Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Talking Crackers


With the pending Cracker show at the Beachland Ballroom on Friday, members of the band have been doing some local press to help make sure that the rock kids are aware that Cracker is coming back to melt their faces off on Friday night.  Cracker frontman David Lowery spoke with Scene Magazine about the upcoming show, revealing some interesting notes behind the recording of the latest Cracker album Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey.

My man/occasional ATV correspondant CB also spoke with longtime Cracker drummer Frank Funaro about a number of subjects, including Funaro's stint drumming for Cleveland Indians pitcher Jack McDowell's rock band "stickfigure."

I got a call from Jack (Blackjack) McDowell to be in his band, stickfigure. We would rehearse and play shows in Cleveland during Indians home stands, and I had this gigantic laminated pass that allowed me access to the pressbox and the clubhouse and the dugout, and I could sit in the seats behind home plate. I never felt comfortable going to the dugout, that always seemed sacred to me, but I used to love to watch the game in the pressbox, you know, really concentrate on the game. They had this sign up on the back wall that said "No Rooting", and right next to it was a perfectly baseball-sized hole where a foul ball had smashed thru the sheetrock. This was in '96, and the Tribe were real heart attack kids, 9th inning walk-off homers and extra inning games, Albert Belle and Omar Vizquel and Jim Thome... a great team... I was certainly in the right place at the right time for all that excitement. And after the 7th inning stretch, I would make my way down to the seats and soak up the excitement in the crowd, I mean, everybody just KNEW in their bones that the Indians were going to come back and win these games. Electric.

Here's where I'd love to share a tune with you from the stickfigure album Just a Thought, but my copy of the album seems to be AWOL.  I was a fan of stickfigure, and I remember seeing them play the Phantasy Theater in the mid-90s as a part of the Undercurrents festival.  They were solid and also featured Smithereens bass player Mike Mesaros on bass.   Imagine my surprise discovering that apparently stickfigure are still a functioning unit with an official website!

But we're here today talking about Cracker, and you're definitely going to want to read the rest of  CB's interview with Funaro.

And by the way, get your ass out to the Beachland on Friday night for Cracker and Whiskey Daredevils.  It's going to be, dare we say it, EPIC.

photo by Jason Thrasher

  • dslifton

    I can't hear Blackjack's name anymore without humming The Yankee Flipper by The Baseball Project.

  • dslifton

    I can't hear Blackjack's name anymore without humming The Yankee Flipper by The Baseball Project.