Biography



Marty Lucas started kicking out the jams at the ripe old age of 10. He was the tag-along little brother of Jack and Tracy Lucas, who were starting their first band, REBEL JAM, in Scottsburg, Indiana. The two older siblings had to watch the youngest Lucas kid, so he went everywhere they went, which included band practice. They couldn’t find a bass player after a few months so Steve “Geezus” Bagby, the drummer of the band, said, “Hey Marty can do it…he sucks but he is always here and it’s easy to play the bass…” Marty was an official member of The Rebel Jam Band…

Rebel Jam had a big problem. Although the oldest members of the band were only 16, they had acquired a taste for whiskey. All of their heroes had drinking problems, so they tried to develop drinking problems themselves. Most were successful, but Marty was too young to keep up with his fellow band mates. While they all drank before the show and threw up after the show, Marty was busy dealing with all of the usual band issues such as the set up and tear down of the PA. After a while, the drinking kept tensions high and attitudes bad and the first domino of the bands unraveling tipped over. Danny “Fred” McDonald left the band and threw his band-owned Peavey Classic off of a bridge that passed over Interstate I-65. Soon after this incident, the band broke up. Marty was left with one very important thing from his early years as the Rebel Jam Band’s punching bag…..His very own PA system…

Having your own PA system, when you are 12, is like having all of your teeth in “Southerndiana”. Not a single soul has that…Every good musician in Scott County wanted to play with Marty. He had the cream of the crop to pick from to start his very own band. TKO, which was named after a highly underpowered and highly over-rated Peavey bass amplifier, was the moniker for Marty’s first post-Rebel Jam project. This band included the town bad-boy Bobby Hilton on drums. The only eighth grader, to this very day, to do an unaccompanied drum solo in front of the entire Scottsburg Junior High School. Although the entire solo was just made up of a monotonous series of mid-tempo eighth notes, he was the best around. Other members of this project included Gary King on bass guitar, Scott Herald on guitar, Randy Bowling on guitar and Pat McClellan on guitar. They had more guitarists than The Outlaws and Molly Hatchett combined!!!!!! They had to be good…

Over the next few years there were countless member and name changes. One of the more interesting points during this time was the undoing of bassists number four, Trent Cowles… Marty had always stood staunchly against anything that was considered pop or mainstream. But, after a three-day fishing trip where the only available cassette tape was the new release from Prince entitled “Purple Rain”, his idea of good was changed forever. The very next day he called a hurried rehearsal and the band, called Vintage at this point, worked out four tunes off of Lucas’ new found favorite cassette. “Darling Nicki” was one of the songs they had worked out and added to there mostly southern flavored setlist. After a scorching set at BILL’S ICE CREAM SHOP was video taped for the bands press pack, Trent’s mother, who was a high school English teacher, saw the tape and heard Marty screaming about masturbation and grinding sex acts. Trent’s Mom made him quit the very next day.

After the loss of his most punctual bassist yet, Lucas decided to change things up a bit. The hottest song on the radio at the time was .38 Special’s “Hold on Loosely”. They had two drummers, so Marty thought that he should have two drummers. Enter Rudy Roberto…At the first rehearsal with the two drummers it was determined that the original drummer, Bobby Hilton, couldn’t play triplets…only monotonous mid-tempo eighth notes. This limited the bands selection of tunes terribly, but they were finally able to decide on one song to work out. It was AC/DC’s “For Those about to Rock”. After trying for weeks to perfect the ending of the song where Brian Johnson screams, “Fire!!!!”, Marty realized that the dual drummer thing was not going to work. He decided to take some time off and re-evaluate the revolving door of personnel he had been working with for the last three or four years.

Marty had always wanted to play with a group of people that were as serious about the music as he was and that prompted him to put together his first “real” band. They were called The Syndicate. This band had a consistent line-up for the next 4 years. Marty on guitar and vocals, Tracy Lucas vocals (on HEART songs only), Greg Gaddis on guitar, Johnny Cornett on bass guitar, Richard Hendrix on drums and Jim McGannon on saxophone and keyboard. This band slowly climbed to the pinnacle of the local music scene in “Southerndiana”. They won the Carl Caspers Auto Show Battle of the Bands… Every year in late February there was a huge band battle that was held at the convention center in Louisville Kentucky. All of the musicians from the entire “Southerndiana” area came in by the thousands in old pick-up trucks that had very little of the original exhaust systems left on them. They all “worshed” up and came to the big city for the chance to play on a “real” PA and be bathed in the intense light of a “real” light show. The Syndicate placed 3rd, placed 2nd the next year and then, with a setlist of “Rock and Roll” by Led Zepelin, as done by Heart (See note about Tracy Lucas above); “Love Will Find a Way” by Yes; “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Rainbow, as done by Alcatraz and “In The Heat of The Night” by Brian Adams, they conquered the local music once and for all with a 1st place victory….

Since they were practically rock stars already, The Syndicate had to make a move to get to the BIG TIME…The tried to make it to Los Angeles and their converted 1971 Ford school bus broke down in Apache Junction, Arizona…

(To be continued…….)