Ghost Top 10



Notable shows and events in Cockeyed Ghost's history, excerpted and condensed from Adam Marsland's unpublished "Musician's Diary (1994-2004)". (For much of its history the band was gigging constantly. In the interests of brevity, only key shows are listed here)


The band forms, makes two demo tapes, and plays constantly in L.A. The first L.A. "pop underground" shows happen. Adam is out nearly every night in clubs hustling for the band and for the scene they are trying to help build.


16 Cockeyed Ghost debuts at the Anti Club in Hollywood, to a crowd of 30 people. The "temporary band", consisting of Adam Marsland, Rob Cassell and Kurt Medlin, will wind up sticking together and playing constantly for the next 18 months.

18 The band's first recording session, for a Raspberries tribute album (their track is not used), plus two original tunes.

Cockeyed Ghost 1994

The first known photo of the band, taken at a rehearsal in Adam's garage in early 1994. Neither Adam (left, in dark hair and glasses) or Rob (right, hirsute with beret) have adopted their later made-for-'90s rock images yet. Kurt, in back, is as always himself...the least dorky of the three. Photo by Derrick Anderson.


5 The band's second gig is at Al's Bar with 50 in attendance. The ad hoc group decides to stay together and will play constantly in Los Angeles. Adam will be in clubs almost every night promoting the band and helping to draw the people he meets into a new "pop underground" scene in Los Angeles, centered around Tony Perkins' Bubblegum Crisis club.


1 Cockeyed Ghost hosts its first explicitly "pop" night at the Blue Saloon, with Twenty Cent Crush. Pop fanzine Yellow Pills covers the event.

4139413 Cockeyed Ghost returns to the studio and tracks 7 songs live to DAT. Four of these will be used for the band's first demo tape, 4-13-94.


28 The band makes its debut at Tony Perkins' new Bubblegum Crisis club (at Moguls in Hollywood).


8 Cockeyed Ghost plays its first show at Jack's Sugar Shack, which will become the go-to club for the L.A. pop scene for many years to come. It's also the first gig where the band makes enough money to cover its mailing costs for the show.


7 The band gets the call to fill in at their highest profile gig so far, at Hollywood's then-trendy Club Lingerie.

22 Adam is starting to promote his own shows, assembling a chaotic bill tonight at the 8121 Club. “I don’t think me bossing everybody around (vis a vis volume, etc.) went down well," he writes.


The band plays five local shows this month.Karaoke

2-3 The band is back in the studio, with Brian Kehew of Moog Cookbook producing, tracking five songs for its second demo tape, Karaoke. The band encounters Korla Pandit, also recording, there.


The band has a light schedule with only two local shows.


The band plays five local shows this month, and Adam also sits in on bass with local band Nickel of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fame.


3 Adam and Rob take part in the legendary Brian Wilson Tribute at the Morgan-Wixson Theater as part of the "Dumb Angel Choir" - auxiliary members of Wondermints. As half of an a capella performance of "Our Prayer," they receive a standing ovation. Brian Wilson himself is onhand and is so impressed with Wondermints' performance they later form the core of his highly acclaimed backing band. Rob will also sit in with Wondermints (and later, the Sun Sawed in 1/2) at numerous shows over the next few years.

12 Cockeyed Ghost holds the first of many of its "pop parties" whose open jam sessions will help pull the L.A. pop underground together.

27 After a year of constant playing and promotion, the band is finally starting to build a following. They bring in 46 people to tonight's show at the trendy Dragonfly despite traffic in the area being hopelessly gridlocked.

Kurt Adam

Guitarist Adam Marsland and drummer Kurt Medlin were the longest-serving members of Cockeyed Ghost, and would often goad each other into a frenzy at the end of shows. They were still playing together as late as November 2018.


11 The band premieres 10 (!) new songs at a "Product Testing Show" at the Blue Saloon in North Hollywood, including "Disappear," one of the band's most popular songs. Audience members fill out slips passed out before the show to give their feedback on the new material.

19 Cockeyed Ghost performs Elton John's "Step Into Christmas" at Wondermints' annual Christmas Party at Luna Park in Hollywood.

30 The first of countless road shows for the band, in San Diego at Megalopolis, with The Shambles.

31 The band has played 44 shows in its first year, and made a grand total of $308. Adam buys his soon-to-be-ubiquitous red and white bowling shirt at a San Diego thrift store.


The band breaks through to a larger audience through its Roxy "Noise Pop" showcase nights, and continues to help build the scene and plays to bigger and bigger audiences. The band releases its first single and makes its first appearance on CD. Paul Presson replaces Kurt Medlin on drums.


10 The band hits a tipping point as it hosts its first Tuesday pop underground night at the Roxy Theatre. The all-star bill (Baby Lemonade, Velouria, The Mutts, 3 Day Wheely, 20 Cent Crush and Atom Smashers) draws more than 250 people despite heavy rain (Adam manning the phones all day to make sure people show up), and the band's energetic performance draws notice.


First Tour

The band takes an affectionate though poorly centered) photo in a parking lot in Santa Cruz while on their first road trip. Kurt has just informed Adam and Rob that he will be leaving the band soon to focus on his newly-expanding family. His stable, level-headed presence will be missed in the next few years as the band's star rises and pressures mount.

10-12 The band's first "tour" - two shows in Northern California, in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Kurt informs Adam and Rob that he will be leaving the band soon in order to focus on his family, as his wife is now expecting.


6 The band's first review is in a Buffalo, NY magazine called Nightlife.

11 The band throws its second party.  Prior to the party, many members of Wondermints convene with Adam and Rob and run through a jam session of Beach Boys songs.  The session is committed to a good quality cassette tape.  Many of those in attendance will go on to form the core of Brian Wilson's crack band.

14 The band's second Roxy show, organized by Adam, is even more successful than the first.  With clear weather this time, the club is nearly filled to its 450 person capacity. 



1-2 The group convenes at the legendary IRS studios in Los Angeles to track four songs for their anticipated third (and final) demo tape, Boo!.  Rob has recently torn his ACL in a skiing accident (Adam would sustain a nearly identical injury onstage exactly two years later) and does the whole session seated in a leg cast.


16 The band mounts another Roxy show.  It is another big success, with an estimated 350 people turning out on a Tuesday night. Also on the bill are Sugarplastic, Wondermints, The Last, Magpie, Big Drag and Junior Hill. In the audience tonight, as reported by BAM magazine, are Brian and Melinda Wilson (checking out Wondermints), along with Kato Kaelin of O.J. Simpson fame, and Rodney Bingenheimer. The growing pop movement is acknowledged – dismissively – by a review of this show in the L.A. Times by veteran pop journalist Steve Hochman.

19 The L.A. pop scene officially goes mainstream (locally, anyway) as The L.A. Reader runs a cover story, Pop Goes the L.A. Scene.  The band gets a mention along with the "big three" local bands – The Negro Problem, Baby Lemonade and Wondermints. 

27 Kurt's last show with the band for his original run is at Hell's Gate in Hollywood. He will continue to help the band (including doing some drum teching for future drummer James Hazley), before returning for good in 1998.


5 In the audience for a Bubblegrum Crisis show at Hell's Gate, Adam takes note of the fiery drummer for the closing band, one James Hazley.


By the time of Paul Presson's entry into the band in mid-1995, the group has firmly found its way into '90s post-grunge fashion - Adam with his bowling shirt and bleached locks and Rob (temporarily) clean-shaven and sporting Chucks and plaid pants. Like the photo shoot for The Scapegoat Factory, the band poses with a railroad track in the background.

13 Another "Noise Pop Night" at the Roxy; besides Cockeyed Ghost, the bill includes Velouria, The Negro Problem, Martin Luther Lennon, Permanent Green Light, Nickel and Glow In The Dark.  This one is only slightly less successful than the previous months'; Cockeyed Ghost alone draws an estimated 75 people. This is Paul "Wally" Presson's debut with the band, replacing Kurt Medlin. "About Jill" is debuted tonight, just prior to the song's subject taking the stage with The Negro Problem (she is initially not amused).

17 The band is back in San Diego, the first of many shows with Loam (Loam's singer Frank Drennan will go on to success with Dead Rock West).

30 Cockeyed Ghost opens for the Plimsouls at Santa Clarita Brewing Company.


1 Cockeyed Ghost has its first sessions with legendary L.A. producer Earle Mankey, cutting "About Jill."

5 Then-unknown Third Eye Blind opens for Cockeyed Ghost at Jack's Sugar Shack.


26-27 The band has two road shows in San Francisco.


1 The band has another session with Earle Mankey to record "Dirty Bastard" for the upcoming compilation Pop Matters Vol. 1. It will be a standout track on their first CD appearance, leading directly to an indie label deal the following year.

19 The band holds another "Noise Pop Night" at the Roxy, with 450 in attendance.



1 The band's first major press is an interview in the punk magazine Flipside by Jeff Charreaux.

4 The band debuts three new songs, including "At The Bookstore," at Jack's Sugar Shack.

15 The band's first airplay is on tonight's Rodney on the ROQ broadcast by Rodney Bingenheimer.

20 The band is in Bakersfield tonight, the first of many mini road trips there.

27-29 The band has a grueling weekend, playing three back to back shows in San Diego and L.A., one of which is at 3 in the morning.


Pop Matters Vol. 1 featuring Cockeyed Ghost's "Dirty Bastard" is released.

18 The band is in San Francisco this weekend...

25-26 And in San Diego this weekend, with substitute drummer Dean "Nadi" McNeal in tow. Paul Presson has let the band know he will be leaving at the end of the year and can't make this trip.

punk Everlys

Adam and Rob's high dual vocal harmonies were able to rise above the din of the band's early aggressive pop sound. Their "punk Everly" approach helped set Cockeyed Ghost apart from the then-current batch of post-grunge acts. Live at Hell's Gate sometime in 1995.


Cockeyed Ghost releases its first single, "About Jill" b/w "Leave Her Alone."  It is part of a co-op label called Aerial Flipout and other singles are released simultaneously by The Negro Problem, Velouria and PG-13

The band auditions new drummers all month, nearly plumping for Tammy Glover (later of Sparks), but powerhouse James Hazley gets the nod, setting the stage for the band's ferocious local peakand its first two albums.

3 Before Paul Presson’s impending departure, the band tracks several songs at Martin Luther Lennon guitarist Steve Refling's newly built studio in Venice. Most of these tracks go unreleased and are re-recorded with Earle Mankey for their debut album.

9 Paul's last gig is at the Boiler Room in San Diego.


James Hazley becomes the band's new drummer. The band becomes a headline act in L.A., opening for The Plimsouls, 20/20 and others, and continues to put together top-drawing shows, peaking with a capacity crowd at the House of Blues. The band signs with Big Deal Records and releases its first CD Keep Yourself Amused, and mounts a grueling first national tour.


5-7 James Hazley's shakedown cruise with the band as drummer is a short road trip to San Francisco and back.

12 The band holds a winter party. Bassist Rob meets college student Maggi Domke, who will become the band's self-described "roadie" and later, his wife.

22 The first Poptopia festival begins.

23 Adam sets up a Tuesday night show at a Roxy under the Poptopia aegis.; also on the bill are The Last, The Negro Problem, Martin Luther Lennon, Blister, Holly Vincent, The Tories, and The Jigsaw Seen. It is also occasion to celebrate Cockeyed Ghost's second appearance on CD ("Disappear"), on Closet Pop Freak on PopPsycle - the best representation of the L.A. pop underground of the era.

26 The new lineup of the band plays a smoking set at Rhino Records in Westwood; the show is filmed.

29 Adam, Tony Perkins and future Ghost Robbie Rist perform as the backing band for power pop legend Paul Collins at tonight's closing Poptopia show at Spaceland.


Around this time, the band is offered a record contract with up-and-coming NYC label Big Deal.

