Band History (Tell us how many hidden song quotes you can find.
Move your mouse over the text to find them...)
On a hot summer day in
a rainbow growing around the sun
passing overhead, two
strolled down the lush fairway of a Central
Jersey golf course. Doug Ewertsen, who was
dressed in his best brown baggies,
turned around to look
at his fellow Dickinson
College fraternity brother, Mitch Pinheiro, and said, “let’s
forget all about this macho s**t
and form a rock band. Mitch replied,
“hey there fellow,
we aren’t musicians”. It was true that neither played much
guitar but the realization set in that
it was as easy as fishin’ to be a musician,
so they grabbed their
second hand guitars
and decided to get
in with a bunch of the right fellows.
They reached out to fellow Phi Kappa Psi classmate & classically trained guitarist, Andy Klinghoffer,
who agreed to test his skills on the electric bass.
Searching for a groove,
they added Mitch Spritzler, (a “business associate” of Pinheiro’s) on drums and the band was off and
running with the wind.
Now for a name…
While listening to some of their first “live”
recordings at the legendary Norristown Attic Rehearsal Studios,
(Norristown, PA) they collectively branded the name “Bloody Awful”, which
seemed to capture the band’s cutting edge sound. They eventually decided a
female member was needed to soften their rough edges, so they turned to
a dark-eyed girl who sang and played the guitar
who happened to be on hiatus from her European tour as a blues singer.
After much coaxing
(a bottle of red and a bottle of white)
to climb aboard…
Between 1985 and 1991, Bloody Awful
took to the highway
and hit such renowned venues as the annual “Pig Gig”in Flemmington, NJ,
the “Backyard Blues Jam” in Cranford, NJ and the “Pike Stock Festival”,
held deep within the confines of an old-growth forest in Lawrenceville,
NJ. During this time, the band was forced to change their name often to
ahead of the dues collecting union thugs of the Musicians Guild.
Their music covered classic bands from The Dead, The Allman Brothers,
Lynyrd Skynyrd, to The Who, The Stones, Beatles, Mo-Town, and other 70’s
classic rock favorites that touched a nostalgic chord with their audience.
By the mid nineties, career pursuits outside of
the music business coupled with growing parental responsibilities at home
forced the band to quietly
a distant ships smoke on the horizon.
With the echoes of the amplifiers still ringing in their heads,
they welcomed the much needed break from
the demanding touring schedule to focus on
bringing home their hard earned pay
(i.e. working their day jobs). A period of blissful parenthood
settled in among the band members which slowly extinguished their desire
that chance to make people dance.
By the Fall of 2003,
they were caught in a landslide,
no escape from reality
so a reunion tour was
announced. Ewertsen and Pinheiro
picked up their guitars and played,
just like yesterday,
and reinvented themselves as “The Hotchie
Specials”, named after a hyper-caloric, post-party, munchie satiating,
meal served at “The Milt” diner in Carlisle, PA. Rich Cohn-head, their
former pledge master,
joined together in the band
on lead guitar and added
a South Jersey twang
(ah hmm hmm hmm)
to the vocal arrangements. His son
Michael, who had just come off a European Frank Zappa Tribute Tour agreed
reluctantly to play drums, and with the familiar Captain Klinghoffer on
bass, they were
back in the saddle again.
the flowers bloomed like
madness in the spring
of ‘04, three Montclair musicians of much
renowned were added to expand the bands repertoire and “fatten” their
sound: Tom McDonough on keyboards, Tom Creaser on tenor saxophone, and
Andy Cutting, formerly of the Clover Hill Band, on vocals and bass.
The 2004 gigs came at them
like bats out of hell,
JLMN “Bare Bones” opener to the MFEE Schools Rock season finale, the band
and their “groupies” were on a whirlwind extravaganza that “Rolling Stone
Magazine” proclaimed as “setting the
benchmark for touring
rockers”. Inevitably, the
at both ends took its toll and the
decision was made to
loosen the load
spent on the road by creating two
bands that were geographically friendly to their
it was time
for a change so Pinheiro, Klinghoffer and the Cohn-Heads headed
to the Philly suburbs, while Ewertsen, McDonough, Creaser, & Cutting
would settled into a
NYC-Montclair state of mind.
The journey had been a
long and winding road
college garage band buddies, but the split was an inevitable end to the
trip they had initiated
all those years ago.
They realized that
couldn’t be the same,
days gone by
but Pinheiro and Ewertsen remain
circulate of potential legal actions over the
Hotchie Specials trademark rights. No comment could be extracted from band
members who have sworn to a
code of silence. In
the meantime Pinheiro’s band set out
under the “Mother Zeta Juice” moniker
while Ewertsen’s band adopted the name "Cranetown" - the historical name of
the town in which the band was founded.
cold and lonesome winter
of “05, Cranetown set out to fill the voids left behind by the
departing “Mother Zetas”. Ewertsen
took a look around to see which way
the wind blew and found journeyman drummer, Rick Van Horn, who had
worked various coffee-house jams with Ewertsen. Latin sensation, Jose
Romano, recognizable as the band’s former foreman of
the roadies, was added on
percussion. Dave and Alexandra Arndt, a father-daughter duo discovered at
a local talent
show that would never end,
brought to the band their
talents on horns, strings and vocals. And with the
supple wristed Mike
Handly on guitar, a regular on the NYC bar circuit, the line-up was
completed for Cranetown.
nobody knows what lies
on up the road for this
fledgling group that
For now, they continue their
trip on the
magic swirlin’ ship prospecting for those musical gems that will
fans’ souls with sweet rock and roll.
No matter what they get out of
this, they know they’ll never forget.
that after all, there are
times when you have to
laugh your life away and be free once more.
of this website and
wind on down the road,