Those of you that were into the heavy rock scene in the 90s and early 00s may remember the aggressively pummeling and relentlessly driving musical muscle of Speedealer. The band that originally formed in Lubbock, Texas under the moniker, REO Speedealer, only to be later forced to shorten it due to a cease-and-desist order served to them by REO Speedwagon, toured and played continuously during that time, logging in dates with Motorhead, Gwar, Neurosis, Fu Manchu, Zeke, Voivod, Fear, Morbid Angel, and Corrosion of Conformity, to name a few. The first incarnation of the band consisted of Jeff Hirshberg on vocals, Chris Brown on drums, Rodney Skelton on bass, and James Follis on guitar. The group went through numerous line-up changes throughout the following years until 1997 when they finally settled on a solidified roster of Jeff Hirshberg on vocals/guitar, Eric Alan Schmidt on guitar, and Harden Harrison on drums, although, as far as I can tell, there seemed to be quite the revolving door of bassists even then.
Mala Suerte was initially asked to play this show many months back when North Carolina’s Irata asked us to join them on the bill. As a matter of fact, it was so long ago that I’d forgotten that we’d even agreed to do it until I was reminded by The Lost Well owner, Marcello Murphy. He informed me that Speedealer had also been added to the bill which, of course, piqued my interest immediately. “How many years has it been since they’ve actually even played live, and who is still in the band?” I wondered. I couldn’t find much information regarding the matter on their Facebook page or anywhere else online so I decided to send a message to Eric Alan Schmidt and see if he could enlighten me a little bit. He immediately responded. Apparently, Jeff Hirshberg opted out of further speed dealings in favor of more “intellectual pursuits”. The remaining members of the last functioning line-up, augmented by a vocal battery courtesy of Daniel Barron of The Swingin’ Dicks, have been performing live as “Dealer’s Choice” and this is basically what we’ll be getting on Friday night. As Eric put it, in a nutshell, “Our plan and hopes are to share and celebrate the ass-kickin’, shit down your throat music and show that was Speedealer”. And celebrate we will, this Friday, July 15th, though, I’m still not entirely sure why they’re billed as Speedealer now as opposed to Dealer’s Choice. It’s a minor quibble, I know, and I’m looking forward to a vastly entertaining show and evening.
For our part, Mala Suerte, is certainly looking forward to this show as well, as we haven’t played live since our last show in March during SXSW. This will also be our first show with John Petri back behind the drum kit since late January. Local doom destroyers, Destroyer of Light, will be opening the show after just returning from a month-long tour of the West Coast, while North Carolina’s volume abusers, Irata, will be filling out the bill directly after us and just before Speedealer. We hope you all decide to join in on the festive madness.