20 The Roxy; this is not a well-attended show compared to previous ones, though 150 people still show up.


1 Cockeyed Ghost makes its debut in Phoenix, Arizona, at a key show (set up by one of the biggest bands in Phoenix, Beat Angels). Rob falls ill and Robbie Rist takes his place, flying in without rehearsal and performing flawlessly for the six song set. The show puts Cockeyed Ghost on the map there and the band will make many Arizona road trips in the next several years.

16 Striking while the iron is hot, the Ghost is back in Arizona at Tempe's famous Long Wongs.

22 Another road trip to Bakersfield.

24 The band starts tracking basics for its debut album, Keep Yourself Amused, with Earle Mankey.

30 The band is in San Diego.


6 Road trip to San Francisco.

14 In a one-off from ongoing sessions with Earle Mankey, the band tracks "The Lonely Ball" at Steve Refling's studio, a surf instrumental improvised by Adam and Rob on the spot.

Cockeyed Ghost Abbey Road

Somewhere in the California Desert, the band parodies the Abbey Road street-crossing shot, with beach ball-holding Ineko Saito of Adam's side band Manic 5-0 providing the elusive "fourth Ghost." Saito will play on several tracks on The Scapegoat Factory. Photo by Maggi Cassell.

20 The band is back in Phoenix, stopping off on the way to take pictures to appear on the new album.

27 The band opens for the Plimsouls at the Roxy.


4 The band opens acoustically for Peter Tork (of the Monkees) at Highland Grounds in Hollywood. Adam will later credit Tork's influence from this show in formulating his solo acoustic sets. The Shambles open and Adam sits in on drums for the absent (owing to traffic) Joel Valder.

20 The high water mark of the L.A. pop scene is tonight at the House of Blues; a bill Adam has organized with The Negro Problem, Velouria, Cockeyed Ghost, Wondermints and The Andersons fills the 900-capacity venue on a Tuesday night. 


2 The band signs with Big Deal.

18 Back at the Roxy with The Eels, Summercamp, The Shakes, The Gain, Fuzzbubble and Autumn Teen Sound.  The Eels' presence first on the bill, on the cusp of their first album, pushes attendance on this show to the highest of all the Roxy pop shows, at around 700.

22 Cobalt Café, Canoga Park.  This is one of the very few shows the band played near its home turf in the west San Fernando Valley, and they all hate the gig.


24 One of many shows the band hosts at Jack's Sugar Shack.

26 The band is in San Diego. There is supposed to be a second show in Phoenix on the 27th but it's canceled.


28 The band makes its OC debut at the Doll Hut in Anaheim.


Publicity photo of the band, for their first album Keep Yourself Amused. What is Rob smirking at?


6 Bottoms Up Canteen, Bakersfield, CA.  The band has received a large number of Keep Yourself Amused posters to autograph.  James signs all of them "The Token Black Guy."  Adam is highly amused by this; the record label less so.  They will be discarded, and the band will have to sign a whole new batch of posters.

Alligator Lounge7 Alligator Lounge, Santa Monica, CA.  A stellar bill with 20/20, The Andersons, and The Last.  In a classic "Adam" clumsy move, he jeopardizes their new record deal by spilling ketchup on Big Deal owner Dean Brownrout's $500 necktie.  Highwire Daze reviews the show.

13 Adam, along with future collaborator and Beach Boys archivist Alan Boyd and a number of noted L.A. musicians and singers, performs at a tribute concert in which the Beach Boys albums Pet Sounds and Friends are performed, backing Matthew Sweet and others. Wild Honey, the organization putting on the show, will continue to hold similar highly successful charity concerts for more than 20 years, though Adam will never be invited to participate in one again. For his part, Adam's observations on the show preparations will inform his approach to the Long Promised Road: Songs of Dennis and Carl Wilson Live show ten years later.

14 The very next night the record release party for Keep Yourself Amused at Jack's Sugar Shack in Hollywood is a huge success, grossing more than $1,000 with brisk CD sales.

16 Rented RV in tow (see 18th), the band performs two days later at Spaceland in Silverlake to kick off their first concert tour.

20 The band begins their very first national tour in support of Keep Yourself Amused, a brutal 3 week barnstorm across the country and back. The band's first show is tonight in San Diego and they stay up all night partying with friends, which they will soon regret.

22 The band does two shows, in Tempe and in Flagstaff.

24 The band shares a bill with then-unknown Fastball in Lawrence, Kansas. The bands become friends and Cockeyed Ghost is thanked on Fastball's megahit album All The Pain Money Can By the following year.

25-26 Four shows in three days in Iowa.

27 Schaumberg, IL.

28 Yet another double-header, two shows in St. Louis, MO.


1 The band is in New York City to do an east coast record release with their label in attendance. At Rob's insistence the band has brought the RV into New York City so that the band does not have to borrow gear, which turns disastrous when there is nowhere to park it - a thorny problem for their label head to solve. The show, however, is a huge success. The band has benefited from a rare review in the usually reserved New York Press calling Keep Yourself Amused "the finest album of the rapidly aging year."

2 The band's easternmost stop is at Mamakin in Boston.

3 Planet 505 in Syracuse, NY

4 The Grog & Tankard, Washington, D.C.

5 The band does its first show with Paranoid Lovesick in Cleveland, OH. The two bands will become longtime friends.

7 Two shows in Chapel Hill, NC.

8-10 The exhausted band has a long and slow trek to Austin, Texas and nearly doesn't make it, but they do, for a successful show at the Electric Lounge.

11-12 Another long drive, with engine trouble, but the band makes it to El Paso and does two shows.

13 Mesa, AZ

14 The band makes a triumphant, and relieved, homecoming at Spaceland in Silverlake.  Not entirely ironically, they play a few bars of Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" to open the show.  The band has gained credibility and respect for making the trip, but they are aware that they nearly did not make it through.


Come and Get It – a Tribute To Badfinger on Copper Records is released.  Cockeyed Ghost's cover of "The Name Of The Game" is a highlight on this strong disc, and their appearance on such a high quality and high profile comp is a major coup, containing as it does contributions from Aimee Mann, Adrian Belew, Loud Family, The Knack, 20/20, Dwight Twilley, Al Kooper and The Plimsouls.  Other friends of the Ghost appear, notably Paranoid Lovesick.

2 The band is at Jack's tonight

15 The band throws a party at Adam's Reseda house.

16 Keep Yourself Amused is reviewed in CMJ.  "A temperate pop album stretching for wide appeal, Cockeyed Ghost's melodies carry on the West Coast tradition of pop-punk, but in a non-confrontational, less abrasive manner, incorporating ballads and more vocal harmonies (not to mention violins)."

18-19 The band is at The Key Club in Hollywood filming scenes for an upcoming NBC-TV movie featuring Shannen Doherty called Friends ‘Til The End.


14 14 Below, Santa Monica, CA, with Baby Lemonade and (possibly) The Royal Supremes.  The end of year show gets a pick in the L.A. Weekly.  Cockeyed Ghost's live income for the year is $5,127.


The band continues its hectic schedule, tracking for its second album and doing a long tour with labelmates Shonen Knife. They also appear in an NBC-TV movie. After a break, the band returns with its second album Neverest and makes the cover of the L.A. Weekly, but band tensions cause a major split, with Rob Cassell leaving and Robbie Rist taking his place.


3 Among several reviews of the new album, Option states: "Though L.A.'s Cockeyed Ghost have some weird ideas about punk and pop and tricks like falsetto, they do the hearty-guy uptempo thing as well as anyone." The band itself is playing in Flagstaff, AZ today.


The most significant press the band receives around this time is a nearly full-page review in CrawdaddyCrawdaddy editor Paul Williams is considered the father of rock journalism.  The main review is written by Bart Mendoza of the Shambles, but Williams chimes in with an endorsement of his own:  "This to me is exactly the joyous, intelligent, perfectly-realized uptempo pop album every listener is looking for."  Though reviews are notorious for not driving sales, this one does.

10 The band is back at Jack's Sugar Shack to a packed house; The Knack's Doug Fieger is among the audience. BAM reviews the show.

17-20 The band is on tour in central California.

Friends 'Til The End

15 seconds of fame: the band makes the most of its brief appearance in a network TV movie.

20 NBC-TV airs movie of the week Friends 'Til The End, starring Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed actress Shannen Doherty.  The movie features a brief shot of Cockeyed Ghost performing "About Jill," and a much longer section of the song plays in the background during scenes of the film. 13 million people see the viewing and royalties from the airing will help keep the band on the road through leaner times to come.

31 The opening night of Poptopia '97. Adam performs that night with Martin Luther Lennon, on a bill with The Negro Problem, Baby Lemonade, Velouria and others.


8 The band performs at the legendary Troubadour for the third annual Poptopia Festival, with Wondermints, Splitsville and Jane Wiedlin's Frosted, with Cockeyed Ghost's new labelmates Shonen Knife topping the bill. The show is packed.  Entertainment Today reports that Wondermints and Cockeyed Ghost "whipped the crowd into a frenzy with drastically diverse sets."

15 The band commences recording basic tracks for their as yet-unnamed second album (Rob Cassell suggests Flanders after a character on The Simpsons; James Hazley advocates for This One's For My Dead Homies; they will not hit on Neverest until the middle of their tour with Shonen Knife several months later).  They will be in the studio for the next six weeks.


4 Cockeyed Ghost books one day at Steve Refling's studio to cut an experimental track called "End Groove."  They invite all their musician friends to come and bring an unconventional instrument.  Among those participating are Eddie Munoz of the Plimsouls, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Darian Sahanaja, Probyn Gregory (playing a saw!), Robbie Rist and Tony Perkins.  Thus far lacking a lead vocal on the new album (though he is heavily featured as a co-vocalist), Rob Cassell gets the nod to sing the track, inspired by Badfinger's late guitarist Pete Ham.

10 Having achieved his goal of getting a record deal, and ready to focus full-time on managing the band, Adam achieves every musician's dream:  he quits his day job at Becker CPA Review, where he has worked, with one break, since arriving in Los Angeles in December 1987.

15 The band plays South by Southwest in Austin, TX. At the show, which is full of industry professionals, Adam is in a satiric mood, at one point saying into the mic "I know what you're thinking – a punk band, how quaint," and the band turns up its energy to 10.  On the final song, "Banished," the group work themselves into a frenzy.  At the Roxy shows, Adam will typically jump onto a stage monitor while playing his solo.  He does this here; unfortunately, unlike the Roxy, the monitor is not bolted to the stage and both monitor and Adam tumble off the high platform. 

Adam lands on his feet but seriously injures himself.  Dragging himself to the edge of the stage and cuing the end of the song, Adam says into the microphone "I need a doctor and I'm not kidding."  Not getting a response, he repeats the missive and after some confusion he is taken to the back of the room and an ambulance is called.  It takes EMTs more than 40 minutes to make it through the throngs of record company people in the streets of Austin. Just three weeks prior to the band's big tour with Shonen Knife, Adam has torn his ACL knee ligament.

The band's show does make an impression on its merits; The Music Paper's SXSW wrap up by Veronique Cordier raves about the band's performance, saying "Many of the bands I saw (at SXSW) were inspiring, but none were quite as impressive as Cockeyed Ghost.  Fueled by infectious enthusiasm and self-confidence, Cockeyed Ghost delivered a raucous hybrid of post-punk fury and new pop smarts."

29 Despite Adam's injury, the band does not cancel any shows.  Now fitted in a leg brace, Adam is able to perform by balancing on his good leg, and goes back to his old animated ways hopping around the stage.  This is his first show after the injury, back at the Bottoms Up Canteen in Bakersfield.


10-19 The first leg of the band's tour with Shonen Knife and Pluto (a then-upcoming indie band from Vancouver), with shows in Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. The first week of the tour goes extremely well for all concerned; things start to get tougher when the band crosses the border into Canada.

