As fate would have it, that show turned out to be the last for "Noble House" - and friends, Jaf Farkas (bass) and Shawn Rice (singer), were now on board for the new potential project. Another friend - and classmate of Hanson's - was Jen Polcari. Jen just so happened to be home from her music studies in Indiana and was playing in a pit band with Snykus for a local, community play. The band (still nameless) now had a talented keyboardist.
All they needed now was a guitarist and some horns. Chris Hanson started teaching himself trumpet and painfully learning horn lines - and writing horn parts easy enough for himself to play in a short amount of time. The band was able to find local sax players (usually from S.U.N.Y. New Paltz) - which still left the crucial guitar spot vacant.
Dissatisfied with his trombone progress, and seeing the greater need for guitar, Bill Hanson stepped up and said, "I'll learn guitar." The next day, Bill bought a guitar and started practicing ferociously. In just a few weeks, he was quite a capable rhythm guitar player. Now that the band had a lineup, all it needed was a name and some songs! The band got together in a New Paltz basement and the Hanson's garage and started churning out music. Driven by an intense desire to perform the music live, the group knew they needed enough material to play for 3 hours live (which is what most local bars were requiring at the time).
In less than two months, they had written 14 original songs, and learned a slew of covers (including: Fishbone, The Specials, English Beat, James Brown, They Might Be Giants, Bad Manners, Joe Jackson, and the theme from Sanford & Son). While this was going on, the band's name would change almost every day - and sometimes several times a day. They briefly settled on "Catbutt" for about two weeks - until Chris Hanson and Shawn Rice came up with "Perfet Thyroid" - mostly out of their obsession with the names of organs and glands. The rest of the band was sold on the new name...
especially after they later rationalized the name by incorporating the actual function of the thyroid (to regulate metabolism and growth). The name seemed to fit the bands musical function - to influence the energy level of it's listeners in a positive way. They also decided to mix caps & lower case and foreign punctuation marks in their logo - (purposely used inappropriately) to represent their music style: taking many different genres of music and twisting them into somthing new, unexpected and ultimately ThYroIDian - like a musical Frankenstein. PT now had a name, and music to play - so they started playing anywhere they could...
record stores, bars, parties...whatever. Although PT's early sound was "a bit rough" at best, they quickly built up a substantial following because of their rock-solid rhythm section, novelty horns, rediculous humor, and endless energy! Around this time, Hanson became the sole lead singer - as good friend and co-lead singer Shawn Rice left to pusue other interests. The group re-evaluted their needs, and decided to add another "real" horn player. Dean Jones answered the call.
With the addition of Dean Jones (trombone & keys), PT had found their missing link. Jones added needed legitimacy to the horns - and fit right in to PT's writing style and stage antics. Now PT's musical reputation started to keep up with their visual entertainment value. Before long, PT became a full-time career for all involved - bigger and more frequent shows came into play.
PT became the local favorite to open for major acts coming through the area, and started playing more colleges and larger venues throughout the northeast as well. As PT's popularity began to grow, ironically, several members found that this new lifestyle was not really for them and decided to step out. Now, I'll skip all the details of when who took over for who - and just say that the horns and strings went through a few changes over the years and some members left and came back years later. All the while, PT continued playing and did it's best to hold on to it's identity - which, for the most part, it succeeded at very well.
While Chris Hanson and Chris snykus are responsible for keeping PT alive from it's creation to this day, they also appreciate the growth and change that the different personnel brought about. They also discovered that no one ever truly "leaves" PErFect ThYroID - they just move a little farther out into PT's vast corona! Ultimately, PT has always stayed true to it's creed of celebtrating diversity through music - and motivating people mentally and physically. So with that said, PT continued to tour full-time for 11 years, put out 5 albums (4 on their own Skunkjam label and one on Shanachie Records), appeared on countless compilations and 1 Disney movie soundtrack ("Meet the Deetles" - Mercury Records - with Cherry Poppin Daddies & The Bosstones). "Alternative Press" magazine selected PT's 4th CD, "Musical Barnacles" as one of the TEN BEST SKA-influenced ALBUMS OF ALL TIME - (along with Fishbone, The Specials, and Operation Ivy to name a few).
