)
July 9, 1999 - The Zone in Mt. Olive (Poster, Setlist)
Sometime, 1999 - Stacy's sweet 16 birthday party
November 12, 1999 - Watermark Fest 2 at First Baptist Church in Newton (Poster, Setlist)
Sometime, 1999 - Newton High School talent show
Sometime, 1999 - Kittatinny talent show
Sometime, 1999 - Christ Community Church
April 30, 2000 - Jack Brackney's party (Setlist)
June, 2000 - Project Graduation at Kittatinny (Setlist) #entertainment