20-22 The band embarks on a grueling two-day trek to Edmonton, James Hazley providing much needed comic relief over the CB radio. Rising early on the 21st, the band trek to Jasper National Park to take the cover photo for their upcoming second album, Neverest.  With Adam's leg brace featured in full glory, the group pose with their instruments in front of a towering mountain.  The band then plays shows in Edmonton and Calgary, completing the first leg of their opening the Shonen Knife tour. Shonen Knife will proceed east and the band will join them again later in the tour on the way back.


8-10 After a badly-needed three week respite, the band drives halfway across the U.S. to rejoin the Shonen Knife tour.  They perform two shows on the way out, in Lawrence, KS and Des Moines, IA.

11-16 Shows with Shonen Knife in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Boulder.

17 The final show with Shonen Knife is on the band's home turf, at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.  Cockeyed Ghost are determined to avenge themselves on fellow opening band Pluto after their misadventures in Canada, and they do, playing a blistering set to a sympathetic hometown crowd, leaving Pluto to pick up the scraps. The entire band are exhausted from the grueling year and a half of shows and recording, and the band demands three months off to rest prior to the release of Neverest


14 Jack's Sugar Shack, the band's only show during the break.

16-28 Just a month after returning home from a grueling round of touring, and with the rest of the band on break, Adam embarks on a marathon cross-country drive to New York to meet with the label and attend the mastering session for Neverest (by Gene Paul, son of legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul)Adam is eager to impress the label of the band's commitment and also smooth over any friction caused by the band's unhappiness with aspects of the Shonen Knife tour.

Cockeyed Ghost 1997

August 1997 - After two months apart, the band reunites for publicity photos for the Neverest album, inaugurating their final run in this configuration. What is Adam smirking at?


6 The group's first show back is “Incense and Peppermints Orange County Pop Show" in Huntington Beach.

7 Adam, Rob and James convene at Steve Refling's for what will be their final recording session together, tracking a violent, angry version of Bacharach's "Walk On By" for a forthcoming tribute album Big Deal is putting together.  The band changes its working method for these sessions, in an attempt to address growing creative tension in the band between Adam and Rob. Adam assumes full control of the production, while ceding most of the actual playing of instruments to Rob.  With Maggi Domke on violin and himself on cello, Rob conceives a strident "Eleanor Rigby"-styled string arrangement. Both men share lead vocals and each turns in an impressive, impassioned performance.

13 Jack's Sugar Shack.  The release party for the band's second album, Neverest, is another huge success.  Maggi Domke joins the band onstage for a few songs.

18-20 Road shows in Santa Barbara and San Diego.


1 The Mint, Los Angeles, with Chewy Marble and Velouria.  Jim Freek's review in BAM explicitly talks about the tensions that are rising within the band, with James Hazley rumored to be leaving and Robbie Rist expected to fill his slot.

While there are many issues, personality and otherwise, at play, the core practical problem is Rob's understandable reluctance to fully commit to touring with the band and jeopardize his day job, wishing for in exchange more control over the band's affairs and an explicit partnership agreement. Rob also offers the not-invalid concern that Adam is not someone who can sit still and wanting to temper his activity with a periodic "whoa."

Adam for his part is tired of bearing the lion's share of the managerial and creative load while negotiating between the difficult and conflicting expectations of their label and his band members, and feels that he's in an increasingly impossible and unfulfilling situation with no way forward. Absorbed with their own conflict, both are unaware that James is battling growing substance abuse issues. The band's star in Los Angeles is continuing to rise but on the interior, they are falling apart. Wanting to keep the band together but aware that the situation is growing untenable, Adam does offer a compromise whereby Robbie Rist could tour in Rob Cassell's stead without changing the official membership of the band; Rob declines this solution.

14-17 The band embark on another tour of the west coast, the final one with the Adam-Rob-James lineup, in order to perform at the North by Northwest Festival in Portland. The band also performs in San Francisco and Seattle.

31 The band is back home at Jack's Sugar Shack.


1 Another high-water mark for the band: they are going to be on the cover of the L.A. Weekly, at the time L.A.'s premiere entertainment publication with a huge circulation. Unfortunately, band tensions are at such a peak Adam and James are unsure if Rob Cassell will show up for the photo shoot today, which is coincidentally just outside Steve Refling's studio.  Robbie Rist, recording at Steve's that day, is on call to substitute if Rob fails to appear, but he does, and the photo shoot goes as planned.

14 With Cockeyed Ghost perilously close to imploding, the band makes its biggest splash ever by gracing the cover of the 300,000-circulation L.A. Weekly.  The article, by Dan Epstein, spotlights both Adam's sharp songwriting and his driven, obsessive nature that has both helped put the band on the map, and alienated many observers.  Cassell is largely shut out of the interview – when he ventures a quote about his day job, still image-conscious Adam quickly cuts him off.  James, as has become his wont, does not participate.

15 Somewhere around this time Rob delivers his resignation to Adam at the beginning of a rehearsal.  James and Maggi are present.  In an illustration of just how far the gap in perceptions between the parties has grown, Maggi claims later on her website that Adam's reaction was trying to hide a smile of satisfaction; Adam counters that he was actually trying to hide tears.

22 Jack's Sugar Shack, Los Angeles.  Rob's second to last show with the band. 

25 Border's Books, Santa Monica.  This is Rob Cassell's last performance with Cockeyed Ghost; Adam and James are unsure if he will even show up, but he plays the entire unplugged set, finishing with "Banished."  After a few short, terse e-mails, Rob does not communicate with Adam again for 19 ½ years. On a happier note, Rob will maintain his day job and eventually marry Maggi Domke, settling into a stable, seemingly contented existence over years and decades to come, though he does not play professionally again.

28 Just three days after Rob's departure, Robbie Rist has stepped in as bassist for Cockeyed Ghost for a previously scheduled tour of the west coast, fulfilling Adam's vision of a more roadworthy and less democratic band.  With Rob threatening legal action, a lingering atmosphere of toxicity and bitter cold weather prevailing, it is a difficult time, though Robbie Rist's positive attitude and sharp musical skills give the band a much-needed short term boost. The first show on the tour is at Velvet in San Diego.

29 The band is in Phoenix.


1-6 The band is in the northwest for a spate of shows in San Francisco, Portland and Spokane. On the 6th the band shows up to play in Moscow, Idaho and sets up but no one shows up on this bitterly cold day in mid-winter.  The band dejectedly eats a free pizza and goes back to their hotel room, closing out a tour that started out promisingly but ends on a dismal note.

12 Back in (relatively) sunny southern California, things look brighter as the group performs at Java Joe's in San Diego.

19 Ventura, CA.

20 The Gig, Los Angeles.  At their first local show with the new lineup, the band is enthusiastically received, giving the group a badly needed morale boost.

27 L.A. Weekly gives a pick to tonight's show at 14 Below with Baby Lemonade.

28 In the immediate aftermath of the Cockeyed Ghost split, given Adam's notorious drive and sometimes abrasive personality, initial sentiment in the tight-knit L.A. pop scene is sympathetic to Rob.  That begins to shift around this time after Maggi puts up a website called "The Disgruntled Former Roadie Webpage" that exhaustively details their perspective on the breakup; it is by any standard one sided, casting all of Adam's actions in the most unflattering light possible, and inadvertently corroborating some of Adam's private complaints about his ex-bandmate. Though it ultimately is helpful in shifting perceptions his way, Adam is bitter because he has maintained an email dialogue with Maggi trying to calm the waters - none of which is reflected in the content of the website. Adam comes to believe their exchange was an attempt to extract information to build a legal case against him and derail the band. He nonetheless honors a promise to Maggi to link her website to the band's, and the band's continued activity ironically is the driver of most traffic to her site for many years to come.

Except for a semi-conciliatory post on the "Disgruntled" page's comment section, where he accepts "one third responsibility – but that's it, 33 1/3 percent" for the implosion of the band, Adam does not directly respond to the website, but his public comments throughout the next year on the breakup, while somewhat diplomatic, are caustic.

31 Neverest makes Buzz Magazine's "Top 10 L.A. CDs of 1997," along with The Negro Problem's Post Minstrel Syndrome Martin Luther Lennon's Music for a World Without Limitations, and Wonderboy's Napoleon Blown Apart.  Adam performed on the latter two albums, and will perform on The Negro Problem's followup, Joys and Concerns.

The band performs tonight for New Year's Eve at Spaceland in Silver Lake, another successful gig.  The group's take for 1997 is $8,001.  It has been a tense and tumultuous year for the band and the peak of the group's local popularity, though not their critical acclaim.


The band tours behind Neverest with Robbie Rist, but James, beset by personal issues, leaves the band. Adam manages to hang on to the record deal and begins a creative reorganization. Kurt Medlin returns, Robert Ramos joins, and Adam begins recording an ambitious third album and rides out the chaos, and starts to experiment with solo touring.


8 The band returns to the House of Blues to perform two songs as part of Ronnie Mack's Elvis Presley tribute.

14 Adam plays a solo show at the I-Browse Café in Pasadena. Always trying to think of cost-effective ways to promote, it's an experiment to see if this approach can work to help the band.

15 Casbah, San Diego.

18-30 For the first time, Adam tries out a small solo tour as a possible means of promoting Cockeyed Ghost's records.  The tour was being contemplated while Rob Cassell was in the band, and it was one of the sources of tension between them.  This experimental tour has stops in San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Sacramento and San Diego.


Adam, James and Rob are front and center (partying with tour mates Shonen Knife) in a rendering by legendary MAD Magazine artist Jack Davis for the cover of "What The World Needs Now."

20 What The World Needs Now: Big Deal Recording Artists Perform The Songs Of Burt Bacharach is released, featuring Cockeyed Ghost's anarchic cover of "Walk On By," the final performance by the Marsland-Cassell-Hazley lineup.  In what will become a pattern for the group, their contribution is mostly ignored in favor of more conventional cover versions by other label artists.  The reaction to the track is largely negative; Amplifier calls it "the aural equivalent of a bloody train wreck."  The track will gain somewhat wider appreciation with the passage of time. 

30 Bam runs an article (by Scott Lenz) in conjunction with their upcoming appearance at Poptopia.  It's the first post-mortem after the near-breakup in November.  Adam's quote balances diplomacy with more than a hint of exasperation.  "A difference over the direction of the band and it was hard for Rob to tour…James didn't know whether he wanted to keep up with it, and I had reached a point where I was fed up with the band squandering the many opportunities we had been given."  Adam's goal with Robbie in the band is clear: "tour incessantly," which they will attempt to do, for a time.


1 The Orange County Register runs an article about the L.A. pop scene that prominently features Cockeyed Ghost.  Adam's choice quote:  "It's not about being goofy…its about not being afraid to be goofy."  Also around this time, Adam does an interview with Elysium, a Finnish music fanzine. It's clear that the need to tour is still very much on Adam's mind:  "We have toured more than most of the pop bands we know but not, in my opinion, as much as we should have."

2 Cockeyed Ghost plays The Poptopia Festival at the El Rey Theater, al all-star bill with The Muffs, The Fastbacks, The Negro Problem, Imperial Teen and My Favorite Martian.

13-24 Determined to keep the record deal, Adam books another west coast tour for the band.  This is a particularly tight, two week schedule that opens at Java Joe's in San Diego, CA with subsequent shows in Flagstaff (where Adam drives Robbie's van into a ditch in a sudden snowstorm), Tempe, Sacramento (with labelmates Gladhands), Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Auburn, and San Francisco.

27 The band opens for John Easdale of Dramarama at Jack's.

28 In Santa Barbara with the Tearaways.


13 The Gig, L.A. The Gig, Los Angeles.  Manic 5-0, Adam's Japan-pop side project, closes the night.

14-23 Cockeyed Ghost embarks on a tour to and from its second appearance at South by Southwest.  The first show is in Las Vegas, at the Wet Stop, with 12 Volt Sex.  The show draws about 200 people. Subsequent shows are in Tucson, Austin (where James goes missing for an entire day), a wild show in El Paso, and The Casbah with China Drum.