Some of the people PErFect ThYroID has shared the stage or the studio with include: Tower of Power, The B-52's, Ike Willis (Frank Zappa), The Cherry Poppin Daddies, Fishbone, Toots and the Maytals, Corey Glover (Living Color), Goo Goo Dolls, Reel Big Fish, Marcy Playground, Third Eye Blind, Dishwalla, Cake, Chuck Berry, Widespread Panic, Jay Ungar, The Urge, The Flys, The Toasters, Pilfers, Bim Scala Bim, The Slackers, Mephiskapheles, SR-71, Spring Heeled Jack, Judy Collins, Joan Ozborne, Chucklehead, Yolk, Too Skinny J's, Super 8, King Sunny Ade', Entrain, Three, The Slackers, Cylce Sluts from Hell, Murphy's Law, The Violent Femmes, Skankin Pickle, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Roots, Jimmy Falon, Y'sou N'dour, NRBQ and Bruce Springstein. PT was at home on almost any bill - punk shows, ska shows, funk shows, rock shows, folk music festivals... Indian Tabla festivals... Native American ceremonial dances...
Metalica's backing band... you get the idea. Here's the lo-down on the major players: **Chris "Skunk" Hanson - (lead vocals, trumpet, percussion, turntables, toys & visual artist - on all PT music) - fans called him "Skunk" because of his skunk-tail mohawk modeled after PT's skunk logo (ska, funk, and punk being the earliest ingredients of their music = "skunk music") Skunk is currently working on new projects and collaborationg on friends' projects (incl. some PT members).
**Chris Snykus - (drums, vocals - on all PT music) - currently drummer for "Jupiter Sunrise" **Bill "Beetle" Hanson - (guitar, vocals - on PT albums1,2&3) - acquired "Beetle" from someone mis-pronouncing his name - after all, "Bill" is not easy to say. Beetle is now a teacher, and sometimes records music with his daughter and "Uncle Skunk". **Jaf Farkas - (bass, vocals, guitar & visual artist - on PT albums 1&2) - sometimes plays with latin band "Sonando" **Jen Polcari - (keys, accordian - on PT albums 1,2,&5) - currently teaching accordian to Lemurs in Madagascar. **Shawn Rice - (vocals) - left before 1st album, but co-wrote several PT songs and maintained close ties with band - currently a filmaker in NYC.
**Dean Jones - (trombone, keys, vocals, toys - on PT albums 1,2,3&4) - currently doing studio work, in "Dog On Fleas" and recently toured in Spain with "420 Funk Mob" with George Clinton. **Shane Kirsch - (sax/woodwind, vocals, keys - on PT albums 3,4,&5) - working on solo project (incl. some PT members) and occasionally on stage with George Clinton (ie. P-Funk Allstars & 420 Funk Mob) - also teaches sax.
**Joe Cuchelo - (bass - on PT albums 3&4) - currently in "Three" - touring with "Coheed & Cambria" **Jason Foster - (guitar, vocals - on 4th PT album) - currently working on solo project and some collaboration with friends. **Mike Bove - (sax, vocals - on 5th PT album) - currently a sound engineer with Firehouse Productions **Jon Stern - (bass, vocals - on 5th PT album) - currently in "Avalon Grey" **Joe Brooks - (guitar, vocals - on 5th PT album) - currently collaborating with friends on various projects. **Sam Lapidus - (trombone, percussion, vocals - on 5th PT album) **Sean McLaughlin - (sax, vocals- on 5th PT album) - currently teaching and staying musically active. **Ben Acrish - (trumpet/brass - only on live PT recordings) - Ben came into PT after the last album was recorded - but is on several live recordings and plays reunion shows with PT - also plays on cruise ships and another NY band with friends.
*******************Finally, PT would like to acknowledge that our fans are what made everything possible - and so enjoyable! It has truly been an honor to have such amazingly cool people support us and freak out with us over the years. The musicians are only half of the PErFect ThYroID circle. We deeply appreciate all of you who provide the other half to complete the circle. Read more on Last.fm.
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