Page 5 Girl
From The Secret History of the Cedar Valley
Great band that was fronted by local artist Steve Potter. The band featured Stacy Peck on guitar, Chuck Hoffman on drums and Caruso (David Wise) on bass.
The band played alot of shows with what might have been considered their sister band No Consensus.
Page 5 Girl was originally conceived by Steve Potter, who would write lyrics and melodies while at work telemarketing at Ron Weber And Associates. He would use the tape recorders provided for recording customers to document his song ideas, then flesh them out with Casio keyboard drum beats, bass, and guitar on his home karaoke machine. Eventually Caruso joined the nascent band.
Upon seeing some of Ragman Records' early cassettes on sale in the "local artists" section of Co-Op Records, Potter sought out the people involved by going to the address listed in one tape, Joe Riehle's father's house. By this time he and Caruso had already created several tapes of his karaoke-machine recordings, including the Shot EP. At Riehle's dad's house he met Riehle as well as Stacy Peck, who was just beginning to take up the guitar. She took up the guitar even more by joining the band. Soon the lineup was completed by adding Hoffman on drums and after a few practices the band started playing shows, including punk shows set up by Rob Jenson.
The band was immediately distinct from much of the local scene for their sound and image, not to mention for being almost the only CF/Waterloo-area band at the time with a female band member who played an instrument, especially in the punk scene where they were best known. Musically, they purveyed an easygoing, danceable sound coupled with Peck's simplistic, scratchy guitar parts playing more of an accent role than a lead instrument. Potter glammed up his image with shiny silver pants and eyeliner and threw glitter into the audience while singing suggestive lyrics riddled with outer-space imagery (check out "Chrome Rocket Takeoff", which strongly hints at being about masturbation), while Caruso sported a rockabilly-style haircut, Peck had an affinity for western style shirts, and Chuck wore his face. All of this gave the group quite a different, and frankly sexier, vibe than the punk rock styles that prevailed in much of the scene at the time. Potter's artistic talents lent the band's flyers and tape cover art a distinctive image as well.
Page 5 Girl played numerous shows around Cedar Falls, and released numerous cassettes on Ragman Records, owing to Potter's penchant for obsessively documenting the band and for releasing any recordings he could find -- live recordings, recordings of practices, outtakes, experiments -- just to have an excuse to design cover art. Their sound gradually took on a louder, faster character more in tune with punk and grunge as Peck's guitar skills improved. However the band was notoriously forgetful, usually neglecting to turn off their amps or clean up after themselves after practices, much to the chagrin of others in the Ragman camp. Rather than actually breaking up, they just kind of stopped playing together for no apparent reason, sometime during the recordings sessions for Twinkies & Turtlenecks -- ostensibly because they forgot they were a band.
- Steve Potter - vocals, occasional bass
- Stacy Peck - Guitar
- Chuck Hoffman - Drums, keyboards, Apple IIGS
- Caruso (David Wise) - Bass
- Daisy Maze live cassette, Ragman Records, 1996
- Hypnotic EP cassette, Ragman Records, 1997
- 10 Hickory Smokin' Chips live cassette, Ragman Records, 1997
- Twinkies & Turtlenecks, Ragman Records 1998 (technically still unreleased).
- Pitch Control:The Lost Rehearsal Tapes 2007
- Caruso would often forget his bass parts, and Hoffman could be seen between songs at gigs pointing to frets on his bass with a drumstick ("okay, it's here, then here.").
- When the band would play at punk shows, they were distinguished by being the only band girls would dance to.
- An early version of the band consisted of Potter and Caruso with Tyler Crew on drums, and played a show in Crew's basement bedroom with Switchstance, which Caruso and Crew were also in. This did not go over well with Switchstance singer/guitarist Eric "E" Sterrett, who thought Potter was trying to steal his band members away from him. This gig was recorded and released as the cassette The Night Of Psycho E.
- Steve Potter is a huge Pixies fan.
- Steve Potter later survived a bout with an inoperable brain cancer, fully recovered, and went on to become one of the area's most kickass artists. Bizarrely, misfortune also befell Caruso some years after Page 5 Girl when he had an arm torn off by a machine at his job. The arm was reattached, but I know not the extent of its functionality.
- The band's somewhat androgynous image and musical style caused rumors to surface that they were all gay, though this turned out not the case for three-fourths of the band at last count. Nonetheless, they somewhat reveled in the image. The song "Liquorice" is in fact about admiring a good-looking young man.
- The band name is taken from the Weekly World News feature of swimsuit models on page 5 of each issue.
- Potter documented the band to an obsessive degree, and has a scrapbook containing every flier and tape cover, lyrics to every song with written descriptions of each song's inspiration and subject matter, set lists and written accounts from every gig and probably even several practices, and many photographs.
- Show promoter Rob Jensen would often couple this glam-rock band with anyone and everyone who happened to come into town. This would become very interesting when Page 5 Girl would have to open for skinhead bands and share room in the mutual "blue-room" space before or during the show. Caruso and Steve were often manhandled by these brutes when they appeared in their lipstick and eyeliner.
- Often times before a performance Stacy would literally beg Steve to call off the performance. but of course Steve would not relent, and they would end up on stage performing in the end. Why? because they hadn't practiced their songs or were planning on putting a song in the set list that they had only played once or twice.