Musician, tradesman, connoisseur of fine food, and wine, impresario,
and all-around wayward deviant. Dave Wolfe was born in Philadelphia,
PA, a week after the death of Coltrane, sometime during the declining
years of the last century. His time in the city of Soul was brief,
his wanderings began early, finding him quietly spending his preadolescence
developing his super powers in the snow blasted prairie lands of Minnesota
before migrating west and putting down tentative roots in the hot
cracked sidewalks of Stockton, CA. From the vantage point of years
later, Wolfe recalls the site of his teen, live it up while you still
can, days in the Delta River town as "the armpit of the California.
The per capita crime rate in Stockton was higher than New York City's
at the time, and it was all we could do to brake out of the lethargy"
Lamenting his school days Wolfe says. "I had a hard time in high
school, but I think most of the people I know did. The ones that are
hungering for the good old days never had a chance to break out of
that 'best days of our lives' mold. We were all targets. The whole
Punk thing did not help. I stood out like, well.. like a punk in the
valley with the mohawk, boots, and what have you. It was all very
new for the 'grape belt'. I got out of town as fast as I could. I
went to San Francisco and fell right in. Punk clubs, fake ID's, never
sleeping. I could not keep that up for very long. I knew from there
I had to move back to the Midwest." Having visited Minneapolis
the years before and liking it, at age 17 Wolfe moved there. "In
Stockton, I was just a punk rocker, but in Minneapolis I was a punk-rocker-from-California.
I got a little more respect, and the gals liked the new guy, at least
until they found out I was a Midwest boy from the start."
Finding lutefisk and spending half the year entombed in ice somehow
to his taste, Wolfe founded Sci-Fi Western, an "industrial-country
band" The band shared stages with some of the bigger local bands
including Soul Asylum, Husker Du, Babes in Toyland, The Cows and many
more. They opened for several national acts, Black Flag, Stray Cats,
and Henry Rollins among others. They never released an LP, but Sci-Fi
Western recorded scads of tracks which may see the light of day eventually,
"who know" Wolfe yells. As Sci-Fi played themselves out,
Dave was also booking the Crossroads, a down at the heels South Minneapolis
bar with a open mike night once a week. It was there he met his future
partner in crime, Alan Subola, a lately transplanted cheese-head with
his own band, the Mood Swings, who despite his fearsome guitar chops
and great original material was still playing a highly varied and
extremely forgiving open mike night on a cold Wednesday in South Minneapolis.
Seeing that two greasy heads were better than one, Wolfe and Subola
formed the Vibro Champs, a rockabilly band with a science fiction
"The Vibros took off so fast our other bands sort of fell to
the wayside" Wolfe says. The Vibro Champs dominated the roots
scene in the Twin Cities for over a decade before going on hiatus
after drummer Gary Weiss decamped to West Virginia in 2004, and leaving
for a month stint on Link Wray's last US tour in 2005.
Dave had been booking Lees Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis for a while,
and with the Vibro Champs faltering, he threw himself into work, concentrating
on promotions and looking around for new projects. He had been playing
and building upright basses on the side, and mastered it well before
anyone should. Needing a new project Dave founded the co-ed cow-punk
band called Reverse Cowgirl (with Subola on guitar). Also playing
with Lazy Ike and the Daredevils and jobbed around until finally giving
up on the ghost of the Minneapolis scene and turning the Econoline
south on I-35, bound for glory and Austin, Texas.
In Austin, Dave is playing bass and recording with the Black Irish,
a spaghetti-western-Irish-a-billy band, working on his solo project
and sweating it in the Texas sun. He occasionally journeys to the
frozen tundra to reanimate the Vibro Champs and Reverse Cowgirl, but
for now he remains focused on making a cool, creative and typically
weird Wolfean existence in South Texas, maybe for good, maybe just
for evil. Only time will tell.