I was flourishing in Madison high school as a central guitarist in the school music program. My romantic relationship with Ella was in full bloom and apparently healthy. While I did have a slight case of senioritis, I basically did my best until the end of the school year without pushing myself too hard or overly stressing out. My melodic metal band Beauty and Chaos was underway recording its first official demo. This would also be the first official release of my “musical career” as well. I couldn’t wait to show our stuff to the world. We recorded with a friend whom we met from the local Sam Ash music store named Martin. He recorded the demo for us, and I think we mainly paid him with beer! Which was a challenge to buy since we were all still underage! These recording sessions are some of my earliest memories of getting drunk.
On the evening of Tuesday February 3rd, 1998 Beauty & Chaos played a show at the famous lower Manhattan rock club on the Bowery known as CBGB. CBGB-OMFUG is a piece of rock n’ roll history that was located at 315 Bowery in Manhattan’s East Village. The stage of this legendary night club was touched by the likes of such legendary bands as Guns n’ Roses, Misfits, Blondie, and the list goes on … We had our chance to play here at least twice. This show was not exactly a show to be remembered. A raw cassette tape recording of this evening exists. We played a six-song set that night without a bass player consisting of:
Beauty & Chaos
Into Hiding (Amorphis cover)
The shouts of clear personal displeasure at our circumstances was made evident from my stage presence and “dialogue” with the audience. I was not having a good night and I was really letting it show. We had a small crew in those days who hung out with us in and out of rehearsals and supported our live shows, so I am sure there were at least a handful of these supporters in the audience that evening. If there were parents or audience members who were faint of heart, they would probably have wondered if I was not a bad influence. While I do not think anything that I said that evening was particularly destructive, I was voicing dissatisfaction with myself, my band and my environment. Not a very attractive vibe I must say. The show was at best halfway decent. It reminds me of how our relationships within the band were already beginning to grow noticeably stressful at the time.
 It seems our bass player Mitchell had left the band by this time in early 1998.