26 Cafe Bleu, Los Angeles, CA. James Hazley's last show with the band.  With the record company in the audience and a large crowd in attendance, James disappears.  He is eventually found and the band plays a short, stormy set, which succeeds (barely) in maintaining the band's record deal, but James and Adam have a violent quarrel after, and James leaves the band. He will struggle for a time with personal demons but continue to be a creative and iconoclastic presence in the music world for many years to come.

27 A scheduled show in Bakersfield is canceled in the wake of James' departure, as the band (at this point, Adam and a subbing Robbie) tries to figure out what to do.

28-29 The band elects to finish up its touring schedule for Neverest with two shows as a duo with Adam Marsland and Robbie Rist, in Sacramento and San Francisco.


1 El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles.  Adam debuts a new vision for the band, with the new recording lineup of Cockeyed Ghost appearing for the first time:  Robert Ramos (who had played with Adam and Rob in a pre-Ghost band) debuting on guitar (later switching to bass, covered at this show by Robbie Rist) and founder Kurt Medlin returning on drums.  The four-piece lineup performs several songs in a new direction that will appear on The Scapegoat Factory.  Advertised as "last haunting before hiatus," word goes around L.A. that the band is breaking up.  Actually, Adam is determined to make a third Cockeyed Ghost album that will broaden the band's horizons, and plans to spend the summer recording it. The show is well-executed enough that fans withhold judgment and take a wait-and-see attitude. By continuing to maintain a show schedule through the devastating loss of two of its key members, Adam manages to ride out the chaos to move forward creatively.

11 The new band performs again, at the Gig in Los Angeles.

24 The band begins tracking for its third album, The Scapegoat Factory, with the first of two sessions at Earle Mankey's, after which sessions will move to Steve Refling's.  The lineup is completely different; original drummer Kurt Medlin is back, with Robbie Rist on guitar and new member Robert Ramos on bass.  Tempers having cooled somewhat, James does offer to drum on "Imagine You're Dead" and possibly "I Hate Rock 'n'  Roll" (both worked up prior to his departure) but Adam, after some consideration, decides to make a clean break with the old lineup. 


2 Adam plays a solo show in San Diego with Stew from The Negro Problem and Gregory Paige from the Rugburns.

8 Adam plays San Francisco at Edinburgh Castle with John Moreman. 

30 The band does a one-off show in Phoenix, AZ; venue unknown.


23 Adam attempts to have ACL replacement surgery for his onstage injury two years prior, but doctors discover the ACL is not completely severed, and elect not to operate.  A lapse in coverage means Adam will not get his knee fixed until 2006.


10 The four piece Cockeyed Ghost, with Robbie and Robert, play a one off gig in Sacramento at Old Ironsides.  Also on the bill are the Martinis, featuring Joey Santiago of the Pixies.  

17 The new lineup makes its proper hometown debut at a "wonderful" show at Jack's Sugar Shack for 150 people. The band plays a number of complicated covers (including Elton John's "Bitter Fingers" and "Beach Baby") and demonstrates an increased stylistic range and more obvious pop sensibility. The L.A. Weekly gives the show a pick, giving encouragement to the change in direction:  "Recent shows have seen Marsland starting to deviate from the band's usual slam-bang vibe.  The latter development is especially encouraging; Marsland's excellent melodic instinct and handy way with a pop hook have too often been needlessly bulldozed by Cockeyed Ghost's adrenalized, distortion-on-10 approach."

24 Cockeyed Ghost performs with The Shambles and The Negro Problem in San Diego at Java Joe's.  The new direction gains traction at this show.  The band's LA Weekly cover is also featured in this week's Billboard magzine.


Recording sessions for The Scapegoat Factory continue as Adam embarks on a tour playing keyboards with The Negro Problem. Cockeyed Ghost also continues its difficult rebirth with its first three-piece shows without Robbie Rist.

29 The band performs at Jack's Sugar Shack with John Faye and the Andersons. Robbie probably rejoined the band for this gig.  If so, this was probably his last show as a more or less regular band member, though he would continue to sub for various members until the end of the group's run. 

Years later, after their relationship had become distant, Robbie would claim in an interview that Adam dismissed him in favor of Ramos; Adam remembers exactly the opposite, recalling that around this time Robbie wanted Ramos to take over the bass slot, saying "Robert is your guy." Regardless, this assessment proves to be correct: Robert Ramos' cheery presence on bass and backing vocals would anchor the second stage of Cockeyed Ghost, becoming probably the second most-beloved band member (after James), and the one whose loss the band cannot withstand. Robbie will continue to work with the band as a substitute until the end of their run.


first solo

1-30 Looking for ways to keep the band in the public eye, Adam commences the first of what will become a long string of low cost solo acoustic tours.  The band's label is not impressed with this approach but this will become the formula by which Adam end runs the industry and continues to record after the label's collapse the following year.  Dubbed the "One Man, One Car, One Guitar Tour," this low key affair is reasonably successful and is later remembered as one of the most fun tours Adam ever embarked on.  Shows are in NYC, Hackettstown NJ, Waterbury CT, Cambridge MA, Reading PA, Washington DC, the Balti-Pop Festival in Baltimore (with John Faye and Paranoid Lovesick), Syracuse NY, Chicago IL (where Adam is stunned by the large crowd and familiarity with Cockeyed Ghost), Iowa City (with Babe The Blue Ox), Minneapolis, Cleveland (Sept. 24th, 1998, pictured here), Cincinnati (where his performance at the Cincinnati Pop festival will break Cockeyed Ghost's music into the local scene), and Buffalo NY. A Toronto show is scheduled but does not take place.


The band returns to the studio to track "I Will Fight No More Forever" in hopes of a soundtrack placement (which does not occur). Adam also plays in Phoenix with the Negro Problem.


Outtake from The Scapegoat Factory photo sessions, October 1998, debuting the new lineup of the band with new member Robert Ramos (left) and founding drummer Kurt Medlin (center) returning to the fold. The train tracks, near Adam's Reseda home, were later converted to a high speed bus line.


19-22 Recording on bonus tracks Big Deal has commissioned for the Japanese release of Neverest and The Scapegoat Factory. The songs worked on would be finishing "Someone You Know" from the Neverest sessions plus recording Japanese versions of "Special" (with translation by Yuko Matsuda) and "I Hate Rock 'n' Roll" (with translation by Ineko Saito). Adam also edits together a suite of experimental tracks he recorded in his garage called "Adam's Acid Trip" but Big Deal rejects it.



1 The reference book The Music Hound Guide To Rock is published, and Cockeyed Ghost is deemed worthy of inclusion (fan Carl Cafarelli writing the entry), getting a favorable review of their first two albums - probably the band's high water mark in pop culture (such as it was).

3 Recording complete, the band returns to active performing this month starting with a show at Spaceland, Silver Lake.

9 Twigs, San Diego, with Cindy Lee Berryhill.

12 The band plays in Tempe, AZ, forgetting daylight saving's time and nearly missing the show.

16 Martini Lounge, Los Angeles.  Also on the bill is a new all-female band called Dragster Barbie. Bassist Teresa Cowles will become Adam's closest friend and musical partner in Adam's post-Cockeyed Ghost career.

17 The band debuts "December," which will appear on their final Ludlow 6:18 album, at Wendie Colter's Third Thursday Christmas Party.


The band triumphantly releases The Scapegoat Factory to critical acclaim, but Big Deal immediately goes bankrupt. Adam, Robert and a tag-team of drummers (including Kurt) fulfill the band's touring schedule in spite of the label's support being withdrawn...then the band is left to regroup to an uncertain future. Adam tours with The Negro Problem.


1-2 At his lowest financial ebb, Adam has been focusing throughout the winter on setting up the release of The Scapegoat Factory and a proper national tour to promote it, counting on Big Deal's promise of tour support to pay him back for the time spent.  With money tight, the band begins searching for paying gigs.  They start the new year with a two-day stint at a North Hollywood bar called Pat's, making $200 a night plus tips.  The band do not enjoy the venue or the crowd, but they will play here several times this year as they try to weather the storm. 

House of Bleus

The band took part in Ronnie Mack's Elvis Presley tribute at House of Blues in 1998 and (if this photo is to be believed) again in 1999, without Robert Ramos and with Severo substituting on bass.

16-17 The band plays in Arizona.


5 The band performs at Poptopia-San Francisco at the Paradise Lounge.

6 Making a fast return to Los Angeles, the band plays the Gig tonight as part of the Poptopia Festival, performing with the Andersons, Idle Kings (featuring Norman Kelsey, another future collaborator of Adam's) and the legendary Paul Williams. 

Adam in 1999Right: Adam plays a miniature keyboard during the record release in-store at Aron's. His unusual long-haired bespectacled look around this time emphasizes the change in sound for The Scapegoat Factory but is borne of necessity - he has spent the last several months setting up the record and with promised tour support money not forthcoming, he cannot afford contact lenses or a haircut.

22 The band performs an in-store in Los Angeles at Aron's Records to support the long-awaited release of Cockeyed Ghost's third album The Scapegoat Factory.  After the tribulations of the previous 18 months coupled with the now-precarious state of Big Deal,Adam is enormously relieved that the album makes it to the market and this show is marked by a sense of triumph. It is well attended and Robert Ramos' daughter Jody, featured on the cover, is there to sign autographs.  Sales of the album are brisk.

23 Cockeyed Ghost's third album, and the first without Cassell and Hazley, is released.  The Scapegoat Factory marks a turning point in Adam's career; for the first time he demonstrates the breadth of his capabilities as a songwriter and musician and the band's audience expands from its punk-pop origins. Largely written in the immediate aftermath of the 1997 breakup of the band, many tracks (and the title of the album) obviously vent Adam's frustrations about that time. The album is widely critically praised, including a 4 1/2 star review on allmusic.

Unfortunately, it also marks the end of Adam's relevance to the traditional music industry with the disintegration of the band's label, Big Deal, which goes bankrupt almost immediately upon its release. The experience deeply impresses on him the need to be self-sufficient, and he vows never to have to rely on a record label to continue to play music, ushering in his DIY era, which will enable him to weather the collapse of the music industry in the coming decade...but will take him firmly outside of the mechanics (and awareness) of prevailing indie pop culture.

26 Record release show at Jack's Sugar Shack, which receives a pick in the L.A. Weekly.  After witnessing the humbling disintegration of the band followed by Adam's dogged determination to continue, local writers have become more sympathetic, particularly since the new album shows considerable growth. The band has now passed its peak as a local headline act, but their stature nationally will grow.

The local lineup has now expanded to a four-piece with the additional of Severo (Jornacion) on guitar and backing vocals. Severo is also in the Masticators with Robbie Rist and Lisa Mychols; after Cockeyed Ghost, Severo will go on to join The Smithereens.

Cockeyed Ghost 1999

Then they were four: an early rehearsal with Severo Jornacion as second guitarist in the band, initially just helping with local shows, then later as a full-fledged member. Photo by Robert Ramos??

28 Cockeyed Ghost begins the "Double Austerity Tour," a national tour to promote The Scapegoat Factory six months in the making which is seriously undercut by Big Deal's bankruptcy and expected tour support failing to arrive. 

Big Deal requests the band to cancel the tour.  Determined to continue, Adam, with much help from the band, go to extraordinary measures to play the dates, picking up substitute drummers and touring with borrowed equipment and vehicles, later chronicled in "Burning Me Out (Of The Record Store)."  Robert Ramos is on all the dates.  Scott Hessel, later of the Gin Blossoms, signs on for the tour but only finishes the west coast dates.  Mark Reback is a last-minute replacement for the east coast and Midwest shows.  Kurt, tied down by work and family commitments, will only occasionally do road shows from this point on.

The tour, one of the most successful Cockeyed Ghost ever mounted (and one of the few profitable ones), succeeds in keeping the profile of The Scapegoat Factory up during Big Deal's burn out, and the album achieves respectable sales and excellent reviews.  After the tour, however, all support for the band collapses.

