Back in 1988 I had my own band called Altered Moods and we played a few live gigs between Columbia and Charleston. Somewhere along the way at one of those shows I met Darrin Gray of 49 Reasons and I remember we had a really nice talk about both our bands and what was going on in the local music scene at that time. At one point he pulled a home made cassette out of his pocket and gave it to me and I probably traded him one of ours in return. As with all things music I kept that cassette and gave it many listens – I particularly liked the first cut “I Don’t Even Want To Know Your Name”. Great band - great group of guys -
OK people Darrin Gray has been kind enough to give us some history on 49 Reasons and although we know there is much more to tell this is a wonderful start to an official Bio – Thank you Darrin…
49 Reasons: From what I Remember…
By Darrin Gray
The Really Old Back Story: The Florence SC Years 1986-'89
49 REASONS was initially called THE TERRIBLE GOLFERS among other things... We had a whole notebook of stupid names like PICKLEWAGON, as in "Your mother drives a picklewagon!"(Bugs Bunny)... Cole has a suitcase full of fliers and things like this that he carts around to this day.
We went through a few dudes initially, but the first real lineup was: Cole Charles-Vocals and Guitar, Dave Boyce-Guitar/Bass, Jason Puckett-Guitar/Bass, David Collins-Guitar and myself, Darrin Gray-Drums
The Terrible Golfers would play house parties and this place called The College Station, that a couple of the guys worked at. We worked up a set of original tunes with some alternative college songs and after a while had a nice following around Flow-Town. We also recorded a series of demos with E. ALLEN JOHNSON, who is widely recognized as the spiritual (and technical) mentor of this growing Florence, SC music scene.
It was around this time that Cole came up with the moniker 49 REASONS. He pasted the name in big vinyl lettering on the back of his Dodge Dart and we were a "real" band! We played this place called the BEACHED WHALE with our new name and packed the joint, making what we thought was a ton of loot. It was then we decided we should do this... A Lot!
I somehow cut out the part that we all met as students at Francis Marion College. Francis Marion was a big part of the 49 Reasons story, for sure.
We kept recording and gigging as much as possible, doing demos with E. ALLEN at MEDIA OKRA STUDIOS and with my buddy, MIKEY MEZ. Then, in 1989, we recorded LEGEND IN MY OWN BACKYARD with EARVIN DARGAN at MINGO SOUND. 49R started playing a few on the road in places like Columbia, Clemson and Myrtle Beach. Columbia looked like a happening place for rock'n'roll. Our friend and fellow Florentine Allan "The Moxx" Mozingo, had recently moved to Cola. and would send us these killer cassette recordings of WUSC college radio broadcasts. Cole and I were sold. The other guys, not so much. Understandably, they had school to finish and lives to lead. Jason, actually moved to Columbia later and would play with us on and off over the years. Cole and I packed that Dodge Dart up and headed to Cola-Town, where we rented a house on Heidt Street, right down the street from the legendary DRINK SMALL. The Moxx signed on for bass. Then, right around the time of Hurricane Hugo, maybe even during the storm, we found our new guitarist, Chad Conn.
49 REASONS (MACH 2): Cole Charles-Vocals/Guitar, Chad Conn-Guitar, Allan Mozingo-Bass, Darrin Gray-Drums