Hank Shteamer (STATS – drums)
SPB: What do you remember of playing your first live show (with STATS)?
Shteamer: STATS started life as a band called Stay Fucked. The personnel was me, STATS guitarist Joe Petrucelli, and Tom Kelly (a dear friend, both then and now) on bass. Together, we came up with some of the core ideas that have carried through to the current incarnation of the band heard on the new STATS album, Mercy. Absurd humor and inside-joke-fueled riffing has always been a big part of the Stay Fucked / STATS M.O., and in 2002, when we were preparing to play out as Stay Fucked for the first time, I remember plenty of goofball brainstorming re: what we could do to make the show special. Not sure where this concept came from, but Tom floated the idea of us all wearing white pants. (Later, we were interviewed on an NYC public-access TV show called “Goomi Express;” Tom told the host, Blake Madden, something to the effect of, "If you wear a white shirt, that's one thing. But if you wear a white shirt and white pants, that's something else altogether.") At the time, we'd also for some reason become fixated on the idea of the Arnold Palmer, the half-lemonade, half-iced-tea beverage named after the golfing great.
I believe that the first Stay Fucked show, or one of the first, took place in the basement of the West End, a now-closed bar/grill at 114th and Broadway that was an integral part of campus life at Columbia University, where Joe, Tom, and I met as students in 1999. (The three of us had previously played together in Super Lucky Cat, an indie-rock band led by our mutual friend Zack, and some of SLC's most memorable shows were also at the West End.) We made good on our plan and wore matching white pants. We also brought a chair onstage, situated in between Joe and Tom, and set atop it a pitcher of iced Arnold Palmer(s), along with some plastic cups. I believe there was a photo of Palmer himself involved in the display, or perhaps we bought a can of the Arizona Iced Tea version, which features Palmer's portrait. I think the idea was that listeners could, at any point they wished, stroll up during our set and help themselves to an Arnie. I don't recall if anyone took us up on the offer, but I remember feeling like the Arnold Palmer display was a unique and charming gesture, especially in light of the loud, abrasive, at times willfully obnoxious music we were playing.