The first show of the tour is tonight in San Francisco.

All Music Review

All Music's 4 1/2 star review of The Scapegoat Factory, along with other critical praise, gave the band a crucial boost at a time when everything was falling apart.


2-7 The band is on the west coast leg of the Double Austerity tour, with shows in San Francisco, Sacramento, Eugene, Seattle, and Portland. A planned show in Spokane is dropped as a cost-cutting measure as the record company issues worsen.

10 The band's problems deepen as Big Deal officially informs the band they will not be paying tour support for the tour in progress, and Scott Hessel bows out of the east coast part of the tour, leaving Adam to scramble for a replacement. Meanwhile the band gigs at Cal-State Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, with Kurt and Severo both on hand.

11 The Gig, Hollywood, CA. 100 people in attendance.  The new sound is warmly received.


12 Java Joe's, San Diego, CA. The band is feeling the strain of trying to hold the CD release and tour together as Big Deal is falling apart, but the show is successful. The band gets a boost today from BAM Magazine, who runs a full page story on the band entitled "Don't Give Up The Ghost."  Adam's frame of mind, and subtle change in attitude, is summed up with the closing quote:  "If everything else falls apart, and people just kinda go, 'this is a really good record,' that's more important.  And maybe that's just the way it has to be."  Dan Epstein, writer of the article, also senses the change:  "there's nothing like adversity to leaven your bravado with some humility."

13 Hollywood Alley, Mesa, AZ, with friends Beat Angels and Sugar High.  This is Scott Hessel's last show with the band; he will do one more show with Adam in 2008.  The show is very well attended and gets a lot of press.

24 The St. Paul Pioneer Press runs an article entitled "Cockeyed Ghost Relies On A Little Help From its Friends" which makes explicit the hardships of the situation.  "We've just had a run of very bad luck," Adam says.

25 Opening show of the east part of the tour at Gabe's Oasis, Iowa City, IA, with Simple Charlie.  The band is unable to fill in the gap between Arizona and Iowa on its tour schedule, so Adam and Robert fly east on standby tickets procured by Kurt, meet separately at Adam's parents' house in upstate New York, and drive 1,000 miles west to start the tour in a borrowed station wagon, with gear crammed into it (the band will be on borrowed equipment for nearly the entire tour). After two days of marathon rehearsals in New York and the long drive following, the first show, with new drummer Mark Reback, of the NYC band Magnified, does not go well.

26-31 The Adam-Robert-Mark Reback lineup of Cockeyed Ghost begins to gel with increasingly successful shows in Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.


1 Woody's, Columbus, OH, a bar servicing OSU students.  With an inadequate PA, the gig does not go well, Adam categorizing it as one of the worst shows the band had ever done.

2 Double-header with an evening show at Border's and a night show at Euclid Tavern in Cleveland.  The night show is with the band's old friends Paranoid Lovesick and the Jellybricks.  The show is hugely successful and the east coast tour achieves break-even status at this point, the first Cockeyed Ghost tour to do so.  This show is also significant because it is here that Adam encounters a friend of Paranoid Lovesick's, Ginna Ling, who will become the subject of one of his best-known songs after her suicide later in the year.

3-10 The band performs (sometimes with Adam's old friend Charlie Zayleskie on keyboards) in Buffalo, Syracuse, Boston, New York, New Cumberland PA, Philadelphia, Baltimore.

11 The tour proper ends with this show at The Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA.  The band are all in poor physical shape, but the show is a success.  Against all odds, the band has finished the tour, due in no small part to Robert Ramos' sacrifices.  The financial strains inflicted by this tour will contribute to Ramos' departure from the band two years later.

23-24 Back in Los Angeles, the band plays two shows.


1 Old Ironsides, Sacramento, CA with the Brodys and Jackpot.  This show, featuring two top drawing local bands, is the remnant of a northwest tour that failed to come together.

7-8 The band is back at Pat's all weekend to pay the bills.

29 The band plays a punk-oriented venue, Chain Reaction in Anaheim.


Probably around this time (though the exact date is unclear; it may also have been in 2000 or even 2001; the most recent track included dates from November 1998) Adam assembles a homemade Cockeyed Ghost Rarities compilation that he will use to raise funds to keep the band going. The disc proves popular, with some websites including it among the band's official discography. It will be followed in 2004 with The Alternative History of Cockeyed Ghost: Rarities Vol. 2. Both are now unavailable.

3 Cockeyed Ghost plays Jack's Sugar Shack.  In a troubling sign of the times, Adam announces the demise of the local music magazine BAM from the stage, to the surprise of those in the audience.

4 San Diego


1999-2000 was a humbling period that nonetheless brought the band together in a determination to perservere, and saw them performing at many interesting and unusual locales. Record deal gone and money short, Cockeyed Ghost keeps smiling as they soldier away at North Hollywood dive bar Pat's to generate income to stay on the road and record Ludlow 6:18.

12 ....and back at Pat's.

18-19 The band performs in Tucson and Phoenix.

23 Chain Reaction, Anaheim.


In dire financial straits after the tour with the promised Big Deal money not forthcoming, Adam begins work as a temporary legal secretary.  This unexpected source of income will be Adam's bread and butter between musical ventures for the next 9 years.  Meanwhile with their record deal gone and the scene fading Cockeyed Ghost's profile is as low as it has been since 1994, but they still average 3 or 4 shows a week and while the shows are not as fulfilling, they are more lucrative.

1 A band gig at Café Bleu in Long Beach tonight is a disaster because Adam is "shitfaced drunk."

2 The band plays Brennan's Pub in Marina Del Rey, which will soon become a home base.

3 The third straight gig in a row is back at Jack's Sugar Shack. Turnout is disappointing. A downbeat Adam emphasizes slow tunes; the band rises to the occasion with a good performance.

9 A Cockeyed Ghost gig in San Diego, with Robbie Rist on drums.

10 Tonight the band plays "another soul sucking gig" at Pat's, this time with Robbie on drums subbing for a vacationing Kurt.  The band performs "My Sharona" but a superior performance of a new song, "The Foghorn," is roundly ignored.  The band is "in survival mode as opposed to career-building mode."

14-19 Cockeyed Ghost begins a grueling six-day run through the northwest with Robbie Rist is subbing for Kurt Medlin on drums. Shows are in Salem OR, Spokane, Seattle, Portland. The band covers the 900 mile drive back from Portland to Los Angeles in one long, hard day.  Adam reports to temp work the following morning.

24 The Pat's experience hasn't been a complete waste; as a result of their performances there Cockeyed Ghost is hired to play a private party, and it goes extremely well.  Adam's buddy from upstate New York Charlie Zayleskie is in town and he sits in on keyboards for this gig.


The band went all-out for its first appearance at the IPO festival, with keyboardist Charlie Zayleskie sitting in on Wurlitzer electric piano, but the uneven performance received a mixed reaction. Photo by Steve Adam.

25 Having sat out the first year, the band plays the International Pop Overthrow festival at their highest profile gig for a while, at the Troubadour.  With Charlie Zayleskie sitting in, the band has worked up a strong, but lukewarmly received, set featuring a new song (which is never heard again), "Bye Bye."  Also on the bill are erstwhile labelmates Splitsville, Beat Angels, Walter Clevenger, Kenny Howes, Nice Guy Eddie, Bill Lloyd, and others.


27 Cockeyed Ghost play Spaceland with Velouria and Sissy Bar. It's another welcome high profile gig where the band is well-received.


1 The band (Adam, Robert and, very unusually, Kurt Medlin for this trip) leaves on what will be the final mini-tour of the Scapegoat Factory cycle, as the group finally runs out of gas, literally and figuratively.  In what he will later describe as "the worst buying decision of my life," Adam has bought a 1985 Plymouth Voyager minivan in order to facilitate band touring.  It will only be used for this one tour; the van proves unseaworthy and at this point so do the band's continued touring prospects.  Robert and Adam are excited to finally have the road-shy Kurt on a tour; they are disappointed and apologetic when it turns out to be one of their very worst.

2 Adam, Robert and Kurt play a long, poorly attended show in Hood River, Oregon.  They wind up getting food and board, and nothing else for their trouble, infuriating Adam.  The band's accounting ledger for the night has an emphatic "0."

3 The already fatigued band plays two shows tonight in Salem, Oregon; an evening show at Border's and a full night at Tommyjohn's.  Because of the close proximity of the two shows, the band plays for 90 minutes without a break at Borders and breaks down about 20 minutes early.  They sell two CDs at this gig but Borders refuses to pay them because of this.

4-5 The band is in Corvallis, OR and then San Francisco.


As momentum for the band gradually ground to a halt, rave reviews of the Scapegoat Factory continued to appear throughout 1999, like this one by Jeremy Scott in the Fall issue of Pop Culture Press. The critical reaction, coupled with a sense that the band had not yet achieved its potential, inspired the group to carry on.

10 After a pause in Los Angeles, the tour continues with a trip to Phoenix, AZ.  The van develops trouble en route but makes it to the gig.

11 The band finishes up a difficult year on and off the road with a lucrative and fun restaurant gig at the Bit 'n' Spur in Springdale, Utah, just outside of Zion National Park.  After the show Adam, Robert and Kurt walk out into the warm moonlit night and lie down and look at the stars on the closed road into the park, a rare moment of bonding and reflection for the three busy men who have been a virtual tag team for the past year keeping Adam's music ambitions afloat.

17 With the Cockeyed Ghost touring operation finally ground to a halt, the band regroups in Los Angeles at Jack's Sugar Shack, and has a good night.  Also on the bill are Dragster Barbie, with future Chaos Band bassist Teresa Cowles, and Martin Luther Lennon.  Adam performs with MLL on guitar.

27-28 A two day session at Steve Refling's. Cockeyed Ghost cuts an obscure McCartney B-side, "Back On My Feet," for an upcoming McCartney tribute album.  It is one of the band's best recordings.  This is the first appearance of Severo Jornacion on a Cockeyed Ghost record, playing rhythm guitar.  Severo does not sing but Robert's girlfriend (later wife) Pam Marsh guests on backing vocals. 


2 Adam's house parties are still going strong.  70 people show up, and Adam is amazed when Robert Ramos leads an ad hoc band through a set of Deep Purple covers.

8 Cockeyed Ghost plays Brennan's Pub in marina Del Rey.  "An odd little show, in that we'd play a song for about two minutes, get bored with it and abruptly start another one"

9-31 Adam is on the road throughout the month playing a national tour with The Negro Problem. His grass roots touring contacts will prove helpful throughout the tour.

15 (approx.) With the help of lawyer Nancy J. Wenger, and taking advantage of a clause in their contract Adam has discovered, the band reaches a settlement with TCI Music for unpaid tour support promised under the Big Deal contract.  The resulting windfall gets Adam out of debt and provides working capital to start recording the band's fourth album.

Also around this time, Adam learns about the suicide of someone whose paths he had crossed on tour earlier, Ginna Ling.  Angered by the circumstances of her death, he immediately writes the song named after her, which will be a highlight of the forthcoming Ludlow 6:18 album.


1-13 Adam is still on the road with The Negro Problem, completing the tour with an L.A. gig.

17-19 Adam's last two shows as a more-or-less regular member of The Negro Problem, a role he has fulfilled throughout the past year between Cockeyed Ghost commitments. Adam will leave the 19th show at the Getty and immediately head to a Cockeyed Ghost gig at Jack's Sugar Shack.

20 Another party at Adam's house, with 70 people attending.  The band plays in the garage and debuts "Ludlow 6:18." 


3 The band plays at Jack's Sugar Shack.  Severo is not in attendance.  He is playing with the Masticators, who are opening for the Smithereens.  Severo will join the Smithereens in 2005.

4 The band plays a private party, and makes $600.

31 Adam and Robert and their girlfriends ring in the new millennium at Badwater, in Death Valley, the lowest point in the western hemisphere.


