Chicago's Premiere Surf Band
In the beginning there was Wraygun...
The band started out as a tribute to The Late Great Link Wray, by Phil Tiki and Jack "The Ripper" Conley.
I was asked to play bass, for a "one and done" gig, that turned into 2, then 3, and 10 years later...
The calls started coming in for bigger gigs, so we supplemented our set with some Surf, and we were on our way.
We all met Susie at the same time, she mentioned she played Sax, and was asked to be in the band, real simple.
Jack's girlfriend, Shannon (at the time, now his wife), came in on second guitar, shortly afterward, and we had our lineup solidified.
This quintet performed for a couple years, until Shannon left, enter Steve Martini...
Steve came over from his very successful band, Cocktail Preachers, and, like me, never left.
With Steve in the band, we soon changed our name to 13 Tikis, which was a band name Phil used for other things he was doing musically.
Shortly after the name change, Jack left, enter Tony Long...
Tony played with us for a short time before, naturally he was our first choice to be our new full time drummer.
With everything solid again, we hit it hard, playing all over, having fun, like you're supposed to, then...
Phil Tiki, the man who put this all together, broke it to us, he was moving to Las Vegas.
Not really knowing how to go on without the glue that held this band together, we had to figure something out fast.
Enter Justin Collins...
We met Justin at a Memorial for a mutual acquaintance, our respective bands were on the bill, and we hit it off.
Justin became a fan of the band, coming out to gigs, showing support, so when we needed a guitar player, I gave him a call.
Initially, I asked if he was interested in sitting in with us, I didn't tell him Phil was leaving, he said "sit in, or be in the band, because I would really like to be in the band".
Without any vetting, Justin was in the band, where he is today.
October 21st, 2016, we celebrated 10 years as a band, with the current lineup, as well as Phil Tiki and Jack The Ripper.
We have no intentions of stopping anytime soon!
I'd also like to give honorable mentions to these fine drummers, for putting time in with this band.
Rick Kubic, Leslie Walle-Santos,
Grant Ossler, Mark Manzo
There you are,
a "short" history of 13 Tikis