Phantom Polka Band
The Phantom Wedding Band was formed in the summer of 1998 under the name 'The Phantom Polka Band' by Nate Murphy (Drums), Rich Vogel (Bass, Accordion, Keyboards, Guitar), Andy Butner (Bass, Guitar, Drums, Clarinet), Corey Ruffin (Saxophone, Vocals), and Chris Eddy (Violin, Guitar) in order to fill a vacant position for a polka band on a float operated by Nates' then manager at the Hong Kong Inn. Nate once found a full bag of cocaine under a table at said restaurant and said manager made him flush it down the toilet, probably the right decision.
The band learned 4 songs, all arranged through their own peculiar tastes and inabilities, which were; The Beer Barrel Polka, The Accordion Polka, and a medly of Star Wars music- I guess thats three songs. Scavenger Hunt Vintage clothing, then on Fulton street, donated white tuxedos and the band was ready to go. The band played to much acclaim and the whole thing was videotaped by Jef Leppard . After the parade was done much beer was drunk, and the individuals went their seperate ways.
The Phantom Wedding Band
One year later somebody decided to restart the band, maybe Rich, after the implosion of The Cartridge Family after playing two stellar shows in a Meijer parking lot for the Coca Cola Corp. and the Lowell Showboat. Everyone signed on except for Nate, who was replaced by Brad Holland of Whirlwind Heat.
The band practiced in Rich's tiny and hand made sound proof room in the basement of his home at 10eastern. The band would imbibe on large amounts of Moosehead beer and listen to old vinyl to pick what songs to learn.
The band added many tunes; a mambo by Prez Parado, a klezmer tune, alot of video game music, 'Pick up the Pieces' by The Average White Band, and some originals by Mr. Ruffin about his genitals. The band played shows during 1999 and 2000 at the old Intersection, Arco Iris, Harvey's on the Mall in Kalamazoo, The Magic Stick in Detroit, and many house parties. The bands last show was playing at 10am as the first act at the Intersection during the eastown street fair with new member Chris Brooks of LM and The Carebears. In its time the band performed on the same bill with such groups as Mechanik, 25 Suaves, Quintron, Wolf Eyes, Immigrant Sons, and others but its hard for me to remember cause I was doing way too much LSD during those days.
Recordings of The Phantom Wedding Band do exist but there have been no official releases as of yet.