Now thought of as a band that had its shot and didn't make it, the new lineup of Cockeyed Ghost (with Severo Jornacion as a permanent member) resolves to record a new album that fulfills their promise and justifies their existence. The year is spent recording and playing interesting and diverse gigs that help pay the bills.


The band spends four days in the studio tracking for Ludlow 6:18, including "Karma Frog," "The Foghorn," "Ludlow 6:18" and a cover of the Replacements' "I.O.U."  The group knows that it has to make a truly exceptional album to justify its continued existence, and they will band together as a group to make this happen.

5 Brennan's Pub

10 With the Sugarplastic at Spaceland.  John Perry's website reviewing the show comments that "Adam rebounded from the King For A Day debacle."  It's unclear what this refers to.


Adam and Robert track a song called "Internet Radio" for a startup internet outlet helmed by former MTV VJ Mark Goodman. It is not used.

5 Cockeyed Ghost plays its highest profile show in about a year, performing at the Troubadour with the Cowsills, Redd Kross, P.Hux, Kim Fox, The Andersons and Wendie Coulter, as part of the Poptopia Festival.

25-26 Back in Arizona for three shows, the last of which is a record release party for Tucson legend Al Perry. Perry earns the band's undying gratitude when he splits the considerable take from the night evenly with them; this will help finance sessions for Ludlow 6:18.



The band began to shift its direction towards desert rock and alt-country as the songs took shape for the Ludlow 6:18 album. Photo by Steve Adam.

25 At Jack's Sugar Shack playing with The Elderberries (Raspberries minus Eric Camen).


14 Cockeyed Ghost performs in Phoenix, bringing two vehicles as is their habit. Adam and Robert are about to return home in Adam's ancient Toyota when the transmission drops just prior to getting onto I-10.  Adam's car, which has 231,345 miles on it, is dead.  It turns out Adam has no clear title to the car owing to a snafu with the car dealership years before, so Adam and Robert are forced to hire a U-Haul truck and tow the car back to California, a noisy, lumbering journey which takes 12 hours.  When Adam maneuvers his old car into position at the end of the trip, the emergency brake comes off in his hand.

19 With the help of lawyer Nancy J. Wenger, Cockeyed Ghost wins its rights back from Ground Zero, one of the two companies involved in the Big Deal dissolution.  The harder part will be to get entertainment giant Time Warner to do the same.  But it is an important first step in Adam winning back the rights to his back catalog.

The final clause reads "Ground Zero shall instruct Ryko Distribution Partners to recall any Cockeyed Ghost records distributed by them from tis distribution system, and Ground Zero shall have such records destroyed."  This will inspire the autobiographical "Burning Me Out (Of The Record Store)" on Ludlow 6:18 - but the band's CDs are not destroyed. A sympathetic Big Deal employee smuggles them to the band, and Adam goes on to sell every last one of them on the road.

Baked Potato

The band's resident jazz fan, Kurt Medlin, must have been pleased to play the legendary Baked Potato. Adam improvised a risqué song called "Woody For You" at this show. Photo by Steve Adam.

23 (or 19) The band plays the Baked Potato.


The band spends five days in the studio working on Ludlow 6:18, and is back at Jack's.


Three gigs this month, including one in San Diego.


Cockeyed Ghost 2000

Cockeyed Ghost (with Adam at his all-time skinniest) at the Silver Lake Lounge in 2000.

10 Cockeyed Ghost plays an extremely well-received show at the Silver Lake Lounge.

16 The band play a memorable gig in Ventura, with a buxom waitress grabbing Kurt's head and rubbing it on her breasts, among other bizarre events.

22 Cockeyed Ghost performs at Spaceland with The Negro Problem, Michael Whitmore and Outrageous Cherry. 

Cockeyed Ghost old site

In mid-2000 the new four piece lineup got together for its first not-entirely-flattering photo session, allowing for an upgrade of the band's website to take place. If you had gone to in 2000, this graphic would have greeted you.


4 Cockeyed Ghost perform at Hotel Utah in San Francisco for the BayPop Festival.

5 G Street Pub, Davis CA, with friends the Brodys.


Cockeyed Ghost was always ready to go for broke onstage. Here Severo and Adam get down and dirty at the Que's show. Photo by Steve Adam.

11 Que's Riverbottom, Burbank, CA, with Bat Country, featuring Norman Kelsey. 

12 San Diego.

17 Highland Grounds, Los Angeles – an acoustic show for the Third Thursday series. The band gives its first preview of the forthcoming Ludlow 6:18 album by uploading "Karma Frog" and the non-album "Internet Radio" to the music download site  The song briefly makes the top 10 on the power pop chart.

19 Another local gig, probably at Brennan's.

30 The band performs a special western-flavored show, featuring songs from the upcoming Ludlow 6:18 album, at the Southwestern Museum in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles.  This show will form part of the basis of the Japanese Live in the Southwest album.


8-9 Two Orange Country shows (the second being Adam solo).

20 Old Towne Pub, Pasadena.

23-30 In an effort to keep the band's profile up as they work on Ludlow 6:18, Adam takes a month to embark on a  "One Man One Car One Guitar Tour 2", which will be a fast cross-country jaunt comprising 31 days and 27 shows.  This is a significant milestone in Adam's strategy for self-sufficiency in that this is the first tour that breaks even, and it establishes the viability of the solo touring strategy.  The first show is at Chaser's in Phoenix, AZ, followed by gigs in Norman, OK (with Bowling For Soup), Lawrence KS, Lincoln NE, Minneapolis, MN and Chicago IL.


1-23 Adam's "1-1-1-2" tour continues through Chicago, Muncie, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Harrisburg, Binghamton, Livingston NJ, Cazenovia NY, Cambridge, MA, New York City, Oneonta NY, Baltimore, Arlington, Raleigh (as part of the Shindig Festival), Memphis, Austin, El Paso, Tucson, Tempe, San Diego and finally in Los Angeles at the Mint opening for Chuck E. Weiss. The 10,000 mile jaunt – 27 shows in 31 days - will form the template for promoting the band's next album, Ludlow 6:18, when it becomes apparent that Robert Ramos can't continue to perform regularly with the band.

27 Back with the band at Que's Riverbottom in North Hollywood.


7 Against the backdrop of a disputed election, Cockeyed Ghost takes part in a successful Los Angeles release party for the Replacements tribute album Left of the Dial on Facedown Records, their first release proper since the collapse of Big Deal.  Also on the bill are three other contributing bands, The Andersons, The Masticators, and Static Halo.  Jon Horndog of Horndog, who also were on the album, attended the show.  Cockeyed Ghost plays "I.O.U.," "Alex Chilton" and a medley of "Banished" and "Here Comes A Regular."  Tony Perkins guests and performs They Might Be Giants' "Hi, We're The Replacements."  The venue is The Mint in Los Angeles. At the end of the night Adam announces the election results, as they were known at the time, which visibly upsets quite a few members of the crowd.

16-17 Local shows in Hollywood and Hermosa Beach.


12 The band is at the punk venue Al's Bar in downtown Los Angeles tonight.

13-20 The band spends six days finishing mixing for Ludlow 6:18.

20 Adam sells his old Plymouth Voyager ("the worst buying decision of my life") for $500, and is relieved to get that much, as it springs a leak even as the papers are being signed. 

29 Final sequencing and mastering is completed for Ludlow 6:18.  The band has spent a full year recording the album, and is justly proud of seeing the vision through as a team effort.


The band's final album Ludlow 6:18 is released. Robert Ramos informs the band he can't tour behind the record, so Adam resolves to stay on the road constantly as a solo artist to ensure the album gets heard - and to make sure he never has to rely on a record company again. The strategy succeeds, but with Adam and Robert both unavailable, Cockeyed Ghost starts to fade away as a regular performing unit.


5 The band is back at Brennan's Pub

12 ....and Al's Bar

On The Road

Above and below right: outtakes from the band's photo shoot for the Ludlow 6:18 album, taken at Vasquez Rocks in early 2001. Photos by Anne Bray.Ludlow shot


8 The band plays the Artist Gallery at an event with artist Anne Bray, Severo's artist girlfriend and a longtime friend of the band.  Also performing are The Masticators and the Barry Holdship 3, both of whom also include Severo.

13 Adam forms Karma Frog Records to release Ludlow 6:18 after talks with a few indie labels prove unsatisfactory. Karma Frog would go on to release many albums and still exists to this day.


1 Hard Rock Cafe in L.A. with Piper Downs.

Cockeyed Ghost 99

Towards the end of their run, after two albums that explored less aggressive styles, the band sought to reclaim some of its earlier punk energy by doing a series of ferocious shows at downtown L.A.'s legendary punk dive Al's Bar. Al's booker Toast was a supporter of the band and defended them from skeptical regulars who were turned off by the band's power pop reputation. She related one story where a customer asked why she booked "that lame pop band Cockeyed Ghost" to play. The same patron returned the next week and asked her"who is this band? They're great!" The band onstage was, of course, Cockeyed Ghost. Photos courtesy Steven Adam.

3 The band plays a furious (as witnessed by Steven Adam's photographs of the show) birthday bash show (for Adam, Robert, Kurt and opening band the Condors' lead singer Pooch) at noted punk venue Al's Bar.

16-19 The band takes a short southwest tour, with gigs in Joshua Tree, Tucson, Tempe and Phoenix.

23 Back at Brennan's.

30-31 Two more local shows in Burbank and Highland Park.


13 Adam does a one-off show at Seattle's Best Coffee in Cypress, CA to warm up for his upcoming solo tour.

27 The band plays in Costa Mesa.


The record company salad days over, this ad in Amplifier (helpfully placed next to an ad for the now-ascendant International Pop Overthrow festival) is a rare bit of promotion for the Ludlow 6:18 CD. Adam's incessant touring (with the distinction between solo shows and band shows deliberately downplayed) will eventually drive people to discover the album - but it will take awhile.


11-12 The band journeys to San Diego to kick off promotion for Ludlow 6:18.  The trip is disastrous; Cockeyed Ghost is to open for popular powerpop act the Tories at the Hard Rock Café but due to a scheduling mixup the band doesn't go on until most people have left.  Adam is also somewhat taken aback by the Tories' dissatisfied attitudes given the relative luxury the other band is touring in.  The following day the band does an instore record signing where nobody shows up and performs at the Pacific Beach Block Party, but is cut to five songs because the prior band runs long over their time.  The band then drives back to Los Angeles to do an interview with Wayne Resnick on KFI-AM. The band performs "Karma Frog" live.

15 The official release date of Ludlow 6:18, Cockeyed Ghost's last and many believe finest album.  After the Big Deal debacle, the band was determined to come up with a unified statement that worked from beginning to end and worked together with a clear vision from the outset of the project.  With producer Steve Refling's help, the band achieved exactly what they set out to do.  "Ginna Ling" is widely regarded as Adam's finest song ever, with "Ludlow 6:18" and "Karma Frog" not far behind. 

Just prior to the release, Robert Ramos has announced to the band that he will need to curtail his participation owing to financial pressures and will not be able to tour extensively to support the album.  Determined to find an audience for Ludlow 6:18, Adam embarks on a plan to tour the entire country on his own to promote the new CD.


Probyn Gregory surprises and delights the band by jumping onstage to perform a trumpet solo on "Karma Frog" at one of the Ludlow 6:18 release parties. Photo by Steven Adam.

18-21 Eager to draw attention to what the band considers its finest album, Adam schedules an ambitious three record release parties over the same weekend, each highlighting a different aspect of Ludlow 6:18.  The first is at Brennan's Pub, where the band performs the album from beginning to end. The second is a triumphant reassertion of its punk roots (such as they were) with a show at Al's Bar, and their final co-billing with old friends Velouria. The final record release show at Spaceland is with Kim Fox and Anna Waronker.  The band essays an unusual set featuring Paul Lacques on lap steel, Michael Whitmore on vibes, and Probyn Gregory jumping onstage unexpectedly to play a trumpet solo.  The set is later released on the Japanese CD Live in the Southwest.

25 Adam's "40 Days On The Road" tour begins with a full band show at Jeremy's Beatnik Café, Joshua Tree, CA – some 35 miles south of Ludlow.  The full band with Kurt (a rarity) will do three shows this weekend.

26 Billy Gordon's, Tempe, AZ.  Still popular in the Phoenix area, the band has a big night.  Also on the bill is Big Moxie, featuring former Cockeyed Ghost/future Gin Blossoms drummer Scott Hessel.

27 Cockeyed Ghost wraps up their part of the tour at 7 Black Cats in Tucson, AZ.  The Tucson Weekly runs an article about the band criticizing Adam's lightweight lyric writing, which baffles Adam since the band's songs have been so convoluted they once featured an "explanation of obscure Cockeyed Ghost lyrics" on their website.

28-31 Adam continues the tour alone with gigs in Austin, Dallas, and Memphis.


Onion1-26 "40 Days On The Road" continues through Nashville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore (for the Balti-Rock festival), Cazenovia NY, Buffalo, Boston, New York City, Binghamton, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee (which provoked a notice for Ludlow in The Onion, right), Minneapolis, Lincoln, Omaha, Taos, Albuquerque, and Flagstaff.

28 Back with the band, who play a blistering set in Glendale.

30 Cockeyed Ghost (with former bass player Robbie Rist again subbing for Kurt Medlin on drums) begins its first proper band tour to promote Ludlow 6:18.  They perform tonight at The Distillery in Sacramento, CA.  The band sounds more like the 1996 era band on this tour, and celebrates at the end of the night with "considerable drinking."


1 With the band en route to the northwest, local L.A. music paper Meanstreets runs a positive review of Ludlow 6:18  by Ron Garmon that, though short, nonetheless admirably sums up the band's history to date.  The "Disgruntled Former Roadie Website," still up three and a half years after Rob Cassell's departure, gets a shout out as a "bitter anti-Marsland rant," stating that Adam is "a lot more tolerant of this shit than I would be."

2 Gibson's, Seattle, WA.  The band stops off at Mt. St. Helens on the way to the gig.  The band's opening act is Brian Kenney Fresno, who they will continue to go see as a group off and on for years to come.

3 Two shows in Portland; an in store at Music Millenium, and a night show at Mt. Tabor Theatre.  Severo, who is traveling separately and is dining with a friend that night, misses the latter show completely.  He is in possession of most of the band's gear.  Cockeyed Ghost nearly is booted from the lineup but the other bands volunteer enough gear for the band to play a short set.

5 2nd Street Beanery, Corvallis, OR.  Robbie, Robert and Adam write a mocking song called "Sebongo" to take Severo to task for missing the previous night's show, and perform it repeatedly tonight.  Severo is delighted.


Despite limited promotion, word about Ludlow 6:18 did spread slowly, helped by a few high profile reviews like this one in the San Francisco Examiner.

6 The Stork Club, Oakland.

7 The band plays two shows in central California (a rarity), an instore at Boo Boo Records in San Luis Obispo and a proper show at Sweet Springs Saloon in Los Osos. 

14 Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA with The Negro Problem, The Waking Hours and Anna Waronker.  Kurt, with Robert's bass rig in tow, inexplicably gets lost en route and misses the show.  The remaining three perform an acoustic set focusing on their recently developed harmonies which is enthusiastically received.

26 Cockeyed Ghost performs an IPO show on this night at the El Rey Theater with The Tearways, The Kings, The Churchills, Phamous Phaces, The Rooks, Sun Sawed in ½ and Supermint.


18-31 Adam is on the road with Stew, opening for Counting Crows in the southeast U.S.


1-8 Adam still on the road with Stew.

17 After the relative success of the spring "40 Days On The Road" tour, Adam has doubled down with an even more ambitious "80 Days On The Road" which is scheduled to start just 8 days after returning from the Stew tour, and as it turns out, only six days after the traumatic September 11 attacks.  Adam will tour the country in the immediate aftermath of the event, and observe a tense, changed environment wherever he goes, with comparatively deserted highways and a sense of unease prevailing.  For Adam personally, getting back to a routine of touring is comforting. The first show is at the Casbah in San Diego, opening for Robbie Fulks. 

18-19 Back to Los Angeles briefly for two shows with Cockeyed Ghost, in Pasadena and at the Silver Lake Lounge (in a by now-rare three piece lineup).

20-30 Adam's solo tour continues through Phoenix, Santa Fe, Taos, Colorado Springs, Kansas City, Lincoln, Omaha, Milwaukee, Chicago and Indianapolis.


1-18 Tour continues through Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New York City, Northampton MA, Hartford, Boston, Syracuse, Norfolk, Chapel Hill (emceeing at Sparklefest), Washington, Philadelphia, Binghamton, and New York City.

19 Adam is asked to lecture at a charter school, Stuyvesant High School, which lies behind the police line at Ground Zero, four blocks from the World Trade Center site.  The air is still choked with metallic dust.

20-31 Still on tour through Cleveland, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Belleville IL.


1-9 80 Days On The Road continues through Nashville, Memphis, Austin, El Paso, Tucson, and Scottsdale.

11 Home for two days, Adam tracks keyboards and vocals for Stew's album The Naked Dutch Painter.

13-23 Adam is back on the road in Lompoc, Oakland, Eugene, Salem, Bellingham, Seattle, Portland, and Corvallis.

24 True Love Coffeehouse, Sacramento, CA.  Adam has a hair-raising drive over the Siskiyou Mountains during a snowstorm, buying chains at the foot of the mountains in the midst of a freezing blizzard.  He does make the show, which is a bill with Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds and mad genius Anton Barbeau. 


1 Back with Cockeyed Ghost at Brennan's Pub, with I See Hawks In L.A. and Luminar.  Paul Lacques joins the band for a luminescent acoustic first set, and during the band's later rock set Cockeyed Ghost also performs "What Is Life" as a tribute to George Harrison.  After two months of touring, Adam is greeted with a huge turnout for his homecoming and the band sells 25 CDs.

24 Adam solo show in Oakland. In the previous six months Adam has played 105 shows in every region of the continental U.S. 


The group mounts its last big show with Robert Ramos, a hugely successful tribute to Elton John. The band plays ever-more sporadic shows with Adam now constantly on tour.


TAG3 In an ever more experimental mood, Cockeyed Ghost plays an Anne Bray art exhibit with "Scapegoat Revisited," the entire Scapegoat Factory album reinterpreted in different styles ("Crap" is played country style; "Fates Cry Foul" is a rhumba).  One song (pictured right) apparently featured everyone but Robert on percussion.

18-19 Adam does a two-show mini-tour in central California.

24 Cockeyed Ghost at the Garage.

31 Pressing the advantage gained from last year's extensive touring, Adam ups the ante with the massive "Ludlow 6:18" tour, continuing to flog the final Cockeyed Ghost album even as the band becomes less of a functioning entity.  This will see him doing nearly four months' worth of gigs across the U.S.  Tonight's show is with the Andersons at Hard Rock Café, San Diego, CA.


1 Cockeyed Ghost begins its last-ever tour (as is now typical, it's a subset of a much larger Adam solo tour) at Polo Grill @ Neil's, Indio, CA.  This is a particularly odd and challenging gig as half the band, traveling separately, does not show up in time for the scheduled first set, forcing Robert Ramos and Adam to perform as a duo for the first and last time.

2-4 All together now (though with Adam suffering from laryngitis) the last Cockeyed Ghost road shows are performed in Tempe and Phoenix.

9 Cockeyed Ghost plays the Poptopia Festival at the Troubadour, with Beat Angels, Bell Starlings, Andersons and Skyflakes also on the bill.


22 Cockeyed Ghost essays a tribute to Elton John at Brennan's Pub, with the Last and the Mockers opening.  The show is a huge success though unbeknownst to the rest of the band until during the show, Adam's father has just died and he will have to fly home immediately after the show to attend the funeral.

This triumphant - and highly atypical - show is also a sad event for another reason – barring a brief 2009 reunion show, this is likely Robert Ramos' final performance with the band.  Perhaps fittingly, he is on lead guitar (his primary instrument) for the last gig, with Severo switching to bass. With John Perry now performing with the band on extra keyboards and vocals, and a night devoted to elaborate covers, the transition to Adam Marsland's Chaos Band has begun.

27 The Ludlow 6:18 tour begins tonight in Mesa, AZ. A prior show in Tucson is canceled as Adam has only just returned from flying to New York for his father's funeral. He will now have to drive all the way back across the country again. He is depressed and exhausted, but makes every gig.

28 Emerald Lounge, Phoenix, AZ.  These two shows are significant in that they are hosted by local music impresarios who are having a feud; local press notes (in New Times issue of April 18) that he is the only person to play each of their shows back to back.


Adam's solo "Ludlow 6:18" tour carries through the entire month, as Adam drives from L.A. to the deep south and north to New York State, playing almost every night. With the effective aid of publicist Carl Hanni, this tour generates significant press and continues to help the slow-rolling awareness of the Ludlow 6:18 album even as emphasis inevitably shifts away from the old band.


Adam's constant solo touring did eventually bring attention and an audience to Cockeyed Ghost's last and best album, even as the band itself became less and less active. Adam's "Ludlow 6:18" tour - specifically named to highlight the album - garnered extensive press such as the article above from the Nashville City Paper, still one of the best ever written about Adam's career. Adam still indicates a hope that the band would eventually join him on the road, but it was not to be. He would employ a similar tour naming/press gambit - again with the help of publicist Carl Hanni - to repromote his 2009 album Go West before retiring from solo touring in 2014. The solo publicity photo for the tour (seen above) was taken by Robert Ramos on the way back from a Cockeyed Ghost gig in San Francisco.

Around this time (in their March-April 2002 issue) Amplifier runs what will turn out to be the last significant article about Cockeyed Ghost, by longtime fan Bill Holmes.  By now Adam's road work has shifted early perceptions from that of a relentless self-promoter to that of a tenacious workaholic:  "When life throws him lemons, he doesn't make lemonade.  He ducks and throws limes."  Adam's shift in priorities since the Big Deal debacle is now well-defined:  "If you play the traditional industry game, you are always going to be at the mercy of someone else's agenda.  You can work as hard as you can, but because of something beyond your control, the whole thing can crumble and you can't do a damned thing about it."  Adam reveals the reasons behind his relentless touring:  "I want control over my life.  I don't want to have to go to some manager or agent and hope they give me a magic key.  It's easier to deal with these people from a position of strength, and that strength is that you don't need them." 

Adam, will, in fact, never re-enter the traditional music industry and the drive to self-sufficiency will enable him to sustain his career when the industry falls apart in the next decade.


Adam is on the road this entire month, still flogging Cockeyed Ghost's Ludlow 6:18 album as a solo performer, playing nearly every night. By the 30th, he has worked his way back to Wichita, KS.


Adam is on the road this entire month, working his way to the northwest and back down to Los Angeles.


1 Adam's solo career officially begins. Just home after three months straight on the road, Adam records his live solo album 232 Days On The Road at Brennan's Pub.  The live recording is helmed by ex-Ghost Robbie Rist, who gets a producer credit.

23, 29-30 Adam, Kurt and Severo convene at Lincoln Lounge to track three new songs for 232 Days On The Road.  These are actually songs dating from the earliest days of Cockeyed Ghost that were never recorded ("The Empty Room" was in fact the first song the band ever performed), and are intended to put a bookend on the band's history. Though billed as solo tracks, they record as a band and Severo gets a few lines of the lead vocal on "Friend" (only his second such performance, after "Burning Me Out (Of The Record Store)" on Ludlow 6:18).


19 An increasingly rare gig with Cockeyed Ghost in Costa Mesa, CA.  A frazzled Adam calls it "the worst show I've done with the band in years."  Robbie Rist is a "special guest" on bass; Robert Ramos has semi-retired from the band but they still hope he will decide to return.  He doesn't, which combined with Adam's solo touring eclipsing the band's shows, will finally spell the end of the band.


At one of its last shows (with Robbie Rist on bass), the band once again gives its all for an IPO appearance, again to a perceived lukewarm reaction. The camera indicates the show was filmed though the video has never surfaced.

28 Cockeyed Ghost perform at diPiazza's in Long Beach, again with "special guest" Robbie Rist.  This is the band's second performance at the IPO festival and they have gone all out for it but are once again frustrated by a tepid response from IPO's more conservative pop cognescenti.  Also on the bill are The Tearways, Pinkslip, and Jeremy. 

No DepressionRight: A summer 2002 ad in No Depression magazine heralds Adam's first solo album, and the beginning of the end for Cockeyed Ghost.


7 Cockeyed Ghost (probably with Robbie guesting again) is hired to play a wedding for the first and only time.  Though nervous, the band performs well and makes $1,000 for the night, plus an additional $112 in merchandise sales.

14 A memorable night.  The CD release party for 232 Days On The Road, billed as a Cockeyed Ghost show (and the band, with Robbie Rist in tow, does perform), this is actually the de facto debut of Adam Marsland's Chaos Band, with a variety show format featuring an all-star cast of guests including Stew, Steve Gregoropoulos, Carolyn Edwards, Michael Whitmore and many others including, of course, legendary soul singer Evie Sands, who sits in with the band for a now-missing Robert Ramos for a few songs in rehearsal.  Evie hits it off with the remaining Cockeyed Ghost members and they continue to rehearse together after this show for the follow-up album to Ludlow 6:18. The rest is history. 

19 Adam begins the first acoustic tour where he is explicitly promoting himself as a solo artist, behing the new album 232 Days On The Road, though Adam will still sell many copies of Ludlow 6:18 on this and subsequent tours; it will eventually sell in comparable numbers to the Big Deal releases and is expected to finally sell out its initial pressing in 2019. His "Drag Your Lazy Friends To The Show" tour will last five weeks, with a two week addendum to follow early in 2003.


12 In the midst of Adam's solo tour, "Cockeyed Ghost" plays at the Sparklefest Festival in Chapel Hill. It's not really the band; it's a ragged ad hoc representation of the group with Robbie Rist (on drums, not bass) and Mike Simmons from the Sparklejets U.K. 


3 Cockeyed Ghost plays with the Last at the Garage. Bass player unknown (but is probably Robbie).

23 Cockeyed Ghost plays the Hard Rock Café, probably with Piper Downs.  It is unknown whether Robbie Rist or Robert Ramos plays bass, but it is most likely the former.  This is the last "typical" Cockeyed Ghost show.  Moving towards the Chaos Band concept, the final few Ghost shows will be a transition to the new band.


14 Tracking begins for a new album.  Even though it will be a solo album (though it is not advertised as such yet) it is a direct continuum for the progression of Ludlow 6:18.  The band (Adam, Kurt and Severo on bass - technically still Cockeyed Ghost at this point as the "Chaos Band" members are not yet involved) tracks "Love x 10," "The Big Bear," "Have a Nice Day," "You Don't Know Me," "Stranger On The Street" and a cover of the Shambles' "Brilliant" – the last of which will be the last-ever released song under the Cockeyed Ghost name.  The basic track (plus work vocal) of "Have A Nice Day" stripped of its overdubs will see a soft release on Adam's private comp 25 Alive in 2017 as Cockeyed Ghost's final original recording.


With Robert Ramos permanently AWOL Adam (with Severo and Kurt) explores new musical possibilities with additional musicians. Legendary soul singer Evie Sands steps into Robert Ramos' previous role, an evolution in sound and approach that leads to the formation of the new Adam Marsland's Chaos Band out of the ashes of Cockeyed Ghost, who plays its last show closing for the new group. The Chaos Band (with Kurt and Adam as constant members) will continue to play as a regular performing band until 2014, and sporadically after that through 2018.


14 The proper debut of "Adam Marsland's Chaos Band" – initially billed as Cockeyed Ghost, then as "an expanded version of Cockeyed Ghost" necessitated by Robert Ramos' continued absence, which apparently has become a source of bewilderment to the band (a state of affairs that never really changes; Adam leaves the door open to reforming the band with Ramos as late as 2017, but with one exception this does not occur).  The original Chaos Band comprises Kurt, Severo, Evie Sands, Casey Dolan, John Perry, Sandra Beane (on cello) and Paul Lacques, the same team that will shortly record You Don't Know Me.  The lineup will be whittled down gradually in the coming weeks.

24-31 Adam is back on the road, going up the west coast and back.


1-7 Adam's tour continues. At the end of the tour Adam receives the news that Ric O'Brien of Paranoid Lovesick has died at 33. 


22 A gig at Highland Grounds in Hollywood.  Most likely solo, though this is unknown.


last show4 The last-ever gig by Cockeyed Ghost in its original run (not counting a six song reunion set in 2009), with Robbie Rist on bass.  Oddly, this show has Cockeyed Ghost playing with  Adam Marsland's Chaos Band, a result of Adam feeling that the new band hasn't performed enough to be solid for the whole night.  Cockeyed Ghost goes out with a bang, playing a ferocious set.  Also on the bill are Feathergun and Anton Barbeau.

9 The first day of what will turn out to be the final chapter in Adam's marathon run of solo tours, though it is not planned as such at the time.  The "Adam Marsland Was Here" tour (complete with bumperstickers that read "Looking for 25 New Fans") will run for nearly three months.  The original plan is for You Don’t Know Me - the album the remaining members of Cockeyed Ghost have finished recording with Evie Sands and others - to be released in the fall followed by another round of touring, but after this tour, Adam sees diminishing returns starting to set in and decides he has had enough, and will focus on performing with the Chaos Band locally, recording with them and as a solo artist, with less frequent band and solo tours to follow at periodic intervals.


13 Back in L.A. after three months of touring, Adam tries a unique one-time experiment with a piano/double percussionist lineup, with Kurt Medlin and Michael Whitmore backing him.


2 Billed as "Adam Marsland's Chaos Band featuring Kurt, Severo and Evie Sands" (though John Perry is probably also in tow), they perform their first gig proper as Adam's new working band tonight at Taix, with Ferdinand.  Though at this point this is one of several configurations Adam is experimenting with, this is where the new group begins to coalesce as a semi-permanent working unit. Adam also performs with Evie Sands' band and they duet on "Working For Somebody Else," for an upcoming dB's tribute album, Stands For Decibels. This marks the end of Cockeyed Ghost as a performing entity, Adam later stating that without Robert Ramos, and with Evie Sands, the band had gone so far from where it had originated it could no longer continue under that name.

The Chaos Band, or AMCB as it will come to be known, will continue as a regular performing unit until 2014, and still perform occasionally (as recently as November 2018), maintaining a nearly quarter-century through line from the origination of Cockeyed Ghost in February 1994.



Adam assembles a Vol. 2 of the homemade Rarities disc series called The Alternative History of Cockeyed Ghost, which is offered in tandem with deluxe packages of his debut solo studio album, You Don't Know Me. It is a compilation of various unreleased Cockeyed Ghost tracks, including several unheard songs like "In Absentia," rescued from a 1995 session, and "Happy F. Birthday," a planned song for Ludlow 6:18.


The limited edition Alternative History album is released with You Don't Know Me. The release of the follow up to Ludlow 6:18 under Adam's name as opposed to Cockeyed Ghost's (with the five-member Chaos Band line up pictured inside) completes the transition from the band era.



A straggler Cockeyed Ghost track – though it is actually the transition point to Adam Marsland's Chaos Band as it features Adam, Kurt, Severo, Evie Sands and John Perry – sees release today on the dB's tribute album Stand-ins for Decibels.  Billed as "Cockeyed Ghost & Evie Sands," Adam and Evie duet on the semi-obscure dB's song "Working for Somebody Else," with Severo chiming in at the beginning and end with a comic commentary.  This is one of two tribute tracks recorded at the outset of You Don't Know Me specifically earmarked as the last Cockeyed Ghost recordings; the final one, a cover of San Diego band the Shambles' "Brilliant," does not see release until 2009.  Both tracks had already seen soft release on the 2004 Alternate History of Cockeyed Ghost disc that was part of deluxe packages of You Don't Know Me.



24 At a show in Highland Park for an old Cockeyed Ghost fan, Adam reprises a set of mostly hard edged songs.  The high energy set features "The Third Wheel" and "Asian Hero Worship" – neither played in years.  Adam enjoys the return to his '90s persona, but does not repeat it again until the summer of 2014 when the Chaos Band does two shows as a three piece without Evie.

31 On the heels of revisiting the early Cockeyed Ghost days at the October 24 show, the last lingering reminder of the breakup of the old band, the "Disgruntled Former Roadie" webpage disappears from the web as the AOL Hometown web hosting service shuts down.



5 The last-ever new Cockeyed Ghost recording (barring a snippet of dialog on 2012's tribute album The New Sell Out) finally sees release today.  The band's recording of the Shambles' "Brilliant," tracked in early 2003, is released on Forty One Sixty:  The Songs of The Shambles on JAM Records.  The Shambles, a San Diego mod and pop band, were the first group to ever sponsor a Cockeyed Ghost road show and old friends of the band, and Adam does a spoken word introduction that references the mid '90s San Diego music scene that they were a peripheral part of.  Though billed as a Cockeyed Ghost recording, it is performed by Adam, Kurt and Severo only; as a tribute to the absent bassist, Adam shouts out "Donde esta Ramos?" at the end of the song.  Perhaps fittingly the Chaos Band are at one of the band's old haunts, Old Ironsides in Sacramento, playing as a three-piece tonight, in the wake of Adam's just-released Go West album.


Cockeyed Ghost reunion

The 2009 reunion mini-concert by the Ludlow 6:18 lineup of the band, along with James Hazley from the 2006-2008 configuration, was a happy occasion for all concerned. This was the last performance by Cockeyed Ghost, though partial reunions did occur in 2016 and 2017 at specific shows to perform the band's music.

6 Cockeyed Ghost reunion show at Brennan's Pub.  After seven years, the Ludlow 6:18 lineup of Cockeyed Ghost unexpectedly (and over the course of just two weeks) reunites for a six-song set, and for the first time are joined by James Hazley, who performs on both drums and rhythm guitar, his first appearance with the band since 1998.  The occasion is a memorial show for fan Jeff Glenn. 

The band has always left the door open for reuniting and Adam has periodically forwarded gig offers to the band; even though Severo has gone on to bigger things as full-time bassist with the Smithereens, the sticking point has always been Robert Ramos, who is logistically unable to perform owing to distance, work commitments, and health concerns.  This time Ramos says yes, and the group convenes over two rehearsals (though does not play together as a five piece until they are onstage) and the vibe in the garage is as if the group had taken a two-week break. 

Though vocally rough around the edges, the band has its old fire and it is a happy occasion for all concerned, with Adam obviously particularly happy to be onstage with Robert Ramos again.  The group talks about playing more shows, but it never comes to pass – there will be partial Cockeyed Ghost one-off reunion shows in October 2016 (Adam, James and Jason Berk recreating the Adam-James-Rob lineup, with Rob considering but ultimately declining an invitation to join) and 2017 (Adam, Kurt, Severo and Chaos Band bassist Teresa Cowles performing Ludlow 6:18, with Robert absent), but a full lineup never regroups again in any incarnation. Later that same year, Adam will depart the United States entirely.



16 On the 25th anniversary of Cockeyed Ghost's first gig, Karma Frog announces plans to completely remix and remaster the band's first two albums and assemble a "lost" Cockeyed Ghost album from previously unreleased or long-unavailable tracks, for a projected release later in the year. Remasters of The Scapegoat Factory and Ludlow 6:18 may follow if this is successful.